Squeeze Cyberpunk 2077 with this PC optimization guide and get the best of Night City at 60 FPS

We keep the graphics of the new CD Projekt in ultra at 1080p, 2K and 4K, with ray tracing and DLSS.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is a special game for many reasons. We’ve been waiting for a whopping eight years for the new RPG of CD Projekt, waiting for the parents of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to maintain the narrative, credibility and attention to detail that gave the Polish team the brilliant reputation they enjoy today. In his corresponding analysis, our colleague Alejandro Pascual speaks at length about the details of the game, including some comments about the game. technical performance. But now that you know how this production moves on PC, it is time to study how you can optimize it to achieve an ideal balance between graphics and performance.

I’ve spent a few hours taking screenshots and examining video samples for ideal settings for 1080p, 2K, and 4K gaming. All tests have been carried out on a computer supplied by our colleagues at Nvidia, which has an RTX 3070 Founder’s Edition, an i9 10900K and 32 GB of RAM; although results (not listed) have also been contrasted with another team that carries a GTX 1080 Ti, an i7 8700K and 16 GB of RAM just to talk about cards without support for RT and DLSS. Has not been applied overclocking to any part, and at all times the WHQL drivers 460.79 —Which you can already find in GeForce Experience and include performance improvements for CP 2077— along with the day one patch that accompanies practically all triple A games.

As surely you have already read out there, or checked on your own, Night city She is the true protagonist of the game: a huge, living stage, the kind that weighs more than its waypoints; its inhabitants and districts breathe history, style and color. It is a dense, vertical place with a lot of personality, but the only way to take advantage of all that immersion, all that artistic value, is through the technology of ray tracing. Compatibility with ray tracing It will arrive on AMD consoles and cards in 2021, so at launch it is only possible to take advantage of Nvidia’s RTX 2000 and 3000 graphics.

It’s nothing promotional, in case you were wondering: it’s a genuine opinion. If you have a graphics compatible with this technology, feel free to pursue the best illumination that you can afford. If this is not the case, don’t worry, I also take you into account. Be that as it may, remember that we are facing a fairly demanding game at a technical level: the system requirements point to a GTX 780 absolute minimum to play with, which is great, but getting really good resolutions and frequencies gets exponentially more difficult. In the absence of new optimization exercises, for now this is what we have. And as a preview, finding the best configuration is quite difficult.

There are more than twenty options with which to experiment on different equipment, there is no integrated test tool and the comparisons with TW3 do not serve us because the RED R6 engine Much has changed since we put ourselves in Geralt’s shoes for the last time: those flat textures are far away, with no response to light or shadows; the natural horizontal landscapes and peasant settlements scattered here and there. Normally, at 3DJuegos we try to give directions as specific as possible for each type of hardware, but in this case we are talking about a game so voluptuous that honestly, the best thing to do is guide you to find your own ideal configuration.

The most demanding parameters

The CPU is not a problem: there is good performance per core, but the graphics is always loaded.The CPU is not a problem: there is good performance per core, but the graphics is always loaded.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that wins a lot in aesthetics when the lights, shadows, glows and reflections work in unison. But if you fall short of processing capabilities, then you have to cut back on some aspects: the first thing you should touch is definitely “cascading shadow resolution” which seems to be a bit broken. The intermediate setting is the maximum you should aim for regardless of what your gear is like. As for the rest, adjust them to maximum possible, and go down as you need.

Night City layout and optimization make 100% rocky frame rate impossible Right after the parameter we just talked about, the most resource consuming effects are “screen space reflection quality” and “volumetric fog resolution”, in that order. Depending on the situation (and in the absence of testing on ultra-wide monitors) lowering them to medium or deactivating them can provide between a 10 and 20% extra yield, each, or up to 35-40% combined. Bear in mind, of course, that there are parts of the city where it is apparently impossible to maintain a constant 60 FPS rate due to how they are structured, so even lowering these parameters you will find occasional jerks.

And beyond this? The sad reality is that the rest of the parameters that we are offered are … of little use when optimizing. Let me explain: you can reduce the consumption of video memory (VRAM) lowering the quality of the textures, and if you have a quad-core processor maybe you can alleviate it a bit by lowering the density of pedestrians strolling the streets. But what is strictly optimizing does not go there. The vast majority of options at our disposal have to do with shadows, and it is no exaggeration: there are almost a dozen options dedicated solely to shading. shape and resolution of shadows.

You can lower these to consumer liking to gain up to 20% FPS improvements while playing 1080p, but the question is, is it really worth doing? It is a personal matter, and in my humble opinion it is better to close the rate of frames per second at 30 or 40 to avoid ups and downs rather than missing the sense of immersion and depth that this unique city enjoys. Additionally, other small effects like vignetting or graining can improve your results by minuscule amounts without spoiling the magic of the environment, so you may want to attack there if you need to scratch a few more frames.

DLSS and ray tracing

We come to the part of the article that undoubtedly gives more work, but also the one that is most exciting. These settings are a huge headache, indeed: native, tiered resolutions, different solutions on Nvidia and AMD, cutting edge technology, you know. As I said above, ray tracing brings a lot to Night City: global illumination by RT provides a volumetric diffusion effect similar to that surrounding the city of the Blade Runner 2049 movie, but what it gives in visual fidelity, it takes away in frames. Illustratively, that particular effect can only be achieved by setting the lighting to “insane.”

Relieves the graphic load with DLSS in high resolutions, or in its defect FidelityFX CAS and DSR That’s where the DLSS, which Nvidia touts as “an improvement of up to 60%.” Certainly, anyone would say that this technique is pure wizardry, and is neither more nor less than the ideal complement to the super demanding ray tracing. But like everything in life, it has a cost, and that cost is the blurring of the image, because in the end it all comes down to rendering fewer pixels in the image. Thus, the “performance” and “ultra performance” modes are recommended only for qualities of 1440p and 2160p, while in 1080p (or 2K, actually, depending on your team) theirs is to alter between “balanced” and “quality” depending on the results you are getting.


Occlusion, reflections and RT lighting working in unison.

To give you an idea, the setting I use to play outside of work is this. RTX 3070, remember; but on a 2080 Ti card you will get similar results.

  • 1080p, DLSS enabled in quality mode.
  • RT activated and in maximum quality.
  • Ultra settings, saving SSR (medium), cascading shadow resolution (medium), grainy (off), and motion distortion (off).
  • Average of 68 FPS and a minimum 1% of 49. Manually closed at 60 FPS.

Is it better to go for a native resolution or DLSS? You can be sure that the new Nvidia rendering will give better results in terms of quality and performance if you activate RT, but if this is not the case you can always use the internal resolution scale of the game, which also lets you set a target framerate. to scale the pixel count automatically (DSR). Do not aim at anything over 60: it is unfeasible and you will find uncomfortable jumps yes or yes. Alternatively, if you have an incompatible graph you can try FidelityFX CAS, an AMD technique similar to DLSS that is more blurry, but also valid. But don’t do this in 1080p, because the game will be too flat: better reserve it to play at high resolutions.

Summary and considerations

Night City is a sign, neon, smoke, and hologram environment that gains a lot from ray tracing.Night City is a sign, neon, smoke, and hologram environment that gains a lot from ray tracing.

  • It uses the RED R6 engine, an improved version of the TW3 engine.
  • Single API support: DX12.
  • There is no built-in benchmark, and it presents some optimization problems.
  • A true playground for ray tracing.
  • Only Nvidia RTX 2000 and 3000 cards support launch RT.
  • That technology will arrive on AMD GPUs and next-gen consoles (RDNA 2) in 2021.
  • If you don’t have a capable PC, you can play it on GeForce Now output.
  • Cascading shadow resolution is particularly expensive. Also lower the screen space reflections and volumetric fog resolution if you need to.
  • DLSS is your best ally for gaming at high resolutions, but alternatively you can try FidelityFX CAS even if the scaling is poorer (50% of DSR in 4K is 1080p).
  • Some users may experience improvements disabling screen optimizations in Windows.