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Dillonator

PC Report: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

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PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Dillonator. For an up to date account of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

 

I feel as if the PC gaming community has a "I can't have it therefore I want it more" relationship with Metal Gear Solid. Of all the 20 Metal Gear games dating back to 1987 a measly three are on PC. On top of that, there was an 11 year hiatus between Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance which landed on PC in January earlier this year. Revengeance was greatly successful, not just in terms of game-play but also in it's port. You can read more about that here. However, Revengeance wasn't developed by Kojima Productions and was instead created by Platinum games and the earlier titles were ported by a third party so we have no real precursor to anticipate how well MGSV:GZ will perform. So, here I present to you, Kojima Productions' first venture into PC.Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes was released on December 18, 2014 and is available on Steam.

 

System requirements:

Minimum requirements:

OS: Windows Vista SP2 x64, Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64 (64-bit OS Required)

Processor: Core i5-4460 (3.40GHz) or better *Quad-Core or better

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (2GB) or better (DirectX 11 graphics card required)

Hard Drive: 4 GB available space

 

Recommended:

OS: Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64 (64-bit OS Required)

Processor: Core i7-4790 (4.00GHz) or better *Quad-Core or better

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (DirectX 11 graphics card required)

Hard Drive: 4 GB available space

 

Tested on:

OS: Windows 8.1 x64

Processor AMD FX 8320 (4.20GHz)

Memory: 8GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce Gigabyte Windforce GTX 970 4GB

Drivers: Nvidia Beta 347.09

 

Some things to note about the minimum and recommended specs; first is that a quad core is recommended even at the lowest level. This is because the game is brilliantly multi-threaded using my 8 cores almost perfectly evenly. This works out for everyone, for Intel users with their higher performance quadcores and AMD users with their lower performance hexa/octocores.

 

Secondly, DirectX11 is required. While there are no features like tessellation or HDAO (at least not specified in the options menu), this may mean some people might not be able to play MGS straight off the bat and will need to upgrade. Make sure your card is compatible before purchasing the game to avoid disappointment.

 

Thirdly, the 4GB VRAM requirement on the minimum is almost definitely a mistake on their behalf. During my tests, just over 2GB VRAM was being used at the highest settings at 4k. On top of that, the memory usage of the game hovered very closely to an incredibly lean 1GB of RAM, so 4GB should be totally fine.

 

EDIT: As predicted, the 4GB VRAM requirement was a mistake and is now updated on the Steam store page. Cheers to WhiteZero for pointing this out to me.

 

 

Controls and keybinds

The first thing you'll notice when you boot the game is that the menus are controlled by the keyboard, which isn't ideal but is the worst thing you'll encounter. You can use WASD instead of the arrow keys and left mouse button or space instead of enter, meaning that despite menu navigation not being optimal, it's a non-issue. Aside from that, keyboard and mouse control (and binding) is generally good. There's no mouse acceleration and keys are fully rebindable, excluding side mouse buttons. I say it's generally good because there are occasional oversights, for example when you're interrogating an enemy, you have to hold down Q while also pressing 1, 2 or 3. Climb is bound to E and move body is bound to holding R. Again, these aren't serious issues but they're minor oddities, hopefully a patch will correct them post-launch. Aside from these small issues, I find that Snake controls really well on keyboard and mouse, even with only the 8 directions of WASD, you'll still fluidly navigate environments.

 

MgsGroundZeroes Mouse

 

Here you can see above the mouse sensitivity options, which give you a selection between 0-10/20 depending on the setting.

 

MGS Keys1

 

Above the general keys rebinding section which includes on foot, map, weapon selection and interrogation.

 

Graphics settings

 

MGS OptionsVid

 

The graphics and display settings are well fleshed out but one option is mislabelled, screen filtering. It seems to be anti-aliasing and depth of field under one setting. With screen filtering, low seems to make no difference, high applies anti-aliasing and very high applies depth of field to Snake and his surroundings.

 

 

Field of view (FOV)

The field of view in MGS is generally quite low but isn't a major problem as you play with an over-the-shoulder camera for the majority of the time. People who are sensitive to low first person FOVs will encounter difficulty when in crawl spaces, however there is a little workaround I discovered. If you hold W and gently tap aim once (default right mouse button), the FOV will expand to a comfortable 90 degrees (see below).

 

 

Image quality

In this comparison of all the general settings, we see that the main difference between low and very high is post processing effects and the amount of general items and foliage there is. So, if you have a slower PC, if you emphasis the model detail setting, you'll have a comparable experience to faster PCs.

 

 

First is model detail. There seems to be some primary effects of this setting, the first being the general foliage and objects placed in the scene. The second being how far away things like large rocks and portaloos are rendered, with them being completely missing on low. Third and finally, the detail of buildings and terrain. As you can see in the comparison bellow, on very high the tents get a curve to them, they have sandbags and a fence surrounding them that isn't there on low.

 

 

Next is textures. In the comparison I use a rock heavy scene, this is because I think nature is really difficult to texture well. As a lot of the base in Ground Zeroes is made of concrete and brick, it's easy to hide low resolution textures under monotone building design but you can't get away with that with rocks. As you can see, particularly the boulder to Snake's left, at very high it looks okay and the cave in front looks good. At low, the textures look particularly poor. In my testing I found that textures make no difference to frame rate and there is no reason to use anything below very high unless you don't have enough VRAM.

 

 

Going further down on the list, next is shadows. The effect here is quite pronounced, with the shadow edge directly next to Snake losing it's sharpness. On high, shadows can be seen for a long distant and remain sharp, in contrast to low where even close shadows are very low resolution.

 

 

To show the next setting, lighting, I loaded up a night mission. There doesn't seem to be any advanced techniques like global illumination and this option just adds a lot of lights but it does look very good on max.

 

 

MGSV uses traditional SSAO methods for extra lighting effects. It's one of the few settings you can completely disable. Here you can see that the foliage off the left has a bit more contrast where light is obfuscated by leaves. Off to the right, the sandbags and barrier have a little more depth with AO on.

 

 

Lastly, the effects setting. The most prominent effect that this has is on the rain. On very high, the water droplets have a little transparency to them as compared to low where they just look light grey. You can see the difference much more in motion and I personally believe that very high looks great.

 

 

Performance

So, me and the team at PC Gaming Wiki encountered a tough problem with Metal Gear Solid's frame-rate. It was something that I knew immediately when I started to play it and when I brought it up with the team, a few members had different ideas on how to deal with this struggle. The problem is that the game rarely budges from 60FPS excluding one or two scenes where I experience a 5FPS drop. This is because the game has a 60FPS cap built into the engine (which is a pitfall for players with 120/144Hz monitors). One of the suggestions was to use 4k in my testing and I think that's a magnificent step forward, just the fact that I had to use 4k because standard resolutions run too well.

Testing methodology: conveniently, the intro cut-scene is one of the most demanding parts of the game, making heavy use of cinematic effects with lots of lighting, shadows and post process effects meaning it's a great benchmark. All tests were done at 4k.

 

First I compare the Nvidia 347.09 beta drivers to the standard 344.75WHQL drivers. The beta drivers are specifically for MGSV:GZ and Elite:Dangerous.

 

graph driver

 

As you can see, the minimum FPS is high on the beta drivers but the maximum is higher on the WHQL drivers, with the average being almost completely identical. So what drivers to use is personal preference, whether you prefer a high minimum or higher maximum. I used the beta drivers for all my tests.

 

In the next chart, I show the general performance of all the settings.

 

graph preset

 

Here you can really see the 60FPS cap coming into play at the lower end. On the higher end, take into account that is 4k on a single card with a brand new, gorgeous game. I'm personally very impressed that the average is over 30FPS.

 

While benchmarking all the settings, I discovered that the majority of them have virtually zero impact on the performance. The two major settings that did cause drops were screen filtering and AO.

 

First up is screen filtering.

 

graph screen filter

 

There is no difference between low and off and at high the depth of field and anti-aliasing kicks in. At very high, the depth of field effect strengthens. Personally, I'd recommend the high setting instead of very high as I'm not a fan of blur.

 

Next is ambient occlusion.

 

graph AO

 

Weirdly, there's minimal difference in performance between high and off, which is very interesting. Turning it up to very high drops the frame rate considerably and again, I recommend the high setting as a middle ground.

One of the elements that FPS graphs can't show is stuttering and I'm glad to report that I encountered virtually no stuttering through my testing and play-through. There is a few seconds of shakiness when you initially load into a game but after that, the game is very smooth, even when frame rates fluctuate.

 

Audio and general settings

Unfortunately, are no audio sliders anywhere in MGSV, however they do have a robust selection of languages with subtitles. Alongside the subtitle settings, there are options to disable different parts of the HUD which is great for people searching for a minimalist feel.

 

MgsGroundZeroes subs

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a phenomenal PC port. There are flaws but they are small, few and far between and easily patchable. As Kojima Production's debut game on PC, I'm impressed by the lack of crashes, the stable frame-rate and fluid controls. If anything, this goes to show that the next gen experience does not require 16GB of RAM, 4GB of VRAM and 50GB HDD space and I think that speaks volumes about the quality of production on their behalf.

 

PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Dillonator. For an up to date account of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:

 

Click here to view the article

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Fantastic report, very thorough and detailed.

 

Regarding FOV - how long does the 'fix' work for? Does it reset when you go into another tight space? I always like my FOV fairly wide.

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The last sentence is a hair disingenuous - of course it isn't going to require a full PS3/4 disc worth, it's a... "compact"... game. If anything people should expect the standard 50 as that's about what the PS3 media was, and we are many years past that even.

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Andytizer:

The trick works until you leave the crawl space, so you need to do it every time. However, tapping RMB every time isn't taxing.

 

MetalPlateMage

I did actually think about that, it being quite short can easily justify it being small. However, they are still packing an engine and high quality assets, with traditional MGS lengthy cut-scenes and dialogue. And yeah, after some thought, I'm not as impressed by the 3GB install as I initially was, I still stand by the fact it is quite good. That and, you know, rule of three, I also kept it in there for writing purposes.

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I think the game uses the CPU more than most games I have played recently and might make really good use of multicores. The game was running amazingly well for me to the point I had to keep rechecking to make sure the opening cut scene was not pre rendered. I have the same cpu that you have or the next step up both of which are 8 core I believe but my video card is pretty long in the tooth a gtx 660. The game defaulted to most everything being set to High and I mostly tried running with the defaults as a goof and it worked. 

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      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_59339.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_1322.jpg|864|540|Shadows Off|Contact Hardening Soft Shadows[/compimg]

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      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_181349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_192114.jpg|864|540|Geometry Low|Geometry Ultra[/compimg]

      Textures
      Textures is the only setting, that requires resetting the game (that is why the car in the screenshots has different color). Impact on the game is rather questionable. From the screenshot the roadway on the right side of car has little bit more details on Low setting and I haven't found any difference on other textures. But that could be affected by weather or the bump map could be generated every time the game is loaded. Nevertheless other textures stayed pretty much the same regardless of texture setting and average framerate also stayed at the same level. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_60975.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_72985.jpg|864|540|Textures Low|Textures Ultra[/compimg]

      Environment Mapping
      This setting affects resolution of real time reflections on player's car. The game looks much better when the effects is set to Ultra as the reflections are very sharp and almost at the same resolution as the rest of the world. Performance impact is around 10% for Ultra setting, 8% for High and 2% for Low. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_175457.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_158793.jpg|864|540|Environment Mapping Low|Environment Mapping Ultra[/compimg]

      Depth of Field
      I haven't noticed this effect during gameplay but it is heavily used during cutscenes and in the garages. Performance impact is around 5% for Low and 10% for Ultra. Full resolution screenshots:Off, Low, Medium, High.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_23488.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_107328.jpg|864|540|Depth of Field Off|Depth of Field High[/compimg]
       

      Grass
      Grass setting controls amount of grass billboards in the world. Performance impact of Medium setting is almost none, High setting will cause 5% framerate drop. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_30832.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_108046.jpg|864|540|Grass Low|Grass High[/compimg]

      Conclusion
      PC version of The Crew is running very well and offers some graphics tweaking. Controls can be heavily adjusted and the game supports controllers and steering wheels apart from standard keyboard and mouse combo (which is more than capable).
       
      There are some issues though. Anti-aliasing was bugged on my system, field of view slider is not enabled for single screen setups and the game stutters occasionally (not as badly as in Far Cry 4, but it is there). Then there is the whole always online thing. The game will not start at all when the servers are offline. This is not good, because every race can be played in single-player and what happens, when Ubisoft decides to pull the plug?
       
      Overall The Crew is an average port without game-breaking issues. Which sadly is success after Ubisoft's disastrous this year season.
       
      The game key has been provided by the publisher and contained the game, several cars and the season pass.
    • By Grant0417
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of Watch Dogs 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      Developed and Published by Ubisoft. The game was released on November 29, 2016.
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      • CPU: Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 6120 @ 3.5 GHz
      • RAM: 6 GB
      • HDD: 50 GB
      • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 2 GB VRAM or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2 GB of VRAM)
      OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)

      Recommended
      • CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2 GHz or AMD FX 8120 @ 3.9 GHz
      • RAM: 8 GB
      • HDD: 50 GB
      • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290 (3 GB of VRAM)
      OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)

      Editor's System
      • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K (Haswell)
      • RAM: 16 GB DDR3-2400 (G.Skill Ares)
      • SSD: 500 GB (Samsung 850 EVO)
      • GPU: Sapphire R9 390 8 GB
      • OS: Windows 10 (64-Bit)
       
      Watch Dogs 2's system requirements are not abnormal by today's standards, a 2 GB graphics card with a decent CPU. The game performed well with a smooth frame rate. On my system the low preset gets around 70-80 fps inside and 60-70 outside while the ultra preset (with ultra textures) gets around 45-55 fps inside and 35-45 outside.
       
       

      Graphics settings


      Display settings are pretty good, window modes include: Windowed, Borderless Window, Fullscreen Borderless, Multimonitor Borderless, Fullscreen. One downside is the lack of Resolution Scaling beyond 125%.




      Graphics settings give the user a good deal of customization when trying to adjust to their computers need.


      Color settings are brightness, or gamma, and sharpness, which if too high can make the image look very strange.
       

      Field of View
      Despite being a 3rd person game Watch Dogs 2 gives the option to change the FoV from the minimum value of 70, also the default, to the maximum of 110.
       


      Resolution Scale
      This setting controls how many times the resolution the game is rendered at. Watch Dogs 2 gives the option of 25% to 125% of normal resolution. This means that using resolution scaling instead of antialiasing on higher end machines will not be as possible as that typically requires around 150% to 200% resolution scaling.
       


      Motion Blur
      Motion Blur only has 2 options, on and off. It also doesn't have much of an effect on framerate, but your gameplay may look better at high framerates if you turn it off.



      Texture Resolution
      Texture Resolution seems to be nearly the same between Low and Ultra, despite the Ultra textures that were several gigabytes in size. The only difference I could notice is guns are largely affected by texture resolution.
       

       

       


      Texture Filtering
      Texture Filtering increases the visual quality of textures at steep angles to the camera.
       

       


      Shadows
      Shadows are not bad in Watch Dogs 2 at the lowest setting and ultra shadows are very crisp. Watch Dogs 2 also provides PCSS which allows for progressive shadow resolution.
       

       

       

      Water
      Water has modes, low and high, the only visible difference is the reflections it has.
       

       

       

      Headlight Shadow
      Headlight Shadows are very demanding and has a cap of being enabled on 4 cars at one time.
       

       

       

      Reflections
      Reflections affect reflective surfaces and their reflection of the sky box and other objects. Low only reflects the sky box and High reflects environmental features.
       

       

      Anti-Aliasing
      Anti-Alasing is one of the only setting in the game to have a massive hit on the games performance. It can affect the framerate by up to 10fps. The avaiable AA options are TXAA (only available on Nvidia graphic cards), MSAAx2, MSAAx4, MSAAx6, FXAA, and SMAA. FXAA and SMAA cause the game to lose sharpness and just overall blur the screen.
       


       

      Performance analysis


       
      The game preformed very well with out many frame drops, there are some issues though. Pop in is a major issue with objects appearing with in a very visible distance while driving. The game has an unlocked framerate so high refresh rate monitors do not have to worry. Load times are very low on my SSD with wait times being at max 10 seconds and typical under 5.
       

      Controls
      The game offers a large amount of control customization from changing many items such as sprint and aiming from Hold to Toggle. The game also enables changing mouse and controller sensitivity as well as X and Y axis inverting. The whole game works with mouse controls and no menu can not be navigated smoothly with it unlike the original watch dogs.
       




       

      Audio
      Audio settings are lacking, there is only one volume slider for the master volume. Music can be toggled on and off and subtitles can be enabled. The in game audio is very nicely mixed though with no sound overpowering the rest.
       

      Conclusion
      Watch Dogs 2 is a massive step up in a port from the original game, it offers large number of customization. The PC Port doesn't suffer from meany of the issues other PC ports do such as bad Keyboard and mouse control and bad optimization like its predecessor. The only issue I have had with Watch Dogs 2 is how demanding the game can be, I typically can get in 60 fps in games with high or ultra setting but Watch Dogs 2 pushes my computer past that and it is well deserved as it has beautiful graphics on PC.
       
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor grant0417. For an up to date account of Watch Dogs 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:
       

       
      Click here to view the article
    • By Grant0417
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      • CPU: Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 6120 @ 3.5 GHz
      • RAM: 6 GB
      • HDD: 50 GB
      • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 2 GB VRAM or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2 GB of VRAM)
      OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)

      Recommended
      • CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2 GHz or AMD FX 8120 @ 3.9 GHz
      • RAM: 8 GB
      • HDD: 50 GB
      • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290 (3 GB of VRAM)
      OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)

      Editor's System
      • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K (Haswell)
      • RAM: 16 GB DDR3-2400 (G.Skill Ares)
      • SSD: 500 GB (Samsung 850 EVO)
      • GPU: Sapphire R9 390 8 GB
      • OS: Windows 10 (64-Bit)
       
      Watch Dogs 2's system requirements are not abnormal by today's standards, a 2 GB graphics card with a decent CPU. The game performed well with a smooth frame rate. On my system the low preset gets around 70-80 fps inside and 60-70 outside while the ultra preset (with ultra textures) gets around 45-55 fps inside and 35-45 outside.
       
       

      Graphics settings


      Display settings are pretty good, window modes include: Windowed, Borderless Window, Fullscreen Borderless, Multimonitor Borderless, Fullscreen. One downside is the lack of Resolution Scaling beyond 125%.




      Graphics settings give the user a good deal of customization when trying to adjust to their computers need.


      Color settings are brightness, or gamma, and sharpness, which if too high can make the image look very strange.
       

      Field of View
      Despite being a 3rd person game Watch Dogs 2 gives the option to change the FoV from the minimum value of 70, also the default, to the maximum of 110.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_568051.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_456133.jpg|983|553|70°|110°[/compimg]

      Resolution Scale
      This setting controls how many times the resolution the game is rendered at. Watch Dogs 2 gives the option of 25% to 125% of normal resolution. This means that using resolution scaling instead of antialiasing on higher end machines will not be as possible as that typically requires around 150% to 200% resolution scaling.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_216844.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_37648.jpg|983|553|100%|125%[/compimg]

      Motion Blur
      Motion Blur only has 2 options, on and off. It also doesn't have much of an effect on framerate, but your gameplay may look better at high framerates if you turn it off.



      Texture Resolution
      Texture Resolution seems to be nearly the same between Low and Ultra, despite the Ultra textures that were several gigabytes in size. The only difference I could notice is guns are largely affected by texture resolution.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_115382.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_411694.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_156252.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_71496.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_349998.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_211736.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]

      Texture Filtering
      Texture Filtering increases the visual quality of textures at steep angles to the camera.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_196523.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_36558.jpg|983|553|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_439471.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_334989.jpg|983|553|Low|Ultra[/compimg]

      Shadows
      Shadows are not bad in Watch Dogs 2 at the lowest setting and ultra shadows are very crisp. Watch Dogs 2 also provides PCSS which allows for progressive shadow resolution.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_288086.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_561969.jpg|983|553|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_35117.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_15571.jpg|983|553|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       

      Water
      Water has modes, low and high, the only visible difference is the reflections it has.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_509654.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_389297.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_198377.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_55208.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]
       

      Headlight Shadow
      Headlight Shadows are very demanding and has a cap of being enabled on 4 cars at one time.
       
      [compimg] http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_402059.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_333183.jpg|983|553|Off|On[/compimg]
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_193842.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_100333.jpg|983|553|Off|On[/compimg]
       

      Reflections
      Reflections affect reflective surfaces and their reflection of the sky box and other objects. Low only reflects the sky box and High reflects environmental features.
       
      [compimg] http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_492820.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_108/gallery_2519_108_234495.jpg|983|553|Low|High[/compimg]
       

      Anti-Aliasing
      Anti-Alasing is one of the only setting in the game to have a massive hit on the games performance. It can affect the framerate by up to 10fps. The avaiable AA options are TXAA (only available on Nvidia graphic cards), MSAAx2, MSAAx4, MSAAx6, FXAA, and SMAA. FXAA and SMAA cause the game to lose sharpness and just overall blur the screen.
       


       

      Performance analysis


       
      The game preformed very well with out many frame drops, there are some issues though. Pop in is a major issue with objects appearing with in a very visible distance while driving. The game has an unlocked framerate so high refresh rate monitors do not have to worry. Load times are very low on my SSD with wait times being at max 10 seconds and typical under 5.
       

      Controls
      The game offers a large amount of control customization from changing many items such as sprint and aiming from Hold to Toggle. The game also enables changing mouse and controller sensitivity as well as X and Y axis inverting. The whole game works with mouse controls and no menu can not be navigated smoothly with it unlike the original watch dogs.
       




       

      Audio
      Audio settings are lacking, there is only one volume slider for the master volume. Music can be toggled on and off and subtitles can be enabled. The in game audio is very nicely mixed though with no sound overpowering the rest.
       

      Conclusion
      Watch Dogs 2 is a massive step up in a port from the original game, it offers large number of customization. The PC Port doesn't suffer from meany of the issues other PC ports do such as bad Keyboard and mouse control and bad optimization like its predecessor. The only issue I have had with Watch Dogs 2 is how demanding the game can be, I typically can get in 60+ fps in games with high or ultra setting but Watch Dogs 2 pushes my computer past that and it is well deserved as it has beautiful graphics on PC.
       
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor grant0417. For an up to date account of Watch Dogs 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:
       

    • By RaTcHeT302
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of Battlefield 1 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      Developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released on October 21, 2016.
       
      The main focus of this report is to aid users in finding the most optimal and best looking graphical settings in order to solve and even prevent most framerate issues.
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K or AMD FX-6350 RAM: 8 GB HDD: 50 GB GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7850, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2 GB DirectX 11) OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-Bit) Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-8350 RAM: 16 GB HDD: 50 GB GPU: GTX 1060, RX 480 (4 GB DirectX 11) OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-Bit) Editor's System
      CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 (Skylake) RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2133MHz (Kingston HyperX Fury) SSD: 500 GB (Samsung 850 EVO) GPU: MSI R9 380 4 GB OS: Windows 10 (Version 1607) (64-Bit) While the minimum system requirements may look pretty high an i5-6500 paired with a good graphics card and enough memory should be enough to run the game at very high framerates with really good graphical settings. Overall most settings will generally not change the look of the game by that much, most settings can easily be hand picked and optimized in order to get the highest possible framerate. 
      Battlefield 1 can often use up to 3 GB and even up to 5 GB of RAM, systems with limited memory might perform poorly, heavy stuttering might also be present unless more memory is installed.
       
      Players are unable to access the main menu right away on launch, they'll be transported into the single player campaign instead, the options menu should eventually become accessible however.
       




       
      There aren't too many video options, the depth of field effect, which is heavily used on most menus cannot be disabled, it is often the cause of large performance issues, which could be a big problem on lower end systems, it also misleads players into thinking that their framerate might be worse when in reality their in-game framerate might be much better.
       
      Overall most settings don't change or improve much. There's no control over the tinting effects the game uses, the sun glare effects also cannot be disabled although these are minor things and aren't too important. There's a lack of a draw distance setting which would've greatly helped, by default the standard draw distance is extremely small, even when enhanched with other settings, the antialiasing modes often might fail to hide some of the problems the new rendering engine has, with lots of objects fading out of nowhere or too close to the player's view.
       
      This issue is prevalent on the Amiens map, where windows and even certain walls will often change out of nowhere as the player gets closer, however Mount Grappa and other similar maps handle this slightly better.
       
      On the other hand, there are a lot of options related to the gameplay such as plenty of mouse and keyboard options, extensive audio settings and ways to disable the heads up display and other similar things.
       
      After reaching the main menu, open the options menu by clicking on More located on the top right or on the gear icon located in the center left area under the Shortcuts title.
       


       

      Field of View
      Only values between Vertical 50° and Vertical 105° can be chosen which translate into Horizontal 64° and Horizontal 120°. The vertical values are also translated as horizontal values in the options menu.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


       

      Aim Down Sights Field of View
      Written as ADS Field of View in the options menu. When enabled the game will replace the zoom in effect while aiming with the desired Field of View value.
      Otherwise when set to Off the weapon will zoom in as usual instead. This can be useful to see more things in a larger area and it shouldn't impact the performance.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       

      Motion Blur
      Optimal Setting: 0%
       
      Things will look smoother while moving the camera around but visibility may be slightly reduced, there's a huge performance drop for such a simple setting however and in most cases it's not worth using.
       


       
      The effect itself can be pretty subtle when set to values between 10% or 15%. Some artifacts might be present when using the highest value.
       


       
      To disable this setting find the options menu located in the top right corner labeled as More then under Options select Video and set Motion Blur to 0%.
       


       
      This setting should be disabled in order to obtain higher framerates and to keep the image clear. Otherwise, this mostly comes down to user preference.


       

      Depth of Field and Weapon Depth of Field
      Optimal Setting: Weapon DOF to Off
       
      The depth of field effect can only be partially disabled. While the game is paused the overall framerate might be lower, this issue is only present on certain maps however. Close the pause menu before checking the framerate number. The framerate might also drop every time the pause menu is brought up, once the pause menu is closed it might take a few moments for the game to stabilize.


       
      Weapons have their own depth of field setting, this effect is only applied while aiming and while in a vehicle.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      To disable this setting find the options menu located in the top right corner labeled as More then under Options select Video and set Weapon DOF to Off.
       


       
      This setting should ideally be disabled seeing as it has a negligible visual impact.


       

      DirectX 11 and DirectX 12
      Optimal Setting: DX12 Enabled to Off
       
      Use the DirectX 11 mode if possible, on a few specific maps the framerate might be lower while in the loadout area, however it should be fine while actually playing, overall this mode should be more stable and the game should run well either way.
       
      The DirectX 12 mode can achieve higher framerates but certain maps have some performance issues which can lead to random microstuttering, there's also a minor issue where the framerate might drop while spawning.
       


       
      While using both modes microstutter might be unavoidable on maps such as Amiens and Empire's Edge, while maps such as Mount Grappa perform as they should. On Empire's Edge the framerate might often drop while inside one of the main buildings, this same building is also present on Mount Grappa where there are no performance issues. Lowering the graphical settings on some of these maps might not solve the problem itself.
       
      Otherwise try setting the Lighting Quality to High or Low or try lowering the Mesh Quality and even most settings to Medium if needed while playing on Empire's Edge if the framerate drops and if the stuttering become unbearable. Amiens has a few specific spots where lowering the Mesh Quality might very slightly help, although the microstuttering shouldn't be as noticeable if the DirectX 11 mode is being used. Running around in circles while in the DirectX 12 mode in certain areas in the Amiens map might ruin the frametime and cause microstuttering.


       

      Resolution Scale
      Optimal Setting: 100%
      Better Graphics (High End Only): 125% up to 150%
      Jaggie Removal (High End Only): 175% up to 200%
       
      This setting controls how many times the resolution should be enhanced, higher values will also very slightly improve the draw distance, the texture filter will be slightly more effective which means that most textures might have a sharper look from far away, the antialiasing techniques are also slightly more effective. When the player is too close to a texture however this effect is lost and the texture will lose most of its sharpness.
       
      This setting should be kept at a value of 100% seeing as lower values will ruin the overall image and higher values might be too intensive for certain systems to handle. Lower end systems might need to lower this value in order to gain playable framerates, although there are better settings which can be changed first.
       
      Most differences can be pretty subtle when using higher values and they might be difficult to spot during usual gameplay. Notice the door, the extra detail around the door and the stone fence, along with the mountains and the trees in the distance.
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider - Look at a Fixed Point and Wiggle the Slider to Spot Differences More Easily


       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation (25% to 200%)

       
      When using the maximum value this setting can help alleviate the ring effect present on most textures, which is very often visible while strafing left and right or while moving towards or away near a wall.
      Notice the lamp post on the very far left, which has far less holes while using the highest possible value and how the texture on the wall changes.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Often these changes can be less subtle, such as the tree on the far left, its branches are rendered slightly farther while also reducing the amount of jaggies visible to the player.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Other subtle changes can be fairly minor but the improvements themselves can be pretty noticeable depending on the model, notice the cables and the crosshair on the gun itself along with the barbed wire on the bottom right.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting doesn't always help with the draw distance issue however, objects which are just very slightly farther away from the player will be full of holes, even while using the best antialiasing mode. This setting cannot replace the antialiasing modes and instead it should complement them seeing as the resolution scale setting does a poor job at masking any jaggies on its own.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This is a pretty unreliable method seeing as it often might fail to even work properly, while the railing here might look perfectly fine, it still often vanished and reappeared very slowly on screen even when it was not supposed to.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting should only be lowered as a last resort, any values below 100% will heavily ruin the overall image. Any real benefits will only be visible while using higher values.


       

      Texture Quality
      Optimal Setting: Medium (Normal Trees) or High (Extra Eyecandy)
      Higher Framerate: Low
       
      This setting has a relatively minor visual impact, it doesn't affect most textures in any meaningful way. The only things which clearly change are the shadows on the player's weapon. When set to Low every texture will have a slightly lighter look to itself, when set to Medium most textures should have their normal look and when set to High or Ultra some textures may also have better reflections or a higher quality look to them.
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Certain objects such as these trees may look lighter from far away. Set this value to at least Medium to stop the trees from looking like this.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      There are a few extremely specific spots where setting this to High will help with the look of the game, otherwise it can even be left on Low and the game itself will not change much at all. There are no clear differences between High and Ultra, this setting could be left to at least Medium to solve the tree issue or High for the extra eyecandy and to save some extra memory.
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting does not solve the texture load in issue at higher settings which is visible while using binoculars or while shooting artillery rounds. This is a minor issue and it only happens for a few seconds.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting has a minor visual impact while using any values and a minor performance impact overall. Most differences will be pretty difficult to notice from far away.


       

      Texture Filtering
      Optimal Setting: High
      Higher Framerate: Medium (Might Reduce Microstuttering)
      Better Graphics: Ultra
       
      Textures will look very washed out when this is set to Low and overall this setting has a major visual impact for a relatively minor performance cost. Most textures will have a ring effect around them which is mainly visible while strafing left and right or while moving towards or away near a wall. This setting often poorly filters most textures even while using the Ultra setting. See the doorway on the left side in order to find the differences.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider - See the Doorway on the Left to Spot Differences

       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting has a major visual impact and a minor performance impact. When set to at least Medium most differences might become fairly difficult to spot while playing.


       

      Lighting Quality
      Optimal Setting: High
      Higher Framerate: Low (Framerate) or Medium (Eyecandy)
      Better Graphics: Ultra (Worse Performance on Maps with Performance Issues)
       
      This setting mainly controls what the shadows will look like and which shadows will be rendered. Extra eyecandy is enabled after using values such as Medium and higher.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       
      There aren't too many differences between High and Ultra. The lights themselves are often unaffected.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      There are a few specific areas where the shadows might be completed disabled when this setting is set to Low which may grant extra visibility.
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Overall this setting should have a fairly minor performance impact with a minor to major visual impact depending on the map, certain maps often feature very simple blobby shadows, ideally this value should be left on High seeing as maps such as Empire's Edge have a few specific buildings where the performance might be lower otherwise.
       


       

      Effects Quality
      Optimal Setting: Any (Probably Medium or High)
       
      There aren't any clear differences as to what this setting affects, it didn't seem to have much of an effect over anything, as with most settings Medium or High should probably be enough. Overall there wasn't really any impact over the framerate.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       

      Post Process Quality
      Optimal Setting: Low (Framerate and No Flicker) or High (Minor Eyecandy and Flicker)
       
      This setting controls which objects should reflect into ponds and rivers and other similar water surfaces, certain surfaces are also enhanced. There isn't much of a point in using values other than Low and High for this setting. Overall this setting might feel a bit buggy because of some odd issues on certain maps. There isn't much of a difference between Low or Medium and High or Ultra. Notice the reflection near the shore and the improved reflections on the boat.
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting isn't as noticeable as it may seem when it is disabled, there's also a rather jarring problem where reflections will update too often as the camera moves making them flicker, this happens on High and Ultra. Overall this setting is mostly useful for screenshots, otherwise most maps lack any large water surfaces or any large reflectable surfaces for this setting to be effective.
       
      The effect itself is only visible at certain angles, it may also hurt visibility during gameplay. There's also a minor ghosting effect present while laying into ponds and some other mud like surfaces. The flickering effect is also present on vehicles when using High or Ultra. Most vehicles will look slightly shinier, the effect is barely noticeable however and it's not worth using this setting in its current state.
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Ideally this setting should be left to Low, seeing as overall it has a pretty minor visual impact and it also has a huge performance impact and it doesn't seem to be working properly otherwise.


       

      Mesh Quality
      Optimal Setting: High (Framerate and Draw Distance and Reduced Microstuttering) or Ultra (Increase Draw Distance)
      Higher Framerate: Low or Medium
       
      This setting controls the draw distance of most objects and whenever they should cast more shadows, ideally it should be set to at least High or Ultra seeing as anything lower will cause models to appear out of nowhere too often and too close to the player, the increased distance itself is already pretty low and even on Ultra this issue appears too often, lowering other settings just to increase this one is worthwhile as it would make the game more enjoyable to play.
       
      Each value from this setting does very little to help, the differences are pretty extreme and it really shows how invasive this issue is when using the lowest values.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      When using a value higher than Low some extra shadows might be thrown in. In more blocked off spaces the differences won't be very noticeable. Notice the tree and how aggressive the level of detail is, with extra branches being visible on Ultra and other smaller details, along with another tree being rendered on the far left.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Objects might constantly appear and disappear as the player gets closer to buildings and other facades. Some textures might also look worse and when this is set to Low models will have fewer polygons overall.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      On Ultra shadows will be cast farther away and other smaller objects will be rendered earlier, the increased radius is fairly small. Finer details such as branches, cables, pieces of metal will be visible from closer away.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      The effect of this setting is also visible in the loadout menu, with certain buildings outright disappearing and a lot of detail being lost.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting has a pretty minor performance impact considering its large visual impact over the game compared to other less important settings.


       

      Terrain Quality
      Optimal Setting: Medium (Enable Parallax)
      Higher Framerate: Low (Disable Parallax and Gain Visibility)
       
      This setting controls the parallax effect for the terrain, which makes rocks pop out and other similar details. There isn't much of a difference between Medium, High and Ultra meaning that this setting can be left on Medium in order to enable the parallax effect. Depending on the area itself this may slightly hurt visibility for some extra eyecandy. Most surfaces will look flatter than usual however when setting this to Low.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This effect is widely used throughout the whole game and depending on the area it can either have a major or minor visual impact.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Certain areas in the game might not change as badly however, the effect might not be as noticeable while standing.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation



       
      Muddy surfaces will look flattened when this setting is set to Low and tire tracks and other details will be completely lost.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      On some maps the geometry might be slightly shifted around instead of adding more depth to the terrain.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting mostly comes down to preference, if a higher framerate is needed set this to Low in order to obtain a more consistent and even possibly reduce or remove any stuttering issues or to at least Medium to enable the parallax effect itself. Overall there should be a pretty decent performance boost when this setting is disabled. Larger open areas might have lower framerates than smaller more enclosed ones with this setting.
       
      Different parts of the game are affected differently, the performance can vary.


       

      Undergrowth Quality
      Optimal Setting: Ultra
      Higher Framerate: Low
       
      This setting mainly adds shadows to the grass and other small foliage. Higher values control the shadow draw distance.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      The effects of this setting can be seen on the squad screen, although the shadows might not be applied depending on the current weather.
       


       
      What this is set to mostly comes down to user preference, it has a pretty minor visual impact and it should be disabled if a higher framerate is needed.


       

      Antialiasing Post
      Optimal Setting: TAA
      Higher Framerate: Off (Trees With Holes) or FXAA High (Normal Trees)
       
      This setting has a huge visual impact over the game, ideally TAA should always be used because of the extremely poor draw distance. When this setting is set to Off trees will have holes and white dots all over them, even on lower end systems the most basic levels of FXAA would really help with this problem. Even then the antialiasing techniques do a fairly poor job at masking most jaggies, with cables, trees and other similar thin objects looking really odd from very close distances. Notice the lamp posts on the left and how some of them have entire pieces of their own models removed because of the different antialiasing modes.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      This setting mostly comes down to user preference, although for a better experience FXAA or TAA should be used. Lower end systems might not be able to handle either modes however and should disable this setting in order to gain higher framerates.


       

      Ambient Occlusion
      Optimal Setting: HBAO
      Higher Framerate: Off
       
      This setting mostly comes down to user preference, models will have extra shadows which add more depth, some vehicles may look floaty without this setting and certain areas or textures might look washed out, the visual impact can range from minor to major depending on the map or area, interior buildings will also benefit the most.
       
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Some levels might not end up looking too different overall, however things might tend to look a bit floatier.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation

       
      Certain levels and most vehicles will benefit from this setting, rocks and other similar objects will look better.
       

      Click on the Image to See the Animation



       
      This setting might have a major performance impact on slower systems unless other settings are lowered, faster systems shouldn't struggle too much however.


       

      Optimal Settings
      These are the optimal settings used for this system, among the most performance intensive settings are Resolution Scale which should be set to at least 100% and Post Process Quality which should be set to Low.
       
      Setting the Terrain Quality to Low and the Ambient Occlusion to Off might also improve the framerate and get rid of some of the microstuttering issues.
      The Motion Blur and Weapon DOF settings should also be disabled in order to instantly gain a few extra frames.
       




       
      An alternative set of settings can also be used, anything below will very slightly change the look of the game. The Texture Filtering setting or the Mesh Quality and the Antialiasing should be given priority if possible.
       


       
      Lowering the Mesh Quality setting and disabling the Ambient Occlusion might help in areas where the framerate might often randomly drop. Overall the game should still look mostly the same.
       


       
      Gameplay was overall really smooth even with the occasionally frametime delay now and then.
      The general performance is highly dependent on which map is currently being played on, certain maps, even though they shouldn't, might do worse than others. Lowering most graphical settings might not help with this issue.






       

      Gameplay Settings
      There are plenty of extra options, if anything there are more gameplay options than video options. There's plenty of freedom as far as to how and which keys should be assigned, the same keys can even be assigned to the same actions if needed.
      Extra mouse buttons can also be easily assigned on their own separate slots.
       


       
      There are racing games who wish they had this much control over their input methods.
       




       
      For smoother aiming Raw Input should be enabled, which should ideally eliminate any mouse acceleration and provide improved mouse aiming in most cases.
       


       
      Custom controls schemes can also be set for the controller, the settings are not limited to the presets.
      Click on the arrows until Custom appears, then select Back and open Key Bindings, then navigate to the desired category and set the desired controller buttons under Stick.
       


       
      The heads up display should be fairly customizable.
       




       
      Most notifications and other tutorial annoyances can be disabled.
       


       

      Audio Settings
       
      There are a fair amount of audio settings and there's also an audio setting for the language, however currently the display language cannot be changed which is strange considering how many options there are.
       
      Some players might be stuck with the first language they picked when they first installed the game, contacting the EA support might be the only solution in this case and its worth trying.
       


       
       

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