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
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.
|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.