We thought the Darksiders franchise was dead and buried when THQ bit the dust all those years ago. Nordic Games came and picked up the ashes though, even renaming themselves THQ Nordic. And thus they greenlit Darksiders 3, an all-new action-adventure this time developed by Gunfire Games.

A lot of time has passed since Darksiders 2 though, so naturally, Darksiders 3 is a much more demanding game. The system requirements are actually pretty modest though, thankfully, suggesting a minimum spec GTX 660 or Radeon R7 370 GPU. If you do happen to be near the minimum suggested requirements for Darksiders 3 though, hopefully this Darksiders III PC performance guide can help you hit the sweet spot between graphics and performance.

Using the chart below you can find out just how demanding each graphics option is in Darksiders Along with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options for the optimum PC gaming experience with D3.

Darksiders 3 System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory. I ran through the same segment of an early area multiple times and took average frame rates.

Darksiders 3 Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

Darksiders 3 Graphics Settings

Shadow Quality

Shadow Quality, as you'd expect, impacts the quality of the shadows in Darksiders 3. There is an absolutely massive difference in visual quality between Low and Ultra, but also a huge performance hit. The visual upgrade is absolutely worth it though if your GPU can handle it, transforming Darksiders 3 from a bad looking game to an average one in an instant.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 5/5



Antialiasing reduces the appearance of jagged edges on objects. This leads to a slight bluring effect but this is infinitely preferable to having Low antialiasing which causes a distacting shimmer effect. Considering the performance hit of this particular form of antialiasing in Darksiders 3 is so low, we'd recommend turning this right up.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5


View Distance

It was only really once I put the sliders in that I could actually notice the impact of this setting. If you look at the foliage in the middle and far distance you can see some fades out on Low, which can lead to instances of pop-in. It's not particularly distracting but it's also not a very demanding setting, so if you've got performance to burn then by all means turn this up as far as it goes.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5


Texture Quality

Don't go looking at this slider too long because, well, I don't think there's actually any difference. I've messed around and restarted Darksiders 3 numerous times but I don't think this graphics setting actually even does anything. Perhaps it does but the differences are too minor to even register. Ah well, it does save a couple of frames somehow so may be worth turning down.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 0/5

Post Processing

Gunfire Games doesn't actually detail what the Post Processing effect does in Darksiders 3, but from my time testing the game it appears it only handles Ambient Occlusion quality. You can see the contact shadows in the corners in the images below, lending a great deal more weight and believability to the world.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 3/5

Effects Quality

Effects Quality is a difficult setting to gauge as it appears to only affect reflections and particle effects that can be visible during combat. It certainly looks a bit better on Ultra but you are looking at a 6% dip in frame rates in Darksiders III.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5


Foliage Quality

Rather than impact the quality of foliage in Darksiders 3, the Foliage Quality setting actually affects the amount of foliage that appears. On Low this is literally nothing, while more appears as you turn this graphics setting up. I think you'll agree it looks tons better on Ultra so this is a worthwhile option to enable.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 4/5

Our Favorite Comments
"aside from the Foliage Quality, I agree. The lower end quality looks better for some reason.What is up with the Shadow Quality, its like (low) day time and (high) dusk…."
"Ok aside from the last picture everything is mainly the same except lighting… this seems to be the big deal this year eh? I mean i even installed a proper ENB for Skyrim."
VCooLX -