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Currently I'm developing a PC game using Unity

Usually on PC games we found graphic/video settings due to varying hardware installed and limitation. Just as in the title, how does a game set its default graphic setting? What parameters do I need to take into account for defining my default graphic setting? Or does the game detect installed hardware capability and programatically enable/disable graphic effects?

AFAIK, most of the time when I tried to play some AAA games with minimum system requirement after installation, the game would be laggy because of some effects like ambient occlusion, high quality texture, and stuff are enabled. So I'm sure the default setting is not the lowest/worst graphic setting available.

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Here is a way to view this:

Generally, games are sold with a "minimum requirements" and a "recommended requirement". This is decided by you, the developer. This means you should try your game on both of these systems, and the game should run without lagging or bugging or glitching on these setups (with the appropriate settings).

What if you found set of machine specs that would fit in between these 2, which could be what the average joe would have? You could define this machine as your default machine, on which the default settings would make the game run ok.

Now, if you have a lot of money and time, you could try and implement a way to gather the capabilities of the client machine, and match the default settings with that; or interface with the NVidia and ATI APIs to ask them to configure your game the proper way.

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