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GTA 5 PC Tweaks Guide to Improve Graphics and Performance
GTA 5 has finally arrived for PC. The proud PC users have long awaited for Rockstar’s award-winning game to come on this platform.
Thankfully, this time around Rockstar has done a considerably better effort in porting the game to the PC. GTA V has a detailed graphics menu and plenty of options available.
Still, the hunger of us PC users for improved performance and visuals (especially visuals) is never fulfilled, which is why most will look for additional methods to improve the overall experience.
If you are experiencing Errors, Crashes and Freezes, read through our Errors Crashes Guide for workarounds.
GTA 5 PC Tweaks
Our guide will help you achieve this objective, listing several general tips, giving out the Command Lines for GTA V, and also suggesting several performance and visual related mods for you folks to try out.
Before we get into the more tricky things such as Command Lines and Modding, you need to have your basics covered. Some of the basic tweaks that you should consider for improved performance/quality are:
- Adjust the in-game settings for optimum balance. Use the benchmarking tool to let the game adjust the settings as it sees best. The settings to look out for are Grass, Shadows, and MSAA – these are the most impactful ones.
- To improve performance, while in the game, use Alt+Tab to minimize. Go into Task Manager and find the process for GTAV. Right click this and Set Priority to High.
- To lower CPU usage, once the game is fully launched, use Alt+Tab to minimize. Go into Task Manager and end the “Grand Theft Auto V Launcher” process by right-clicking and selecting ‘End Process.’ This should greatly reduce the load on your CPU, and is particularly helpful for those running dual-core CPUs.
- Avoid adding a large amount of music to Self Radio. This will greatly increase loading times and can have an impact on performance.
- Make sure you have gotten the latest graphic drivers for your GPU. This in itself can have a huge impact on performance
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at some of the more detailed and intricate things.
GTA 5 PC Command Line Tweaks
Commandline.txt returns in Grand Theft Auto V, and can be used to create a manually configured config file that will be used by the game once it starts.
In order to use these commands, you will need to create a commandline.txt file within the root folder of your GTA V game. After that, open the text file, and past the desired commands from the list below.
Note that many commands have specific values that need to be put in front of them or they will not work. We’ve detailed which ones require these. For such commands, simply separate the value from the command itself with a space. For example: “-fxaa 3” (without the quotations of course).
Below are all the command lines for GTA V:
Starts the benchmark test from the command line. I don’t really see much need for this option.
Optionally output the individual frame times from the benchmark. Again, it’s unlikely you’ll have much use for this command.
Specifies the number of iterations to run the benchmark for. You could use this if you want to have a longer benchmarking process to observe the consistency of your PC’s performance.
Disable audio processing for graphics benchmark purposes.
Specifies an individual benchmark scene test. The values for this command are currently unknown, so best not to use it.
Set Anisotropic Filter Quality Level with this command.
Allows you to control cityDensity. The value range is from 0.0-1.0. I would recommend you to try out different values to get the optimum balance between performance and quality.
Do not allow the window to be resized.
Force 10.0 feature set. Useful for those running older graphic cards.
Force 10.1 feature set. Useful for those running older graphic cards.
Force 11.0 feature set. Best for those with newer graphic cards that support tessellation. Forcing the game to run in DX11 mode can get rid of certain problems.
Enable Lights Volumetric Effects in foggy weather. This can have a high performance impact on your experience, so use it only if you have a powerful rig.
Number of vertical synchronizations to limit game to. Keep this the same value as your screen monitor. The game sometimes will not give you the 60Hz option (will give 59Hz instead), so this is a good command to manually input the desired Vsync.
Force fullscreen mode.
Set FXAA quality. FXAA is the higher standard of antialiasing, and has a whole number values from 0-3. 3 is only recommended for high-end graphic cards.
Manual override GPU Count. Extremely useful if you wish to limit the amount of GPUs used or if the game is failing to utilize multiple GPUs.
Set grass quality. Ranges from 0-5. Tinkering with this option will can add a few frame-rates.
Set the whole rendering pipeline to 16-bit. Not sure why you’d want this.
Enable HD streaming while in flight.
Set height of main render window. The default value is 480, but if you want to increase it you can.
Set LOD Distance Level. The range is from 0.0-1.0. It is highly suggested that you do not mess with this setting unless absolutely necessary.
Disable In-game Depth of Field effects. It may improve performance slightly, but is not one of the major factors effecting your frame-rate.
Don’t use Quaternion Transforms for placed entities. Complex vector transformations that you don’t really need to tinker with unless you really know what you’re doing.
Number of multisamples. The options are 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16. Generally, a value of 4 works best for most medium-end PCs.
Set particle quality. Range is from 0-2. Can improve performance.
Enable particle shadows. Keep them disabled if you want improved performance; enable if you are looking for more detail.
Set Pedestrians LOD Distance Bias.
Set postFX quality. Ranges from 0-3. Lower this value to get improved performance.
Enable reflection map blur.
Set reflection quality. Ranges from 0-3. Lower this value to get improved performance.
Start settings at minimum but don’t save it.
Set shader quality. Ranges from 0-2. Keep this at 2 if you have a decent Dx11 compatible card. For others, try lowering it to improve your performance.
Enable shadow rendering for dusk and dawn. I suggest keeping this disabled unless you have a high-end PC.
Set shadow quality. Range from 0-3. Shadows have a massive impact on performance. This is the first option you should be lowering if you want improved performance.
Selects between linear, rpdb, box 4×4, soft 16. Soft 16 is the best quality, but will have a massive impact on performance.
Set SSAO quality. SSAO is Ambient Occlusion, and its range is from 0-2. This has a considerable impact on performance and quality, so adjust accordingly.
Set tessellation on or off. Ranges from 0-3. For older graphic cards, you should set this off, while newer medium to high end ones should be able to handle 3 comfortably.
Set texture quality. Ranges from 0-2. Texture quality has a minor impact on performance.
Enable NVidia TXAA. Exclusive to Nvidia graphic card owners, TXAA is a special antialiasing technology that demands a high-end card.
Use automatic generated settings. The game will come up with settings that it believes are best for your rig.
Reset settings to the minimum.
Set Vehicles LOD Distance Bias. Ranges between 0.0-1.0f
Set water quality. Water quality will have a minor impact on performance, and ranges from 0-1.
Set width of main render window. The default is 640.
Use the specified screen adapter number. You shouldn’t really be needing this unless you are using multiple monitors.
Set main window to be borderless.
Don’t count hyperthreaded cores as real ones to create tasks on. This can be helpful in certain circumstances where your CPU is seriously being overloaded.
Jump straight to MP while loading. Useful if you’re finding yourself playing more of the MP.
Don’t reset settings with a new card. Useful if you want to test the game out on the same settings with different graphic cards.
Ignore the current profile settings.
Sets the keyboard layout to the specified region.
Game uses mouse exclusively.
If present the game will automatically launch into the multiplayer game in freemode.
Set language game uses. Quite useful if for some reason the game isn’t in the language that you want.
Force windowed mode.
Mods for GTA 5 Tweaks
Thankfully, GTA V allows the PC master-race to take complete control of the game and come up with awesome modes for even further tweaking. There are already lots of high-quality mods out there for those who want to get the best out of the game, both visually and technically.
A Word of Warning: Avoid mods if you plan to play the multiplayer frequently, as certain mods can get you banned. Use at your own risk for the singleplayer campaign. We are not responsible for any mishaps that occur by using any of the mods suggested below.
Field of View
A mod by Reddit user DrDraxxy that allows you to freely adjust your game’s Field of View is available. This powerful tool will allow you to freely adjust the FoV of the game according to your liking.
You need to have Visual C++ 2013 x64 runtime for this mod to work:
- To install the mod, download it first from here.
- Navigate to your GTA V root folder (…Steam\SteamApps\common\Grand Theft Auto V).
- Extract fov.txt and dsound.dll into that folder.
- Open the fov.txt and adjust the value according to your liking.
Note that using this mod will disable the slider from the camera menu in the game.
Using SweetFX Antialiasing for Improved Performance
SweetFX is a handy tool that enhances graphics of certain games. Sadly, it is a tool that has limited application, since most games don’t support it. Thankfully, GTA series tends to work well with it.
The SweetFX tool has its own Antialiasing method (along with tons of other options) that allow one to completely override in-game settings. If you’re like majority of gamers, you absolutely hate the jagged lines and want to use antialiasing.
GTA V’s own native antialiasing has a huge impact on performance, so a good workaround is to use SweetFX’s own antialiasing which doesn’t take up much juice. It’s effective and satisfying, especially considering the tons of other options it comes with.
Guru3d.com has an excellent post on what SweetFX is, and how to install it into any game.
Improved Post Processing Effects
GTA V’s post-processing effects like Motion Blur and Depth of Field are nice, but they aren’t extraordinary. Because of this reason, the game looks ultra-sloppy and stutters are more evident during fluctuation of frame-rates or if you are having innately low fps.
In order to get around this, GTA Forums user bartekxyz has created a phenomenal mod that greatly enhances these post processing effects, giving added realism and making lower fps much more bearable because of the ‘movie-like’ motions of characters and world objects through this mod.
The in-depth details of the mod and how to install it are given here. Furthermore, there are numerous kinds of tweaks to take use of, so if you want ones that only target motion blur (or only DoF), they are available. Be sure to check them out.