Stray most important graphics options - every video setting benchmarked

Written by Chad Norton on Tue, Jul 19, 2022 9:05 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 highly anticipated 3D Platforming Adventure game following a (stray) cat has finally pounced onto PCs today, and as we've already seen in our GPU benchmarks article it actually performs surprisingly well across a range of hardware. But what are the most demanding graphics options? And which ones can we turn all the way up with little to no FPS loss?

In this article we will take a look at which Stray 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 Stray 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 Stray. 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 Stray.

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

Stray PC system requirements

Stray PC performance report and graphics card benchmarks

For the performance cost result baseline we used the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card - which is well above the recommended GPU for Stray (a GTX 780), but still gives us a good idea of how demanding each graphics option is - an Intel Core i7-10700K processor, and 16GB of DDR4 memory.

Unfortunately, Stray does not include an in-game FPS benchmarking tool for testing frame rates. So in order to standardize the test results below we benchmarked during one of the early areas of the game, running across alleyways, jumping between platforms, and running away from some enemies. Overall, we felt this run to be pretty representative of your typical experience 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 are only a few graphics settings available in Stray, so we went through the 6 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.

Stray baseline FPS

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4

Stray Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

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

8b53a395-1226-4052-959f-20ccd7567c93.jpg

What are the most demanding graphics options in Stray?

As you can see in the FPS performance graph above, there aren't actually a whole lot of graphics settings available in Stray, but there is at least one option which will have a significant impact on your FPS. This is Effects Quality at a 34.59% FPS performance cost.

Following that, the rest of the settings have very little impact on your frame rate. That said, the next most demanding graphics option in Stray is Mesh Quality at an FPS cost of 3.07%, followed close behind by Motion Blur at 2.76%. Then its Texture Quality at 1.76%, then Shadow Quality at 1.53%, and finally Sharpness at 1.46%.

Stray All Graphics Settings Benchmark Guide

Best Video Settings in Stray

There are just half a dozen graphics settings available in Stray 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 Stray graphics settings are. But for now, let's jump in...

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Motion Blur

Motion Blur 10 setting performance impact

Motion Blur graphics option 0 compared to 10

compare_1658260092_low.jpg compare_1658260092_high.jpg
Stray Motion Blur

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Motion Blur 126.8

Motion Blur option range: 0 > 10

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Motion Blur setting do in Stray? Enables the level of Motion Blur applied when objects or the camera are in motion.

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Sharpness

Sharpness 10 setting performance impact

Sharpness graphics option 0 compared to 10

compare_1658260111_low.jpg compare_1658260111_high.jpg
Stray Sharpness

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Sharpness 128.5

Sharpness option range: 0 > 10

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Sharpness setting do in Stray? Adjusts the level of sharpness applied to the overall image.

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Effects Quality

Effects Quality High setting performance impact

Effects Quality graphics option Low compared to High

compare_1658260134_low.jpg compare_1658260134_high.jpg
Stray Effects Quality

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Effects Quality 85.3

Effects Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Effects Quality setting do in Stray? Determines the level of detail in the effects such as reflections.

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Shadow Quality

Shadow Quality High setting performance impact

Shadow Quality graphics option Low compared to High

compare_1658260155_low.jpg compare_1658260155_high.jpg
Stray Shadow Quality

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Shadow Quality 128.4

Shadow Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 5/5

What does the Shadow Quality setting do in Stray? Determines the level of detail in certain shadows. Higher quality means more detailed and accurate shadow resolutions.

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Texture Quality

Texture Quality High setting performance impact

Texture Quality graphics option Low compared to High

compare_1658260176_low.jpg compare_1658260176_high.jpg
Stray Texture Quality

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Texture Quality 128.1

Texture Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Texture Quality setting do in Stray? Determines the level of detail in the textures when viewed from a distance. Higher settings mean sharper and higher resolution textures rendered further away.

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Mesh Quality

Mesh Quality High setting performance impact

Mesh Quality graphics option Low compared to High

compare_1658260200_low.jpg compare_1658260200_high.jpg
Stray Mesh Quality

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

Stray Avg FPS
Baseline 130.4
Mesh Quality 126.4

Mesh Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Mesh Quality setting do in Stray? Determines the level of detail of the meshes on objects from a distance. Higher settings mean objects appear in more detail from a further distance.

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Conclusion

Stray graphics settings performance results and conclusion - Looking over all the results above, we can see that STray has a pretty poor range of graphics options to help us get the perfect balance of FPS performance and visual quality, as there is only one setting which will have a noticeable impact on your frame rates.

If you want to increase FPS in Stray then you should first turn down Effects Quality, which has an FPS cost of 34.59%. Following that you should turn down Mesh Quality at 3.07%, then Motion Blur at 2.76%. Next you should lower Texture Quality at 1.76%, then Shadow Quality at 1.53%, and finally Sharpness at 1.46%.

This is because Effects Quality has the only drastic change in quality that is immediately noticeable. All other graphics settings (apart from Motion Blur and Sharpness) have very little differences in quality adjustments. For instance, Shadow Quality only affects certain shadows, and Texture Quality only affects the quality of textures at a distance.

Unfortunately, there is no support for other FPS boosting features in Stray like Nvidia's DLSS or AMD FSR. However, there is a resolution scale, so if you need to further improve your frame rates in Stray then you should try turning down the resolution scale slider to the desired performance.

And that's it for the most important graphics options in Stray! 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 Stray 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 cyberpunk cat sim!

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03:28 Jul-21-2022

Looks great, runs great, plays great and the story is pretty cool. This one got a solid thumbs up from me... recommended :)

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21:29 Jul-19-2022

An extremely details report, well done.


I personally would leave motion blur off (personal preference), everything else Ultra - High.


To be fair I probably wouldn't even notice most of the differences that much if I wasn't presented with the side by side comparison. The most noticeable difference for me were the shadows. I probably would be able to tell the difference between low and ultra when it came to them, everything else questionable.

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21:39 Jul-20-2022

To be fair I probably wouldn't even notice most of the differences that much if I wasn't presented with the side by side comparison.



This is my experience in most games (at least genres where your point of focus is constantly moving around). I prioritize things like textures/models, and everything else set more moderately (assuming I need to do that to get smooth FPS, otherwise I let it fly 😎 )

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13:35 Jul-21-2022

I'm a 3D artist by trade and I end up pixel-peeping my games, so I'm the other way around - I want those effects and reflections on and clear lol, bar annoying stupid things like chromatic aberrations, bad AA that blurs the image, etc. Even DLSS doesn't get a pass from me sometimes if the implementation is bad (blurry or oversharpened) with no way to tweak).

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus Dual 6GB 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-5200U 2.2GHz GeForce 930M 2GB 8GB