WB offers advice for Batman: Arkham Knight performance

WB offers advice for Batman: Arkham Knight performance

According to the all-seeing internet, Batman: Arkham Knight has not had the finest launch on PC. A new update from WB Games over on Steam’s announcements page reiterates that the team are aware of the performance issues and are working with the devs, Nvidia, and AMD to rectify them, and they’ve offered some advice and some recommended settings for your hardware. Which is quite nice of them, honestly, particularly as a fair bit of that advice isn’t the usual, spectacularly obvious “don’t encode a video at the same time as that might negatively impact performance” stuff.

Before we get onto the recommended settings and the advice, here’s a refresher on the minimum, recommended, and ultra specs:

Minimum Hardware Specs

  • OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2 GB Memory Minimum) | AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3 GB Memory Minimum)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection required
  • Hard Drive: 45 GB available space

Recommended Hardware Specs

  • OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 – 3 GB Memory Recommended
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 55 GB available space

Ultra Hardware Specs

  • OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
  • Graphics Memory: 4 GB

Identified the closest thing to your system? Alrighty, then here are the recommended settings for Minimum and Recommended specs (but not Ultra, as those haven’t been determined yet).

Minimum Hardware Specs (or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • V-Sync: Off
  • Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • Texture Resolution: Low
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Level of Detail: Low
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

Recommended Hardware Specs (or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • V-Sync: On
  • Anti-Aliasing: On
  • Texture Resolution: Normal
  • Shadow Quality: Normal
  • Level of Detail: Normal
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

With both of these you should apparently expect 30FPS, in large part because the game is actually capped at 30FPS. There are no recommended settings for Ultra specs just yet, but the Recommended ones will apparently offer an experience “on par with the current generation of gaming platforms.”

With minimum specs, the biggest thing is apparently to make sure that Texture Resolution is set to Low. If your graphics card has 2GB of dedicated VRAM (or 3GB on an AMD card) then putting it above Low will apparently cause big, big issues. With these settings, users with AMD GPUs can apparently expect “minor texture pops, occasional loading symbols during fast-paced scenarios, and some hitches & stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile.”

As for the recommended specs, the big recommendation is “don’t put the resolution above 1080p”. It’s also noted that the game might default to high Shadow Quality and Level of Detail, which should probably be reverted to normal for the best experience.

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And, once again, AMD users are likely to experience more problems. With those settings on the recommended specs, AMD users can again expect “minor texture pops, occasional loading symbols during fast-paced scenarios, and some hitches & stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile” which can be alleviated by setting Texture Resolution, Shadow Quality, and Level of Detail to Low. Apparently, this might improve once some new AMD drivers are available, so it’s hopefully a passing issue.

Batman Arkham Knight - 01
They don’t seem to be particularly two-faced about the PC issues, thankfully.

Holy wall of text, Batman! And we’re not done yet, because there are also some general tips about getting the most out of the game’s performance, regardless of your system.

“Don’t change anything in the .ini files” is one that makes me raise an eyebrow, as WB note it could “negatively impact performance, including frame rate and stability”, but I’d wager that should probably be “Don’t change anything in the .ini files unless you actually know what you’re doing.” I can understand it causing some extra stability issues, mind, particularly if you remove the framerate cap. That does tend to screw with things in unexpected ways, depending on how the game has been coded.

GeForce GameReady WHQL Driver version 353.30 is recommended for Nvidia users, while AMD users should be using the Catalyst 15.6 beta driver, and when newer drivers are available they’ll likely be worth using. Do not, however, use the optimisation tools (Nvidia’s GeForce Experience or AMD’s Gaming Evolved) to sort out your settings.

Currently, Crossfire on AMD isn’t supported, and Eyefinity isn’t fully supported. Both of these will be “addressed in a future driver update from AMD.” As for Nvidia SLI, it’s suggested that you use the Nvidia Control Panel to set one card as a dedicated PhysX card to improve performance.

Streaming performance on mechanical hard drives is one of the “top short-term priorities”, but if you have an SSD, installing Batman: Arkham Knight to that will likely improve streaming performance (thus surprising nobody who knows what SSDs do). Oh, and don’t bugger about with the size of your page file, because Windows handles that automatically and “leaving this at the default settings will provide an optimal experience when playing Arkham Knight.”

Nothing too startling there, but a reasonable set of tips about what you should and shouldn’t do in order to get the best experience until there are newer drivers and more patches. It’s also kinda nice that they’re being candid about things like “GeForce Experience optimisation is a really bad idea right now, guys”. All of this points to a bit of a rushed PC version, but at least they appear to be trying to fix it and help out as best as they can rather than just shrugging their shoulders. Hell, this update even points you towards Steam Refunds, in case you’re really unhappy.

I’ve just finished installing the game myself, so we’ll hopefully have some PC impressions up on PC Invasion later today. Keep your Bat-eyes Bat-peeled, and all that, because I’ll try to let you know my initial thoughts on the PC version before the end of the night.



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