While Switch owners have been talking about FPS drops in both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Dragon Quest Heroes II, it seems as if the stutter may not be because of the hardware, but a software bug.
A new report from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has noted Fast RMX jumps between 900p and 1080p when docked (sometimes even lower in rare situations), while the game’s portable mode is bumped down to 720p.
Coming from this, Eurogamer points out “a small issue with the current firmware on Switch which causes a slight drain on GPU resources,” which they’re saying will be fixed and will lock the game to 1080p in docked mode.
It remains to be seen if this affects all games on the Nintendo Switch, however a rumor from Nintendo Life has an anonymous third-party developer further corroborating the performance issues, noting a bug in the current OS version.
The source points out that the bug causes CPU cycles to be taken away from the game, instead using it to auto-connect to wi-fi. The anonymous developer said:
I remember Digital Foundry have been puzzled how some of the worst framerate issues seem to occur so randomly, not area-specific. I believe these are not the fault of the game, but of the Switch trying to periodically auto-connect to WiFi where there is no network available. This is supposed to happen in the background, but it apparently does affect the game(s). I actually noticed this in FAST RMX first, where I got periodical FPS drops, while everyone was always saying that it is a perfectly locked 60 FPS experience. It wasn’t game breaking, but it made me curious. […] I then delved into the Internet settings of the Switch, found the “Auto Connect” option and turned it off, and Voilà, no more FPS issues in Setsuna and FAST RMX! And only the “usual” minor ones in BotW in very specific (foliage intensive) areas, no more heavy random ones.
While turning off auto-connect is only a temporary fix, Nintendo will reportedly be patching these bugs in the next system update.