View Full Version : Battlefield 4: Tweaks – and tech explained

30th July 2015, 03:58 PM
ALL RIGHT MAGGOTS, LISTEN UP. We’re skipping boot and going straight to why you came here today (or clicked on a link to get to this article): Battlefield 4. It came out this week. War may not be pretty, but this game sure is – and, I’m willing to be you want this game to look its shiniest. You want to get the most out of your PC to play this game and have it look pretty at the same time? Just keep reading! That’s notsomuch an order….as it is a request.

bf4 - envy 27 display - 710.jpgAs a development studio, DICE is notorious for making games that are “system killers.” That is, they are often looking forward to how they can push the tech in a game. Well, it’s no different now. The development team at EA behind the game, has gone on record saying that this game was made to take advantage of DirectX 11.1. So, all you late adopters out there….it might be getting close to that time to upgrade from Win 7 to Win 8.1. Not judging you – just saying. I’ve been hearing reports from people that have upgraded from Win 7 have already seen a performance jump.
And just in case, consider installing the DirectX drivers that come in the install of the game. (It would normally sit in this folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 4\__Installer\directx\redist)

AMD Calling TeamRed: Consider checking out the latest Catalyst drivers – 13.11 Beta 8 – Paul Lilly at Maximum PC goes into it here.
NVIDIA If you’re a member of House Green, then you also need to jump on the new driver bandwagon. NVIDIA recently released GeForce 331.65 drivers. More info on that right here at the GeForce blog.

DICE has also been vocal about using AMD chips to really get the game purring. More specifically AMD’s MANTLE which lets developers dig closer to the metal.

It’s a new AMD-specific API that lets developers create more (and more quickly). Actually TechRadar.com has a pretty good write-up if you want to learn more (the story link). A couple choice bits for you to keep in mind:
AMD said it collaborated with EA’s DICE team in designing the new low-level API. The big incentive being that a developer can build a game knowing that the architecture in the background will work on five different platforms. (Remember, AMD got baked into the Playstation 4, WiiU and Xbox One…..)

According to AMD, MANTLE enables 9x more draw calls per second than other APIs by reducing CPU overhead and bottlenecking.

I haven’t begun testing with AMD graphics yet – so I can’t rightly comment on how it looks….I’ll leave that to the hardcore arguments on hardware forums and blogs. For now. In the meantime, let’s dig deeper in the settings and tweaks that can be used to goose a little extra performance out of your PC.

First, I found this great video on the web that walks people through the settings. If you’re looking to dive right in, click play! It’s a good breakdown.

Of course, the heat you’re packing will vary from mine. Right now, I’ve been jumping between a few machines including a modest gaming rig -- an older ENVY Phoenix (Core i7, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680) down to an Ultrabook with 8GB RAM, a Core i7 CPU and integrated graphics. And it works. Seriously.
On the gaming rig, I found some settings that worked pretty well for me:

bf4 settings - phoenix.jpg

Basically, I jacked up the resolution scale (which is supersampling at a higher-than-native resolution) while switching off the motion blur effects. I think the results speak for themselves when you play. BUT, you can mess around with this stuff all day and find a setting that puts you in your happy place.

On a modest laptop with Integrated graphics – don’t get crazy with expectations. I needed to drop the resolution to 1366 by 768 with low settings (and shut off those anti-aliasing / ambient occlusion settings), but the game still looks good – and, more important, BATTLEFIELD 4 TO GO!

For those that are cool with digging into the config file, I’ve seen these recommended settings floating around the Web:
RenderDevice.Dx11Enable 1
RenderDevice.Dx11Dot1Enable 0
RenderDevice.Dx11Dot1RuntimeEnable 0
RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 0
WorldRender.TransparencyShadowmapsEnable 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurEnable 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurForceOn 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurFixedShutterTime 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurMax 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurQuality 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurMaxSampleCount 0
WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapEnable 0
WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapResolution 256
WorldRender.LightTileCsPathEnable 0
RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 0
PostProcess.DynamicAOEnable 0
PerfOverlay.DrawFps 1
gametime.maxvariablefps 60

Obviously go ahead and switch on, off stuff as you see fit. Well, that’s just a quick tour of some things you can do to optimize your experience in BF. If you have some of your own tweaks, share em with me in the comments!