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Alan Wake 2 graphics optimization - how to remove soap and increase FPS on weak PCs


Alan Wake 2 graphics optimization - how to remove soap and increase FPS on weak PCs

Alan Wake 2 is very beautiful graphically, but quite resource-hungry on system resources. In addition, the game has a lot of graphical bells and whistles that can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Many visual enhancements seriously reduce the frame rate, making the game uncomfortable. In this guide, we will tell you which settings can be turned off and which ones can be lowered in order to significantly increase FPS, but without getting “potato” or blurry graphics. In addition, we will offer options for optimizing Alan Wake 2 for weak hardware.

Which DLSS or FSR 2 mode to choose for a comfortable game?

The first thing you should pay attention to is the optional image scaling. For users of RTX video cards, these are the tabs: DLSS and FSR 2. For owners of RX and GTX - only FSR 2.

First, let's look at DLSS. You won’t see much of a difference between DLAA and the “quality” mode. The first takes the native resolution and applies an anti-aliasing algorithm to it, which ultimately leads to the unpleasant blurring of distant objects. The second takes a smaller render of the image as a basis and stretches it to the native one, which also leads to the above-mentioned blurring. The quality mode does not lead to special artifacts. The picture does not crumble into pixels during sudden movements. At the same time, the performance increase is 25-30 FPS.

Resolution 1080p. DLSS in DLAA mode
Resolution 1080p. DLSS in DLAA mode

On the RTX 3060 recommended by the developers with DLAA enabled and the high settings preset set: 35-40 frames. With DLSS in “quality” mode: 55-65 FPS. In the “balanced” mode you will get blur at mid-range, but at the same time a stable 70-75 FPS. Small artifacts may occur when the camera turns sharply, but this is not as critical as blurring.

Resolution 1080p. DLSS enabled with "quality" preset
Resolution 1080p. DLSS enabled with "quality" preset

FSR 2 technology works great on AMD video cards, but on GeForce, it has varying success. This scaling algorithm adds additional sharpening to the image, which perfectly removes excess soap. At the same time, ladders will appear on objects, and distant textures will begin to flicker.

Resolution 1080p. FSR 2 in native
Resolution 1080p. FSR 2 in native

We recommend using FSR 2 in its “native” resolution only for owners of AMD cards. In “quality” mode, the performance increase is 20-35 frames, depending on the number of objects on the screen. In static conditions, the picture looks good, but when moving, sharp changes begin: from smoothing to increased sharpness. The “balanced” mode slightly blurs the picture, but makes the gameplay as smooth as possible, without drawdowns.

Resolution 1080p. FSR 2 in "Balanced" mode
Resolution 1080p. FSR 2 in "Balanced" mode

How to disable scaling (DLSS and FSR) and play in native resolution

By default, Alan Wake 2 does not have an option to disable DLSS and FSR. The player is forced to choose one thing. One way or another, native resolution will be improved due to scaling technologies.

If you have a fairly powerful PC and you want to play Alan Wake 2 without improvements imposed by the developers, open the root folder of the game and delete the following files:

  • nvngx_dlss.dll
  • nvngx_dlssd.dll
  • nvngx_dlssg.dll
  • sl.dlss.dll
  • sl.dlss_d.dll
  • sl.dlss_g.dll

If you are afraid to delete something or you don’t want to do it, then there is another option to disable scaling systems. Open the renderer.ini file, which can be found at C:/Users/Username/AppData/Local/Remedy/AlanWake2, and edit:

  • "m_eSSAAMethod": 0,
  • "m_fSSAASharpening": 0.0

Alan Wake 2 looks much better with the scaling system disabled. Excessive blurring disappears and the drawing distance increases.

Which graphics settings to choose for optimal performance and beautiful pictures

The developers of Alan Wake 2 have posted a table with recommended hardware for comfortable gameplay. The minimum threshold for stable 30 frames was the configuration: RTX 2060 or RX 6600, Intel i5 7600K or a similar processor from AMD, 6 GB of RAM, and an SSD drive. Yes, the game is very resource-hungry, so you won’t get good FPS on GTX video cards without dancing with a tambourine.

Which graphics settings to choose for optimal performance and beautiful pictures

Based on the data from the Steam survey, most PC players have an RTX 3060. With this piece of hardware, you can get a stable 30 on medium-high settings. Considering the fact that on consoles all graphics parameters are turned down to a minimum, PC gamers will receive a more beautiful version of Alan Wake 2 with a budget RTX video card.

We tested various graphics settings to find the perfect middle ground between quality and stability.

Blur: turn it off without thinking. Performance impact is minimal. This option is only needed for players with gamepads. When viewing with a mouse, the image is greatly distorted and reduces the speed of concentration.

Film effect: leave as desired. Grain adds a cinematic feel, but it also blurs the image. For some players, disabling this option affected performance. Issue price: 2-3 frames per second. We completed the game with the film effect turned on and did not experience any particular discomfort.

Post-processing quality: disable. It doesn’t greatly affect the overall quality of the picture, but it noticeably eats up 4-5 frames. The amount of blur will be noticeably reduced, resulting in a sharper picture. Battles with opponents will be a little less spectacular, but at the same time more stable.

This is what the game looks like with low post-processing quality
This is what the game looks like with low post-processing quality

Texture resolution: you can set it to “High” or “Ultra”. We tried all resolution settings and didn't notice any significant difference in performance. The amount of video memory in modern video cards is enough to load high-resolution textures.

This is what the game looks like with low resolution textures
This is what the game looks like with low-resolution textures

Texture filtering: set to “High”. Changing the quality had no effect on the frame counter. The visual difference between “Medium” and “High” is minimal. Take your pick.

Volumetric lighting: set to “Medium”. You won’t notice a visual difference between the “High” setting, but you will definitely get an increase of 4-6 FPS. Nothing will change at Low.

Light spot quality: set to “Medium” or “High”. This option does not affect the frame rate in any way, and we did not notice much of a difference in the picture. On the “Low” option the number of FPS did not increase.

General lighting quality: set to “High”. You won’t notice much difference in the graphics between “Medium” and “High”. On Low, distant objects will be flatter and more monotonous. The option has no effect on frames.

Shadow resolution: set to “Medium”. There is no visual difference between the "Medium" and "High" settings in the game, but the former has better performance. You will get 4-5 frames to the total frame rate. At Low, dynamic shadows appear rippled and grainy. If you decide to lower the settings as much as possible, you will get 2-3 bonus frames to your overall performance.

Shadow filtering: set to “High”. There is no visual or frame difference between “Medium” and “High”.

Shadow clarity: set to “High”. There is no visible difference between "Medium" and "High". This setting does not affect FPS.

Screen ambient light blocking (SSAO): turn it on without hesitation. The difference in graphics can be noticed in forest locations, where vegetation interferes with general lighting. Performance impact is minimal. A disabled option can give 1-2 additional frames in particularly busy scenes. In urban locations and indoors you won’t see much of a difference in performance.

General reflections : switch to “Low”. You won’t notice much of a difference with the “High” setting, but a pleasant 8 frames will be noticeable. With reflections turned off, the game will look worse, but you can get 10 to 15 additional frames depending on the size of locations with water surfaces.

Screen Reflection (SSR) : Low is the best option. Reflections work well and all effects are displayed correctly. At the “High” setting, reflections exhibit special depth and refraction of light. It’s just that processing these little things requires 4-6 frames of the total frame rate. Disabled SSR removes puddles, wet asphalt, three-dimensional images and excessive light from the game. In return, you will receive a stable increase of 6-8 FPS.

Fog quality: set to “High”. There is no perceptible difference between "Medium" and "High" in frame rates.

Surface quality: set to “High”. Changing the setting does not increase FPS. The difference in graphics cannot be noticed with the naked eye.

Distant Object Detail (LOD): set to “High”. A low setting cuts down on vegetation detail and replaces some high-poly objects with low-poly ones. This option does not affect performance in any way. The maximum you can get 1 additional frame in the total frequency.

Accuracy of scattered objects: set to “High” or “Ultra”. Works in the same way as the previous parameter. At “Medium” and “Low”, it reduces the amount of foliage and shrubs to the state of “deep autumn”. Missions for the Saga will lose entertainment and visual diversity. In return, you will receive 2-3 additional frames. They are not worth such sacrifices.

Ray tracing improves lighting, reflections, and shadows. At the same time, it eats up productivity. By turning it off, you will not lose a high-quality picture and maintain a stable frame rate.

How to increase FPS in Alan Wake 2 on weak video cards

If you have GTX series video cards, but really want to play Alan Wake 2, then we have a solution! Of course, you can’t do without “dancing with a tambourine,” but you can work hard for a good picture and stable 30 FPS.

FSR 2 added to Alan Wake 2 does not help much with increasing performance, so we need to “improve” this technology using the DLSS library, which is not available to owners of GTX video cards. Download this modification and unpack it into the game folder. Next, download the latest DLSS library from this site. Add it to the root folder. After this, run the attached file “ EnableSignatureOverride.reg ”.

Rename the file APEX_Clothing_x64, which is located in the game folder. You can do it like this: APEX_Clothing_x64_X.

Open the nvngx.ini file, which will appear in the game folder with the modification added. Adjusting sharpness:

  • [Sharpening]
  • ; true or false
  • EnableSharpening=true
  • ; number between 0 and 1.0
  • Sharpness=1.0
  • ; normal or extended
  • SharpnessRange=normal

Open the renderer.ini file, which can be found at C:/Users/Username/AppData/Local/Remedy/AlanWake2, and edit:

  • "m_bFilmGrain": false,
  • "m_bVignette": false,
  • "m_bDepthOfField": false,
  • "m_bLensDistortion": false,

Launch the game. Select the DLSS " Performance " preset if your graphics card is GTX 1050 or slightly higher. On the GTX 1650 video card, you can set it to “ Balanced ” or “ Quality ” depending on the native screen resolution. In the settings you will have to set everything to minimum, but at the same time try “Medium” or “High” texture quality.

As a result, you will get a good picture without “potato” graphics and a stable 30 FPS.