Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here on PC, and it has a ton of graphics settings to play with. It's also had a rough launch on PC for many players, though after a month of patches things are settling down.
Let's get to it. We've retested and updated these charts with benchmarks run in mid-December, after multiple patches plus driver updates. The good news: Things are much better now. See below for the full details, along with our Performance Analysis article. Thanks, MSI! Looking at the PC features, the list of graphics settings is good if perhaps a bit overkill see below. Resolution support is good—I was able to select widescreen, ultrawide, and doublewide resolutions, as well as old school stuff like x RDR2 shows some odd behavior in fullscreen modebut running in borderless windowed mode fixes the problem.
Controller support and remapping the controls get green happy faces. The latter is pretty much required unless you have extra fingers and appendages, or like the brain-bending camera-relative horse controls for some reason.
Official mod support isn't really a thing, but there are already quite a few mods available for the singleplayer campaign, and more are likely to show up. Rockstar is taking the same stance as with GTA5: no mods for multiplayer or you might get banned, but for singleplayer use mods are generally okay. Just be careful if you're toying with mods and then launch Red Dead Online—you'll want to remove any extra files first.
One final piece of good news is that, like Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption 2 is officially component agnostic. The game will attempt to auto-detect settings that it deems appropriate for your hardware, but you'll almost certainly end up wanting to tweak things.
There's a slider labeled "Quality Preset Level" that might seem like a good starting point, but it has 21 tick marks available, many of them overlap, and it has nebulous targets: 'favor performance,' 'balanced,' and 'favor quality.
The issue is that one PC's 'balanced' settings won't always be the same as another PC, and many of the advanced settings which are locked by default get set to different values depending on your CPU and GPU. Figuring out exactly how to reliably benchmark RDR2 took a bit of trial and error, but I've got that sorted out now. The simple solution is to manually configure every setting for each hardware combination, after cranking the variable "Quality Preset Level" to minimum or maximum —annoying, but it could be worse.
I've included a large selection of current graphics cards and CPUs, and performance at maximum quality is clearly a problem with current hardware. I've standardized on the Vulkan API, which is the default and appears to be the focus of most of the performance improvements since launch.
DX12 may in some cases deliver better performance, so if you're using Vulkan and performance seems bad, try DX12—and vice versa. Also note that 3GB cards can't even attempt to run with all settings at ultra, and 2GB cards are limited to low on many settings. If you just stick with the default settings on a p display or drop to p on a higher resolution monitoryou'll probably be okay.
Running through Red Dead Redemption 2's graphics settings, there are about 40 different options to adjust. As a baseline measurement of performance, I unlock the advanced graphics settings and set everything in there to minimum, then drop the Quality Preset Level to minimum, and finally I set the main options to maximum quality but leave MSAA off. That's the starting point for my "ultra quality" and the above settings performance charts on the RTX and RX The difference between maximum and minimum on the Quality Preset Level when customizing all the other settings isn't massive, but it's measurable and it's best to be sure.
You can see specific image shots of my test settings in the above gallery, if you're interested. Note that the latest patch has made a few minor changes in the advanced settings.Home Discussions Workshop Market Broadcasts. Change language. Install Steam. Store Page. Red Dead Redemption 2 Store Page. Global Achievements.
Red Dead Redemption 2 looks and plays best on Xbox One X
Nekros View Profile View Posts. Is anyone else having this problem that hairs and beards look awfully bad? I have most of the settings on Ultra and High and hairs still look like taken from game.
Also shadows on Arhur are weirdly pixelated and it really makes the game look bad. Anyone found a fix for that? Last edited by Nekros ; 16 Dec, pm.
Showing 1 - 15 of 31 comments. I think hair looks just not that good, but what are your shadow settings? I think they will still look worse when overall shadow quality is lower, but not sure. I just hope I will find a fix to this because I've searched everywhere and no success. I can live with these shadows but hair looks even worse than on consoles and it doesn't feel good.
I tried now changing all the shadows on Ultra and still it looks like that. It's just like the game engine prevents my game to look good lol. Daxank View Profile View Posts. They add a bunch of floating pixels to all shadows to make them look "soft" thus making them not look soft Turning off soft shadows seems to help a lot despite the fact that some of the shadows still look weird hah But maybe it's the game problem.
Now what remains is that hair textures. From what I see in some Youtube videos people have quite smooth shining hairs while in my game it looks a bit hmm grainy? It's like hair is on medium or low settings. Originally posted by Nekros :. I will try setting TAA on medium when I'm back from work. MSAA didn't help by the way. Game looked better yesterday surprisingly, don't know what happened but shadows are still low in resolution.
Originally posted by Daxank :. Ok, so after a few days with mixing some settings game looks better but hair still looks grainy. I just started to wear the hat all the time to not look at it lol. And I was thinking i was the only one :D Rest from the game looks fantastic. Per page: 15 30 But, it has been the same with the GTA series, Rockstar games always launch exclusively on the console, and then moves onwards to the PC platform, unfortunately, a long long time later.
The PC version has better visuals than its console counterpart. With all-new graphical and technical enhancements for deeper immersion, Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC takes full advantage of the power of the PC to bring every corner of this massive, rich and detailed world to life including increased draw distances; higher-quality global illumination and ambient occlusion for improved day and night lighting; improved reflections and deeper, higher resolution shadows at all distances; tessellated tree textures and improved grass and fur textures for added realism in every plant and animal.
Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC also offers HDR support, the ability to run high-end display setups with 4K resolution and beyond, multi-monitor configurations, widescreen configurations, faster frame rates and more.
Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC also includes additional Story Mode content including Bounty Hunting Missions, Gang Hideouts, Weapons and more; plus free access to the shared living world of Red Dead Online featuring all previously released improvements and the latest content for the complete Online experience including Frontier Pursuits and the specialist Roles of The Bounty Hunter, Trader and Collector, and much more.
Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC is the ultimate way to experience one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, winner of over Game of the Year Awards and recipient of over perfect scores. We take a look at the game in our usual in-depth ways. Many graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked.
We have a look at performance with the newest graphics cards and technologies. You are going to need a reasonably modern PC with at least a mainstream graphics card to run the game nicely. UHDTV p is pixels wide by pixels tall 8. GeForce Weird crashing when exiting menu in game. Third party Graphics Card hardware database.
Article - Guide - Review What's the game about?One of the top three open-worlds of all time, and the best game Rockstar has ever made. An all-time Old West masterpiece. Red Dead Redemption 2 is the best looking video game of all time. Yes, EVER. And that includes Uncharted 4. Unsurprisingly, in the years since the Los Santos sensation launched, Rockstar has built up a wealth of things to say.
As such, RDR2 is a game of big themes and even bigger ideas. The evils of creeping capitalism. Corrupt regimes. The loss of long-held beliefs. With its contextual conversations, where its outlaw lead can either greet or antagonise hundreds of bespoke NPCs, the game also tries to move open-worlds forward.
Here, your main interactions often involve swapping pleasantries or devastating, old timey disseswhile significant portions of the main story involve quiet, peaceful character-building. Although that said, you still end up shooting hundreds of dudes. Of course, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly lasts a couple of hours, not upwards of Much of the conversation surrounding the launch of the open-world epic has focused on claims of a caustic culture of hour working weeks.
Whatever the truth of the matter, this is a complex issue that could spill deep into this review and beyond. RDR2 bears all the the hallmarks of an intensive, eight-year-long production schedule; a labour of love and perhaps less positive aspects of triple-A development which nevertheless stands a cut above its contemporaries.
As of right now, the cowboy classic represents the current pinnacle of video game design. RDR2 is a ready-made anecdote generator. This is an adventure so stuffed full of amazing emergent moments, when the end credits roll after a full week of captivating, criminal play, there are enough incredible memories to fill ten lesser games.
You may fall for a horse then quickly lasso the filly to make it your mount after watching it joyfully roll around the flooded grasslands of Grizzlies West. Now let's never speak of the serpent slurping incident again. The world these emergent activities occur in is astounding.
How to unlock Red Dead Redemption 2 fast travel. Most involve constantly inventive tasks, including unlikely costume changes, outrageous modes of transport, or challenges as varied as mingling at a cocktail ball to teaching a young boy how to fish.
Story-wise, this is perhaps the boldest triple-A game ever made. Still here? There are also a ridiculous amount of detailed side systems in RDR2, and every last one is worth your time.
Red Dead Redemption 2 looks and plays best on Xbox One X
A word — alright, several gushing sentences — on the music.As Rockstar gives Red Dead Redemption 2 a belated release on PC, we're republishing our original review of its grand western adventure.
We'll have more on the PC version in the coming days from Digital Foundry, and if you're playing and need a hand head to our extensive Red Dead Redemption 2 walkthrough. It's one of those cute ironies that Rockstar Games, most famous for the virtual cityscapes of the Grand Theft Auto series, would create what many consider its masterpiece when working with the dust and dirt of the wilds.
When it launched inthe open-world western Red Dead Redemption was as refreshing as a chill blast of mountain air: a bucolic, melancholy counterpoint to the madcap urban caricature of GTA.
And so it's fitting that the sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, makes its greatest strides in its world. This is a vast, staggeringly detailed open world. You could get out a virtual ruler to proclaim it Rockstar's biggest yet, or count every single NPC, line of dialogue, rock, tree and outhouse and say it's the developer's densest, but I'll leave all that for someone else. What I will say is that this is Rockstar's broadest canvas since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, quite possibly even more so, with what no longer feels like a take on a single city or state but practically an entire country.
There are the heights of Amorino, hidden under knee-deep snow, the flats of New Hanover, the bayous of Lemoyne, the opulent metropolis of Saint Denis, and the clipped greens of West Elizabeth. It's a map that offers Rockstar's take on the sights and sounds of late 19th-century New Orleans through to South Carolina, from Indiana to Iowa and plenty more besides - a forged snapshot of an America forever lost that is utterly convincing.
It's those thousands of small details that do the convincing: the way the oil shimmers on the surface of the water that sits outside the factories of chilly Annesburg, the cold stare and silence that meets you when you drag your scruffy frame through the saloon doors of the more cultured Saint Denis, the lamps that flicker across the midnight quiet in the town of Rhodes.
It's the way it'll make a keen botanist of you, admiring the Spanish moss that hangs from the bald cypress of the bayou, the pines up in the mountains or the white oaks down on the plains, all shifting beautifully in the breeze.
Even before you get to the fauna that lies underneath, it's a world that feels alive. It's in the way you'll see that weather build overhead, thick crops of cloud rolling in over the expanse of country - from most vantage points the horizon is thrillingly distant, the sky so vast above it all - while meticulously studied cloud formations swirl together.
The craft that's gone into Red Dead Redemption 2's world - painstaking, expensive and arguably at too great a human cost - is evident in every frame. And it's enriched by an artistry and technical excellence that's just as evident. If the original Red Dead Redemption leaned heavily on celluloid depictions of the west, then its follow-up is much more painterly in tone. The landscapes of 19th-century artist Albert Bierstadt are one noted influence, those thick oils impressively mirrored in Red Dead Redemption 2's own textures; in the dawn or dusk of certain days, there's a richness to the light that would make Turner blush, veering, at times, towards a certain impressionism in the diffuse light.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a world of vivid textures, too. There's the thick mud you brawl in along the main strip of Valentine, the town where your adventures start, the coarse leather of a coat you've crafted from the wildlife you're free to hunt down, or just the taut hide of your horse that ferries you from place to place. It's a world you have a tangible place in, thanks to Rockstar's use once again of Euphoria animation technology that sees you stumble, sprint and collide with objects in the world, grounding you in it.
Impressively - and somewhat cruelly - that extends to your horse now too, an aggressive trot into a tree trunk proving just as grisly as any of GTA's more violent moments. That physicality, brilliantly, extends to your inventory system.Red Dead Redemption 2 on low end PC gets a bit WEIRD
Kill a deer and to take it back to your camp you'll sling it on the back of your horse for the ride home, watching its soft belly jostle in time with the canter. The same philosophy extends to the weapons you take with you, picked up from your horse and slung over your back.
It's a smart way of grounding you even further in Red Dead Redemption 2's world, even if - in what becomes something of a recurring theme - that elegance isn't met by the deeper design, where an overly fussy rotary selection system has you all fingers and thumbs when performing even the most perfunctory task. That philosophy can be effective, though. Red Dead Redemption 2's world leaves an impact on your avatar, the pointedly gritty wilds muddying your horse's hide and your clothes until you either brush your ride down and pay to use a bathhouse or incur the disgust and disdain of those around you.
That dirt will clog up your arsenal as well, requiring you to clean your guns lest they lose their potency. It's part of that same busywork - very engaging busywork, mind - in which you can maintain the length of your hair and beard or let it grow unruly, can choose to pomade it in the morning or cover it with your favourite hat which you may well lose in a fight if you're not careful - though thankfully you can pick up anyone else's in its placeor you can get thin or fat depending on whether you overindulge in the food you're required to eat in order to maintain your stamina core.Home Discussions Workshop Market Broadcasts.
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Red Dead Redemption 2 PC – Performance Guide
Increase The Priority. Fix Crashes. If you encounter performance problems in this game with great graphics, this guide is for you! You can also trying opening up your Nvidia Control Panel and choosing 'Performance' under 'Adjust image settings with preview' and 'choose my preference emphasising:'.
If one doesn't work, try the other.
Recent Benchmark News |
Change Anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering to 2x. Override settings where necessary.The meat of it all comes in the attached galleries, which all include near-max settings at native p resolution and the game's temporal anti-aliasing TAA toggle turned to "high.
In good news, RDR2 's PC port works as a pretty, settings-cranked-high alternative to last year's console release. Its most obvious upgrade comes in the form of an unlocked frame rate. In one morning of testing, I was already able to crank performance after downgrading a bunch of settings to an apparent fps-and-up threshold, although random performative spikes—usually triggered by sharp cuts in cinematic scenes—made me glad I had a variable refresh rate monitor.
In bad news, RDR2 's facial and body animations were never built for these kinds of high speeds. What looks tolerable and fine enough on a console, locked to 30fps, comes off a bit last-gen when the camera sway and particles run at higher speeds.
To be clear: all animations of up-close characters appear to run at organic speeds, as opposed to some weird lock on 30fps. Whether that's the same for NPCs rendered in the distance isn't yet clear. But that's more of an issue during cut scenes than in the live gameplay. RDR2 famously came with control latency issues on console, and while you're not going to get the immediate twitchy response of a shooter in this PC version, we're back in respectable tap-and-response timing thanks to the luxuries of the PC platform.
One more detail about the PC version lands in both the "good" and "bad" news columns: internal resolution scaling. However, Rockstar has elected not to implement any kind of dynamic resolution scaling system, which could have simplified PC users' efforts to stick to either 30fps or 60fps with fewer hassles.
To be fair, this is consistent with the console versions, which also skipped any dynamic resolution scaling options. In order to play this version of RDR2you'll need to use the Rockstar Games Launcher, either by pumping it full of payment information or by using a partner service like Epic Games Storewhich still redirects the game itself to load via RGL.
For now, there's no way to purchase or download this game via Steam; Rockstar has clearly followed the likes of Epic, EA, and Ubisoft in using its own launcher to sidestep other retailers' percentage fees.
In spite of my loading the game on my SSD the night before, I still had to wait 40 minutes for its GB install to unlock itself. Other than that, the Launcher worked fine enough, particularly in terms of its cloud save feature working as advertised though I only tested that on a single extra system as of press time.
Dig through the galleries for more context, including an explainer on how Rockstar has buried the ability to rebind controls until you've loaded the campaign and hit the pause button—better than nothing, but still an accessibility barrier as of press time. This article has been updated to clarify the ability to rebind controls and the game's availability on third-party services.
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