So Dying Light finally came out and it’s looking like it’s actually a lot of fun! I’m playing through it right now on my stream and will have more thoughts on the gameplay at a later date. I wanted to write up a very quick update to address a few things you can do to get the game running smooth on PC. At first glance, the game appears unoptimized but I don’t think that’s the case entirely. You see, the developers tied a lot of settings to the view distance slider. Cranking it up past 50% has a big performance hit right now. So, if Dying Light is running a bit wonky on PC:
Check your View Distance
When Dying Light first came out, the view distance was set to render pretty damn far in the distance. Also, a lot of effects and details are tied to the view distance slider. People used to just cranking the distance all the way out on powerful systems crippled their performance by dragging the slider out. Also, there was a bug that was causing CPU bottlenecks. Much of that has been fixed. I would start with the View Distance slider (under video settings) at the halfway mark and adjust up or down depending on your desired FPS. For a graph on current View Distance impact, check HERE.
Park Your Cores
I find a lot of FPS drops in games are tied to Speed Step and Frequency Scaling. Any time I see microstutters, one of the first things I do is fire up the Park Control program and enable the following settings:
Just follow the directions in the caption above and you should be good to go. This will stop your CPU from ramping up and down and have it always give you 100% of it’s power.
Adjust Your Field of View
Now THIS was weird. Any time I play a PC game I always find the FOV slider and crank it out so that you can see more of your surrounding and it’s not as claustrophobic playing on an up close monitor. I do this in every game I can and I have NEVER seen this impact performance much if at all. But for Dying Light, as of the time of this writing (2/4/15) it has a massive impact. I had my FOV cranked all the way out and was regularly dropping 10-15 FPS in certain areas. I read someone on NeoGAF talking about their FOV impacting FPS and was like “that’s weird, probably placebo”. Tried it for the heck of it and bam, performance problems fixed! Had other people try this and confirmed it to be the case. It must have something to do with the way everything around you is rendered in this engine. Try it. Heck, if you can deal with it, dropping it below default will gain you a few FPS. The option I’m talking about should not be confused with the View Distance under Video. Field of View is a setting under “Game” options.