Star Citizen 3.2 Report

I’d like to share my impressions of Star Citizen patch 3.2.


In case you don’t know, Star Citizen is a crowd-funded space sim game currently in development by Cloud Imperium Games. It has raised 189 million dollars so far, much more than any other game. That’s enough for an awesome triple A title or for a huge failure. Unsurprisingly many doomsayers and fanboys adamantly preach the inevitability of one or another.

So back to patch 3.2. This patch introduces several flyable ships and mining. While that is positive, it has a dark side too. Currently, selling ships is the main income stream for Cloud Imperium Games, thus too much focus on ships and too little focus on the core game could lead to a disaster. That doesn’t seem to be happening right now, but we should be cautious. Now while mining is a part of the core game, there is a dark twist as well – in order to mine you have to acquire a specific ship and obviously you can buy it for real money. Alternatively you can also convince somebody to lend you one. In the future, players will be able to acquire ships via in-game currency but we are not there yet.

I personally find the less obvious changes in the patch to be the more interesting ones, let’s start with performance. When patch 3.0 was released it was plagued with performance related issues. The most obvious one, was the low FPS in persistent universe. This was somehow caused by the players logging in – if the server was empty, I got 60 FPS, but as players join the server it droppeds to around 20 FPS. In patch 3.2, I saw better FPS – 20-24 in port Olisar, up to 38 in remote areas and 16-20 in busy Levsky. I don’t think I have seen over 30 in remote areas before, so that’s a nice improvement. The game occasionally drops to low FPS for couple seconds, but it seems to be related to entering new areas and it goes away quickly. The other issue of 3.0 was stuttering, basically the game would freeze for tens to hundreds milliseconds each second. This issue seems to be eliminated entirely. These performance fixes have made the game much more playable, but we still need more. Two long awaited core features should help with that, object container streaming and network bind culling, both are planned for 3.3. Let’s see if devs can deliver these as planned, since they have failed to do so before. These features are tricky to get right, so I’m not surprised by the delays.

When 3.0 shipped it was also plagued by various crashes and unrecoverable glitches. I’m happy to say that 3.2 is much better. Sure you can still fall through ground especially if you go prone, (pro-tip, don’t ever go prone) but I haven’t crashed yet and frequency of unrecoverable glitches is now bearable. In particular the grabby hands system in general works now. By grabby hands I mean being able to pick up cargo box, place it in a ship and deliver it somewhere else. In fact I was able to finish several delivery contracts. I got killed once while EVAing into my ship while holding a box, so physics grid transitions still need work, but previously boxes would frequently glitch – they couldn’t be picked up or dropped anymore.

Patch 3.2 also brings improvements to persistence. Contract progress towards unlocking Miles Eckhart and Ruto is allegedly saved between sessions now, but I haven’t unlocked them yet, so I can’t confirm. Players can now log out in a bed in their ship and when they log in again, they will appear in the same location in the same ship. Also players can now rejoin the same session after a crash. I have personally experienced persistence by logging out in Levsky and when I logged in, to my surprise, I have appeared in Levsky rather than in Port Olisar. On the other hand ship component upgrades and cargo are not insurable yet so when ship is reclaimed it is in a default configuration and empty. Hopefully upgrades will be insurable in the future.

Not everything in the patch is good though. Enemies are sometimes glitched – they move only slowly but my HUD displays fast movement via target lag indicators. This renders targeting and ESP unusable. I still have to perform evasive maneuvers otherwise I get instakilled the moment NPC manages to point their ship at me. The server probably has some trouble with updating enemy ship positions. I have also seen two instances where shops were completely broken – merchandise did not render and kiosks were broken as well.


3.2 has made the game a lot more playable. Various systems seem to really come together and bugs are being squashed. Still some parts are not really ready for playing. Idle NPCs are still more glitched than idling, although it’s better than 3.0. Physics grid transitions are still haunted and Interactions are still glitchy as hell, though much less game breaking than before.