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I'm making a 3D video game, paying attention on optimization of my textures, materials, meshes, and so on. I've kept a good level of quality while having a relatively high and stable framerate, but I don't have the possibility to test it on lower level devices.


What settings should I let players change to make the game less resource-intensive? Of course, every setting could make the game perform better, but I would like to know what's the "must-have" performance settings.

Things like anti-aliasing, texture quality, framerate limit, VSync, etc.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Test on actual hardware, profile, compare, draw conclusions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kromster
    Sep 6 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ What engine are you using? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Sep 7 at 7:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unreal Engine 4, but I'm trying to understand it regardless of the editor \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7 at 7:10
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The obvious ones are:

  • Anti-aliasing
  • Texture resolution
  • Maximum LOD level (if using LOD models)
  • Post-processing effects/filters
  • Vsync
  • Shadows
  • Shader quality (if your engine supports adjustable shader quality)
  • Max particles onscreen

Profiling is a good way to determine bottlenecks, but if you're profiling on a high-end development rig and worried about how the game will run on a cheap laptop with integrated graphics, it can be difficult to determine where to optimize just from profiling. If you've been mindful of optimization, you probably already have some idea of where you should focus your efforts. For example, if your game uses low-poly style models with few textures, but has very complex real-time lighting, your efforts are probably better focused on tuning the lighting rather than tuning LODs and texture resolutions.

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The only way to understand which settings should be adjustable in a 3d game is profiling it with different hardware and different combination of every option existing. Since there are many different video settings and they also have a different weight if considered in combination, this would require a lot of work done to answer the question.

Generally talking, there are a few options that always are good to have adjustable, according to wired but it also depends on what's your game require most. It's good to separate what's CPU-intensive from what's GPU-intensive and make sure that those settings causing one or the other to be the bottle-neck are adjustable.

Here a good article from gamedeveloper.com that talks about settings and video settings that a developer should considering while building a 3D video game, this article highlights how video settings also depend on what's the genre of video game, e.g. is good to have adjustable gamma if the game is a horror one.

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