Saints Row 4 Tweaks Guide – Tweaking Display.ini For Graphics and Performance


Isn’t it just great to be a PC gamer? I mean, you get to fiddle around with all kinds of complex settings to tweak your performance according to your need, and with a bit of patience can get results that will make you do the boogie.

Saints Row 4 PC Tweaks

Saints Row 4 for the PC is no different, and you can gain access some to advanced settings through the .ini files present in its native folder (mostly found in the Steam folder).

Now, there’s a lot of messy stuff in that place, and altering some unwanted variables can make your game unplayable, so you should be quite knowledgeable in what you are doing… or you could just use the aid of this tweaks guide right here.

Note that you should be doing all this stuff at your own risk; we are not responsible for any damage you do to your gaming experience.

Your Display.ini File
So in order to make some visual changes, you need to gain access to your Display setting file, which is located in:

…steamapps/common/Saints Row IV

Once you find the Display.ini file, open it up with notepad and have a look through all that mess. Now isn’t that something? Yeah, you’ll be going through all that crap to find some variables, change their values, and then see eye-candy.

Alternatively, if you have an outdated PC, then you can tone down some stuff for improved performance. Don’t worry, we won’t advise you to ‘go buy a new computer’, unlike every other person.

Now, there is something you should remember about the Display.ini file: all the data resets every time you change a setting through the in-game options, so it’s best to avoid doing that after fiddling around with it.

Got it? Good. We’re going to skip the Diplay.ini file for just a while, and focus on something most people are complaining about instead.

Field of View
A PC gamer knows that a bad Field of View can truly ruin a good experience. Contrary to common misconception, this applies just as well to 3rd person games as it does to FPS titles, so we really need to address this issue.

Sadly, there is no direct way to alter the FOV of Saints Row IV directly through the video settings or the Display.ini. But, there is a nice little alternative, which will require you to download a certain file.

You can get a camera mod for Saints Row from the PCGaming Wiki Filespace. Extract the xbtl file located within to the root Saints Row IV folder that was mentioned earlier. This xbtl file should be named camera_free.xbtl.

You can edit the xbtl file in Notepad to tweak the field of view according to your liking. My personal settings are around 90 units, but people like to play at 110 or so. Experiment to find that sweet spot.

Now that we have the Field of View issue out of the way, let’s look at some of the more conventional tweaks that can be done in the Display.ini file.

Display and Performance Tweaks

The first thing you want to do in the Display.ini is set your Preset. This has values from 1 to 5 for low, medium, high, ultra-high, and custom settings. Since we want to take things in our own control, we will set the value to 5.

Preset = 5

Next, have a look at the following variables:

TextureDetailLevel:

This increases or decreases the texture detail in your game. Basically, setting it to 1 will make it toggle high resolution texture. People with low end PCs will want to make sure this is set to 0, while those with good computers should have a value of 1.

AnisoLevel:

This is your anisotropic filtering. It does generally have an impact on performance on low end PCs, but anyone with a decent enough graphics card won’t notice much difference. I would recommend a value of 16 for medium to high end computers.

AnisoLevel = 16

And a value of between 0 and 8 for low end computers.

AnisoLevel = 0

LightingDetail:

Here’s one setting high end PC users will want to adjust. Most of the times even with the ‘ultra-high’ preset selected, Lighting Detail will remain at 2, although its highest setting is 3. So, for some extra eye-candy I would highly recommend adjusting this. Folks with low end PCs might want to keep it at 1, which is low setting.

LightingDetail = 3

SSAO_Level:

SSAO stands for Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, and it a method with which the graphics processor can render the ambient occlusion effect. This is a high-end setting, so you definitely want it at 0 if you have a low-end computer. For those with a pretty good rig, consider setting it to 3. Basically the values are 0, 1, 2 or 3 for off, accumulative SSAO, regular SSAO, and hi-res SSAO.

SSAO_Level = 3

ShadowDetail:

Now, Shadow Detail in SRIV’s ini actually means shadow map resolution, so you will be selecting incremental values starting from 512 for this. The values are 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, and so on. I personally think 2048 is perfect for high-end games, while 0 can be used to disable Shadows altogether, ideal for those low end PCs.

ShadowDetail = 2048

ScreenDetail:

Screen Detail controls the geometric details of the screen. This is basically a mix of Level of Detail (LOD), view distance, and additional on-screen elements. Messing around with this can greatly improve performance or visuals. The values are 1, 2, and 3 for low, medium, and high. 1 is perfect for low-end gamers, while 3 is what high-end PC users should be looking for.

ScreeDetail = 3

Reflections:

Well, you know what reflections are. The values run from 0 to 2 for off, low, and high.

Reflections = 2

MotionBlur:

You should also know what Motion Blur is. Note that Post Processing will override this option, forcing it ON even when it is set to false.

MotionBlur = false

PostProcess:

Post Processing is a highly complex rendering option that has a huge impact on performance and quality. Having post processing on will send your low-end PC to oblivion.

Additionally, having it on will make give a huge improvement in the image quality. This is stuff high-end PC gamers should be using. The values range between 0 and 2 for off, low, and high.

PostProcess = 2

DDoF:

DDoF or draw depth of field is an option that may or may not be present in your Display.ini file. You can only use this if you have LightingDetail set to 3. High-end PC users might want to add this line:

DDof = 2

Note that if this is enabled, bokeh Dof will automatically be enabled for those with DX11 video cards.

Well, that’s about it. If you have any additional tweaks you would like to suggest, please do so in the comments section below.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...