Rage Tweak Guide – Graphics and Performance

By   /   Oct 7, 2011

There is no stopping the hardcore PC community tweak Rage to improve its graphics or improve its performance one way or another, before an official patch gets released..

Even when the patch gets released, you may need tweaking Rage for better graphics or to improve performance. Graphics or Performance, you can tweak Rage to your liking using the developer console or Steam Launch options.

Rage Graphics Tweaks

How To Create Your Config File
You can create your customized config file to host all the changes you make to Rage to fine tune graphics and performance. All you need to do is add some variables by creating .cfg configuration file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\rage\base.

For these variables to have desired effect, you will most certainly need a video card with 1.5GB of Video RAM to enable 8K textures. This is essential if you want to force Rage to look gorgeous. We will talk about how you can tweak Rage to work on an average PC later.

I presume you have created the .cfg file in the base folder of the Rage installation directory as described, now name this configuration file as rageconfig.cfg and add the following text in the notepad.

If you are unsure, how should you go about creating a config file and add command line variables in it, follow the instructions below:

Step 1
Create a text document in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\rage\base folder.

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Step 2
Name this new text document as rageconfig.cfg ‘Change the file extension to .cfg from .txt’.

Step 3
Open this file and paste all the command line variables tweaks in the file and Save.

Step 4
Load Rage and see if the changes have been registered by opening the console before entering the menu. Make sure you don’t see something like commands couldn’t be recognized or something along the lines.

vt_pageimagesizeuniquediffuseonly2 8192
vt_pageimagesizeuniquediffuseonly 8192
vt_pageimagesizeunique 8192
vt_pageimagesizevmtr 8192
vt_maxaniso 4
image_anisotropy 4

How you should customize these command variables greatly depend how good PC you have and how powerful your graphics card is. If you have a graphics card with 3GB of Video RAM, you can change the first four lines to end with 16384, instead of 8192.

Of course if you have an average PC, you should stick with the default values but if you want the high-res Rage 16K textures, you should change these values to 16384.

Currently the game is bugged – read Rage Crashes, Freezes, Errors, so you may not find any improvements for setting the higher values (16384) but after few patches, Rage will give you the intended results of the tweak.

Under 8K textures ‘8192’, Rage runs extremely crisp and everything is high detailed. While Rage runs at extremely low quality textures at 4K textures and if you have high-end system, you can try 16K textures. Unfortunately, I don’t so I can’t give you my insight on that.

The most important benefit of running Rage at 8K textures is that it disables the Auto-Balancer which is the one of the reasons of the game’s texture troubles and other graphics issues. Result ? the game is smooth on medium rig.

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Another important thing that Nvidia found that was that GPU Transcoding Variables in Rage can frame rates, improve in-game visual fidelity, and reduce texture streaming issues. This is a tested phenomenon so don’t forget to add the following variables in your ‘rageconfig.cfg’.

Rage Transcoding Variables Tweaks

0 is off, 1 is on, and 2 is forced, which cannot be set in-game.

At 1 it monitors and cut back the amount of GPU transcoding when the game is expected to render the textures slowly. This prevents the frame rate drop and results in stable performance. It raise/decrease the transcoding rate until a balance is found.

If you force the value to 2, vt_useCudaTrascode will always try to do all the work on the GPU, which can cause frame rate disruptions, especially when rendering Rage at higher resolutions but if you prefer image quality over frame rate stability, go for it.

This variable determines when to increase or decrease workload. The default threshold is 14 miliseconds, well below 16.6 required to maintain 60 FPS. One can’t help but wonder how far the developers have gone to main the frame rates in Rage. Lower the threshold to increase the frame rate and if you want more image quality, raise the threshold.

This variable controls the maximum number of texture pages id Tech 5 engine will try to transcode in a frame. Default is 128, which is also the max. If you are on a slow CPU, you may feel a delay resulting in worse pop-in textures.

If your CPU isn’t fast enough, it is recommended that you lower this value or turn on GPU Transcode. If you enable the GPU Transcode and reduce the value also, it will resolve your texture streaming problems. If not fully resolved, you will definitely see an improvement.

Bethesda/id Software has recommended to add vt_maxPPF 16 to their rageconfig.cfg in an attempt to resolve texture streaming issues. If you are on dual core processor, you should add vt_maxPPF 8 in your ‘rageconfig.cfg’. If these values don’t resolve the texture streaming issue, low the Anti Aliasing or try lowering the resolution.

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Steam Launch Options Tweaks

Add + before any command line variable of Rage and add it to the launch options of Steam for the desired effect. You can play with these values in Steam Launch options to improve graphics and performance of Rage. Or to tweak graphics in a way that would suit you.

+set com_skipIntroVideo 1
Skips the introductory videos.

+cvaradd g_fov XX
XX is the amount you want to add field of view to the default 80. Like if you want your FOV to be 90, you should replace XX with 10. If you want your field of view to be 60, you should replace XX by -20.

+r_swapInterval 1
Force V-Sync to reduce screen tearing.

+vt_maxPPF XX
This command variable is a substitute for the ‘GPU Transcode’ option, if it is not available in the options menu. Both of these options compensate for a GPU that is bottlenecked by the CPU.

If you are trying to run Rage on a dual core machine or similar, you should use a value of 8 or 16. Other values you can use are 8, 16, 32, 64, 128. Follow the trial and error method to find the optimum value which works well with your setup.

+vt_cudaBudget XX
If you have good framerates but want better image quality. Replace XX with 16.6 but do remember that it negatively affects framerate and performance of the game.

Rage Console Tweaks

You will need developer console for various tweaks and workarounds, so it is better that I walk you through how to enable it at the start. To enable the dev console enable the console add +set com_allowconsole 1 to your Steam Launch Options.

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If you want to further customize Rage, type “listcvars” or “listcmds” in Rage console and you will get the list of all the cvars. You can tweak Rage using these console commands in a way you like.

Rage Console Commands

Enter listcvars in the console window and you will find the list of all the cvars that you can use to tweak the game. Copy all the commands and then paste them in a text file so you can use them later. Or you can read these console commands here and here.

If you find it difficult to create your own customized CFG by playing with these variables and need more automated solution, try this tool. It automates everything, you just need to select the settings as you do in game options and the rest is done by the tool as it outputs a working CFG that you can use for Rage.

If you know of any console and graphics variable that increases performance of Rage or improves graphics in any way, share that with us by commenting below!