Outriders gets the weirdest Nvidia GPU exclusive yet – the ability to pause the game

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Outriders, the freshly-released sci-fi looter shooter, can’t be paused in single-player by design – but it can if you have an Nvidia graphics card, using what’s essentially a workaround.

The scoop here is that, as you’re no doubt aware if you picked up Outriders over the weekend, the game allows for up to three player co-op, but even if you’re going lone wolf, the single-player is still an always-online experience – meaning that you can’t pause it. If you want to grab a drink, or have a loo break, or quickly answer the door, you must find a suitable corner of the map to hide in and hope you aren’t attacked…

However, this isn’t the case if you have an Nvidia GPU, because then you can invoke Nvidia Ansel – the fancy screenshot (or ‘photo mode’) feature – to come to your rescue, as Outriders supports this functionality.

As a denizen of Reddit, Aced-Bread, points out (spotted by PC Gamer), hitting the key combo (Alt+F2) for Ansel to swing into action dumps you into the photo mode, where you can make a plethora of image adjustments with filters and suchlike – but crucially, the game is paused to let you do all this.

Ansel, by the way, is part of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, so if you haven’t installed the latter, and are running with just Nvidia’s bare graphics driver, you obviously won’t have it enabled.

Incidentally, in case you were wondering: yes, Ansel works even if you are playing multiplayer with other folks, but the game session won’t be paused in this scenario – it’ll carry on while you’re doing your image manipulation stuff.

Pause for thought

Naturally, there are still plenty of gamers out there who think that Outriders should just have a straightforward pause feature that works off-the-bat if you’re engaging in single-player. But this workaround is certainly better than nothing, and has led to more than a few statements of ‘finally a use for Ansel’. Although obviously it doesn’t help AMD graphics card owners (or console players for that matter).

As you may have seen, Outriders got off to something of a shaky start with some server-related and crossplay issues, and various bugs on PC including crashing and stuttering with DX12, but the developer has been commendably upfront in the ongoing process of dealing with these. Hopefully we can expect a resolution to these problems sooner rather than later, particularly those frustrating server niggles...

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).