So, I’ve been looking at and testing out the graphics settings of Vermintide 2. While there are nice tooltip descriptions, I felt that they still don’t really tell me how it affects the look (and performance of the game). So I’ve tried to figure out what they do and done some light performance testing as well (all testing on a 3700x + gtx1070).
FS of course knows exactly what’s going on, so please correct me where I’m wrong ^^ If other people have seen examples of where settings affect the look of the game in a non-obvious way, please comment!
Here’s an early version of my findings:
General RAM usage
A quick note on the RAM usage of this game: it seems to use a bit more than 8GB (around 9-11GB in my testing), so anyone with 8GB *should* see a performance increase going to 16GB.
Character texture quality
Environment texture quality
These settings control how detailed surfaces in the game look. It doesn’t affect performance much if your graphics card has enough VRAM to keep the textures in memory. Using “high” for both will use around 3 – 3.5GB of VRAM, so any card with at least 4GB ought to keep them at their highest settings. For 3GB cards, lower Environment textures to “medium”.
Interestingly, lowering these settings to “low” only seems to affect certain textures while leaving others at full quality. The result is a weird look and VRAM usage doesn’t drop appreciably compared to “medium” or “high”. Considering many textures in this game are kind of low res, I suggest keeping both these settings at “high” if at all possible.
Particle Quality – Mainly affects the amount of particles that will be used for effects such as blood squirts, sparks, embers etc. The lowest setting will disable most particles.
Suggestion: set to “low” if you don’t like blood effects, else to at least “medium” for good visual feedback from hits. Use “high” or “extreme” if you want blood flying everywhere.
Transparency Resolution – Should affect the appearance of transparent effects, but in practice it’s very hard to make out the difference between “low” and “high”.
Suggestion: set to “low”. If you notice a semi-transparent effect looking bad and you’re bothered by it, try “high” and see if it helps.
Scatter Density – the amount of grass, small rocks, twigs etc rendered. Set to 25% to make grass fields (like on Against the Grain) more patchy. Shouldn’t affect performance much.
Suggestion: setting it to 0% can make certain objects that you can normally jump on disappear, so it should probably be kept to 25% at least.
Blood Decal Amount – the number of splatters that are allowed to stay on walls. When this number is hit, the engine will start removing the oldest splatter to make room for a new one. Set to 500 for a bloodsoaked battlefield or to 0 for a pristine environment. Doesn’t affect performance much.
Local Light Shadow Quality – this changes the resolution of shadows cast by objects lit by torches and lamps. “Off” completely removes these shadows and the highest settings make them look sharp and well defined. This setting is tied to Max Shadow Casting Lights below.
Suggestion: A reasonably heavy effect that doesn’t affect the look of the game too much, so if you’re hurting for performance, keep this one off. If you do keep it on, I suggest putting it to “medium”. Strangely enough, there seems to be no difference between “high” and “extreme” (in appearance, performance or VRAM usage), so never go beyond “high” even if you have performance to spare.
Sun Shadows – this works exactly like the previous setting, but for shadows from buildings, trees etc under the sun (or moon!).
Suggestion: this is a performance heavy effect (up to 10%) that will also greatly affect the look of the game. Especially levels with trees will have a different look without it. Unfortunately, no sun shadows may create lighting bugs as the levels were designed with this setting in mind. If you like the look of it and/or can’t stand the bugs without it, I recommend keeping this to “high”. Lower settings unfortunately look a bit pixelated and unstable in motion. As above, the “extreme” setting seems to do nothing.
Max Shadow Casting Lights – determines the number of shadows from torches/lamps that will be rendered at any given time. Settings this too low will make shadows suddenly appear in a slightly distracting way as the game has to shift between which shadows to render. If you’re not bothered by that, set it to “1”. Otherwise, keep it at 4-5 at least. Of course, if you turned off “Local light Shadow Quality” you can set this to “1” as well.
Volumetric Fog Quality – determines the quality of fog effects that are not simple distance fog. It’s hard to detect any difference between “lowest” – “low” – “medium”. “high” adds the ability for lamps/torches to light up fog, creating a nice atmosphere, and “extreme” makes Local Light Shadows cast shadows into the fog volumes for an even more realistic fogginess.
Suggestion: set to “lowest” if you don’t care about fog effects, “high” or even “extreme” for extra moodiness if you have GPU performance to spare.
Ambient Light Quality – effectively darkens areas that are not hit by sunlight. Indoors will be realistically dark, adding greatly to the overall ambiance of the game. Unfortunately, it also keeps you from seeing this clearly in especially dark areas, such as the mines of Hunger in the Dark.
Suggestion: while the game looks much better with it, it’s just too good to be able to see things in Hunger or the Righteous Stand finale. Keep it off :/
Auto exposure speed – determines how quickly your virtual eye adapts when stepping between dark and light places. Mainly a preference, a low setting will make light levels fluctuate more quickly. Setting it to a high number might mitigate some of the blinding darkness you experience when dropping off the pool ledge in Convocation.
Anti-aliasing – smooths out edges, making them look nice and less jagged. This game was built with TAA in mind, so that’s the only setting that’ll actually get rid of jaggies. It also makes the image much more stable in motion for less distractions. The downside is that it will soften an already smudgy looking game.
Suggestion: keep this on. There are ways to combat the softness as you’ll see.
Sharpness Filter – this is how the game tries to recover detail lost both to TAA and to whatever texture smoothing shaders that are used. Unfortunately, it’s *very* heavy handed and gives the game a cartoonish, oversharpened look.
Suggestion: keep it on only if you don’t want to mess with 3rd party solutions, see below.
SSAO – Screen space Ambient Occlusion – makes nooks and crannies look realistically darker, creating a more solid look to the world. Try turning it off to see. It’s slightly strangely implemented though; any setting below “extreme” will render the effect a fairly short distance and then just drop it.
Suggestion: if you want performance and don’t care about the added realism, put it to “off”. If you want the more solid looking world, set it to “extreme”. The darkening it does mitigates some of the ambiance lost due to putting Ambient Light Quality to “low”.
Bloom – makes bright surfaces glow.
Suggestion: mostly preference. Without it, things look a bit flatter, but it might obscure vision in some instances. Update: seems like turning bloom off makes certain effects (burning rats) flat white. Keep this one on.
Skin shading – so, er, I'm guessing this might add a sub surface scattering effect to skin, but I can't really tell the difference to be honest.
Suggestion: probably turn this off.
Depth of Field – adds a blurriness to the background of certain scenes. Used to convey thickness of smoke etc, like when escaping the burning building in The Pit.
Suggestion: it’s not used often enough to warrant turning it off to gain performance, so treat it as a preference.
Screen Space Reflections – An odd one this. Will increase the realism of reflections in water, but is both strangely low res AND varies wildly in its performance impact. Lowers performance a lot in the keep for instance with no visible reflections, but not that much in Convocation’s sewers that are covered in water. Go figure.
Suggestion: turn this off for a good performance gain with *very* little visual impact.
Light Shafts – gives nice godrays when sun/moonlight goes through trees, masts etc.
Suggestion: I’d keep this one on.
Lens Flare – some strong light will have a lens flare.
Suggestion: turn off if you find it distracting, otherwise keep it on.
Colour And Lens Distortion – adds distortion effects to things like the teleportation bubble.
Suggestion: mostly preference this one. Turn it off if you’re distracted by such effects.
Motion blur – adds a fairly nice motion blur to quick actions, making them seem smoother and more cinematic.
Suggestion: unless you really like the effect, turn it off for maximum readability of the action.
Physics debris – make small stones, debris etc bounce realistically on the ground.
Suggestion: you can probably safely turn this off without noticing too much of a change.
Animation LOD Distance – cuts off small animations much earlier in the distance.
Suggestion: keep it on, should be a very minor performance impact.
3rd party sharpening
As stated above, the built-in sharpening algorithm is pretty heavy handed. My suggestion for a better looking game is to sharpen the game through 3rd party tools. Both nvidia and AMD have sharpening in their driver settings, play around with those until you get a look you like.
My preferred solution however is to use ReShade and McFly’s DELC sharpen filter. Uncheck “Use depth mask” in its settings and adjust the strength to your liking (around 0.4 – 0.5 should be good for a 1080p screen but ymmv).
I hope this clears up some questions you might have had around the graphics settings of Vermintide 2!
Edit: update on auto exposure speed and scatter density
Source: Original link
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