(Updated 22th of May, 2019, see end)

In a deviation from our normal scheduling (this is my site after all) here are my settings for Rage 2. My system is an AMD R9 380 (4GB), Intel i5-4690k CPU (not overclocked) on a Asus Z97-P motherboard.

Rage 2 is, thankfully, very well optimised and made to scale well across many systems. The settings take the usual tweaking to fine tune them for your system. I initially thought SSAO was the biggest performance hog but eventually found a bottleneck in my system to do with the resolution. Here are my settings …

I had to turn the resolution down from 1920×1080 (my native resolution) to 1600×900. I have the FPS capped at 60fps using MSI Afterburner RTSS, with no vsync, using a Freesync monitor. Once I’d turned the resolution down I could then turn a lot of other things back on or up, like geometric complexity for example, and retain a smooth 60fps.

RTSS shows regular frame times that although not always completely smooth are well within keeping a smooth response time. So this seems to be (at least on my system it is) a resolution centred thing when it comes to engine performance. To compare, later incarnations of the Assassins Creed games (Unity and after) which use the Anvil engine, never really responded to resolution changes on my system with only a minimal number of frames gained. That could be because the bottleneck there was my CPU which Anvil hits a lot harder then Rage 2 here which, using Vulkan, is likely using the CPU in a much more efficient way. 

This is only a recently released game, but some of the comments out there attracted my attention. This “blurry textures” thing. Some of it may be to do with TXAA (temporal anti-aliasing) as well as some occasionally slightly over zealous depth of field effects, but having got further into the game and gone through a few day/night cycles, what actually seems to be going on is this. In the day, especially in the desert region in the South, the lighting system “washes out” the textures. At night everything looks a lot more crisp. Once the player get’s into the temperate regions things start looking dramatically different than they do in the desert region which seems to suffer from giving this “blurry textures” impression.

So far, Id software and Avalanche seem to be a marriage in heaven. Id’s FPS finesse with Avalanche’s open world development experience. I’m getting the impression that this game will go down as an all time classic and that Id/Avalanche have passed into new territory here with something that has never really been done like this before. Id/Avalanche/Bethesda should also be commended for releasing a game without any massive game breaking bugs.

So, I have to go back to my game to release some rage !

UPDATE: After some more tweaking I found that the water reflections actually have quite detrimental effect on my machine so I turned that off. That made everything a lot more responsive. It also allowed me to turn up, and on, a lot of other settings, including especially SSAO to high. This has a dramatic effect on visual quality, I’ll try and post a few screenshots when I can. High SSAO setting appears to be designed to work in conjunction with depth of field. You may have to turn it off on very low spec machines, but otherwise leave it turned on and have at least set to “high” for SSAO. Turn up all other settings to what your machine can handle apart from water reflections (unless the water reflections thing is just a peculiarity of my machine). 

So now with SSAO set high and depth of field on I’m getting some very interesting immersion effects. The landscape almost looks “3D” ! So don’t underestimate what Id and Avalanche are doing here. This is one of the best looking open world games for a long time, if you are willing to invest some time tuning it on the PC.

Lastly, I found a bug. But it’s not really a game breaking one. On my machine if I am in the TAB menu for too long, and especially with Photo Mode which always crashes it, I get a GPU driver crash to desktop with a message about “Code 38” and then an AMD message about “Default wattman setting being restored”. After that the game can be restarted. So it’s just a question of saving up all those upgrade credits for an upgrade fest later when you need it. Otherwise just stay in the 3D world as long as you can if you are getting this bug as this crash never happens unless I go into the menu.

I have put a ticket in about this bug. It could be something to do with my machine but I doubt it as I don’t get any problems with any other games. I also tried a clean driver install (DDU) which did not fix it. Happy raging !

UPDATE 2: I mentioned that there were no game breaking bugs. Well I found one. You can still play the game but it’s a serious bug, a bit like crippling the accelerator pedal in driving game. This is why I usually wait a few months until I buy a game because of bugs like this which don’t get ironed out until later on. However I have enjoyed myself up to this point despite the bug (I must be only at most 30% into the game) although I was thinking “why have ID created this ego shooter?!”. Now I know why ! Even “Nightmare” was on easy.

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