Considering the presentation and texture details, The Witcher 2 no doubt is a splendid game .It has been released on PC exclusively but an Xbox version will also be released later this year.
If you don’t have a high-end PC and want to make the game run smoother or are experiencing some performance issues, explore the following tweak guide to improve the performance. Let’s start with the system requirements for the game.
The Witcher 2 – Minimum System Requirements
Processor: Core 2Duo 2.2 GHz or dual core AMD 2.5 GHz
RAM: 1 GB Windows XP, 2 GB Windows Vista/7
Graphics: GeForce 8800 512 MB or Radeon (HD3850 512 MB)
HDD Space: 16 GB
The Witcher 2 – Recommended System Requirements
Processor: Quad Core Intel or AMD
RAM: 3 GB Windows XP, 4 GB Windows Vista/7
Graphics: GeForce 260 1 GB or (HD4850 1 GB)
HDD Space: 16 GB
The game will run great on i7 but everyone does not have it. No need to worry as some of the tweaks below will make it run better even on your Core 2 Due processor.
Let’s first discuss some technical issues with the game:
The Witcher 2 – Known Technical Issues
It is not recommended that you play .avi or any other movie files in the background while playing the game. It can result in random crashes. You may even have to restart your system before the game gets back to normal.
Anti-aliasing and crossfire features on AMD cards don’t seem to be friendly and may result in reduced performance. So if you are running the game on AMD cards, it is recommended that you turn off anti-aliasing and disable one GPU of the two.
The game on AMD cards may take longer time to load so you need to be patient till it is loaded. There are some AMD cards that may not allow you to play the game in full screen mode. You can get more detailed take on technicalities in our Witcher 2 Troubleshooting Guide.
The Witcher 2 Configuration Tweaks
There are plenty of options you can change from the game’s configuration tool. You can find this tool in the bin folder in root directory. If you don’t want any fuss then click the auto-detect option to load the standard recommended settings.
If you experience poor performance with the standard game settings then allow me to explain the impacts these advanced settings have on your game before you tweak different settings.
It’s a universal rule for any game that increase in resolution will result in decrease of FPS while the decrease can increase the frame rates considerably. I will recommend that on a PC lower than i7, you should not exceed 1280 or 1024 until or unless you have a high-end GPU or multiple GPUs.
You can change the resolution and then select the one that suits you the best. If you want to your experience to be smooth, you should at least play the game on 40-50 FPS. If you are playing on any value below this, you should tweak these settings.
Note. Ultra settings (max option you can select from the tool) does not mean that you are getting most out of the game as some options like textures still won’t be working at their full strength.
This option no doubt reduce the tearing effect but can reduce the FPS up to 50 percent. You don’t want that if you are already running the game on below 40. An alternate option is that you keep Vertical-sync off and use the triple-buffering instead to improve the performance.
Textures and Shadows
You may want to set these settings to low or medium on a low end PC. They won’t affect the FPS that much but the random shuttering slowdowns will be reduced. The amount you choose to allocate the texture memory should be lesser than your VRAM of your GPU.
Very Small= 100MB
Very Large= 600MB
This option has minimal impact on frame rates. It improves the quality of the shadows of different objects in the game. The changes are hard to notice though.
Number of Shadowed Lights
It increases or decreases the number of lights that can cast shadows at a time. Decreasing this option will improve the frame rates. Ultra or High quality may result in reduced performance specially when the magical spells are caste.
Decrease in distance will cause boost in FPS as the surrounding environment will start losing the details with decreased distance.
It’s for the glowing effect in the game. You will notice the difference if you look at the sky with the option enabled. Does not have significant impact on FPS but if you are using a low-end PC, I will recommend this option to be disabled.
This option can have a significant role in FPS. It imparts the glimmering effect of sunlight. If you are facing low FPS, you can live without glimmering sunlight, Right?
Blur effects are usually prominent in distress or unusual situations. Does not have a significant impact on frames but can be troublesome if your game starts slowing down in crowded situations with lots of NPCs or a fight with Big Boss. So if it is troubling you, disable it for the greater good.
Depth of the Field
It improves the sharpness and detail of the area ahead of you while making the area behind you blurry and foggy. If you disable, it will stabilize the frames. I would recommend keeping this option since its effects are implemented throughout the game. If you have no other choice, you can disable it.
It won’t bring any significant change in FPS or the presentation inside the game.
Wet Surfaces Rain Effect
It has a much effect on FPS. So if you are struggling with poor performance, you need to keep this option disabled.
This feature imparts richness and realism to shadows. It has a significant effect on FPS. So if you are struggling to get good performance, this option should remain disabled.
This effect is more significant when you move the camera speedily. I will recommend to disable this setting even at medium spec systems.
Depth of Field in Cutscenes
If your cut scenes are performing poorly then this option should be disabled.
Dangling Objects Limit
This option will improve or reduce the quality of dangling objects like Geralt’s hair or clothes etc. With the setting enabled, the objects won’t cease to move but the reduced motion will improve the performance to some extent specially on low-end PCs.
This option improves the textures and makes the arbitrary lines smooth. If you are on an average or low-end PC, don’t even think about enabling this feature as it can reduce the frame rates up to 60 percent. This feature works great with multiple GPU systems.
This feature improves the quality of spots like blood or dust etc. There is no significant change in FPS associated with this feature. During the crowded fights when there is a lot of blood, performance may decrease a bit depending upon the specifications of your system.
The Witcher 2 User.ini Tweaks
Those who want to tweak the game further by editing user.ini file found in \My Documents\Witcher 2\Config\ can change some values manually to improve the performance of the game.
You can place the dangleslimiter value to zero to remove the limit completely.
The texture storage memory as mentioned before should be changed depending upon the VRAM of the GPU. It should be half not more than half of the total VRAM available.
You can also decrease the view distance of your character to decrease the level of detail which can improve the frame rates. You can set it lower than 1 or increase above 1 depending upon your requirement.
If the second command is not found in the user.ini file, you can add it yourself.
To adjust the shadow quality which can have a significant role in FPS boost, you need to open the file named preset.ini in the \My Documents\Witcher 2\Config\profiles\ folder and tweak the following commands.
Note. It is recommended that you use the configuration tools first and then if you feel the need, change these variables in the .ini files.
Thanks. Koroush Ghazi
The Witcher 2 Mods
Then you can use different The Witcher 2 mods for all sorts of customization of the game. But, bear in mind, that these mods are not supported officially so use them at your own risk.
If you know anything else that has an impact on the game performance, you can share it with us. We will add it in. If you face any problem while doing these tweaks, let us know in comments, and we will help you out.