Dishonored PC Tweaks Guide – Graphics and Performance

By   /   Oct 10, 2012


Dishonored is one game that really takes players away from the conventions of the modern gaming days and back to those classy chilling times where story and atmosphere mattered more than anything else.

Arkane Studios wittily chose the ever-dependable Unreal Engine 3 for the cause, and though it hasn’t been used to its full potential, it definitely has enough to correctly depict the fantasy and mystery-filled city of Dunwall.

The other benefit you get from the Unreal Engine 3 is the fact that it can be tweaked and messed with to get the visuals of your choice. The in-game options for the PC are a bit limited, but that shouldn’t be a problem for any expert gamer with a know-how of the INI files.

A Word of Warning!
Make sure you back up both save game files and the files that you will be tweaking! We are NOT responsible for any damage that could be caused with excessive experimentation with the game system files.

The Configuration Files:
Like many other games, the config files of Dishonored are in the ‘.ini’ format, which can be opened with Notepad. They can be found in the following location:

\Documents\My Games\Dishonored\DishonoredGame\Config

Again, make sure you back them up before making changes in case something goes wrong.

Disable Startup Movies
To disable startup movies, you have excess to multiple variables, and like the gameplay of the game itself, you have a variety of options at hand as to how you would disable movies.

You will find everything you need in the DishonoredEngine.ini file.

If you want to disable ALL the in-game movies, search for the following variable:

bForceNoStartupMovies

Set the value of the variable to TRUE, to make it look like:

bForceNoStartupMovies=TRUE

If you want to disable some specific movies, you can choose to find the following variables:

StartupMovies=Black_266ms
StartupMovies=ZenimaxLegal
StartupMovies=ZenimaxLegalFR
StartupMovies=LogoBethesda
StartupMovies=LogoArkane
StartupMovies=UE3_logo
StartupMovies=Legal
StartupMovies=Loading

Just at a semicolon (;) to the start of the desired variable to prevent the game from reading that variable and hence disabling the movie.

It should look like this:

;StartupMovies=Black_266ms
;StartupMovies=ZenimaxLegal
;StartupMovies=ZenimaxLegalFR
;StartupMovies=LogoBethesda
;StartupMovies=LogoArkane
;StartupMovies=UE3_logo
;StartupMovies=Legal
;StartupMovies=Loading

Improving Shadow Quality
If you are playing on high resolution, you might not be too happy with the game’s shadow quality. Don’t worry, as there is a way to improve them.

Again looking in the DishonoredEngine.ini file, search for the following variable:

MaxShadowResolution
MaxWholeSceneDominantShadowResolution

Set the values of these variables to 4096. They should look like:

MaxShadowResolution=4096
MaxWholeSceneDominantShadowResolution=4096

Check in-game and you should notice a difference. Do note however, that this may cause loss in performance.

Disable Framerate Smoothing
Frame-rate smoothing is a variable that attempts to sort of improve the change in frame-rates in the game. This however can actually cause some performance drop. If you have variable frame-rates in the game along with stuttering, you might want to disable it.

Search the DishonoredEngine.ini file for the following:

bSmoothFrameRate

If it is set to TRUE, then disable it by changing it to FALSE to make it look like this:

bSmoothFrameRate=FALSE

Improve Frame-rates
Two of the main things that may cause performance issues are lighting and shadows. These two can be dealt with easily by change a few variables.

Search the DishonoredEngine.ini file for the following:

DynamicLights
DynamicShadows
bAllowLightShafts

Set them all to FALSE. They should look like:

DynamicLights=False
DynamicShadows=False
bAllowLightShafts=False

Adjusting FOV and Zoom
Though Dishonored gives you the option of increasing the Field of View in the in-game options menu, it is limited to a weird value of 85.

If you are the kind of person who prefers better viewing, then you should consider changing that manually. This can be done by creating a binding to one of your keys through the DishonoredInput.ini file.

Open the file, and search for the commands that start with “m_PCBindings”

At the bottom of those commands, add the following:

m_PCBindings=(Name=”F10″,Command=”FOV 85″,Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False)
m_PCBindings=(Name=”F12″,Command=”FOV XXX”,Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False)

The first command will allow you to make your Field of View to 85 by pressing F10. The second command will allow you to increase your FOV beyond that 85 limit to whatever you want when you press F12 – just replace the XXX with your desired number (I recommend not going above 115).

Now, to increase the Zooming feature (which is a Power-up in the game), find the following command:

BaseBindings=(Name=”GBA_Zoom”,Command=”Dis_Zoom”)

Replace this with the following:

BaseBindings=(Name=”ZoomIn”,Command=”Dis_Zoom | FOV 35 | setbind RightMouseButton ZoomOut”,Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False,LeftT rigger=False,RightTrigger=False,bIgnoreCtrl=False, bIgnoreShift=False,bIgnoreAlt=False)

BaseBindings=(Name=”ZoomOut”,Command=”Dis_Zoom | FOV XXX | setbind RightMouseButton ZoomIn”,Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False,LeftTr igger=False,RightTrigger=False,bIgnoreCtrl=False,b IgnoreShift=False,bIgnoreAlt=False)

Replace the XXX in the second command with whatever your standard FOV is. Basically, by reducing that ‘35’ to even a lower value, you will zoom in even more.

If you have any additional tweaks that would greatly aid players in improving performance and/or enhancing the experience, please share with us by commenting below.

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