Here’s how to optimize God of War for your PC.
After what seemed like eons of waiting, PC owners have finally been graced with God of War. Just like most console ports, many were initially skeptical regarding the game's conversion quality to PC, but it's safe to say that God of War does everything right — and with flying colors. Thus far, it has been one of the best console ports in recent memory.
It's well-optimized enough to run even on low-end hardware and has enough meters and advanced graphical options to appease high-end hardware. But regardless of whether one's PC is a potato or a supercollider, God of War's settings can be rather confusing as it doesn't explain what each setting does, though there's an image example of what they change.
Unfortunately, knowing which of these settings provide substantial visual improvements or reduce the framerate too much is key to having a smooth and stutter-free experience. First thing's first though, one will want to abide by the game's system requirements:
Now the thing is, those settings are for the overall preset, and Original typically means the game will run on a visual equivalent to the console version. Everything else above that setting, meaning "High" or "Ultra" will result in better-looking visuals. If anything, "Original" is set as the game's "Medium" setting.
The game still allows players to have a Custom preset, where they can, for example, lower some settings to beautify another. Thus, we'll be dividing the best Custom preset depending on hardware capability.
By "low-end" we're referring to the minimum required specs here. Things aren't looking well for PC owners who have anything close to or less than the specified hardware needed to run the game on the low preset. However, this Custom preset can ensure the game still runs smoothly while maintaining the most beautiful possible combination of graphical settings, assuming the game's resolution is native or the same as the screen:
At the very least, low-end hardware should strive for Original Texture Quality since the game actually uses the same VRAM consumption for Low and Original. This is around 4.2 GB of VRAM. Everything else should be set to Low or the game might dip below 30 FPS which is neither pleasant nor playable for some people.
Oddly enough, God of War specifies mid-range hardware as its recommendation for the game, which puts it at console quality. There's a lot of wiggle room available here but the GTX 1060 or 1070 might be able to afford some good textures, assuming they have at least 6 GB of VRAM.
Setting the Texture Quality to High puts the VRAM usage closer to the maximum VRAM available, but as long as the number doesn't exceed that, then the game won't stutter too badly.
This is the hardware category in PCs where the fun part begins. We're assuming at least an RTX 2060 (or AMD equivalent) for this, meaning it lets players use all of NVIDIA's bells and whistles. It does come with its own limitations as players typically can't go too carefree with the settings, so an important mixing of both High and Ultra is necessary when gaming in either 1080p or 1440p.
With this kind of combination, one can expect FPS that exceeds 50 or even comfortably stays at over 60. The key sacrificial setting that allows this is Shadows which, when set from High to Ultra, will reduce the FPS by about 20 frames, give or take. That's a huge performance impact and is enough to make the game feel slow for some hardware setups.
The game shows how much Ultra does affect the overall atmosphere where shadows are cast and rendered with a longer draw distance, meaning they appear more and further away, but the visual improvement is a little too minimal for the framerate hit.
Some computers might have graphics cards powerful enough to run 1440p or even 4k monitors. The RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 (and AMD equivalents) is certainly capable of this. In this case, setting everything to just "High" instead of Ultra will make the framerate more manageable. Alternatively, those with 1440p monitors or 4K monitors who choose to play at 1080p resolution can do so through NVIDIA's DLSS tech or the AMD equivalent, FideltyFX Super Resolution. These settings should allow more framerates:
There's little to no explanation or guide needed here, to be honest, as those with an RTX 3070 or 3080 paired with an equally-tiered CPU and RAM can simply breeze through the game at the highest settings possible.
As per the system requirements, any setup that consists of the highest gaming hardware available right now should be able to play the game at 4k resolution while maintaining 60 FPS on the Ultra preset or in Custom preset settings:
However, those who might be having trouble maintaining their target framerate at 4K with those settings might want to set the Shadows to High or even toy with the DLSS or FidelityFX settings. But even then, those might not be necessary as this kind of hardware caliber is enough to reinforce PC superiority and make the console players drool (figuratively).
MORE: Mistakes From God Of War (2018) That God of War: Ragnarok Needs To Avoid
Sid was born, did some stuff, then decided to become a writer. He finds respite in the sweet embrace of mass media escapism after having risked his life too many times as a journalist covering warzones and depressed areas. Nowadays he mostly risks his bladder as he tries to hold his urine waiting for those precious post-credits scenes at the movies or trying to kill Souls-like bosses. So far it’s going well. Probably.
Here’s how to optimize God of War for your PC.