- Preset – Custom
- DLSS and FSR 2.0 (Optional, but Quality/Balanced is preferred)
- Texture Quality – High/Medium (depending on VRAM)
- Field of View – No more than 90
- Motion Blur – High/Low if FPS is below 50
- Contact Shadows – On
- Improved Facial Lighting Geometry – On
- Anisotropy – 16
- Local Shadow Mesh Quality – At least Medium, High is preferred
- Local Shadow Quality – At least Medium, High is preferred
- Cascaded Shadows Range – At least Medium, High is preferred
- Cascaded Shadows Resolution – High
- Distant Shadows Resolution – High
- Volumetric Fog Resolution – Medium
- Volumetric Cloud Quality – Medium
- Max Dynamic Decals – Ultra
- Screen Space Reflections – Medium, or High at most
- Subsurface Scattering Quality – High
- Ambient Occlusion Quality – High
- Mirror Quality – At least Medium
- Level of Detail (LOD) – High
- Crowd Density – Medium
- Ray Tracing (Optional, use only if you have an RTX GPU)
- Additional Tips for Optimization
Cyberpunk 2077 has had its fair share of ups and downs since its release, with performance issues and bugs plaguing its early days. That’s why a Cyberpunk 2077 graphics settings optimization guide is still warranted.
With the release of the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update and the Phantom Liberty expansion, CD Projekt Red has made significant strides in improving the game’s performance and visuals.
In this comprehensive optimization guide, we will explore the various Cyberpunk 2077 graphics settings available in the game and provide recommendations on how to achieve the best balance between performance and visual fidelity.
Preset – Custom
You’ll be fine-tuning each setting anyway so this will automatically be set to Custom. Using Presets is not great if you want to squeeze out every frame of performance from your hardware and the presets are only recommended for high-end hardware.
DLSS and FSR 2.0 (Optional, but Quality/Balanced is preferred)
Both DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and FSR 2.0 (FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0) are advanced upscaling techniques that can significantly boost performance while maintaining excellent image quality.
If you have an NVIDIA GPU, DLSS is available and widely supported in Cyberpunk 2077.
AMD GPU users can take advantage of FSR 2.0 if it’s supported by their hardware and the game.
Enabling DLSS or FSR 2.0 and adjusting the scaling factor (e.g., DLSS Quality, FSR 2.0 Ultra Quality) can provide a substantial performance boost without sacrificing visual quality.
Experiment with these settings to find the balance between performance and visuals that suits your preferences and hardware.
Texture Quality – High/Medium (depending on VRAM)
Let’s start by addressing the Texture Quality setting.
Texture Quality affects the sharpness and clarity of in-game textures. If you have a sufficient amount of VRAM, it’s advisable to keep this setting on High for the best texture clarity.
Lowering it may result in textures appearing blurry, especially on lower settings. However, if you find yourself running out of VRAM, such as when playing on a GPU with limited memory, you may need to consider lowering this setting to prevent performance issues.
Field of View – No more than 90
Field of View helps control how much you see on the screen and as you can expect, it can affect performance. Higher means you can see more in the periphery but there’s a small framerate decrease, so we recommend not going higher than 90 for this.
Motion Blur – High/Low if FPS is below 50
Cyberpunk 2077 offers a Motion Blur setting that impacts both camera and per-object motion blur. Enabling this feature has minimal performance impact, so its use primarily depends on personal preference.
For smoother gameplay at higher frame rates (around 60+ FPS), disabling motion blur is recommended. However, if you’re at a lower frame rate (below 40-50 FPS), motion blur can help mask performance issues and choppiness.
Contact Shadows – On
The Contact Shadows setting allows certain objects to cast shadows onto themselves or nearby objects. While disabling this setting can provide a modest performance boost, it’s generally advisable to keep it enabled for improved realism and depth in the game’s visuals.
If you’re looking for a significant performance improvement, you can experiment with turning it off, but keep in mind that it won’t disable all shadows.
Improved Facial Lighting Geometry – On
Improved Facial Lighting Geometry is a setting that may not have a noticeable impact on visuals or performance. It is particularly relevant during cutscenes and interactions with NPCs, enhancing facial animations. You can leave this setting enabled without worrying about performance issues.
Anisotropy – 16
Anisotropy affects the clarity of textures when viewed at off angles. While there may not be a significant difference between the 16x and 8x settings, lowering it to 4x can result in a slight reduction in texture crispness in certain situations.
Using the lowest setting of 1 is not recommended unless you’re also reducing texture quality. Anisotropy typically has minimal performance impact, so it’s advisable to keep it at the maximum available level for optimal visual quality.
Local Shadow Mesh Quality – At least Medium, High is preferred
Local Shadow Mesh Quality impacts the quality of geometric detail used for casting shadows from artificial light sources.
While it may be challenging to discern the differences between the three quality options in most cases, opting for the medium setting offers a small performance improvement with minimal loss in visual quality. The low setting may reduce shadow accuracy, so it’s generally not recommended.
Local Shadow Quality – At least Medium, High is preferred
Local Shadow Quality affects the quality and resolution of shadows cast by artificial light sources, especially indoors. The high setting preserves sharp local shadows, and medium offers a good balance between visual quality and performance.
While the low setting may provide a minor performance gain, it’s best to avoid turning off local shadows entirely, as it significantly impacts image quality.
Cascaded Shadows Range – At least Medium, High is preferred
Cascaded Shadows Range determines how far into the distance dynamic shadows are cast from the sun. While higher settings result in more sun shadows on distant objects, lowering it to medium can still provide a visually appealing experience while offering some performance improvement. Turning it off may make the game appear flatter.
Cascaded Shadows Resolution – High
Cascaded Shadows Resolution affects the sharpness and clarity of sun shadows. The high and medium settings offer similar visual quality, with high reducing shadow aliasing in some scenes.
The low setting significantly reduces shadow resolution, leading to shimmering and aliasing. For the best visual quality, stick with the high shadow resolution setting, but you can consider medium if you need additional performance.
Distant Shadows Resolution – High
Similar to Cascaded Shadows Resolution, Distant Shadows Resolution impacts shadows further from the camera. While the impact may be subtle, it’s recommended to keep this setting on high, as it has minimal performance impact and ensures high-quality shadows.
Volumetric Fog Resolution – Medium
Volumetric Fog Resolution has a significant impact on performance, especially in motion. The higher settings offer more accurate fog quality, but even at lower settings, the difference may not be immediately noticeable during normal gameplay. It’s essential to balance visual quality with performance here, and most players can opt for medium or high settings.
Volumetric Cloud Quality – Medium
Volumetric Cloud Quality affects the resolution of clouds in the game. Interestingly, cloud quality has a relatively minor impact on performance, even in intensive areas. Medium offers a good balance between visual quality and performance, making it a recommended choice for most players. Higher settings may not provide substantial visual improvements in most situations.
Max Dynamic Decals – Ultra
Max Dynamic Decals setting has a negligible impact on performance, even during intense combat scenarios. You can safely leave this setting on ultra without worrying about performance issues.
Screen Space Reflections – Medium, or High at most
Screen Space Reflections quality significantly impacts visual fidelity but also comes with a notable performance cost.
While higher settings offer clearer reflections, medium strikes a good balance between visuals and performance. Players seeking optimized but still high-quality visuals should opt for the medium setting, which provides a substantial performance improvement with minimal visual sacrifice.
Subsurface Scattering Quality – High
Subsurface Scattering Quality is responsible for affecting skin quality, though the visual difference may not be very noticeable. Fortunately, it has minimal impact on performance, so you can keep this setting on high for improved skin quality without compromising performance.
Ambient Occlusion Quality – High
Ambient Occlusion Quality adds self-shadowing to close-together objects, enhancing the overall visual quality of the game. While higher settings provide greater shadowing and depth, the performance impact is relatively low. Players can comfortably keep this setting on high for improved visuals without significant performance loss.
Mirror Quality – At least Medium
Mirror Quality may not be a critical setting, as it doesn’t have a substantial impact on performance during regular gameplay. However, if mirrors cause significant performance drops on your system, you can experiment with lowering this setting to medium or high, finding a balance between visuals and performance.
Level of Detail (LOD) – High
Level of Detail (LOD) is a setting that, in Cyberpunk 2077, does not seem to have a significant impact on visuals or performance. It’s recommended to keep this setting on high to ensure you don’t miss out on any potential visual enhancements.
Crowd Density – Medium
Finally, Crowd Density affects the number of NPCs in busy areas of the game. While it may not have a significant impact on GPU performance, it can strain your CPU, particularly in densely populated areas.
If you have a high-end CPU and are not experiencing CPU-related performance issues, setting Crowd Density to high can create a more immersive game world. However, if your CPU struggles in crowded areas, lowering this setting to low is a viable option to improve performance.
Ray Tracing (Optional, use only if you have an RTX GPU)
Cyberpunk 2077 offers various ray tracing options, including:
- Ray Traced Reflections – Off, not worth the huge FPS loss in most cases
- Ray Traced Sun Shadows – Off, not woth the huge FPS loss in most cases
- Ray Traced Local Shadows – On, this adds to the overall atmosphere and isn’t as demanding.
- Ray Traced Lighting – Medium is enough
- Path Tracing – Yeah, no. Not unless you have an RTX 3080 or something more powerful.
While these settings can enhance visual realism, they come at a significant performance cost. To optimize performance, consider turning off ray tracing and using DLSS or FSR 2.0 (if supported by your GPU) to maintain high frame rates while preserving visual quality.
Additional Tips for Optimization
Performing these standard procedures can help improve the performance.
- Update Your Graphics Drivers: Ensure your GPU drivers are up to date, as new driver releases often include optimizations for specific games.
- Monitor System Temperature: Cyberpunk 2077 can be demanding on your hardware. Keep an eye on your system temperatures to avoid overheating, which can lead to performance throttling.
- Background Applications: Close unnecessary background applications and processes to free up system resources for the game.
- Resolution Scaling: Lowering the in-game resolution or using resolution scaling can significantly boost performance if you’re struggling to maintain a steady frame rate.
- Experiment and Monitor: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different settings and monitor their impact on performance and visuals. What works best may vary depending on your specific hardware.
- Regularly Check for Game Updates: CD Projekt Red continues to release patches and updates to improve performance and fix bugs. Make sure your game is up to date.
By carefully tweaking these Cyberpunk 2077 graphics settings and optimizing your hardware, you can enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 with a balanced blend of visual fidelity and smooth performance, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the dystopian world of Night City.