By Neferata –
Settings to get 30+ fps for a smooth gameplay experience, while letting the game remain looking rather nice.
Settings to change in-game and configuration file
First, here is my PC specs.
16gb DDR4 ram
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 six core CPU
(here is where the pain is for me) Radeon RX 480…4gb VRAM 🙁
Windows 11 (though during beta I had windows 10)
As for this guide, this isn’t a guide to get 60 fps or 1000 fps or whatever fps you like. This is a guide to get a smooth gameplay experience at 30+ constant fps with no stutters, AND a decent looking game (as decent as can be on a midrange pc, with a GPU that may be a bit lacking)
Before doing these changes (in beta, this does NOT account for any post-release optimization) I would get 15-20 FPS with severe stutters. I have a midrange PC with a below average GPU, I’d upgrade but not with GPU shortages and sadly the pandemic hit my families income really hard. Either way, after I did these changes, I got a smooth gameplay experience with 30-40 FPS, usually remained between 30-32 with no stutters or drops below that. With one exception, if I had a torch out and looked at the flame, it would tank FPS hard (trees on fire or buildings on fire however were fine)
First before going into config, go into the game settings.
-Under gameplay, turn off enable cloth simulation. Multiplayer ghost buildings can be off/on, I left mine on but it does increase performance tiny bit.
-Resolution leave it on your native, I play on 1920×1200
-Set frame limit to your average FPS. I didn’t see 60 fps at all, so I dropped it to 35, doing this actually was one of the big things that made things more smooth
-Motion Blur off (set to 0)
View distance medium
Anti Aliasing medium
Post Processing low
Shadows low (though I ended up leaving mine on medium, I believe if I recall shadows were buggy below that during beta)
Effects low (granted, I put it back to medium and forgot to set it back, maybe that is why torches lagged me out)
Foliage medium (I believe I set this to high toward the end as I was able to sacrifice some settings to set some to high, don’t remember)
(not fully tested), possibly simple building shadows and disable lightning effects can increase fps, I did NOT disable lightning effects, and don’t remember if I used simple building shadows, I believe I did
I did NOT have to sacrifice resolution to get a stable experience. I find lowering resolution makes any 3d game look too bad, and not what I’d recommend even if you are looking for more frames, and my monitor gives a warning if the resolution doesn’t match. I also found lowering it didn’t do anything for me anyway as far as FPS goes, except make things look like low budget minecraft.
Now be sure to save, and now exit the game
On your disk, get your configuration files
Open with notepad your `GameUserSettings.ini` (be careful your game should be closed)
Some of these are going to override the in-game settings you just did (hence to do the game settings first). During beta, changing settings in-game didn’t always work out either. That is probably fixed now. I put this as a “base”. If its set to 0, it will look worse (will be on low), if its set to 3 it will be “high” setting.
Once you get 35-40 FPS or somewhere in that range, you can start upping the graphics ever so slightly. You don’t want it to drop below 30 (at least that is my goal). Keep in mind, I am pretty sure my PC is bare minimum playable, and you will NOT get above 40 fps and likely 30-35 fps will be your target range. As I said early on, this guide is made to get a smooth BUT decent looking game that is playable in the 30+ FPS range.
Some additional notes. I found strangely, having higher DLSS quality resulted in better performance. Others see the opposite, but some settings I put lower (like resolution for me) actually resulted in less FPS and less stability/more stutters. For some reason, you’ll find a few options (you’ll have to test yourself outside of what is provided in this guide) give more FPS if they are better quality. I doubt this has changed since release.
And this is all in regards to beta, this does not take into any post-release optimization or optimization done toward end of beta. Also, if it isn’t obvious, this guide isn’t some magic wand that will work for everyone. This is what works for ME, each PC is different and so your results may vary. Every person expects a different experience as well. The most helpful part will likely be my hardware so you can compare yours, to see how playable it is for you. As long as you aren’t looking to max out FPS, you’ll likely be fine, but config changes are definitely required if your PC is lacking.