MGSV: The Phantom Pain PC Tweaks Guide to Improve Graphics and Performance

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PC Tweaks guide to help you improve graphics and performance of the game.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PC Tweaks guide to help you improve graphics and performance of the game. There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain would look best once you have tweaked it to suit your machine.

With its powerful Fox Engine, the game is allowed ample freedom on the PC platform as compared to its console counterparts, and despite being a port, it is more or less brilliantly optimized.

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MGSV: The Phantom Pain PC Tweaks

The additional features attempt to push your rig to the limit, but as with almost all PC games, The Phantom Pain offers plenty of in-game options that are sufficient enough to tweak performance and visual quality of the game.

This guide will go through all those options, explaining them in detail, recommending settings, and also highlighting those specific visual effects that have the largest impact on performance and quality.

System Requirements

Before jumping into the settings and their adjustments, it is important to assess in which category your PC falls as far as system requirements are concerned.


  • OS: Windows 7×64, Windows 8×64 (64-bit OS Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4460 (3.40 GHz) or better; Quad-core or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (2GB) or better (DirectX 11 card Required)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Hard Drive: 28 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card


  • OS: Windows 7×64, Windows 8×64 (64-bit OS Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 (3.60GHz) or better; Quad-core or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (DirectX 11 graphic card required)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Hard Drive: 28 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card (Surround Sound 5.1)

In-Game Graphics Settings

Ambient Occlusion
Ambient Occlusion is a graphic feature that creates shadows in contacts between various objects, and also alters lighting in such narrow gaps. The SSAO model is available in Phantom Pain. AO is a GPU intensive feature, and most modern cards can easily handle the effect.

However, there is a larger gap between the High and Extra High settings. Recommended for most users is High, while enthusiasts should aim for Extra High.

Depth of Field
The Depth of Field is the blur effect seen on out of focus objects. The PC version uses a superior Depth of Field technology (via scattering) than the console versions. Depth of field has a mild impact on performance in the game, though there can be drops of up to 5 frame-rates in cutscenes with this setting turned on.

Effects in The Phantom Pain take form of various complex graphic features and animations. Unlike most games, the complexity of these effects takes a significant toll on the performance of the game on the PC, which is why this is one of the first settings that should be altered for improved performance.

Effects influence transient dynamic weather changes like dust-storms, rain, thunderstorms, gadget effects, certain visual effects, and more.

There isn’t much drop in performance between Low and High, but the drop is significant (up to 15 frame-rates) between High and Extra High settings.

On consoles, the number of simultaneously rendered dynamic lights is limited. On PC version however, The Phantom Pain runs with no limitations, which means every possible dynamic light will be rendered on the screen.

Despite this, most modern GPUs handle lighting effects exceptionally well, which is why there isn’t a huge drop in frame-rates between Low and Extra High settings. Keeping this setting on High should be optimum for most users with specs between minimum required and recommended.

Level of Detail
The Level of Detail or Model Detail setting handles geometry complexity in the game. Frame-rate difference between various settings for this graphic feature are minimal. It is generally recommended to keep this setting on High or Extra High, as settings lower than that result in pop-up 3D objects and fade-ins.

Post Processing
The Post Processing title has been given to a rather complex set of features in The Phantom Pain, but the most evident are lens flare, bloom effects, and reflections. In addition, PP also dictates the use of motion blur and Ambient Occlusion, which will not be rendered unless the setting is set to at least High.

While it may sound simple, the sheer scale of the game makes Post Processing an effect (or set of effects) that have a huge impact on performance, which is more evident when transitioning from the High to Extra High settings.

Extra High for this setting should only be reserved for flagship and top-of-the-line PCs. Medium or High work best with most cards.

On PC, the shadow quality is significantly more detailed, with clear, smooth shadows. Despite the brilliant details of shadows with the Fox Engine, its excellent optimization results in minimum impact on performance even on higher settings.

The difference between High and Extra High setting is on average only 1 frame-rate, while the difference between Medium and High is around 3 frame-rates.

Texture Filtering
Texture Filtering ranges from Medium to Extra High, which is basically variations of Anisotropic Filtering used to sharpen textures. It has nearly zero impact on performance, which is why Extra High should be used with almost every modern card.

The Textures setting controls the texture resolutions in the game. The Phantom Pain uses the same textures on PC as used in PS4, though there are options for larger resolutions.

Tinkering with this setting has minimal impact on performance yet significantly visible impact on visuals. The frame-rate difference between Extra High and Low is on average 2fps, so it is recommended to keep it on Extra High for optimum quality.

Volumetric Clouds
The Phantom Pain features dynamic weather systems, and as a result transient cloud formation is a common observation. Volumetric Clouds are 3D clouds that add extra details and body to skies.

The impact on performance varies because of dynamic cloud formations, but during cloudy days the impact can be significant – up to 8fps drop, which may make it a bit expensive for some users.

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) ...