StarCraft 2 Tweak Guide

By   /   6 years ago

StarCraft 2 has great graphics and visuals but that holds for those who have high end PC’s. If you are on a mediocre PC that can only offer average graphics at best then you may want to go by the manual tweaking route. Tweaking several StarCraft 2 variables can enhance graphics as well as its performance on an average PC.
Menu options of StarCraft 2 are not enough for several who are facing performance issues with the game. Reducing every option in StarCraft 2 graphics menu also is not the desirable path to take. Ofcourse, no eye candy just doesn’t go well these days.
So, we are left with tweaking the game manually and for that, we will have need to edit default config file of StarCraft 2.
StarCraft 2 default configurations are saved in Variables.txt file that can be found in Documents/StarCraft II folder. This file contains all the commands to tweak different aspects of the game, the functionality of few of these is known, while there are some, which are better left unchanged.
Here is a look of my Variables.txt file, the game chose ultra settings for my PC apart from the textures which are set to High. I didn’t touch this option, making sure I get the performance. Also I haven’t selected Vsync for the same reason, I don’t normally select Vsync as it just reduces the performance many bars, which ruins the fun.


Now these are the options, which we know can increase your performance few bars if tweaked.

foliagedensity (Default 0.750000)

It shows how dense the different foliage elements like grass, leaves will appear. You can decrease the value to something that fit your needs and also increase the performance of the game.

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parallaxshadow (Default 1)

Parallax Shadows give depth to game textures and geometry at the expense of CPU/GPU performance. Switching it off by giving it ‘0’ value may increase performance of the game.

particlelod (Default 3)
particleobjects (Default 1.000000)
particleterrain (Default 1.000000)

These three commands govern the quality of the particles in game. Lower the values to get performance boast.

shadowmapsize (Default 2048)

How shodows will be rendered in game, lowering this value to 1024/512 will increase the performance of the game and also take off some load on GPU and Ram.

TerrainTextureHiResCacheSize (Default 24)
TerrainTextureLowResCacheSize (Default 50)

These two variables control the amount of memory the game uses to cache and stream textures high and low resolution textures separately.

TerrainTextureSize (Default 1024)

This is the memory of your graphic card, memory available at the disposal for the game to utilize.

transparentshadows (Default 1)

This is an eye candy tweak, if enabled it will give shadows a transparent touch enhancing colors in the process. Its OK to change the value to ‘0’, its not something you need really. Infact, its an effect you will hardly notice while playing the game.

watercaustics (Default 1)

It makes the water look real, waves effects and splashes on the surface of water. Not required if you have low end GPU. Set this value to ‘0’ to turn it off.

waterreflection (Default 1)

This variable enabled the reflection on the surface of water. Again, not required for people on low end graphic cards.

waterrendertargetsize (Default 1024)

How the game will render everything water, lower the value to boast performance.

If you are facing overheating issues on a high end PC without any appropriate cooling system then you may want to add these lines.


The game actually tried to draw the screen very quickly and in the absence of appropriate cooling system it loads the system and causes overheating, reducing performance. If you have these values by default in your variables.txt, you may want to replace them.

You can try out all these and see the effects, lowering the default value will boast performance. Go ahead and give it a try, just make sure you back up the original Variables.txt file, all else is fine.

Contributor at SegmentNext.

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