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Feel Free to Conduct These Dota 2 Performance Tests

For a highly competitive game like Dota 2, facing frame-drops is simply unacceptable. The gameplay needs to be as smooth as possible, even if it comes at the cost of stripped visual fidelity.

The usual methodology for an optimal experience, by players owning aging systems, is to set the graphical settings as low as possible. However, recent patch updates have somehow made the game bulkier, straining systems for more resources than ever.

Last year’s Patch 7.00 made it even more evident, with many players reporting a loss of average frame-rates. So how does one achieve optimal settings to play Dota 2?

Whykrm Reddy, moderator of the game’s subreddit and valuable community contributor, took it upon himself to write a comprehensive guide that details how to conduct performance tests for Dota 2. The results help players to understand how bad the situation is and what measures to take to run the game better.

Note that the performance tests have to be done manually. Valve might integrate an automatic process in the future, but for now you need to get your hands dirty.

Begin by launching Dota 2 and heading into “Advanced Options” in Settings to enable the console. In addition, make sure that all of your drivers are updated.

There are three different scenarios in which you can run performance tests for Dota 2. There may be more scenarios to run the same test in, and you’re free to find that out for yourself.

Simple Performance Test

  • Start a “Hero Demo” of any hero you like
  • Click on the arrow on the side bar to close the Demo Options panel in the demo
  • Level up any skill to make sure the + icon disappears
  • Pause the game
  • Open the console (Default hot-key: `)
  • Enter “exec_async perftest” to run the test
  • Right-Click > Save Log if you are using vconsole to save your test results in a text file

Local Bot Game Performance Test

  • Start a “Bot Game” from the Play Dota Menu
  • Open the console and enter “sv_cheats 1” to enable cheats
  • Close the console
  • Pick a hero and level up any skill to make sure the + icon disappears
  • Run your hero to the center of the map (in the river between mid T1 towers) and wait for creeps to begin fighting
  • Pause the game
  • Open the console (Default hot-key: `)
  • Enter “exec_async perftest” to run the test
  • Right-Click > Save Log if you are using vconsole to save your test results in a text file

Valve Lobby Bot Game Performance Test

  • Create a “New Lobby” from the Play Dota Menu
  • Before you load in to the game, make sure that “Enable Cheats” is enabled in your lobby settings
  • Make sure that the option to “Fill Bots in Empty Slots” is enabled and you are the only player in the lobby
  • Start the game
  • Pick a hero and level up any skill to make sure the + icon disappears
  • Run your hero to the center of the map (in the river between mid T1 towers) and wait for creeps to begin fighting
  • Pause the game
  • Open the console (Default hot-key: `)
  • Enter “exec_async perftest” to run the test
  • Right-Click > Save Log if you are using vconsole to save your test results in a text file

Once the test results are saved, it is time to interpret them for information.

Things To Check

  • Check the Command Line part of your test results to see if there are any launch commands you do not wish to use. If there are, feel free to remove them.
  • Make sure that the Render System is what you want it to be: DirectX, OpenGL, Vulkan or etc..
  • Check if the Driver Name shows the GPU that you intend the game to run it on. If it isn’t, go to your GPU settings and allow Dota 2 to run on your graphics card.
  • Windows DVR feature is known to cause issues with many games including Dota 2. Turn it off if you haven’t already.
  • Network Information is a great feature but it does come at a slight performance cost. If you are facing serious performance issues, try to turn it off if you don’t use it regularly.

Comparing FPS Results

  • If your HALF Resolution FPS is significantly better than Baseline Resolution, reduce the Video > Game Screen Render Quality slider to increase performance.
  • If your REDUCED DRAWING FPS is significantly higher than your Baseline Resolution, turn OFF High Quality Water and set Shadow Quality to Medium or OFF in the Video Options to increase performance.
  • If the Particles Disabled FPS is significantly higher than your Baseline FPS, drop the Effects Quality settings in your Video Options to increase performance.
  • If the Game Only FPS is significantly higher than the Baseline FPS, disable the High Quality UI from Video Options to increase performance.