The Outer Worlds best PC graphics settings for optimised performance

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Oct 26, 2019 4:12 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

In Obsidian we trust, or so the old saying goes. Not content with giving us the sublime Alpha Protocol, they've only gone and outdone Fallout with The Outer Worlds, a planet-hopping sci-fi romp with humour to spare. It's a joyous little thing and it also happens to run really rather well too, at least on our test rig.

However, depending on your specs, The Outer Worlds isn't going to run well for absolutely everyone. So whether you're struggling to get by on 720p or you're trying to find those elusive graphics settings which will let you hit 144fps, here is what we believe is the best balance between performance and visuals in The Outer Worlds.

As with our previous articles in this series, the aim is start on Ultra and then drop the graphics settings down and down until we find a notable drop in quality. Then we shift it up to the previous setting and voila, we've discovered that crucial balance between graphical excellence and playable frame rates. This is designed to find the reasonable upper limit to the visuals. Put your settings to anything higher than this and you’re arguably sacrificing your frame rate for very little in return.

The Outer Worlds Optimised Graphics Settings

  Optimised Ultra
3D Resolution 100% 100%
Motion Blur 20% 20%
Screen Effects Low Ultra
View Distance Ultra Ultra
Shadows Medium Ultra
Textures Low Ultra
Visual Effects Medium Ultra

The Outer Worlds Optimised PC Performance

Overall, my early impressions of The Outer Worlds are that it runs pretty well. There are some occasional hiccups and dips but once you find the right settings it maintains a steady clip.

My particular hardware setup  was a PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060, Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.2 GHz, 16GB DDR4 and it absolutely tore through 1080p at any graphics preset. 1440p becomes a little trickier though, and it's here where it becomes necessary to tone down a few graphics options in order to maintain a steady 60fps. Hopefully this guide will make it easier for you to choose though, with the settings used above resulting in a huge 64.4% gain in average FPS. 

On Ultra at 1080p my average frame rate was 96.1 FPS with a minimum of 81.0 frames per second. Using the optimised settings, my average frame rate shot up to 158.0 frames per second while the minimum was 122.5 FPS.

On average, the optimised graphics settings ran at 64.4% higher frame rates. There were fewer instances of stuttering and the 1% low was pretty high at 93.7 fps. Ultra still held firm with a 1% low of 62 FPS but it's possible this could drop below 60 frames per second during more intense moments.

  Optimised Ultra
Average FPS 158.0 96.1
Minimum FPS 122.5

81.0

Maximum FPS 214.2 116.0
1% Low frame rate 93.7 62.0
0.1% Low frame rate 48.7 39.6

The Outer Worlds Optimised vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

Slide your cursor over to compare

Here you can see a quick comparison of my Optimised graphics settings for The Outer Worlds versus maxed out graphics settings. Unlike our usual Low vs Ultra graphics comparisons, we basically want these pairs of screenshots to look as similar as possible.

Now, it's an imperfect art and getting them to look absolutely identical is a tricky task. Looking at these stills, Ultra is a little better in a few areas (notably the fog effects which falls under 'Visual Effects) but, by and large, during normal gameplay, they look very similar.

 

 

 

With The Outer Worlds available dirt cheap on Xbox Game Pass for PC we imagine a fair few have been getting stuck in with it this weekend. How are you finding it so far? And which graphics settings have you settled on? Remember as well you can add your FPS results to GD and help other users benefit from the knowledge of your performance data. The more that's added, the more accurate it all becomes.

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18:39 Dec-15-2019

This game is really weird with the settings. In some cases things look better with lower settings than they do on ultra. But in ALL cases they should absolutely fire whoever decided on the coloring for basically everything. It's way too hectic looking. Doesn't break the game or anything, but definitely requires some tweaks beyond what the in built settings give you.
It's a great game though. Feels like if Fallout and Bioshock had a baby, this would be it.

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12:28 Oct-30-2019

Game is really fun, but I barely see a different in those screenshots. Shows how well it is optimised

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20:15 Oct-27-2019

How is the min fps higher than 1% low?

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04:46 Oct-28-2019
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13:13 Oct-27-2019

Not bad, although there is one issue I have - in the 2nd picture, right in the middle of the screen, there's a pretty big difference with whatever that is - whether that's just the ground lit up in the distance or a cloud of smoke. It's way too dark in the optimized mode, almost at the cost of visibility. Otherwise optimized settings are great

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14:52 Oct-31-2019

Mmm you're probably right. I guess it may be worth turning Visual Effects up to High, it probably only drops a couple of frames.

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08:43 Oct-27-2019

F**k me but I truly don't see any difference in those pics except different shades...

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01:26 Oct-27-2019

Amazing game(just beat it, you liked Fallout NV you´ve come to the right place) but i did see the frame rate varie from combat to wandering .

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21:51 Oct-26-2019

This feels like something went horribly wrong with either driver optimization or during development. It is pretty ironic that AMD optimized title is running worse on AMD graphic cards. But it really feels like something is missing here, because based on usual performance you would expect, those result are quite a big outlier. Hopefully either AMD or developer can find this issue and fix it.

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16:31 Oct-26-2019

Read a benchmark article by PC Gamer where they got to know that this game actually runs better on Nvidia hardware even after being promoted by AMD. Even a

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16:31 Oct-26-2019

RTX 2060 is getting more frames than a RX 5700XT, at least according to their benchmarks.

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16:32 Oct-26-2019

Source: www.pcgamer.com/the-outer-worlds-system-requirements-settings-benchmarks-and-performance-analysis/

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17:02 Oct-26-2019
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17:11 Oct-26-2019

the radeon 7 (which the fanboys praised as being so future proof for the 16gb vram) already can't deliver 60fps on 1440p :O :O less than a year after it launched...

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17:33 Oct-26-2019

It's really not the Radeon 7's fault when the game runs soo bad on any AMD GPU.Even the new RX 5700 series is getting butchered.

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17:38 Oct-26-2019

well it is usual for unreal engine to destroy amd cards
no idea what amd has been doing in the last 5+ years since unreal engine 4 is around...

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18:57 Oct-26-2019

I wouldn't even blame Unreal Engine for this, the issue is with the developers and how they optimise their game for each vendors, Gears 5 and Borderlands 3 both

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18:58 Oct-26-2019

are unreal engine games which run as they should on respective AMD GPUs when compared to their Nvidia counterparts, no issues there and everyone is happy.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3070 MSI Gaming X Trio 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
APU E1-2500 Dual Core Radeon HD 8240 4GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
| Low, 720p
Core i7-8750H 6-Core 2.2GHz GeForce GTX 765M 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Xeon Processor E5620 Radeon RX 570 4GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600H 6-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]