Starfield has been launched in early access to great fanfare and is proving both critical and commercial success. Being a new next-generation IP and a simultaneous launch on PC, all the eyes are on its performance. Despite having a good start on Series X and S consoles in terms of performance, Starfield has a somewhat rocky launch on PC. The game is extremely demanding even on the latest hardware and struggles to maintain a solid 60fps line. In this guide, we will look at the problems and how can we alleviate them with performance optimization using the best graphical settings in Starfield.
Best Starfield settings to optimize performance
Before diving into the guide, we recommend that you update your Nvidia and AMD drivers to the latest version. They are optimized for Starfield and will result in a much smoother experience overall. Make sure to verify the integrity of your game files from Steam by right-clicking on Starfield and selecting manage. This will prevent you from running into any unexpected behavior.
Starfield comes with a lot of graphics options that suit a modern title perfectly. Sadly, Starfield lacks DLSS and only supports FSR2 (which is good in its own way). Despite having a beefy computer, we ran into a lot of frame rate issues.
With a lot of tweaking over the next few hours, we managed to mitigate a lot of issues with small necessary sacrifices. Below is the list of best settings for Starfield that worked for us. We recommend that you follow these settings as they benefit both high and mid-end computer owners. Your mileage may vary but this is a good baseline if your PC is close to the recommended specs for Starfield. You can further tweak them a bit based on if you wish to improve FPS or visual fidelity in Starfield.
- Borderless Fullscreen: On
- Window Size: Your display’s native resolution
- Dynamic Scaling: Off
- Render Resolution Scale: 75%
- Upscaling: FSR2
- Sharpening: 70%
- Graphics Preset: Custom
- VRS: Off
- Motion Blur: Off
- Film Grain: Off
- Vsync: On (turn it off if you have a VRR display)
- Shadow Quality: Medium
- Indirect Lighting: Medium
- Reflections: Low (can turn it up if you still have some room to spare)
- Particle Quality: Low (greatly impacts performance)
- Volumetric Lighting: Medium (turn low for lower-end systems)
- Crowd Density: Low (it is CPU dependent instead of GPU)
- GTAO Quality: Medium
- Grass Quality: Medium (turn it to low in case of performance hit)
- Contact Shadows: Low
- Depth of Field: Off
With these settings, we got a comfortable 33% performance boost as compared to the game-defined presets. Running Starfield with this performance optimization on a 3080ti card with a modern CPU and 1440p resolution yielded an average of 75 frames in our tests.
We also found a performance patch on Nexus mods that comes with multiple presets. From low to high-end computers, each tier has its own unique performance settings patch. We tried those patches and got a marginal improvement in CPU performance. However, our settings remained best to get maximum performance in Starfield with minimum visual quality loss.