Deathloop graphics optimization guide - most important graphics settings benchmarked

Written by Chad Norton on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 10:38 AM
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

Arkane's recent time-looping Action game has been out for a week now, and we can't get enough of it. However, it's already proven to be a pretty demanding game based on the official system requirements alone. But what about each individual graphics setting? Which ones have the biggest performance impact? And which ones can we turn on or off with little to no FPS or quality loss?

In this article we will take a look at which Deathloop graphics settings are the best to turn all the way up to Ultra and which ones can get us a little FPS boost for no real visual loss when we turn them off or down. We've compiled a list below of the most demanding graphics options in the game, so you can get a handle on what to expect when you adjust different graphics settings in Deathloop to get the perfect balance of visual fidelity and FPS performance in game.

Below you will see every graphics option listed and benchmarked against a minimum graphics setting used as our baseline benchmark for Deathloop. 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 Deathloop.

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

Deathloop PC system requirements

Deathloop PC performance report and graphics card benchmarks

For the performance cost result baseline we used the recommended GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB of DDR4 memory. To standardize the benchmark tests they were all carried out in one of the opening areas of the game, where we moved around the map and killed a few bad guys. We found this run to be pretty representative of the experience in-game, when considering graphics options compared to other graphics options and their relative performance impact.

There's a lot of graphics settings available in Deathloop, so we went through the 16 graphics options (including the 2 ray tracing settings) listed 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.

Deathloop baseline FPS

To give us a comparable FPS baseline for Deathloop Frame Rates achieved when all Deathloop's graphics settings are on lowest or OFF.

Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6

Deathloop Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

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

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What are the most demanding graphics options in Deathloop?

As you can see in the graph above, Deathloop has a few demanding graphics settings but most actually not that demanding on FPS performance. However, the most demanding graphics settings in Deathloop are the Model Details and Shadow Details options at 21.25% and 17.71% FPS performance cost respectively

Following that is Texture Details at 8.22% FPS performance cost, and TXAA Sharpness at 6.80%. Then it's Water Details at 5.81%, then Sharpness Post Process at 5.67%, Post-Process Anti-Aliasing at 5.10%, and then Camera Motion Blur at 4.11% FPS performance cost.

All that remains are some very minor options, with Decal Details and Terrain Details coming in at 2.41% and 2.12% respectively, followed by Lens Flare at 2.12%, Depth of Field and Light Shafts both at 1.84%, and Bloom at 0.99%, all making up the least demanding graphics options in Deathloop.

Although Deathloop is a pretty demanding game overall, it seems that only a couple graphics settings make up the bulk of FPS performance loss when going from Very Low to Ultra graphics settings, which should be your first port of call when wanting to squeeze out some extra frames.

Additionally, Deathloop includes ray tracing support for both Ambient Occlusion and Sun Shadows, so we have created a separate section for them at the bottom of this article as they overshadow other graphics settings in terms of FPS performance cost, and we also tested them on different graphics cards.

Deathloop also includes support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), which we have also included at the bottom of this article. So if you want to see how much of your framerate can improve when enabling FSR then make sure to scroll to the bottom.

Deathloop All Graphics Settings Benchmark Guide

Best Video Settings in Deathloop

There is quite a few graphics settings to adjust in Deathloop, which will give us a decent amount of options to customize our experience and get the perfect balance of visual quality and FPS performance.

Below we've provided both a score for the performance impact as well as a priority score designed to recommend which graphics settings you should prioritize turning up (the higher the number, the better).

Obviously, these scores are subjective and we really do encourage you to share your own thoughts in the discussion area below on what you think are the best Deathloop graphics settings are. But for now, let's jump in...

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Texture Details

Texture Details Very High setting performance impact

Texture Details graphics option Low compared to Very High

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Deathloop Texture Details

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Texture Details 64.8

Texture Details option range: Low/High/Very High

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Texture Details setting do in Deathloop? Adjusts the fidelity and clarity of all textures in-game, affecting every object. The higher the Texture Detail is set, the sharper and finer surfaces look, with lower settings offering better performance on video cards with less embedded memory.

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Model Details

Model Details Ultra setting performance impact

Model Details graphics option Very Low compared to Ultra

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Deathloop Model Details

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Model Details 55.6

Model Details option range: Very Low/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Model Details setting do in Deathloop? Adjust the geometric detail of character and weapon models based on their distance from the camera. The higher the Character Detail is set, the farther away models must be before they are simplified, with lower settings resulting in better performance by affecting characters closer to the player's immediate vicinity.

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Shadow Details

Shadow Details Ultra setting performance impact

Shadow Details graphics option Very Low compared to Ultra

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Deathloop Shadow Details

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Shadow Details 58.1

Shadow Details option range: Very Low/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Shadow Details setting do in Deathloop? Adjust shadow computation parameters such as draw distance and shape accuracy. The higher Shadow Details is set, the more accurate projected shadows will look, with lower settings resulting in slightly better performance.

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Water Details

Water Details Ultra setting performance impact

Water Details graphics option Very Low compared to Ultra

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Deathloop Water Details

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Water Details 66.5

Water Details option range: Very Low/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Water Details setting do in Deathloop? Adjusts water shader settings. The higher Water Details is set, the more realistic water will look, with lower settings allowing for better performance by removing foam, accurate specular highlights, and all distant reflections, decreasing image quality.

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Terrain Details

Terrain Details Ultra setting performance impact

Terrain Details graphics option Very Low compared to Ultra

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Deathloop Terrain Details

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Terrain Details 69.1

Terrain Details option range: Very Low/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Terrain Details setting do in Deathloop? Adjusts terrain computation parameters such as parallax occlusion mapping draw distance. The higher Terrain Details is set, the more realistic terrain will look and the farther away details will be visible. At the Very Low setting, these extra details are deactivated for better performance.

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Decal Details

Decal Details Ultra setting performance impact

Decal Details graphics option Very Low compared to Ultra

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Deathloop Decal Details

[slide your cursor over the images to compare. Click to enlarge]

Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Decal Details 68.9

Decal Details option range: Very Low/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Decal Details setting do in Deathloop? Decals are formed when bullets or blades strike surfaces and when characters bleed. The higher Decal Details is set, the more decals can be rendered at any one time, and the longer they remain visible before fading away.

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Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion Nvidia HBAO+ setting performance impact

Ambient Occlusion graphics option FidelityFX CACAO Quality compared to Nvidia HBAO+

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Deathloop Ambient Occlusion

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Deathloop Avg FPS
FidelityFX CACAO Performance 70.6
FidelityFX CACAO Balanced 68.2
FidelityFX CACAO Quality 63.6
Nvidia HBAO+ 65.5

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Ambient Occlusion option range: FidelityFX CACAO Performance/FidelityFX CACAO Balanced/FidelityFX CACAO Quality/Nvidia HBAO+/Raytraced Performance/Raytraced Quality

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Ambient Occlusion setting do in Deathloop? Ambient Occlusion adds contact shadows where two surfaces or objects meet and where an object blocks light from reaching another nearby game element.

FidelityFX CACAO: Uses FidelityFX CACAO adaptive technology, which improves the appearance of objects based on their exposure to ambient light with a small decrease in performance.

Nvidia HBAO+: Uses Nvidia HBAO+ technology, which improves the look of scenes with a small decrease in performance.

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Post-Process Anti-Aliasing

Post-Process Anti-Aliasing Temporal setting performance impact

Post-Process Anti-Aliasing graphics option Off compared to Temporal

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Deathloop Post-Process Anti-Aliasing

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Post-Process Anti-Aliasing 67

Post-Process Anti-Aliasing option range: Off/Low/High/Temporal

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Post-Process Anti-Aliasing setting do in Deathloop? Anti-Aliasing is used to remove jagged edges from surfaces, to combat shader aliasing, and to prevent temporal aliasing, the distracting shimmering of anti-aliased edges when the camera, affected game elements, or player's viewpoint move.

Off: Highest performance at the cost of lower quality, jagged shimmering images.

Low: Low quality, high performance anti-aliasing method. Slightly improves the jagged-edge effect, but may result in blurred in-game graphics.

High: Medium quality, high performance anti-aliasing method. Improves the jagged-edge effect, but may result in slightly blurred in-game graphics.

Temporal: High quality, medium performance anti-aliasing method that suppresses the jagged-edge effect, but may result in slightly blurred in-game graphics.

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TXAA Sharpness

TXAA Sharpness 20 setting performance impact

TXAA Sharpness graphics option 1 compared to 20

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Deathloop TXAA Sharpness

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
TXAA Sharpness 65.8

TXAA Sharpness option range: 1 > 20

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the TXAA Sharpness setting do in Deathloop? When TXAA 1x is used, the TXAA Sharpness setting can be used to adjust the Anti-Aliasing accuracy, with higher values resulting in a sharper image at the cost of a lower framerate.

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Sharpness Post Process

 Sharpness Post Process FidelityFX CAS setting performance impact

Sharpness Post Process graphics option Off compared to FidelityFX CAS

Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Sharpness Post Process 66.6

Sharpness Post Process option range: Off/Standard/FidelityFX CAS

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Sharpness Post Process setting do in Deathloop? Selects the Sharpness post process algorithm.

Standard: Prioritizes performance over image sharpness.

FidelityFX CAS: Contrast Adaptive Sharpening upscales images after anti-aliasing is applied to restore lost detail. This prioritizes image sharpness, but may impact performance.

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Camera Motion Blur

Camera Motion Blur High setting performance impact

Camera Motion Blur graphics option Off compared to High

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Deathloop Camera Motion Blur

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Camera Motion Blur 67.7

Camera Motion Blur option range: Off/Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Camera Motion Blur setting do in Deathloop? Low/Medium/High: Enables a stylistic blurring effect triggered when moving the camera at different levels of quality.

Off: Disables the Motion Blur effect, which may slightly increase performance.

Beware: Motion Blur may cause various unpleasant effects to people suffering from motion sickness.

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Bloom

Bloom On setting performance impact

Bloom graphics option Off compared to On

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Deathloop Bloom

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Bloom 69.9

Bloom option range: Yes/No

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Bloom setting do in Deathloop? Yes: Enhances and intensifies the appearance of light sources, both in brightly lit outdoor locations and around artificial light sources in darker interior places.

No: Disables light source intensification, which very slightly increases performance.

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Depth of Field

Depth of Field On setting performance impact

Depth of Field graphics option Off compared to On

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Deathloop Depth of Field

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Depth of Field 69.3

Depth of Field option range: Yes/No

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Depth of Field setting do in Deathloop? Yes: Enables the stylistic blurring effect that simulates an out-of-focus lense.

No: Disables the stylistic out-of-focus blurring effect, which may slightly increase performance during combat and cutscenes.

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Lens Flare

Lens Flare On setting performance impact

Lens Flare graphics option Off compared to On

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Deathloop Lens Flare

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Lens Flare 69.1

Lens Flare option range: Yes/No

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Lens Flare setting do in Deathloop? Yes: Allows the display of visual artifacts simulating the phenomenon wherein light is scattered or flared in a lens system, often in response to a bright light.

No: Disables the lens flare artifacts, which very slightly increases performance.

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Light Shafts

Light Shafts On setting performance impact

Light Shafts graphics option Off compared to On

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Deathloop Light Shafts

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Deathloop Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6
Light Shafts 69.3

Light Shafts option range: Yes/No

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Light Shafts setting do in Deathloop? Yes: Enables rays of light falling from the sky when your view of the sun and the moon is partially obscured. These enhance the quality of immersion and further increase image quality.

No: Disables rays of light falling from the sky, which might slightly increase game performance but can make affected locations appear flat, unrealistic and dull.

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Deathloop ray tracing and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) benchmarks

Deathloop includes support for ray tracing as well as AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). Since ray tracing usually requires a GPU that supports it, the following benchmarks were done using the same PC setup as above but with an RTX 2060 graphics card instead, at 1080p resolution.

However, Deathloop supports ray tracing even on non-ray tracing-capable GPUs, presumably using software-based ray tracing instead. So we also tested ray tracing on the GTX 1060 as well to see how much of an FPS performance cost it is. Additionally, FSR is also supported on hardware like the GTX 1060, so we also tested FSR on that graphics card as well.

However, there have been reports that FSR is not working properly on PCs, and in our tests there definitely seemed to be something strange going on. For the GTX 1060 FSR seemed to be working correctly. However, for the RTX 2060 it didn't seem to work properly, getting peculiar results at different quality settings.

More research will be needed to determine the cause of FSR not working properly on different hardware setups, but hopefully Arkane will be able to patch the issue soon. As it stands, we suggest to check yourself whether FSR is working properly on your system, and would love to hear your own feedback on it.

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Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion raytracing setting performance impact

Ambient Occlusion graphics option Nvidia HBAO+ compared to Raytraced Quality

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Deathloop Ambient Occlusion ray tracing

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Deathloop GTX 1060 Avg FPS RTX 2060 Avg FPS
Baseline 70.6 97.5
Raytraced Performance 39.3 82
Raytraced Quality 18.7 75.6

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Ambient Occlusion option range: FidelityFX CACAO Performance/FidelityFX CACAO Balanced/FidelityFX CACAO Quality/Nvidia HBAO+/Raytraced Performance/Raytraced Quality

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Ambient Occlusion setting do in Deathloop? Ambient Occlusion adds contact shadows where two surfaces or objects meet and where an object blocks light from reaching another nearby game element.

Raytraced: Raytraced ambient occlusion casts rays to compute very accurate shadows. Very high-quality but may impact performance.

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Sun Shadows

Sun Shadows Raytraced setting performance impact

Sun Shadows graphics option Simple compared to Raytraced

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Deathloop Sun Shadows

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Deathloop GTX 1060 Avg FPS RTX 2060 Avg FPS
Simple 70.6 97.5
Raytraced 25.4 87.8

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Sun Shadows option range: Simple/Raytraced

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Sun Shadows setting do in Deathloop? Simple: Draw simple shadows formed by the sun light, which might slightly increase game performance but can make affected locations less realistic.

Raytraced: Uses raytracing to draw high quality and high fidelity shadows.

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AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0 setting performance impact

Average FPS on a GTX 1060 with FSR enabled at 1080p and all graphics settings set to Ultra:

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Deathloop Avg FPS %FPS improvement
Off 40.8 0%
Ultra Quality 46.6 14.22%
Quality 48.6 19.12%
Balanced 51.2 25.49%
Performance 54.8 34.31%

As you can see above, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution seems to help a lot with the GTX 1060 at 1080p, this is with all graphics settings available set to Ultra or Maximum quality. The %FPS improvement is fairly noticeable when playing, even on the lowest Ultra Quality setting.

However, during our testing we found FSR to introduce too much blurriness to the image when set to Quality mode or lower. Therefore we do not suggest to use FSR in Deathloop below the Ultra Quality setting at 1080p resolution until AMD's implementation is improved.

Saying that, we recommend trying it out at higher resolutions if you can, as at 4K the blurriness seems to be significantly reduced at lower quality settings, but our FPS results were a little too inconsistent to warrant doubts as to whether FSR was truly working as intended, so try it out for yourself and see if it makes a difference.

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Conclusion

Deathloop graphics settings performance results and conclusion - Overall, looking at the results above, Deathloop has quite a few graphics settings to customize with a decent range of quality in order for us to find the perfect balance between image quality and FPS performance.

Although there is a decent range of graphics settings to choose from and adjust in Deathloop, there's only a few that really stand out as FPS performance droppers, most notably the Model Details setting at 21.25% FPS performance cost, followed by Shadow Details at 17.71% FPS performance cost. There are some other options that affect FPS but these should be the first options you change when trying to get some extra frames.

Some other options afterwards are still noticeable in their FPS performance cost, but are not as noteworthy as the aforementioned ones. These are Texture Details (8.22%), Water Details (5.81%), Post-Process Anti-Aliasing (5.10%), TXAA Sharpness (6.80%), Sharpness Post Process (5.67%), and finally Camera Motion Blur (4.11%).

Of course, Deathloop includes support for ray tracing in the Ambient Occlusion and Sun Shadows graphics settings. Both are available on both the GTX 1060 and RTX 2060, the latter of which officially supports ray tracing, whilst the former presumably uses software ray tracing instead. As such, the RTX 2060 is much better at handling ray tracing than the GTX 1060, so it is not recommended to use ray tracing on unsupported hardware due to the performance cost.

There is, however, also support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution. Whilst this option seemingly doesn't work properly on certain hardware, in our tests the GTX 1060 benefitted immensely from it. Unfortunately though, it is not recommended at 1080p resolution due to the extreme bluriness that is added even on the Ultra Quality setting. At 4K, FSR seems to be much better and does not introduce major blurring as much on higher quality settings.

Apart from that though, there isn't really much else worth mentioning when it comes to the Deathloop graphics settings and their various FPS performance costs. It seems that if you want to enable ray tracing in Deathloop you may need to use AMD FSR at the same time, but make sure to check that it is working properly by recording your FPS and seeing if it makes an improvement. Also make sure to check the image quality for any major blurring.

And that's it for the most important graphics options in Deathloop! As always we're now passing it onto you guys! We would love to hear your thoughts on what graphics settings you turn all the way up in Deathloop for little to no performance impact, and which options you turn down to get some extra frames so we can all benefit from better performance and image quality in this game!

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10:59 Sep-23-2021

Great article and I enjoyed pixel-peeping the sliders! 👍

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]