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PC Report: No Man's Sky - Optimized Video Settings

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PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of No Man's Sky fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.


Developed and published by Hello Games. The game was released on August 12, 2016 for Windows only.while the game may be running pretty well lower end systems may struggle to smoothly run the game

game seems to sometimes struggle with larger open areas while in the mall area

random spikes near bathrooms


straight lines = smoother experience


60 fps vsync or variable for high fps monitors for the smoothest framerate, even though it may seem counterintuitive


hitting zombies causes the game to force for a frame then resume


System Requirements


  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 @ 2.8 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • HDD: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6770, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
  • OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10


  • CPU: Intel Core i5 Family or AMD Equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 3 GB
  • GPU: ATI Radeon HD 7790, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
  • OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10

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)
While the recommended system requirements may seem high the game itself isn't that demanding due to the way it was built.


Video Settings


The graphical settings feel slightly incomplete, certain effects such as the Depth of Field cannot be disabled, which could worsen the game's performance on slower systems. The field of view cannot be changed.


V-Sync and Framerate

These two settings can cause some major problems on most systems if they are not correctly adjusted. The Framerate setting can be set to a value of 30 or 60 FPS. There's also a Variable framerate value, for screens running at higher refresh rates.


Frametime Benchmark Variable Framerate VSync


Ideally the VSync setting should always be enabled in order to lessen the amount of microstuttering.

Frametime Benchmark Variable Framerate No VSync

60 fps vsync for a smoother experience and occasionally peaks

Frametime Benchmark 60 FPS VSync


no vsync can lead to never ending microstutter

while the peaks are reduced the amount of microstutter is now consistent with no vsync mode, making the game nearly unplayable on certain systems, playing like this may feel jarring

Frametime Benchmark 60 FPS No VSync



On lower end systems this setting can drastically affect the overall performance. There isn't much of a difference between X4 and X8.

Antialiasing FPS Benchmark


not much of a difference between 4 and 8. can easily be left on 2 if more fps are needed


Antialiasing Animated Comparison Far


the overall scenes aren't fully aliased, higher values don't solve the flickering effect due to the lack of a proper antialiasing technique

Antialiasing Animated Comparison Far


differences difficult to notice during normal gameplay unless zoom in up close

Antialiasing Animated Comparison Close


even at the highest level fences, wires and other more complex geometry will not benefit from this setting

Antialiasing Animated Comparison Close


Motion Blur

framerate dropped by a lot even while standing still


Frank Blur

Motion Blur FPS Benchmark


Shadow Quality

the game features an abundant amount of fake shadows, even when this setting is turned off



even on lower end systems players don't really need to enable this setting, disable it if needed.



disabling this setting shouldn't affect the look of the game by much


Click on the image to see an animated comparison. This image is best viewed in a fullscreen tab.

Shadows Animated Comparison


not all objects benefit from the shadow defiailt setting shadows benefit, notice the tube to the left

Shadows Poor Animated Comparison


When nothing goes on the game should perform just fine on most systems. This framerate can often be had in smaller enclosed areas, such as corridors and other tiny rooms.

Shadow Quality Setting Benchmark (Corridor)


A horde of zombies can quickly ruin the game's framerate. The large open areas can also affect the game. Disable this setting if needed, because of all the fake shadows the game won't look too different.

Shadow Quality Setting Benchmark (Zombies)


This setting also affects all characters, such as the zombies and any other bystanders.

Character Shadows Animated Comparison


Depth of Field

There's no option in order to disable this setting. Low end systems will SUFFER.


Depth Of Field Cutscene 1


the depth of field is often used to mask the poor antialiasing, although performance may suffer because of it. currently no settings can disable this effect

Depth Of Field Cutscene 2



signs and such are blurrier from a distance

Depth Of Field Hallway


For a more consistent frametime use 60 fps no vsync. to reduce microstutter

the microstutter is lessened at 30 fps but framerate is not optimal

Our Dead Are Rising


60 fps but game is jittery

enable vsync


poor antialiasing

downsample dsr thing on amd or nvidia



affects how characters are lit under shadows


not all shadows are imrpoved

many fake shadows which cannot be disabled


not much difference between 4x 8x msaa

big idff between off and 2x


motion blur self explanatory, mostly comes down to user preference, might feel slightly jarring after a while due to how extreme it can be, it's not a very subtle effect


Decent release running decently on most hardware, lower end systems struggle to run the game at high framerates, has some engine issues because of the xbox release


Performance Analysis

These are the optimal settings used for this system for usual gameplay. These settings are balanced in order to provide the best performance and visual quality possible. Among the most performance intensive choices are the Antialiasing modes, the Shadow Quality setting and the Motion Blur setting. Lower any of these options in order to gain a significant performance boost if the game is running poorly.


Optimal Settings



Audio And Camera Settings



Sensitivity Settings

Keyboard Bindings Settings



Lower end systems may struggle to run the game at high framerates unless the more intensive settings such as the Antialiasing, Shadow Quality and Motion Blur are disabled. The look of the game itself won't change by a whole lot, even while playing with the lowest settings. Play around with the VSync and Frame Rate settings if the game feels too stuttery.


Higher end systems shouldn't have too many problems running the game, although Dead Rising does feature some consistent microstuttering in more open areas and because of this VSync should be enabled in order to lessen the effect. However there are some minor issues, the quick time event prompts often fail to display when zombies grapple the player, in order to get past these events quickly mash the A and D or Q and E keys, along with the Left Mouse and Right Mouse buttons.


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Great report, RaTcHeT302! This outlines the problems with the game very clearly and succinctly, and is written fairly well.

It's okay, it isn't too amazing, I wanted to cover some more stuff but I focused on what was more important because of the deadline. I wanted to remake some of the screenshots seeing as some of them are so ugly, and overall there's a bunch of stuff which I had to leave out. If only we could get pre-release copies instead, that would help a bit.

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The FoV isn't in degrees, it's in some arbitrary number.  100 FoV in the settings menu is like 70 at most in actuality.


Vsync is double buffered which is why the performance drops with it on, need to force triple buffering. No need to disable it and get awful tearing.


And the FPS cap should be as high as it can go, since it's also bugged and limits it to 83% of its set value.


Also, check out these mods to disable some awful effects and fix the internal rendering resolution (which doesn't seem to have been mentioned) and even get rid of that 'click hold' thing: http://nomansskymods.com

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The FoV isn't in degrees, it's in some arbitrary number.  100 FoV in the settings menu is like 70 at most in actuality.


Vsync is double buffered which is why the performance drops with it on, need to force triple buffering. No need to disable it and get awful tearing.


And the FPS cap should be as high as it can go, since it's also bugged and limits it to 83% of its set value.


Also, check out these mods to disable some awful effects and fix the internal rendering resolution (which doesn't seem to have been mentioned) and even get rid of that 'click hold' thing: http://nomansskymods.com

That website is extremely recent, some of those mods came out like a day ago, and even then the idea of the article was to present the game as it is, I shouldn't have to tell users to get mods just to fix broken or poorly designed features in a game. I haven't found any proof of the resolution thing or some other stuff seeing as I have no way of replicating certain issues, I really don't rely on other people for this type of info unless I can fact check it myself, I honestly would rather not even mention it if I'm not sure about it, I do test anything I can to make sure the problem exists if someone talks about it though. I was going to check if the render thing was real but I kinda ran out of time.


I did notice that the Max FPS value went to 160 only though, but I added that on the wiki article for the game instead. The mods should go there too.


How do you verify which type of VSync the game is using? I really need some proof for that, and I thought degrees was more of a generic thing, I though the field of view worked fine, the biggest problem was about it affecting the game's performance if anything and the fact that by default it's set to a really low value, I'll have to think as to what other measurement to use or not use, I assumed degrees was a very generic measurement for this type of thing, I didn't feel like the measurement mattered that much though. I was actually going to check if this FOV is of a different type and I was willing to compare it to the FOV used by other games (such as Bad Company 2), but I only had two days to do this so I wasn't able to test that out.


TL;DR: Thanks for mentioning this stuff either way though. I knew about it, but I didn't have enough time to fact check everything, the mods are very recent, I used some myself but I would rather tell users what the game currently is like before they buy it.

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Proof of the internal rendering resolution should be in your eyes. :)


It's been fixed now as of the experimental build update last night (at an expected performance hit), so it won't matter once the patch hits the stable branch.


VSync's buffering is verifiable by just using it.  If your game's framerate drops below your monitor's refresh rate at any time, even by 1 FPS, it will go to HALF the refresh rate if the game is using double buffering.  If it's triple buffering, it will drop to 59FPS instead of shooting to 30, for example.  Triple buffering introduces some input lag, but it's the accepted method of vsync as a halving of the framerate is pretty much unacceptable.


And yeah, we don't really know what the degrees of the FoV options are unless we test it (can get a rough estimation if you do the camera rotation thing. Look at a specific spot, note where the side of the screen is, move the camera so it's on the other side of the screen, count how many moves it takes to do a full 360° rotation, do some math guesstimation).  The numbers are definitely arbitrary though, as they don't make sense for hFoV or vFoV.  I myself set it to 140 in the config file, which makes it be around 100 ingame.   The stock "100" makes me sick, which I believe is around 65°.


As for the mods, yeah, I was mentioning it in passing in case anyone read down here.  I'm sure some will get added to the wiki if the developer doesn't change things.

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