Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tweaks Guide

Our Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tweaks Guide will help you with all of the graphical settings available for the game along with providing you with best possible settings for 1080p/60 FPS experience. Nixxes Software has done an incredible job on the PC version of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and not to mention the incredible implementation of DirectX 12.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tweaks

There are a lot of graphical settings for the PC version of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and each having its own impact on the performance.

Our Shadow of the Tomb Raider PC Tweaks Guide will help you with all of the graphical settings and will provide you with the best possible settings for 1080p/60 FPS experience for low-end, mid-range, and high-end systems.

FPS Boost

Before we start discussing each individual setting and its performance impact, let’s take a look at a couple of ways in which you can potentially boost your FPS without compromising much of the visual settings.

First up is making sure that there is no background process running that is using CPU or HDD. Open “Task Manager” and see if there is a process using too much of your CPU or HDD and terminate it.

Your game settings may also not be optimized in the Steam Client; So in order to force the game to run well, go to “SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, choose “Properties” and in the compatibility tab, check the box with “Disable Full Screen Optimization”.

With these changes in place, you need to make sure that Steam launches the game at high priority. Go to your steam library, choose the “Properties” of the game and in general tab, enter the launch option. Here, Type in the “-high” command (without the inverted commas). Press “OK” and close the window.

Furthermore, if you have a GPU that supports DirectX 12 then make sure to enable it as the game has been optimized for DirectX 12 and is the recommended graphics API by the developers. As compared to DirectX 11, DX12 features better overall performance.

If you are a Nvidia GPU owner especially if you own a GTX 10 series GPU with a good CPU, then open Nvidia Control Panel and select Manage 3D settings.

Now select program settings and select Shadow of the Tomb Raider from the list. Go through the options and set V-sync to “Fast”. If you have the GPU and CPU headroom, then this will definitely give you a significant FPS boost and potentially locked 60 FPS experience.

Also, disable Nvidia Highlights for the game as Shadow of the Tomb Raider is having issues with this particular feature.

Further, in Manage 3D Settings, enter the Program Settings. From here, select Shadow of Tomb Raider and enable Thread Optimization. Also set Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames to 1.

If you are using Nvidia GPU, you should have the 399.24 driver (or later) update installed, and if you are using AMD GPU, you should have the 18.8.2 driver (or later) update installed.

Texture Quality
Most of the PC gamers would understand what Texture Quality stands for video games. For those who don’t know, this graphical setting controls the quality of the in-game textures.

The higher the setting is set to, the better the Texture quality will be in-game. However, this is one of the graphical settings in Shadow of the Tomb Raider that demands a significant amount of VRAM and GPU resources.

If you have a high-end PC then crank it to Ultra, however, depending on your system you might have to drop this setting down a bit.

Texture Filtering
This graphical setting determines the texture quality at a certain distance from the player when viewed from a certain angle. I would recommend that you don’t drop this setting below 8x and if you have the system and go for 16x for best visual presentation.

Shadow Quality
Shadows are one of the most demanding graphical settings in any PC game and Shadow of the Tomb Raider is no exception. However, the performance impact of the Shadow Quality is absolutely justified as it not only makes the scene look more realistic but also makes the transition between areas look realistic.

If you have the GPU that can handle this setting than crank it up to Ultra. However, if you are playing on the mid-range system or a laptop and want a smooth experience then try setting it to Medium or Low.

However, dropping this setting down will come at the cost of the over the visual fidelity of the scene as the shadows will become increasingly unrealistic as the setting in dropped.

Ambient Occlusion
Ambient Occlusion is also one of the most demanding video game settings. In the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, there are two options to select from which are BTAO and HBAO+.

For those who don’t know, Ambient Occlusion allows for the realistic casting of shadows in the overall scene making the scene much more realistic to look at.

BTAO is the ambient occlusion technique developed by Eidos Montreal that offers a significant improvement to the overall scene for a small cost on performance.

HBAO+, on the other hand, is exclusive to Nvidia GPUs but offers much more realistic results for the overall scene. However, this settings will cost you a significant amount of performance.

If you have a high-end system then HBAO+ is recommended otherwise set it to BTAO for mid-range systems.

Depth of Field
Depth of Field simulates the effect of a camera while focusing on a single object and blurring the rest of the scene. If you set it to normal, this effect will only come into play during cutscenes.

However, set it to high and the effect will start appearing in gamely giving you the effect of a camera following the character and its movement.

This graphical setting doesn’t have much of a performance impact, however, setting it to high to enable it in gameplay will be a personal preference as some players don’t like Depth of Field during gameplay. However, if you have a low-end GPU then disable it.

Level of Detail
Level of Detail determines the distance at which the objects will fade into low-quality models and the higher the setting is the higher the performance cost will be.

Lowering this setting will reduce the distance at which the objects will fade to their low-quality models.

Tessellation is actually related to the Terrain Quality. This graphical setting adds displacement maps to the surfaces along with adding geometry giving the Terrain a realistic look.

However, this setting is a real GPU resource eater and needs to disabled for lower-end systems.

This graphical setting allows for a realistic transition between a dark area and a brightly lit area. Requires relatively fewer GPU resources.

Motion Blur
When enabled this graphical setting blurs the surroundings while the character or the camera is moving. This serves two purposes.

The first purpose of Motion Blur is that if you are playing the game at variable FPS then this setting will somewhat hide the FPS drops and will give you a smooth experience compared to it being off. The second purpose is to make the scene realistic.

Motion Blur doesn’t require many resources so I would suggest that you enable it if the game is running at variable FPS or dropping below 60 FPS.

However, at locked 60 FPS enabling Motion Blur is a personal preference as some players don’t like the effect at all.

Screen Space Reflections
These are reflection created on the surfaces for the on-screen objects. Doesn’t require a lot of GPU resources and demands a reasonable system.

Screen Space Contact Shadows
This particular graphical setting in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is actually CPU demanding rather than GPU. Screen Space Contact Shadows allows for pixel perfect casting of shadows from the object. The higher the setting the more CPU is required so, set it according to your CPU.

Pure Hair
Pure Hair is exclusive to Nvidia GPUs that makes Lara Croft’s hair to react realistically to her movement along with simulating individual strands of hair.

Needless to say, it is quite demanding so keep is disabled if you have a mid-range or low-end Nvidia GPU.

Volumetric Lighting
Volumetric Lighting allows for the in-game light to realistically simulate in every scene. Enabling this setting will see each scene is filled with volumetric lights and light passing through leaves and dust particles will create realistic beams otherwise known as God Rays.

Lens Flares
This graphical setting simulates the scattering of the light on a camera lens. This is a personal preference.

Screen Effects
This setting enables effects like blood and dust hitting on camera to enhance the third-person viewing experience. This setting is also a personal preference.

Tweaks For High-End Systems

Before we start let me clarify that by the High-end system I mean Core i7 processor at least 6th-gen, 16 GB RAM, at least GTX 1070.

If you have a system that matches these specs then just crank up the settings to ultra for 1080p resolution and enable DirectX 12 for a smooth 1080p/60 FPS experience.

Tweaks For Mid-Range Systems

By Mid-Range system I mean Intel Core i5 at least 6th-gen with 8-12 GB of RAM, GTX 1060 6 GB at 1080p resolution.

Texture Quality: High
Texture filtering: 8x-16x
Shadow Quality:Medium
Ambient Occlusion: BTAO or HBAO+ (for Nvidia GPUs)
Depth of Field: Normal
Level of Detail: Medium
Tessellation: Off
Bloom: On
Motion Blur: On
Screen Space Reflections: On
Screen Space Contact Shadows: Normal
Pure Hair: Normal
Volumetric Lighting: On
Lens Flare: On
Screen Effects: On

Low-End Systems

By low-end system, we mean a system with Intel Core i3 at least 5th-gen, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050 3 GB. Here are the settings for a 1080p/60 FPS experience.

Texture Quality: Medium
Texture filtering: 4x
Shadow Quality:Low
Ambient Occlusion: BTAO
Depth of Field: Normal
Level of Detail: Low
Tessellation: Off
Bloom: On
Motion Blur: On
Screen Space Reflections: On
Screen Space Contact Shadows: Disable
Pure Hair: Off
Volumetric Lighting: Off
Lens Flare: On
Screen Effects: On

That is all for our Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tweaks Guide with tips on each individual graphical settings and what settings are best for 1080p/60 FPS experience.

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