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If you're playing Dark Souls III on PC your game will have auto-updated to patch 1.03 automatically, but console players might have opted to not install it to jump into the game right away. According to Eurogamer's Digital Foundry, that's a bad choice, because the patch significantly improves performance (though it doesn't solve all problems.) Here's an excerpt from the article:
We tackled three key areas - Farron Keep, Irithyll of Boreal and Lothric Castle - each of which has been reported as a trouble spot by multiple users. After playing through each of these areas, we noted some issues, but failed to encounter anything resembling the apparently crippled performance levels being reported. While slowdown is present at points, it is limited to minor pockets triggered by asset streaming or alpha effects in close proximity to the camera. Lothric Castle definitely exhibits extended dips to roughly 28fps at certain points, but aside from this specific section, the game maintains a 30fps average fairly easily.
However, the evidence suggests that this wasn't always the case. These tests were carried out with the latest patch - 1.03. Now, all of Dark Souls 3's updates have mentioned performance improvements, but 1.03 actually delivers some tangible improvements. We only have limited assets showing issues on earlier builds but the snapshot of the game shown below tells its own story: Dark Souls 3 still has some issues, but the optimisation effort has paid off - 1.03 is clearly running much more smoothly.
As things stand, it's very likely that early adopters did indeed run into performance issues in certain areas of the game. With our saves operating at version 1.03, and without the ability to return to older versions of the game, it's not possible to re-test, but we can at least confirm that new players shouldn't run into anything too serious - just be sure to download the latest update for the game as soon as you start playing.