Fallout 1

[Fallout 76 PC Version] Graphic Presets Explanation + Performance “fix”

fallout 5 - [Fallout 76 PC Version] Graphic Presets Explanation + Performance "fix"


Hello, I'm Alex. I've been making mods for Skyrim, Skyrim SE and Fallout 4 for the past 2 years. With 1500+ hours spent in the Creation Kit, you can feel at ease about some things I will say.

This post has some explanations, comparisons, a guide and screenshots in it.

Side note: English isn't my language, thus I will revise this after writing this to see if something sounds weird. You should get the point of what I'm saying though. lmao

Edit/Disclaimer: Also, I've edited some stuff now and added some lines in here. I'm not gonna write an essay for school. Maybe my "tone" sounds a bit off at some parts, but I'm not having anything bad in mind and I'm feeling pretty neutral while I'm writing this for you. Adding stuff here and there causes that. And trying not to sound like a dick while doing so is a bit hard. lol

Why do you think I'm writing this? I'm trying to help, make you realize what's up. Considering we don't have this very well explained from Bethesda or anyone.

When I recently got Fallout 76 (about 1 week ago) and now being Level 48, I have noticed a couple of things.

The same weird bottlenecking is going on than in the old version of Skyrim and Fallout 4.

I was really excited to finally see what Bethesda has done with this game. It's an awesome thing. I also can't wait to get my hands on the Fallout 76 Creation kit to make game content.

Anyway, performance-wise for a couple of reasons I'll get into, I think there are still some unclear things.

That's why I'm writing this and letting you know what's up, shine a bit of light on things and tell you how and why you can/should change some settings.



A very interesting thing is the overall draw distance.

We have all these nice looking games that are running really, really nicely on Ultra Presets and what-not. Then, we blame the Creation Engine. Bad performance, messed up meshes(models), weird animations, etc.

I'm not gonna get into this here but it's not the engine's fault. That much I can assure you.

I have been told to explain by a friend of mine what's going on in detail but I don't have the strength to deal with people complaining, knowing everything better, who didn't even spend 1 second creating game content or even looking into how things work.

Reason being for those things; In short, NO engine can handle anything that has such insane settings. It's the same as placing a lot of trees and foliage in one spot in Unreal Engine and then getting 80 fps with 70% GPU usage. You're pretty much bottlenecking everything you could bottleneck in that regard.

You for example don't need a dropped item to be visible from a couple of kilometers away.



The High/Ultra Preset we get in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 are technically an Ultra Setting in other games, only, on steroids.

A whole lot of them.

This game for example may not look as "nice" on Ultra than other games, but that's the unique artstyle with lots of hand-drawn textures for example trying to make it look realistic. Me, I quite like it.

Tip/Recommendation: Get a Reshade with sharpening. Lumasharpen is a beautiful thing you should see in this game.

Me, I've done my own Reshade and the game looks great.

It is NOT possible to have your computer handle the game to its full power at all times using those overkill presets. Harper's Ferry, Charleston Train Station are good examples.

This is also not an optimization issue. The wole issue with this is unexplained stuff. People see "Ultra" because they have a good computer and think it's fine because other games run fine on Ultra. This isn't the case for this game or Fallout 4 however.

You can't overload a car and then expect it to run as good as it did when only you and your buddy were in it.

They're NOT meant for constant 60 fps gameplay as seen in the screenshots. I'm on a GTX 1080 @2.1ghz and an 8600k @4.7 ghz.

Even if you have a 60 fps cap, if you were to uncap it, you would see yourself that your hardware isn't properly used by using these Presets. Yes, I get over 60 but not everyone has this hardware. Don't get into this, it's no use. You've got a nice computer you spent a lot of money on. Make it happy, yourself happy and let it work how it wants to but can't.


Comparison to Fallout 4

Let's compare one of the graphic settings from Fallout 76 and Fallout 4. In Fallout 4, there is less of an open world but really big urban areas with a lot going on.


When we turned down shadow distance from 20.000 to 3.000, oddly, the game ran almost completely fine.

What is it in Fallout 76? Something INSANE. On low, it's already 60.000. I think the Ultra preset cranks them all the way up to 150.000+ (I'll write the exact number here in a bit). Thus, let's not be surprised if we get weird bad performance with low hardware usage.

Using the Optimize thing from Nvidia Geforce Experience, made Fallout 4 run really smooth. But why? If you looked at the .ini settings, the game is pretty much running a mixture of the Medium/High preset.

It's not something magically changing the way your computer is handling things. Your computer is fine, believe me. Especially if you can run other newer titles at a really good framerate hitting those sweet 99% GPU usage.


Preset Performance Comparison Screenshots

Ultra Preset

Fallout76 2019 02 15 06 09 42 986 - [Fallout 76 PC Version] Graphic Presets Explanation + Performance "fix"


Custom Preset

Fallout76 2019 02 15 06 12 41 541 - [Fallout 76 PC Version] Graphic Presets Explanation + Performance "fix"


Tell me if you notice a difference. Excuse me by the way but I was unable to join a server with the same weather considering I had to restart for the different settings to apply. Still, you see that there's pretty much no effect on anything on-screen but an almost 30 fps boost in the SAME spot.

Yes, people. This. THIS is how you test performance and compare it.

You don't get 30 fps in one area, install a texture pack, spawn somewhere else where you get 400 fps and then say your game has been fixed. Later you return, see "Oh, shit! It's 31 fps now.", go quiet and others think it really works.


Custom Settings

Let's take a look at what an actual decent High/Ulta Preset would look like.


Fallout76 2019 02 15 04 54 23 997 - [Fallout 76 PC Version] Graphic Presets Explanation + Performance "fix"


I know what you want to say."I don't wanna play on Medium settings. I've got a computer that costs 3k. What are you on about?"

Yes. I know. But that's not how this works. It's not that simple. The High/Ultra Presets are simply INSANE and mess up usage on ANY hardware.


How To Set Up

This is very simple to do.

  1. Select Medium Preset
  2. Don't touch the distance sliders
  3. Adjust any other settings you want

If you want to make sure that nothing from the ultra preset is remaining or you think your configuration file is borked, delete the Fallout76.ini and Fallout76Prefs.ini files in your Documents/MyGames/Fallout 76 folder.

New ones will be created when you launch the game, however, they will need to be set up from the ground up.

Don't forget to restart!



I do not recommend you play this game at 144 fps if you're using a 144hz monitor. I have not seen anything go crazy but there's gotta be a reason it's capped at 72.

This was for demonstration purposes only.


End Note

If you decide to give this a try, I hope you'll be satisfied with the performance increase and maybe we run into eachother in the Wasteland! Have fun!



Ultra/High Presets are overkill. No other game has such insane settings.

Set to Medium Preset, Adjust settings, don't touch the draw distance sliders. Enjoy, profit, have fun.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Apr 12, 2020 9:50 am

    This is the single stupidest article I’ve ever read, you have no idea how game engines work nor any experience in the field at all, yet you’re trying to state facts on something you have no education in.

    The Creation engine is an abomination that is 20 years old, it is a bad, outdated, under-developed engine that isn’t suitable for what Bethesda wants to do with it; this is a fact.

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