DayZ Standalone has officially been released and after launching you will probably notice that the graphics have taken a major leap forward between the Mod and the Standalone version. The new textures and item models are insanely detailed so it’s no big surprise that there has been a slight frame rate drop for many. There are various tried and tested things you can do to improve the performance of DayZ Standalone, try out some of the below and you might experience a considerable improvement. As DayZ Standalone is still very much in an alpha state, don’t expect a perfect gameplay experience even if your system is extremely powerful. We can only hope that in the coming months the development team at DayZ manage to improve their engine to a point where we can get consistently smooth and high-performance gameplay.
DayZ Standalone Performance Guide / Best FPS Guide
Best Dayz Graphical Options Explained
DayZ Standalone has a fair amount of different graphical settings which you can tweak. Some of them make a huge difference to your average FPS, some of them make little or no difference to your FPS. Knowing which is which can help you get optimal FPS for your system while keeping some integrity in terms of display.
First, within the DayZ game or menu screen navigate to ‘options’ and then ‘video’. Now use the below descriptions to help you decide what to set them to.
- Overall Quality – Ignore this one, it’s the ‘presets’ for low, medium and high.
- Rendering Resolution – This one depends on your monitor resolution. If you are trying to gain FPS but you are playing on a large monitor (EG 1920 x 1080) you may want to try set this anywhere from 100% to 83%. Going lower than this severely affects the quality of the display in the game, as a last resort after trying all the other options, you could try setting this as low as 50%. May or may not resemble potato graphics.
- Brightness – This is down to preference, I like ~50%. Does not affect FPS.
- Gamma – Again this is down to preference. I stick with ~50% but adjusting this to ~75% at night time can help you see clearer in the dark. Does not affect FPS.
- Video Memory – set to ‘Auto‘, simple.
- Texture Detail – Textures in DayZ make a big difference. Setting this to ‘Very Low‘ can gain you a few frames but it makes the models look kind of plastic. I like ‘Normal‘.
- Texture Filtering – This texture setting only affects display at certain angles. It’s not that noticeable and doesn’t gain many frames. Set to ‘disabled‘.
- Objects – Object Quality is intensive in DayZ. Setting this ‘Very Low‘ can gain you a few frames but again, it makes models look rubbish. I like ‘Normal‘.
- Terrain – More frames to be gained here, set this to ‘Very Low‘ to remove almost all of the foliage on the ground and gain you some frames. This can make the many fields of Chernarus feel a bit sparse so I would recommended ‘Low‘.
- Clouds – Clouds in DayZ are extremely detailed and move with the weather. Set this to ‘disabled’ to gain a few frames.
- Shadows – Shadows are a nice touch, setting this to ‘Disabled‘ will remove shadows all together and gain you a few frames. No shadows at all can feel a little unrealistic so I would say keep them on at ‘Very Low‘.
- Anti aliasing – This graphical feature basically makes jagged lines smoother. If you’re struggling for frames, you can do without. Set this to ‘Very Low.’ I recommend ‘normal‘ because I prefer things to look smooth.
- Alpha to Coverage – This affects the display of greenery like trees and grass. Turning it on adds a sort-of blur effect which makes foliage look nicer. You can do without, set this to ‘Disabled‘.
- Edge Smoothing – This is post processing anti aliasing. Basically anti aliasing the edges again. There are a few different options here. ‘Disabled‘ gives the best FPS boost. I recommend ‘FXAA Normal‘. MXAA gives better results but is more intensive. FXAA is very similar to MXAA quality but is less intensive.
- Ambient Occlusion – Set this to ‘Disabled‘ – in certain situations this will give you a good FPS boost.
- Postprocess Quality – This one adds another sort-of blur effect which is supposed to make things look realistic. I don;t like it, set to ‘Disabled‘ to gain a few frames.
- Bloom – Set the slider to ‘0‘.
- Rotation Blur – Set the slider to ‘0‘.
Hopefully the above explanations will help you gain a better insight into what these options actually mean. If all you care about is pure performance gains then obviously almost everything will be set to ‘Disabled’ or ‘Very Low’. But beware, it makes the game look rubbish.
Steam Launch Options for DayZ Standalone
Steam’s launch options allow you to supersede the internal settings of whichever game they are applied too. To access launch options, you need to right-click on DayZ (or any game) within steam and select ‘settings‘. Now select ‘launch options‘ and you will be presented with a single line text-box. There are a few different launch options that are useful here.
- -nosplash – removes the Bohemia Interactive splash page, letting you get into the game faster.
- -skipintro – skips the intro, getting you into the game faster.
- -noPause – keeps the game running while minimized or not focused.
- -world=*empty – disables the map from loading on launch, meaning you get into the game launcher quicker, but loading the game will take longer.
- -cpuCount=8 – set this to how many cores your CPU has. Most systems are either 2 (dual-core), 4 (quad-core), or 8 (octa-core).
- -maxMem =8192 – set this to the total amount of RAM your system has, 2048 for 2GB, 4096 for 4GB, 8192 for 8GB.
- -window – launches the game in windowed mode, if that’s something you’re looking for.
- -noborder – launches the game in border-less windowed mode.
- -exThreads=7 – set this to 0,1,3 or 7 – this is the amount of threads your CPU uses. Defaults to 3 for dual-core, or 7 for quad-core.
Feel free to copy and paste the below launch options into the box, but importantly make sure you change ‘cpuCount=4‘ and ‘maxMem=8192‘ to reflect your own system!
cpuCount – 2 (dual-core), 4 (quad-core), or 8 (octa-core).
maxMem – 2048 for 2GB, 4096 for 4GB, 8192 for 8GB.
So your launch options within the box should look something like this: -cpuCount=4 -maxMem=8192 -skipintro -nosplash -nosplash -noPause
DayZ Configuration Files for FPS Boost
There are a few files which can be tweaked on your system that will give you a performance boost in DayZ Standalone. However, there is a reason that these options cannot be tweaked from the in-game menu and that is that tweaking these settings can make your gameplay experience unstable and potentially ruin your experience. You have been warned!
First of all you want to locate ‘My Documents\Dayz\Dayz.cfg‘. You can edit this file in ‘notepad‘ or any other text editor. Open it up and edit the following:
- GPU_MaxFramesAhead=1 – set this to 1.
- GPU_DetectedFramesAhead=1 – set this to 1.
Now you want to open another file, you can locate it at: ‘My Documents\Dayz\<name> (where <name> is your DayZ Profile name). You can edit this file in ‘notepad’ or any other text editor. Open it up and edit the following:
- sceneComplexity=100000 – this number affects your object details. Setting it anywhere from 50000 to 15000 can gain you a few frames.
- Default Values: Very Low = 200000
- shadowZDistance=50 – this number affects the distance at which shadows are drawn, setting this to a lower value will increase FPS.
- Default Values: Very Low = 100;
- preferredObjectViewDistance=500 – this number affects the distance in metres that the engine will draw objects. A lower number will greatly improve performance. Setting this below 800 makes you vulnerable to taking fire from invisible enemies that haven’t been rendered on your screen yet.
- Default Values: Very Low = 800
- viewDistance=500 – this number affects the distance at which you will be able to see objects. A lower number will increase performance, but setting it below 800 will mean that you may not be able to see incoming threats like players or zombies in the distance.
- Default Values: Very Low = 1000
Solid State Drive
Having DayZ installed on a Solid State Drive will give you a tremendous performance boost, not in terms of FPS but in loading times of both the game and its assets. Dean “Rocket” Hall has specifically spoke about this on Reddit that the biggest performance boost you can achieve in DayZ would be through installing DayZ on a SSD. Solid State Drives are much more expensive than regular HDDs and normally have a much smaller capacity. If you’re lucky enough to have an SSD on your system and you would like to move DayZ onto it, it’s very simple to do.
Move DayZ On to my Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Open Steam, navigate to ‘steam’ -> ‘settings’.
- Click the ‘Downloads’ tab in the middle-left.
- Under ‘Content Libraries’ click ‘Steam Library Folders’.
- Use the drop-down menu to select your SSD. On my own system my SSD is ‘C:/’ while steam is installed on my ‘D:/’ Drive.
- Under your SSD Drive, make a new folder and name it ‘Steam’ or something similar.
Now that Steam has a drive on both your normal HDD and your speedy SSD,when you download / install DayZ through Steam you’ll be given the option to install it to your SSD.
Don’t want o uninstall DayZ? Use a program called SteamMover which will move games to your SSD and back again very easily.
DayZ On a RAM disk?
A RAM disk is basically a Virtual Drive running straight off your RAM – making it extremely fast (faster than an SSD). This means your game, the map and the assets will all load very quickly. RAM disks however can be a little complex, are volatile and you’ll need at least 16GB of RAM to run DayZ comfortably on a RAM disk. The performance gains above an SSD are minimal, but if you’re the type of person than want’s the best of the best then a RAM Disk is probably for you. I’m not going to list the instructions here because there are many different methods of creating a RAM Disk, have a look on YouTube and you’ll find instructions.