More The Witcher 3 Guides:
- Console Commands (Cheat Codes).
- Complete Achievement / Trophy Guide.
- Off Map Secret Chest in White Orchard.
- Combat Guide (Some Useful Tips).
- Gwent Card Collector Guide.
- Death March Walkthrough.
- Useful Tips and Tricks.
This guide is to help people get a stutter free and smooth gameplay experience. I have spent many ours trying out different in game and external settings to find out what works and what doesn't. These settings are tried and tested and not just written up off a whim.
- CPU: Intel i5 6600k (overclocked 4.5 GHz)
- RAM: Corsair 2133MHz (overclocked 3000MHz)
- GPU: Gigabyte Windforce 3GB GTX 1060 (core +170, mem +780, power +16%, over voltage +100%)
- SSD: Samsung 750 EVO 500GB
- HDD: Seagate 1TB 7200RPM
- Monitor: HP 24EA
An Age Old Argument
This is a controversial subject. What is better? 60fps vs 30fps. Most will say 60fps and yes in an ideal world this would be true unfortunately we don't live in an ideal wold and many factors will affect this decision. I will just come right out and say it that for Witcher 3 to run without any microsttuer, weird animations or hicups the game sould be run at 30fps. Please bare in mind that the card I have is more than capable of running the game at 60fps and I have ran the game at this in the past but it's just never perfect. What I have found through experience is that whatever the game was designed to run at on console then this tends to give you the smoothest experience. Batman Arkham Knight is a prime example of this. Sure it runs at 60fps but it is plauged by sttuers and hicups allover the place, but if you lock it at 30fps it is butter smooth. It is very sad that consoles dictate a lot to do with games but unfortunately this is something us PC gamers must live with until the mindset changes.
I won't go over most of the graphical settings as these are all dependant on what card you have. What I will go over are the key settings to run the game stutter free.
1. Vsync - This one is key. You MUST use the in game vsync. If you don't it affects the fps of the cutscenes and it will drop to 28fps which gives so many people cutscene stutter.
2. FPS limit - This is also just as important as the vsync. DO NOT use the in game limiter NOR rivatuner as both cause lag/stutter. You need to download Nvdia Inspector and set the frame limit for 30fps in "The Witcher 3" profile.
3. Pre rendered frames - Not so key but helps smooth the game out. In Nvidia Inspector set Pre Rendered Frames to "8" globally.
4. Power mode - DO NOT use "Optimal Power" as this introduces frame drops/stutter. You do not need to use "Max Performance", "Adaptive" work perfectly well.
These next ones are also a big debate but IMOH they are necessary while running a game at 30fps and it's what consoles use to make games playable at 30fps.
5. Motion Blur - Set this ON as it smooths out the noticeable frame changes which aren't such a problem at 60fps.
6. Blur/DoF - Set both on as these blur distant objects which makes them look maore natural and also hides shimmer and jaggies.
Add Aome Polish
These are only suggestions and won't affect the smoothness of gameplay but will make the game look better if you have available performance.
First off I use many defferent mods for this game and it runs butter smooth with all of them enabled. The two I would recommend for visual pleasure is "HD Reworked" and "Phoenix Lighting".
1. Shimmering - Yes this is the bane of this game. It is mainly caused by using negative mipmap bias. If you go in to user.settings find this setting and change it to "0". This is a massive help but there is still some shimmering left. (HD Reworked does this automatically)
2. FXAA - Yes you read correctly. This ties in with the above tweak. Withcher 3 has very poor antialiaising which also contributes to shimmer and jaggies. If you enable FXAA and do the above then all shimmering and jaggies will disapear.
3. Sharpening - This again ties in with the above. Without any of the above changes I would leave sharpening set at "Low", "High" is too much, makes your eyes blees, shimmering is horendous and foliage looks terrible. If you do enable the above changes then set sharpening at "High" this compensates for the blurriness that FXAA introduces and doesn't bring the previous mentioned problems.
4. Anistropic filtering - Not so important but makes far away objects more crisp. Set this in NVCP at 16x.
There are 4 settings which are big hitters for prformance and I will list them in oreder of severity.
1. Hairworks - IMHO this is a waste of time. The performance cost is massive but also in my personal opinion I think it looks rubbish especially for the performance impact. I actually prefer the normal hair and have NEVER used it. Turn all of this off.
2. Foliage Distance - This is a tricky one as I would always say to aim for "High" BUT it is a big hitter for performance. I would not recommend using less than "Medium" as the pop in becomes really bad.
3. Shadows - If i'm honest I would say shadows look perfectly good on "Medium". If you have spare performance then turn it up but when you start going above "Medium" it starts to hit hard.
4. AO - I would recommend to set this at HBBO+ if you can as it does look better and it doesn't actually use that much more resources than SAAO.