Why some games, even with extremely simple graphics are laggy?


I get the concept of why graphically intensive games cause lag and overheat, but I don’t get why some games (such as Minecraft) or minimalist graphic style games still cause lag on average computers?

In: Technology

In the case of Minecraft, you have to look at the language it’s using. Minecraft is (was) written in the programming language Java, which is known for not being the best language around from a resource perspective. With everything Minecraft was doing, Java had a tendency to bog down.

Games like Minecraft are graphically undemanding, but tend to have a large number of digital assets (ie textures, colors, templates, “worlds”, weapons, etc.) and those have to be loaded in as well.

I’ve been in minecraft worlds so dense that it brought my 1080ti to its knees along with large RAM usage.

Another explanation could be poor optimization for the platform you’re playing on. This is especially prevalent on console to PC ports (eg RDR 2).

Graphics isn’t the only bottleneck, and while graphics commonly are an issue heavy logical processing (such as games that have many AI characters acting at once) or games with a lot of asset processing can just as easily bog down a system.

Minecraft isn’t even all that graphically unimpressive. Sure, the textures aren’t much to think of, but these aren’t static landscapes. Each block in Minecraft can be destroyed, replaced, and can interact with the player. Minecraft does a lot of processing in the background to discover what is and isn’t relevant to the player and hide the rest or merge it in to a single “unit” that can be treated as a single entity. Add on that Minecraft is written in Java which is a fairly slow language for this kind of processing and it’s not all that surprising that Minecraft is a bit demanding.

The minimalist graphic style game may be doing a lot of processing in the background that you simply can not see or notice, or they may be poorly optimized.

Minecraft was made in java which isn’t the fastest language. If it was made in python it would be worse. If it was made in C it would be faster like most games

I investigate and fix game performance issues regularly (check my post history) and I can assure you this is almost always due to programmers having no idea which parts of their game take more time to process and / or not caring about it more than getting it to an “it works” state and shipping it.

You can ask a GPU to render a city block one building at a time or you can batch it all into one “here, render all this” command to the GPU for example and it makes a world of difference.