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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Outriders is a smoother ride with these small tweaks

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Outriders has caught our attention this week. It’s a game that has spurred mixed emotions from players and critics alike: some say it’s the best thing since sliced bread, while others, including our own Morgan Park, aren’t convinced it’s worth the price of admission. Either way, it sounds like there’s some potential in this game to stick around and that means you should spend a moment in the settings menu to ensure it’s finely-tuned and operating at its best.

API – DirectX 12 or DirectX 11?

If you’re playing on PC, the first decision you’ll be confronted with when booting the game is whether you want to play with DirectX 11 (DX11) or DirectX 12 (DX12). Naturally, you’re probably going to want to pick the newer of the two, DX12, and that’s sure to be the API of choice back at Outriders HQ for its potential gains.

In my testing there wasn’t much to be gained performance-wise from either API, but it’s widely reported that stuttering issues may occur with DX12, in which case you may find DX11 a handy alternative. Historically DX11 has provided a more stable option to DX12, which has more than its fair share of oddities over the years. 

Cinematic Camera Smoothing

If there’s one thing that’s immediately noticeable in cinematics when you begin playing Outriders (at least once you jump into a tête-à-tête) it’s the camera shake. It’s like watching an Armando Iannucci show. Yet something about the space-age, everything has gone to shit context doesn’t fit the almost comedic shaky-cam style.

So I highly recommend you take a look at the Cinematic Camera Smoothing setting under the Gameplay tab in settings. There you can dial back the shake to your heart’s content. I recommend starting out at 0.25 and working your way up from there if it’s still not suitable.

Cinematic Max FPS

Cinematic Max FPS is fairly self-explanatory. If you’re not pleased with the 30fps default framerate for the in-game cinematics, you can crank this up for a much smoother image. I highly recommend you use this alongside the Cinematic Camera Smoothing setting. Otherwise it may get a little nauseating.

Nvidia DLSS

DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling. It’s a feature included with modern Nvidia graphics cards, of the RTX 20-series and 30-series, and uses machine learning to upscale any given frame. In our case, it’s the key to high frame rates in Outriders on compatible cards. 

There are a couple of settings to choose from: Quality, Balanced, Performance, Ultra-Performance. 

You’re sacrificing clarity and detail for speed with every notch towards performance you get. Outriders operates on DLSS 2.0, however, which is Nvidia’s second major attempt at nailing AI-powered upscaling, and it has been very successful in doing just that. As such, depending on the resolution and settings, you may be hard-pressed to tell the difference between native and DLSS at times.

That’s not to say you won’t notice any difference at the extremes of the equation. At the Performance and Ultra-Performance levels you may notice the lack of clarity in your character’s hair, for example, but these will offer the highest framerates.

For an idea of what to expect in terms of the performance boost from DLSS, here are the results from my own in-game testing.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Outriders DLSS benchmark results
DLSS Avg (fps) 0.1 percent lows (fps)
Ultra-Performance 176 136
Performance 150 122
Balanced 141 107
Quality 125 61
Disabled 107 62

You can also check out the comparative images below to help make up your mind, but my recommendation is see how you fare with the quality DLSS setting and only change it if you’re not satisfied with your framerates from there.

Image 1 of 5

DLSS Ultra Performance

Auto Loot Minimum Rarity

Dip away from the graphics settings for a moment and you’ll find this handy gameplay setting. By default this is set to ‘Epic’, which ensures any loot of epic or greater value will be automatically swept into your character’s kit. Drop it right down to common and you’ll become a cosmic magpie. Congratulations. 

Other tips and fixes

Here are a few tips and fixes we’ve found useful, or even essential, during our time in Outriders. Click on the links for more:

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