What game has the most annoying loading times?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: What game has the most annoying loading times?

Now that Grand Theft Auto Online's load times have been reduced, let's figure out which game is still making us stare at load screens for too long. Is it Civilization 6, Fallout 4, or any of the recent Total War games? Is it your own super heavily modded version of Minecraft or Skyrim? Or is it that one game you installed to an HDD by accident?
 

Brian Boru

Moderator
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 for sure, that game is highly painful to launch.

Click icon, wander off while Steam does its thing. SGW3 itself isn't too bad at this stage, except for one major stupidity: when you return, you get a screen with one and only one choice on it—press spacebar to 'Start'. How dumb is it to have that useless step in there?

Press spacebar—this is the shortest step, so please yourself re whether to stay or go.

Screen to select Continue Campaign or Multiplayer. You definitely need to have something to do after this, unless your life is one long sequence of emptiness. I haven't actually timed it, as there's a good chance my clock would break down due to normal wear and tear while waiting, so I don't know how many minutes it is.

I usually launch the game while organizing dinner, I make enough trips past my PC that I can do these steps in passing—it's ready to play after dinner. Then I Alt-Tab out to whatever I want to do, before starting a game session.

What's actually needed? An icon with built-in 'Continue last session'. That's all, most of the time. One click, go do something, game's ready when you return.
 

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Jan 29, 2020
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First Witcher, before the Enhanced Edition. I actually didn't finish it because of these ultra long loading times. You could go and make yourself a tea or get a snack everytime you had to switch locations. And you had to switch locations a lot. I gave up on the swamps at some point. Vision of Geralt running to the city and back to the swamp AGAIN was too much to handle.

It wasn't till "ultimate edition" came along and I actually finished Wither. It was a good game and the loading times were really improved it didn't look like a medieval torment machinery anymore.
 
Jun 26, 2020
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Still GTA Online IMO.

Other notable mentions include BG3 (I suspect this will get optimized before launch, though, but right now even on my NVME it's pretty painfully long), RDR2 Online, and Pathfinder games after you put in a couple dozen hours into a save.
 
Nov 27, 2020
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Fallout 4. I just stated playing again this week, and granted, I have modded it pretty heavily, but the loading screens when going from an exterior cell to interior cell, or interior to exterior, can be just be extremely long. Even with an RTX 3080, Samsung SSD, and a liquid cooled I9-9900K, i can still experience a load screen that's in excess of 1 minute, and that can really just kill the game flow. It doesn't happen with every load screen, but often enough to be a pain.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Wow, I was going to complain about how X4: Foundations takes 70 seconds to load a save but, once its loaded, there's no more loading screens that I've seen.
What's actually needed? An icon with built-in 'Continue last session'. That's all, most of the time. One click, go do something, game's ready when you return.
For sure! If the game is something real time, then immediately pause after starting. I want to click, go grab a drink, and find the game waiting for me when I get back.
 
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I think the worst I've seen was Minecraft with a Feed the Beast mod pack. I think it took about 10 minutes every time I started the game and that was on a SSD.

I don't remember if I've played any games with long loading times during gameplay. Maybe the Mass Effect elevator rides, but that didn't happen all that often and it wasn't that much worse from some other games, that's just how it was before SSDs.
 

Brian Boru

Moderator
I don't like a game that's slow to load or transition any more than anyone else, but at least it's for a legit reason—poor coding aside. I can live with it. But…

Starting a new game:

A major peeve of mine is games which can take 15-20 minutes from a fresh start until you can actually start playing. Apart from the usual 'look at me mom' stuff, I'm talking about the unskippable forced in-game intro sequences.

I often avoid starting a new game of any of the Far Cry games from FC3 on because of this total disregard for the player. FC5 is the worst, because you have to be there, pressing the W key so your character keeps following the leader—at least with the others, if I recall correctly, you could walk away and return to the game waiting. Heck, you could even win FC4 that way with a tasty dish of Crab Rangoon!

Unskippable cut scenes:

Those would count as annoying loading times too, wouldn't they? The best ones happen directly after your only save-game, so if you die a few times in the following mission segment, you get to *enjoy* the cut scene multiple times.
 
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Aug 4, 2020
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Fallout 4. I just stated playing again this week, and granted, I have modded it pretty heavily, but the loading screens when going from an exterior cell to interior cell, or interior to exterior, can be just be extremely long. Even with an RTX 3080, Samsung SSD, and a liquid cooled I9-9900K, i can still experience a load screen that's in excess of 1 minute, and that can really just kill the game flow. It doesn't happen with every load screen, but often enough to be a pain.
Yeah F4 was the worst for me, load times were anywhere from 5-8 minutes when going between areas...fortunately I found a mod to fix the issue and the times dropped to a few seconds with the occasional 20-30 sec window for the larger areas....
 
Dec 16, 2020
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I think the worst I've seen was Minecraft with a Feed the Beast mod pack. I think it took about 10 minutes every time I started the game and that was on a SSD.

I don't remember if I've played any games with long loading times during gameplay. Maybe the Mass Effect elevator rides, but that didn't happen all that often and it wasn't that much worse from some other games, that's just how it was before SSDs.
I would quickly swerve that game. 10 minutes!!!
 

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