So you've been trucking through the rain, mud and snow, delivering resources and saving your old vehicles in times of need. SnowRunner is a great looking game already, but we've compiled below a list of the most demanding graphics options in the game, so you can get the perfect balance of visual fidelity and FPS performance.

Below you will see every graphics option listed and benchmarked against a minimum graphics setting used as our baseline benchmark. From there we see which graphics options have the highest performance impact on our hardware for the least visual improvement, and then we will see which options can be turned up to max and deliver the best visual improvement in SnowRunner.

If you want to look at some more graphics benchmarks with various gaming graphics cards running SnowRunner then you can check out our SnowRunner PC Performance Benchmarks article instead, or you can have a look at the various SnowRunner PC Graphics Settings that we'll be discussing here in this article.

SnowRunner System Requirements

For the performance cost result baseline we used a GeForce MSI GTX 1060 graphics card, an Intel Core i7-3770K processor, and 8GB of DDR3 memory. The tests were performed in the opening area of the game during the tutorial and I just drove around for a bit on the rough terrain and through a small patch of mud. On the whole we found this area to be pretty representative and similar to the rest of the game, when considering graphics options compared to other graphics options and their relative performance impact.

However, due to the fact that SnowRunner runs really well with every graphics setting turned off or to it's lowest at 1080p on a GTX 1060, we conducted the benchmarks at 4K to get a more accurate representation of how impactful every graphics option really is.

There aren't a lot of graphics settings available in SnowRunner, but we went through the 16 graphics options in SnowRunner and tested each one in turn, recording the average frame rates for each and then comparing them to a baseline FPS that was recorded with all the graphics options either turned off or to their lowest settings.

SnowRunner Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

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

What are the most demanding graphics options in SnowRunner?

So the first thing you might notice is that antialiasing is incredibly taxing on the system, marking a more than 50% FPS drop from 61.8 frames per second down to just 27. This is pretty significant, however it's worth mentioning that this is the only one of the settings which is significantly affected by screen resolution. We found that at 1080p, whilst the performance cost is still significant, it was much lower than when set to 4K. So we'll be taking a more detailed look at each antialiasing setting for 1080p, 1440p and 4K soon.

In terms of the other settings, Shadow Quality is the next contender for most demanding setting, which is also slightly affected by screen resolution, but again not by much. After that, we have Terrain Draw Distance, Grass Density and Ambient Occlusion coming in 3rd, 4th and 5th place with performance drops of around 22.82%, 20.23%, and 17.96% respectively.

All SnowRunner Graphics Settings Tested

Best Video Settings in SnowRunner

Antialiasing

Antialiasing graphics option Off compared to MSAA x8

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Antialiasing detail setting do? Controls the smoothing of edges in-game. A softer image is produced with TAA but with a much less significant performance cost, whilst MSAA is crisper but with a much higher performance cost. The effect is more demanding the higher your resolution when playing SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

FXAA

FXAA graphics option Off compared to On

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the FXAA detail setting do? A filtering method used for smoothing edges across the entire image. This setting should be left on for a smoother image unless you're experiencing major performance issues and want to save those precious frames in SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 1/5

----------

Sharpening

Sharpening graphics option Off compared to FidelityFX

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Sharpening detail setting do? Sharpens the details of textures and object edges for a much crisper image. Purely personal preference, at higher resolutions the effect is less noticeable.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 1/5

----------

Film Grain 

What does the Film Grain detail setting do? In SnowRunner, this adds a layer of fuzzy noise on top of the image to give it a more cinematic and rough style. Under certain lighting conditions the Film Grain effect will be more prominent. Purely personal preference.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 1/5

----------

Best Advanced Video Settings in SnowRunner

Terrain Draw Distance 

What does the Terrain Draw Distance detail setting do? Adjusts the distance at which high resolution terrain and plants are shown. In SnowRunner, the lower the setting the more severe the object pop-in will be.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Grass Density

Grass Density graphics option Low compared to Ultra

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Grass Density detail setting do? Controls the distance at which grass density either increases or decreases. A lower setting will cause the grass to appear less dense over a shorter distance in SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Object Quality 

What does the Object Quality detail setting do? Controls the level of detail for objects based on distance in SnowRunner. Higher settings will cause objects to appear with a higher level of detail over a longer distance.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Simulation Quality 

What does the Simulation Quality detail setting do? Adjusts the level of physical simulation and related effects that occur whilst in-game. Higher settings won't have much of an impact in terms of performance, so it's recommended to keep this setting as high as possible for maximum immersion in SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

----------

Shadow Quality

Shadow Quality graphics option Low compared to Ultra

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Shadow Quality detail setting do? Adjusts the shadow map resolution. Higher quality means more detailed and dynamic shadows. This setting greatly increases immersion in SnowRunner, but can be more taxing at higher resolutions.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Texture Quality

Texture Quality graphics option Low compared to Ultra

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Texture Quality detail setting do? Controls the resolution of textures. Lower settings will cause certain textures to appear more blurry, whilst higher settings will give much more detailed and sharper textures in SnowRunner. 

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 3/5

----------

Texture Filtering

Texture Filtering graphics option Off compared to 16X

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Texture Filtering detail setting do? Adjusts the quality of textures when viewed at oblique angles. Higher settings will retain detail and clarity when viewing textures from an angle. Since you're driving in a truck most of the time in SnowRunner, you'll be viewing pretty much everything at oblique angles, especially the ground and road in front of you, so this will be very noticeable.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Ambient Occlusion 

What does the Ambient Occlusion detail setting do? Darkens the edges of corners and dense foliage for increased immersion.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Water Quality

Water Quality graphics option Low compared to High

[Slide over to compare Low vs Ultra or click for enlarged image]

What does the Water Quality detail setting do? Adjusts the quality of reflections in water.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5

----------

Volume Fog 

What does the Volume Fog detail setting do? Simulates a dense haze effect around particularly foggy areas. Can be very taxing in certain places, especially swampy areas or when there's the presence of a bright light in SnowRunner.

Turn off or on volume fog.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5

----------

Lightshafts 

What does the Lightshafts detail setting do? Simulates the shafts of light from the sun coming through dense foliage. The effect is most prominent at dawn or dusk whilst travelling through thick forests in SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 3/5

----------

Mirrors 

What does the Mirrors detail setting do? Enables or disables reflections on the mirrors of your car. This setting is only applicable when playing in the first-person view in SnowRunner.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 1/5

----------

Conclusion

SnowRunner graphics settings roundup and conclusion - looking over each of the graphics settings available in SnowRunner, we can see that most of them aren't that demanding or important to the overall experience. However, there are also some really taxing options, most notably Antialiasing and Shadow Quality.

SnowRunner is also quite demanding already, as we saw the recommended GPU, the GTX 970, didn't even achieve 60fps at High settings, with Ultra settings getting just under 30fps, according to our tests. So saving those extra bits of frames with well organized graphics settings is crucial for getting the perfect balance between FPS performance and graphical fidelity in SnowRunner.

Do let us know if you find anything worth mentioning regarding the various graphics settings available in SnowRunner, and which options are your favorite to turn off or on. Happy truckin'!