Ultimate DayZ Graphics Settings and Tweaks Guide

As we all know DayZ is a very demanding game, in all senses of the word. ArmA 2 itself needs a good amount of RAM, CPU and GPU power itself, and the DayZ mod adds a whole other layer of code on top. Also since DayZ uses a very unique “hive” central server there is more demand on your internet connection. The game server that we play on has a huge part to play in this equation as well. You really have to make sure your rig is set up properly to get the best performance. The goal is the highest FPS or Frames Per Second that is possible for our machine.

Field of view or FOV may be changed (some people can do without adjusting FOV – depends on your monitor mostly). Click here for a full guide on changing your FOV. FOV is how much can you see on the screen at any given time. Default is I think 65 but I like 80 or 85 for DayZ.

 

DayZ Looks Amazing at Times – pic by Joss

 

There are a lot of tweaks that you can do besides the settings in-game. If you are not comfortable changing your config files, then you might want to leave them alone. MAKE A BACK UP OF ANY FILE BEFORE YOU CHANGE IT. I will not be responsible for you messing up your installation! This is your one and final warning!

Make sure that all of your drivers are up to date. Motherboard/CPU, graphics card, and sound card especially. Up to date drivers will fix a lot of issues! 

For the giant polygun bug going on right now try this tip from gamefoo:

Got those giant shards and artifacts making the game unplayable? Fix is here:

  1. Go to Documents/ArmA 2/playername.ArmaA2OAProfile
  2. Open file in Notepad
  3. Search for “sceneComplexity=;”
  4. Change to “sceneComplexity=100000;”
  5. Save changes and exit.
  6. Launch DayZ with preferred method.

Also you can make this tweak by setting “Object Detail” to “Very Low” (thx again to Szalent)

 A quick tip: if things are suddenly running bad you can try and flush the system. You flush by holding SHIFT and pressing the numberpad “-” key. Then let go of SHIFT and type the letters:  F   L    U   S   H   (flush).  Your screen will go black for about 5 seconds, be careful.

Graphic Card Settings

The fist thing we are going to look at is your graphics card settings, not your settings in game. Weather you have an Nvidia card or an ATI card you can do this. If you have some 3rd party card then I have no idea… I will pray for you. I am not going to tell you how to find your graphics card settings, I am not a tech support guy. Good places to look are your Control Panel, also you might want to try looking in the programs list for either Nvidia or ATI. Below is an example of what they look like. DO NOT USE ANY SETTINGS YOU SEE ON THE IMAGE BELOW. I purposely made it very blurry so no one tries to use those settings. The real settings will be below the image. This is just what the panels look like, you have to find them on your own computer. You will have one of these depending on the brand of your graphics card:

 

ATI on the left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.

 

Once you find the panel make the adjustments below to suit your taste. Keep in mind that the higher you put most of these settings might slow your game down, but if you find the exact right one for you, it is really going to smooth out your game. You may or may not have all of those setting options, depending on a lot of factors. There may be a couple settings that can go bad, but most of the choices you can make here are every safe for your system. You don’t have to worry about backing anything up just yet, that will come when we tweak the .cfg or “config” files.Here are somethings to try taken from here.

 

  1. Ambient Occlusion – Off
  2. Anisotropic Filtering – Application controlled
  3. AntiAliasing Gamma Correction – On
  4. AntiAliasing Mode – Application controlled
  5. AntiAliasing Setting – Application controlled
  6. AntiAliasing Transparency – Off
  7. Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames – 0
  8. Multi-Display/GPU Accelaration – Single Display
  9. Performance Mode
  10. Power Management Mode – Prefer Maximum Performance
  11. Texture Filtering Sample Optimization – On
  12. Texture Filtering Negative LOD Bias – Allow
  13. Texture Filtering Quality – High Performance
  14. Texture Filtering Trilinear Optimization – On
  15. Threaded Optimization – Auto
  16. Triple Buffering – Off
  17. Vertical Sync – Off

 

 

For many more tweaks including changing configuration files click read the rest of this entry below.

 

Tweaking Arma2OA.cfg

You may or may not have all of those setting options, depending on a lot of factors. There may be a couple settings that can go bad, but most of the choices you can make here are every safe for your system. You don’t have to worry about backing anything up just yet, that will come when we tweak the .cfg or “config” files. Once you find the .cfg files for the next part, BACK THEM UP FIRST. I told you I would not warn you again, but I like you so I did…

We are going to change the arma2oa.cfg file next. Mine was found in the location below, but every computer is like a snowflake, no two are alike.

C:\Users\*your_user_name*\Documents\ArmA 2\arma2oa.cfg

Or possibly here:

C:\Users\*your_user_name*\Documents\ArmA 2 Other Profiles\*profile_name*

If you have changed to a different profile, you need to look in the folder “Arma 2 Other Profiles” to find the right file. Thanks to Szalent for that tip.

Copy/paste a backup of that somewhere (that’s 3 warnings!)and make some of the following edits:

shadingQuality=0 ( this might not be there)
mouseSmoothing=0

Set the three settings below to zero if you want (thx farettig)

AToC=6
PPAA=1
PPAA_Level=1

Quote from the pastebin, author is anon:

“AToC controls anti-aliasing on foliage. setting it to 6 disables AA on grass, which gives you a massive performance boost. The PPAA commands enable a very light, basic FXAA, which gives you back AA on the grass, and finishes off other details in-game. Combining FXAA + normal AA = more fps, looks better.”

If anyone has anything to add comment below or shoot me an email at Paleface@DayZPvP.com and I will make the changes and give you a shout out.

 

In-Game Settings

Next we are going to move to the in-game settings. Some of these are personal preference, feel free to set thme as you want, this is just a guide.

View Distance: 1600 (rumor is that this is the max that DayZ allows)
Brightness: 1
Gamma: 1

Texture Detail: HIGH (just my personal pref.)
Video Memory: Default (using a setting other than Default can be very bad)
Anisotropic Filtering: HIGH (makes things like the lines in the roads less blurry)
Anti Aliasing: OFF or HIGH (find out what works for you)
ATOC:  All Trees (this is setting 6 in the .cfg)

Terrain Detail: Normal (that’s what mine is)
Object Detail: Very Low (my attempt to squeeze more FPS out – adjust to your liking)
Shadows: OFF or HIGH
HDR: Normal (supposedly you can set this higher with no FPS hit)
PPAA: FXAA Low

Quality: leave this alone, should say Custom
Interface Resolution: best to set to your native resolution
3D Resolution: same as above
Post Proccessing Effects: OFF (this setting causes major lag)
Aspect Ratio: leave alone (mine says Custom)
Vsync: OFF

That concludes the in-game portion. In this last section I am going to talk about tweaks on the shortcut.

 

Setting Up the Launch Parameters

Find the ArmA2OA or beta shortcut that you launch the game with. If you launch using Steam then you can add these arguments to Steam so it adds them every time. This is mine below. DO NOT COPY MINE. If you just copy and paste my settings, you’re gonna have a bad time. I have a 3 core CPU which is very rare. Most people have either 2 or 4 so set the -cpuCount= to however many cores YOUR computer has. Remember, this is just a guide. This is not the bible of graphics settings. There is a wiki page here: Arma2: Startup Parameters. That link *is* the bible, so use it.

-cpuCount=3 -maxMem=2047 -world=chernarus -skipIntro -nosplash -noPause

Ok, let’s go over these

-cpuCount=3 (put this to how many cores you have)

-maxMem=2047 (anything higher than 2047 just reverts back to 2047. 2047= 2 gigs of RAM)

-world=chernarus (loads the only world DayZ uses)

-skipIntro (get’s rid of the movie playing behind the menus)

-nosplash (removes the intro logo’s and screens)

-noPause (this is huge – makes it so that when you alt-tab out the screen still shows live action instead of freezing)

Additional arguments that I don’t use (thanks longshot)

-winxp This obviously runs things in Windows XP mode. This makes the game run in Direct3D 9, not the Vista/Windows 7 version . might give a boost for some people.

FULL LIST OF ALL THE POSSIBLE SHORTCUT TWEAKS IS HERE!

 

Conclusion

There are a ton of options and resources out there to help you set your game up. Add questions, tips or concerns to the comments below and I will add them in, thanking you. In order to make your game run well you have no choice but to set it up right. Now get out there and own some fools with all your extra FPS.

39 thoughts on “Ultimate DayZ Graphics Settings and Tweaks Guide

  1. Pingback: Ultimate DayZ Graphics Settings and Tweaks Guide | DayZ Survivors

  2. Great guide! One question though, there are a lot of people claiming that “object detail” (in video settings) controls how far you can see other players without optics or zoom, and there suggests it should be set to “very high”. Some turn it off completely due to all the graphical artifacts seen lately in the game.

    I’m asking because i’m more of a try-hard-config kind of guy, and i want to see my enemy before he can see me.

    • I want to see my enemy too, but I have heard that the view distance is locked by the server. The max is supposedly 1600, but I know for sure that servers are different because one time I logged out just as Zub poped out of the fog. I logged off, and the next day when I logged in on another server I had to run for a while before Zub popped back up.

      Not sure if Object detail and view distance are similar settings or not.

  3. Hey man, my rig is pretty good (i5-2500k oc, HD6970,…) but I have every few seconds fps drops like half a second freezes. Would be nice if you could do also a guide or help me with this issue? Thanks!

    • You are trying different servers right? I have that issue when a server badly needs a reset. I try and play on servers that restart every 6 hours.

      If this is not your issue then we will try and help you out.

      Commenters: any help for this guy?

        • Hey, sure. I play like a lot of hours each day and switched between a lot of servers. I just have random fps drops which cause my screen to freeze for half a second. Tried a lot, also updated my ATI driver to the newest beta version. Closed Six Launcer / DayZ Commander. Still don’t know how to fix this. :/

          • If everything is running fine, except for some “hitching” where the game seems to slightly pause at regular intervals for no reason then it seems like you might have a memory/disk issue. Servers will do that to me if they need a reset, so I am wondering if your PC is not doing something similar. Try out Game Booster. http://www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html

            I know that software seems cheesy and bad but it is not. It will close all un-needed processes (be careful) it will also clean your memory (you should be doing that anyways). Plus you can take screen shots and video, and it gives you a nice FPS counter to track these issues down.

            If Game Booster does not work then I would suspect either your computer can’t handle the game, or a driver, lastly a hardware problem like maybe bad RAM (I just replaced my RAm – it was bad).

            • Thanks I’ll try it though I already know that program and it just closes all needed processes as you already said. I don’t think that my RAMis too bad for that game cause 8GB RAm DDR-3 1600Mhz should be enough. Of course it could be somehow defect or so. I’ll try gamebooster anyway to see if it’s one of the processes otherwise I guess it’s a driver issue (no clue which one) or w/e.

              • The driver part is simple. Make sure your motherboard/CPU, graphics card, and sound card (if you have one) are all up to date. That will fix 95% of diver issues I have found. Might want to make sure you don’t have a webcam or something add installed that might be stealing an IRQ from you or something.

                Make sure when you run you use GB to close those processes, also if you use 2 monitors, try turning that feature off. That’s all I can think of right now. If those fail then run a check on your RAM over night. I had an issue with corrupted downloads for a long time – it was my RAM.

    • I have had exactly the same symptom and spent hours to find the solution. Maybe you have the same problem.

      I tried every possible solution I found on the web but nothing helped. So I started thinking about it myself. Because my system was able to run DayZ smoothly (enough FPS between the lags), I concluded that my graphics card and cpu are good enough and it must be a problem with my disks.

      So I uninstalled the game, deleted a few other programs from my main volume to get enough free space and reinstalled DayZ directly to my ssd. Unfortunately even this did not help.

      After some additional hours i finally got it thanks to the windows error log:
      A long time ago I have set Windows to periodically defragment my conventional hard disks. The driver for the hdd controller (intel rst) malfunctioned and prevented the defragmentation process to complete. Windows tried to restart the defrag process every few seconds – and every time windows restarted this process i got a lag of 1 – 5 seconds.

      So I have killed the automatic defrag setting and everything is fine now.

      But one thing I don’t understand: Why is DayZ the only game that stucks for that reason. I have never had this symptom in World of Tanks, Diablo III, Starcraft 2 and Battlefield 3.

      PS: This could be the only place on the web showing this solution. :-)
      PPS: Sorry if my english is not well – I don’t speak it often.

  4. Pingback: DayZ: Zombie Sandbox Survival Horror - Seite 5 - inQuake Forum - mehr braucht man nicht!

  5. I think he meant this line: -cpuCount=3 -maxMem=2047 -world=chernorus -skipIntro -nosplash -noPause
    Line was copied and pasted.

  6. Pingback: Chernarus_Forsaken

  7. The thing with Object Detail is true, try it out – you can see people clearer on distance and look through glass with “Very High”, but you can find objects on the ground better with “Very Low”. I always play on Very High, but when I find a crashed helicopter I change it to Very Low before I move to it.

  8. i use six launcher to launch the game that is on my steam account.
    Im slightly confused where to add the launch parameters, any help?
    Also I’m running the game with a pretty crap GPU shall i disable ATOC completely?

    • Use the DayZ Commander, it’s awesome. You can add as much launch parameters as you like there. Disable ATOC because you can see more through trees (try it out).

  9. I just bought the HP pavilion m6-1035dx. It has the A10-4600m cpu with the AMD 7660G graphics card and 6gb of RAM. Do you think that there is anyway I could run DayZ on it?

  10. Pingback: [Sammelthread] DayZ - Eine ArmA 2 Modifikation - Seite 82

  11. Thank you so much!
    Boosted my FPS from around 25fps to 50-70fps! Crazy good info

    Im running a six core phenom II, 6 gigs ram, Zotac 560 Oc.
    And again THANK YOU!

  12. These are really great thank you!! But are there any configs or settings where I will be able to see clearly at night? I turn my gamma all the way up but I can only ever see silhouettes and the odd light on my backpack? In my friends game you can see every detail on his character and his surroundings and he actually has a worse computer than me. PLEASE HELP!!:<:<

  13. Pingback: DayZ - Zombie Apocalypse Mod for Arma 2 - Page 19 - mcarterbrown.com

  14. Pingback: DayZ Survivor » Blog Archive DayZ FPS - Optimize Your Frames Per Second

  15. Pingback: Neue Grafikkarte und immer noch schlechte frames in DayZ Gtx 760

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