God of War most important graphics options - every video setting benchmarked

Written by Chad Norton on Thu, Jan 27, 2022 2:44 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

The fabled God of War is now officially on the PC platform, and as we've seen in the PC performance benchmarks already seems to be a relatively demanding game but offers a decent range of performance options. But what are the most demanding graphics options? And which ones can we turn all the way up with little FPS loss?

In this article we will take a look at which God of War 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 GOW 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 God of War. 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 GOW.

If you want to look at some more graphics benchmarks with various gaming graphics cards running God of War PC, then you can check out our God of War PC Performance Benchmarks article instead.

God of War PC system requirements

God of War PC performance report and graphics card benchmarks

For the performance cost result baseline we used the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card - which is recommended GPU for 1080p at 30fps on Original graphics settings - an Intel Core i7-10700K processor, and 16GB of DDR4 memory.

Unfortunately, God of War does not include an in-game FPS benchmark tool, and so to standardize the benchmark tests we ran around in one of the early parts of the game, exploring the area a bit and then fighting some enemies. This is pretty representative of your overall experience playing God of War, when comparing each graphics option relative to each other.

If you see any significant discrepancy/difference between our results and the actual FPS returned on your systems, then please do share your findings in the comments below.

There aren't a whole lot of graphics settings available in God of War PC, so we went through the 9 graphics options 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.

God of War baseline FPS

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8

God of War Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

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

e90b057e-11f9-41f3-908e-80f0b4f2cbe2.jpg

What are the most demanding graphics options in God of War?

As you can see in the FPS performance graph above, there really aren't a whole lot of graphics settings available in God of War, but there are some which will have a significant impact on your frame rate if you turn them up all the way.

By far the most demanding graphics option in GOW is the Shadows setting at a 34.12% FPS performance cost, which is followed by Atmospherics at 22.98%. After that is Model Quality at 16.02%, and then Reflections at 14.62%, the latter only making a difference during certain scenarios where there are dynamic reflections present.

The rest of the graphics options have very little performance impact, but the most demanding is Ambient Occlusion at 6.69%, then Anisotropic Filter at 3.48%, then Texture Quality at 1.11%, and finally both Motion Blur and Film Grain at 0.7% each.

God of War on PC also includes support for Nvidia DLSS and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, which both can significantly improve frame rate with little loss to visual quality, depending on the quality setting. There's also a Render Scale option for improved performance if you don't want to/can't use either Nvidia or AMD's upscaling methods.

God of War All Graphics Settings Benchmark Guide

Best Video Settings in God of War

There aren't a lot of graphics settings available in God of War in order for us to customize our FPS and get the right balance of FPS performance and visual quality.

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 God of War graphics settings are. But for now, let's jump in...

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Texture Quality

Texture Quality Ultra setting performance impact

Texture Quality graphics option Min compared to Ultra

compare_1643288810_low.jpg compare_1643288810_high.jpg
God of War Texture Quality

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Texture Quality 71

Texture Quality option range: Min/Low/Original/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 5/5

What does the Texture Quality setting do in God of War? Set the mipmap quality of the streamed textures.

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Model Quality

Model Quality Ultra setting performance impact

Model Quality graphics option Original compared to Ultra

compare_1643288830_low.jpg compare_1643288830_high.jpg
God of War Model Quality

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Model Quality 60.3

Model Quality option range: Original/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Model Quality setting do in God of War? Set the quality of the model geometry.

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Anisotropic Filter

Anisotropic Filter Ultra setting performance impact

Anisotropic Filter graphics option Min compared to Ultra

compare_1643288847_low.jpg compare_1643288847_high.jpg
God of War Anisotropic Filter

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Anisotropic Filter 69.3

Anisotropic Filter option range: Min/Low/Original/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Anisotropic Filter setting do in God of War? Set the texture filtering quality.

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Shadows

Shadows Ultra setting performance impact

Shadows graphics option Low compared to Ultra

compare_1643288864_low.jpg compare_1643288864_high.jpg
God of War Shadows

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Shadows 47.3

Shadows option range: Low/Original/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Shadows setting do in God of War? Set the dynamic shadow resolution and filtering.

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Reflections

Reflections Ultra+ setting performance impact

Reflections graphics option Disable compared to Ultra+

compare_1643288882_low.jpg compare_1643288882_high.jpg
God of War Reflections

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Reflections 61.3

Reflections option range: Disable/Original/High/Ultra/Ultra+

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Reflections setting do in God of War? Set the dynamic reflections resolution and sampling.

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Atmospherics

Atmospherics Ultra setting performance impact

Atmospherics graphics option Low compared to Ultra

compare_1643288898_low.jpg compare_1643288898_high.jpg
God of War Atmospherics

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Atmospherics 55.3

Atmospherics option range: Low/Original/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Atmospherics setting do in God of War? Set the quality of dynamic fog.

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Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion High setting performance impact

Ambient Occlusion graphics option Disable compared to High

compare_1643288914_low.jpg compare_1643288914_high.jpg
God of War Ambient Occlusion

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

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Ambient Occlusion 67

Ambient Occlusion option range: Disable/Original/High

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Ambient Occlusion setting do in God of War? Set the quality of self-shadowing.

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Motion Blur

Motion Blur 10 setting performance impact

Motion Blur graphics option 0 compared to 10

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Motion Blur 71.3

Motion Blur option range: 0 > 10

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Motion Blur setting do in God of War? Set the motion blur strength.

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Film Grain

Film Grain 10 setting performance impact

Film Grain graphics option 0 compared to 10

God of War Avg FPS
Baseline 71.8
Film Grain 71.3

Film Grain option range: 0 > 10

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Film Grain setting do in God of War? Set the film grain.

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Conclusion

God of War graphics settings performance results and conclusion - Looking over all the results above we can see that God of War doesn't have a whole lot of graphics options to choose from, but there are some settings which can have a dramatic impact on performance whilst providing little improvement over the lower quality options.

For instance, the most demanding graphics option by far in God of War is the Shadows setting with an FPS performance cost of around 34.12% on the Ultra quality setting, so this should be your first option to turn down if you want to improve your frame rate. Following that is Atmospherics at 22.98%, then Model Quality at 16.02%, and Reflections at 14.62%.

After that is Ambient Occlusion at 6.69% FPS cost, then Anisotropic Filter at 3.48%, Texture Quality at 1.11%, and lastly Motion Blur and Film Grain at 0.7%. Although Texture Quality is relatively low on the FPS performance cost, this is also heavily reliant on the amount of VRAM your graphics card has, so lower-end cards will see a more significant drop in FPS if they exceed the VRAM limit.

It is worth noting however that the Reflections setting is only demanding in specific areas where dynamic reflections are present. So you may not notice a performance hit during most of your time playing, but then can creep up on you during important moments later on. So stick with Ultra or High settings if you don't have the extra performance headroom.

Additionally, you can further improve your frame rate in God of War by enabling either Nvidia's DLSS or AMD FIdelityFX Super Resolution on supported graphics cards. But if that's not available on your GPU, or you would rather not use Nvidia or AMD's upscaling tech, there is also a Render Scale feature too.

And that's it for the most important graphics options in God of War! 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 GOW 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 highly anticipated PC port!

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08:41 Jan-31-2022

Is it just me or the main story quest felt way way too short?! Or i had way too much fun lol (Finished with 100% and will probably wait for fixes to slow down and then try out New Game+ mode... i hear that it has some different story ending or something like that?)


Overall its a 8.5/10 game.

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12:20 Feb-02-2022

Well, it's not quite The Witcher 3 in size, but the quality is much better, IMO. The story will continue with Ragnarök, so I guess there's that :D


For me the game struck a perfect balance of length, action, quality story (with very well-written dialogue), etc. The story felt just right and culminated well, the collectibles are generally useful and not that many, easy to find just playing through (I have used zero guides so far and almost 100%'ed the game, bar a couple of treasures and 1 valkyrie in Alfheim left...because they force you to backtrack later for those doors, which I still haven't done). My missis was glued to my screen as the story unfolded, which is a bonus. The soundtrack is great, especially the new Kratos theme that Bear wrote. Sound design in general is awesome and the most memorable on my speakers were the parts when the World Serpent speaks...oooh that gripped me by the balls every time :)


Easily 10/10 for me as an overall package. And it won IGN's "best game of all time" title beating 63 other great games in player votes, so I feel it's justified.

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19:55 Jan-29-2022

Just finished playing this on PC. My first GoW game. Epic! Fantastic! Absolutely amazing!


I had such a great time and I did a few of the side quests before focusing entirely on the main story and it is so damn good. So damn good. Loved the little scene at the ending as well. Loved the tight narrative, epic set peices, combat, graphics, sound design, basically everything.


9/10

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13:04 Feb-02-2022

You should totally try some other GoW games to see just how different they are xD


I decided to replay the older titles to get the full back story (I've previously only played the PSP ones) and started the journey with Chains of Olympus (Ascension should be first, but I don't have a PS3, there's no PS4 port like with GoW3 and the emulation sucks for it still...so I had to skip it) and the gameplay is soooo different. The writing is way less mature as well, Kratos is a bit of a bellend in general xD


This GoW reboot is fantastic. What made me appreciate it even more was this documentary of the process. It's 2h long, but 100% worth the watch. It's crazy how emotional people got when making it, how stressful the work was and how high the stakes were for the studio's future banking on this game going well. It made me and the missis appreciate this art so much more.

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09:58 Feb-03-2022

I have seen that documentary and it is crazy good. As a matter of fact my entire circle has seen that documentary. I mean how could we not!


I do want to play the older GoW titles but all I have is a PS 1 and an XB360. I have been primarily gaming on PC for quite a while. If I recall correctly RPCS3 made some headway into emulation and one or multiple GoW titles were listed as playable on their site. But I do have to check that part out.


I have seen some clips of older GoW titles and its quite apprent the writing and charcter development is very reflective of that time period in gaming but I will be honest I still do enjoy that kind of stuff as well. Its silly but its just goofy fun.

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11:42 Feb-03-2022

Well, I wouldn't have watched the docu until I've beaten the game, which means I only recently saw it since the PC release is fresh! I avoid spoilers like a ninja, without even trying xD


That being said, the chronological order is: Ascension, Chains of Olympus, GoW1, Ghost of Sparta, GoW2, GoW3 and GoW reboot.


Ascension sucks on my rig via RPCS3, so I'd say it's pointless trying (for now) - it's considered a flop in the series anyway, but still has the origin story. Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta you can play via PPSSPP or RPCS3 - I played them originally on my PSP as a teen but recently I beat the PS3 port via RPCS3 - it's the better one, since it ran smoothly at 4K DLDSR 60fps locked, where the PSP port drops frames by default (not an emulation problem - it's like that on the OG hardware as well) and has low-res assets and videos. GoW 1 and 2 are available for PS2, PS Vita and PS3 - so take your pick (I have them on my Vita and the PS3 ports for RPCS3. Had the PS2 ones for the PS2 emu as well at some point in the past). GoW3 is available on PS3 and was ported to PS4 - I'm gonna borrow my friend's PS4 for that and get a disc off ebay, since the emulation still sucks for that one as well...


So you can play 5/7 games in the series on PC, if you feel like it. The other two you'd need to get a hold of a PS3 for, with GoW3 being also on PS4.

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10:20 Jan-29-2022

God of War on pc 4k and in HDR is a very god game, but not for the action, but for the 'movie experience' imho the first 3 gow's are better games as far as action and decent camera angles. another words gow is much better as an arcade experience as faR AS how you play the game and the gameplay itself.

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07:01 Jan-28-2022

i'm a whore for good visuals


this comment applies for good graphics options because the more the better

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11:33 Jan-28-2022

you have HDR enabled then as well i think?

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20:10 Jan-29-2022

I'm too poor for HDR sadly

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21:32 Jan-29-2022

my monitor is only around 250 euro's.


Thats not that expensive. Just look around for some good deals. And you wont regret it :)

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12:04 Feb-02-2022

What is the screen model/make? The ancient 21.5" Phillips on your profile is not the one you're speaking of, I'd imagine :D


My screen is not HDR, but it's more than twice the price (Acer Predator XB271HU - 27" 1440p, 165Hz, IPS and G-Sync hardware module), so I wonder what that 250EUR gets these days.

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23:14 Jan-27-2022

For me what gives the best looking result, just pure "looks" wise, was enabling hdr.


Even with my vesa400 monitor which unofficially supports g-sync, the result when enabled was stunning compared to off.


So im wondering about the result if i should upgrade to a vesa600 or 1000 :)

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12:07 Feb-02-2022

HDR is something I'd love, but only on an OLED, I reckon. I've watched some HDR content on my Galaxy Note 9 and it's stunning - true blacks + life-like bright lights = pure awesomeness. An LCD just couldn't produce that combo.


That being said - I bet GoW looks great with HDR - the game definitely seems like it has a lot of care put into the sound and visuals, looks like a perfect candidate for HDR. I can only vouch for the sound, though - when the world serpent spoke on my system - I could feel it in my scrote :D

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19:53 Jan-27-2022

I hardly notice the atmospheric difference, model wasnt that noticiable either but maybe becuase of the photo

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17:56 Jan-27-2022

Texture quality fps impact is a useless metric, VRAM would be a lot more useful, especially after the patches that promised to fix the memory leak

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14:59 Jan-27-2022

I don't think the in-game menu examples are a good representation of just how much of a visual difference some settings are.


Here's my own example of shadows ultra vs high - you can clearly see just how much you lose out on the high setting, even without considering the increased shadow casting distance for big scenes.


Volumetrics are also a bad example, since in that screenie there's almost no difference, when in reality the volumetric resolution increase is massive and shows up clearly around foggy waterfronts.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600XT 6-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 5700 XT Asus ROG Strix OC 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-4820K 4-Core 3.70GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen R5 1400 Radeon RX 480 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Palit Super Jetstream 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte D5 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon R9 280 Club3D royalKing 3GB Edition 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]