How to increase FPS in Cyberpunk 2077 on a weak PC

Setting up graphics in the main game of 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 is finally out and pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were a lot of technical problems at the release (we will compile a separate guide for them), but at maximum settings and in 4K the game looks stunning even without ray tracing. Digital Foundry has already called Cyberpunk 2077 a real nextgen, and the Internet is flooded with screenshots from the happy owners of fresh GeForce RTX video cards.

Of course, the system requirements of the “real nextgen” turned out to be appropriate. The most popular video card on Steam, the GTX 1060, is not capable of delivering even a stable 30 FPS at 1080p at maximum settings. And to play in 4K , the RTX 3090 is not always enough . We thoroughly tested Cyberpunk 2077 and now we is in a hurry to share with you tips on optimizing graphics without noticeable harm to the picture.

What computer do you need for Cyberpunk 2077

We studied independent tests of the game on different hardware and came to the conclusion that the official information is close to the truth, if you focus on stable 30 FPS:

Of all this, the main thing can be distinguished:

  1. The game has moderate CPU requirements. The game works well even on old Core i5 or Ryzen 5 first generations. Maximum efficiency is still achieved on processors with 8 physical cores, but 4-6 cores are enough for a game if there is a high frequency for each.
  2. The game consumes quite a lot of video memory. Even in Full HD (1920×1080), up to 6 gigabytes can be consumed, and in 4K – up to 8. Therefore, all video cards with 3-4 gigabytes are not able to run the game at settings above average. And even the iconic 6GB GTX 1060 has problems.
  3. 4K only needs to be played with DLSS. Even the RTX 3090 is not capable ofdelivering a stable 60 frames in the open world at maximum graphics settings and with ray tracing enabled. Fortunately, the latest version of DLSS in quality mode makes the picture even better than the native resolution.

Cyberpunk 2077 Optimization Tips

Comparison of graphics quality on different “presets”

The game has quality presets ranging from Low to Impressive. However, it is not worth reducing all parameters at once, since not all of them significantly affect performance. Therefore, further we will analyze each graphical option separately.

Note. Where applicable, the maximum percentage degradation in current performance is shown in parentheses.

  • “Vertical sync”. Limits the number of frames to your monitor rate or half hertz. A side effect is input lag. In first person games, it’s best to turn it off to keep the controls responsive. And to increase the smoothness of the footage and stabilize the frame time, it is better to use the following parameter.
  • “Maximum frames per second.” Set this to 30 on a weak PC, or disable on a relatively powerful (GTX 1070 or better).
  • “Windowed mode”. Windowed (or borderless) mode can be useful for streamers to make it easier to switch to OBS. And for ordinary players, it is better to turn on the good old full-screen mode so that resources are not wasted on maintaining the Windows interface (even minimal).
  • Texture Quality (up to 6 GB VRAM at 1080p / up to 7 GB at 2K / up to 8 GB at 4K with max. Preset). This can be a big performance hit if you have less than 6 gigabytes of video memory and set high quality here. Memory can be saved if you lower most of the other settings, then you may be able to set high-quality textures at 4 gigabytes. But most owners of weak PCs are still better off downgrading to medium or below.
  • “Viewing angle”. It is better to leave the default value so that the first person picture is not distorted. If you increase it, more objects and surfaces will be removed into the frame, which will linearly reduce the number of FPS.
  • “Grain”. A film-like effect that does not look good on small screens on standard monitors. For some reason, you can’t even adjust the intensity of the noise. Most will want to turn it off to make the picture clearer. This setting does not affect performance.
  • “Chromatic aberration”. Another cinematic effect that adds thin lines of color around the edges of the image and some objects. Looks stylish, but some may not like it.
  • “Depth of field”. It should be turned on so that during dialogs, the background blurred beautifully and helped to focus on the interlocutor. On relatively modern hardware, performance should not be affected.
  • “Glare”. The lens effect when looking at bright light sources (especially the sun). Anyone who doesn’t like it will turn it off, but this will not affect the FPS.
  • Motion Blur. In most games, this effect is disgusting and creates rough trails from moving objects or when you turn the camera. And in Cyberpunk 2077, it works like motion smoothing in movies or 2D games. Better to include at least low quality.
  • “Contact shadows” (up to 2%). Increases the realism of the picture by adding darkening between objects and their shadows. On modern video cards (2016 and newer), you should not noticeably lower the FPS – turn it on.
  • “Improved lighting of face geometry” (up to 2%). If you turn it on, then the faces will immediately become more alive, since the light falling on them will take into account wrinkles, bulges and other features. Better to turn it on if your computer is not yet time to go to the museum.
  • “Anisotropic filtering”. Restores the clarity of textures at an angle to the camera angle. Without filtering, due to the peculiarities of 3D rendering, all surfaces are blurred. Even the maximum quality (16) will not affect the FPS on most PCs still alive.
  • “The quality of objects for local shadows” (up to 4%). Determines the accuracy of casting shadows by objects (whether their geometry is simplified or not). The effect of the effect is difficult to track (especially during active play), so it can be downgraded to medium.
  • “The quality of local shadows” (up to 4%). Resolution and detail of shadows from artificial light sources. Such shadows prevail in the game, so it is better not to fall below average quality. And if possible, set it high.
  • “Range of cascading shadow maps” (up to 9%). Distance to draw shadows from the sun. You can track the effect of this parameter only outside the city, and it affects FPS noticeably – reduce it to medium quality or lower.
  • “Resolution of cascading shadow maps” (up to 14%). Shadow rendering quality from the previous parameter. Most players are better off downgrading to medium or even low in order to significantly increase performance without significantly harming the picture.
  • “Resolution of far shadows” (up to 6%). Responsible for the quality of shadows for distant objects only. If you have lowered the previous settings, then it is better to leave the high quality here.
  • “Volumetric fog resolution” (up to 15%). Smog in the city creates an additional atmosphere of the decline of humanity. But in the evening and at night it is not visible so well, and it takes a lot of FPS. Better to downgrade to medium quality or even lower.
  • “The quality of volumetric clouds” (up to 5%). You will rarely pay attention to the sky, so it’s worth downgrading to medium quality.
  • “Maximum dynamic decals” (processor-dependent). Limits the maximum number of traces from hostilities (burn marks, bullet holes, scratches, etc.). If you have a weak processor, it is better to downgrade. And little depends on the power of the video card.
  • Reflection quality (in screen space) (up to 16%). Makes matte and glossy surfaces more distinctive from each other. Also adds subtle reflections to car bodies and a metallic sheen. Unfortunately, most players will have to downgrade to medium or below to achieve a stable 30 or 60 FPS at the desired resolution.
  • “The quality of subsurface scattering” (up to 5%). An effect that makes the skin look much more natural by absorbing light. The effect is not so long ago used in games, therefore, on relatively powerful, but outdated video cards (for example, GTX 690) it can lower the number of FPS significantly more than by 5%. But in general, it is worth showing medium or high quality here.
  • Diffuse shading (up to 10%). Another not entirely correct translation of Ambient Occlusion (usually translated as “volumetric lighting”). Adds shadows to seams and recesses, and allows objects to cast shadows on themselves. High quality looks great and can compensate for the reduction in other shading related options. But you can also downgrade to medium quality.
  • “Color accuracy” (up to 6%). The quality of gradients and other color transitions. Better to display high quality.
  • “Reflection quality” (in mirrors) (up to 50%). In the game, most of the mirrors are electronic and initially disabled (an elegant solution that fits into the setting). But if you turn them on, the number of frames will drop up to two times. Set the quality here to keep the reflections at least a little decent.
  • “Level of detail” (processor-dependent). It has little effect on FPS if you have a modern video card and at least a 4-core processor with a frequency of 3.5 GHz or more. But even in this case, it is better to downgrade to medium quality so that FPS drops less when traveling by car.

Final optimal settings

IMPORTANT: all recommendations below are for 1920×1080 resolution.

Optimal settings for a weak PC (GTX 780 / RX 470 + i3 / AMD FX):

  • Vertical sync:
  • Maximum frames per second:
  • Windowed mode:full screen.
  • Texture quality:
  • Viewing angle:
  • Granularity:to your taste.
  • Chromatic aberration:to your taste.
  • Depth of field:to your taste.
  • Glare:to your taste.
  • Motion Blur:
  • Contact Shadows:
  • Improved face geometry lighting:
  • Anisotropic filtering:
  • Object quality for local shadows:
  • Local Shadow Quality:
  • Cascading Shadow Mapping Range:
  • Resolution of cascading shadow maps:
  • Far Shadows Resolution:
  • Volumetric fog resolution:
  • Volumetric clouds quality:
  • Maximum dynamic decals:
  • Reflection quality (in screen space):
  • Subsurface scattering quality:
  • Diffuse Shading:
  • Color Accuracy:
  • Reflection quality (in mirrors):
  • Detail level:

Optimal settings for a mid-range PC (GTX 1070 / RX 590 + i5 / Ryzen 5):

  • Vertical sync:
  • Maximum frames per second:
  • Windowed mode:full screen.
  • Texture quality:
  • Viewing angle:
  • Granularity:to your taste.
  • Chromatic aberration:to your taste.
  • Depth of field:to your taste.
  • Glare:to your taste.
  • Motion Blur:
  • Contact Shadows:
  • Improved face geometry lighting:
  • Anisotropic filtering:
  • Object quality for local shadows:
  • Local Shadow Quality:
  • Cascading Shadow Mapping Range:
  • Resolution of cascading shadow maps:
  • Far Shadows Resolution:
  • Volumetric Fog Resolution:
  • Volumetric clouds quality:
  • Maximum dynamic decals:
  • Reflection quality (in screen space):
  • Subsurface scattering quality:
  • Diffuse Shading:
  • Color accuracy:
  • Reflection quality (in mirrors):
  • Detail level:

Optimal Settings for Pre-Top PC (RTX 2080 / RX 5700 XT + i7 / Ryzen 7):

  • Vertical sync:
  • Maximum frames per second:
  • Windowed mode:full screen.
  • Texture quality:
  • Viewing angle:
  • Granularity:to your taste.
  • Chromatic aberration:to your taste.
  • Depth of field:to your taste.
  • Glare:to your taste.
  • Motion Blur:
  • Contact Shadows:
  • Improved face geometry lighting:
  • Anisotropic filtering:
  • Object quality for local shadows:
  • Local Shadow Quality:
  • Cascading Shadow Mapping Range:
  • Cascading Shadow Maps Resolution:
  • Far Shadows Resolution:
  • Volumetric fog resolution:
  • Volumetric clouds quality:
  • Maximum dynamic decals:
  • Reflection quality (in screen space):
  • Subsurface scattering quality:
  • Diffuse Shading:
  • Color accuracy:
  • Reflection quality (in mirrors):
  • Detail level:

At low graphics settings, Cyberpunk 2077 looks mediocre, but at medium-high – at the level of Watch Dogs: Legion or even better. And it’s hard to tell the difference between high quality and ultra, especially at Full HD resolution and without ray tracing. Therefore, even owners of powerful PCs do not make sense to twist everything to the maximum.

 

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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