Updated Tue, May 27, 2014 by Lewis B
With the WildStar launch only a couple of weeks away, I've put together a Video/Graphics Tweak guide to ensure you squeeze out excellent frame rates on your Beta weekends.
WildStar is a beautiful game and if you’re to run it on the highest settings, requires a seriously powerful PC. There are however tweaks you can make in the video settings to keep your frame rates high and the game looking lovely. What I’ve always stood by is one principal: if you cannot see a visual difference between settings, choose the lower option only if it improves your frame rate.
As a benchmark throughout this tweak guide, I’ll be noting my frame rates as Low, Medium, High and Custom settings based on the following system:
Lets just go over what’s available to you in the Video settings:
Windowed Mode is as it states and places WildStar in a “window” so that you can quickly minimise the game without the traditional flickering you experience in Full Screen. Full Screen, unsurprisingly, allows the game to be played without borders however as noted above, minimising will cause your screen to go black for a second or two as your desktop appears. Where Full Screen Exclusive is concerned, its technical description is: “devices created by any other Direct3D9 object can neither assume full-screen operation nor allocate video memory. In addition, when a Direct3D9 object assumes exclusive mode, all devices other than the device that went full-screen are placed into the lost state.” There’s no discernable difference between this and Full Screen, with the exception that and as per my understanding of Full Screen Exclusive, WildStar will take priority. Neither one in my circumstance (Full Screen or Exclusive) results in higher frame rates.
This is a selection of resolutions based on your monitor size. I would always recommend that you select your native resolution, which tends to be the very last on the list. In my case, 1680x1050@59. While lowering your resolution will improve your frame rates, it will also degrade WildStar's visuals significantly so the trade off really isn’t worth it.
For an official description: “Screen tearing is a visual artifact in video display where a display device shows information from two or more frames in a single screen draw. The artifact occurs when the video feed to the device isn't in sync with the display's refresh.” What this basically means is that without Verticle Sync switched on, you’ll notice your screen split and tear as you move the camera. Although it will significantly increase your frame rates by having Verticle Sync off, its quite distracting to see your screen constantly tear. I'd recommend always trying to turn it on. However, dependant on your monitors refresh rate it's possible to have it turned off and not experience screen tearing.
"The standard refresh rate is 60 Hz for video games. In Wildstar you can choose with your resolution the frame refresh rate as well, which can be extremely useful. I always suggest around 60 Hz for best quality, as more than this isn't necessary and rarely noticed. If your monitor is displaying more than this, you can always change it in the monitor settings or in Nvidia control panel.
Vertical Sync requires significant processing power that can be used elsewhere. (thanks Hopebaby - Reddit)"
Adjusting your view distance determines how much into the distance you can see objects, reducing or increasing this will determine the amount of objects you can see in front of you. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the main settings to hurt frame rates. View Distance tends to "fog" the view in front of you if you reduce the settings. See image below.
View Distancing Horizon is a method of fading out objects that are beyond a set viewing distance from your point of view. Although the range here is quite large, I've found the differences are negligible if balanced alongside View Distance. If you were to lower View Distance Horizon to its lowest, it's quite a significant change. I'd recommend 1500 for a good middle ground. See image below (Left 1024, Right 2048)
This is the distance in which the camera will follow your character. Setting it at 8 will set the camera close behind you by default or 32 will be far away from you. Although your mouse wheel allows you to freely zoom in and out, what Max Camera Distance does is determine the very parameters of that. You’ll still be able to zoom out at a setting of 8, but it’s considerably more if you set it to 32 (see images below, with 8 and 32 on the left and right respectively).
Turning this off or on determines whether your screen reacts to being hit. I’d recommend you leave it on unless you suffer from motion sickness. It doesn’t affect framerates.
I’m not particularly sure that this is working in WildStar at the moment. Based on having had it turned off and on the camera always centers behind my character which is as intended, but this shouldn’t occur when turned off. I’d recommend you leave it on.
Hit the Page 2 button below to find out what settings YOU should be running for excellent FPS