When it comes to graphics performance, Assassin’s Creed has always been a tough nut to crack on PC. Assassin’s Creed Oranges was an absolute beast to get running smoothly when it came out last year, and it continues to be one of the most demanding games in my graphic cards benchmarking suite. This year’s Ancient Greece-themed installment, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, is, thankfully, a little less demanding than its Egyptian predecessor, but at times it can still feel like it’s putting a great big Spartan kick-sized strain on your GPU.
Fortunately, I’m here to help, as below you’ll find everything you need to know about how to get the best settings for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on PC, as well as what you need to do in order to get that lovely 60fps frame rate from both today’s best graphics cards and a handful of older ones I still have kicking around in the back of my cupboard. Whether you’re here for hoofing lads off cliffs or the blush-worthy romances (see Alice’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review for even more thoughts on the game itself), here’s how to get them looking as buff as the almighty Kassandra herself.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey PC graphics performance: The specs
In terms of minimum and recommended specs for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Ubisoft have been a bit cautious this time round. The minimum spec, they say, is intended for use on the Lowest quality preset at a resolution of 1280×720, while their recommended set of components are for High quality at 1920×1080. Both, however, are targeting a frame rate of just 30fps, which isn’t exactly useful if you’re after something closer to 60fps. Fortunately, you’re in the right place if you’re after 60fps, as I’ve tested every graphics card I’ve been able to lay my hands on to see what settings you need to get that elusive frame rate.
It’s also worth pointing out that Ubisoft also have a recommended 4K configuration for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which you’ll find listed below, but once again this is targeting 30fps on High quality settings. If you’re after 60fps at 4K, I’ve got you covered.
For the record, my PC had an Intel Core i5-8600K clocked at 3.6GHz and 16GB of RAM inside it, plus all the latest graphics drivers and Windows 10 updates installed.
OS: Windows 7-10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200 / AMD FX 6300
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 660 / AMD Radeon R9 285
Video memory: 2GB
OS: Windows 7-10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-3700 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400 / AMD FX-8350
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290
Video memory: 4GB
Recommended 4K specs:
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700 / AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Video memory: 8GB
Click the links below to see how each graphics card fared. Apologies in advance for a few notable omissions this time round – the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 I was borrowing from Zotac for my Forza Horizon 4 graphics performance test were whisked away before I was able to test them with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but I’ll update this article as soon as I’m able to get them back in. The same goes for the continued woeful lack of AMD graphics cards – an AMD Radeon RX 580 should be with me shortly, but the rest are proving to be rarer than hen’s teeth right now. As soon as I get any in, I’ll add them to the list below.
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti
- AMD Radeon R9 270
- AMD Radeon R9 290
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey PC graphics performance: The goal
As mentioned above, the aim here is to get Assassin’s Creed Odyssey running at 60fps at 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 4K. The good news is that Odyssey seems to be slightly better optimised for PC than Origins was, as I saw an improvement of around 5fps between both games on each card. As such, if your graphics card struggled a bit with Origins, it should run Odyssey slightly better.
To test each card, I used the game’s built-in benchmarking tool, which sees the camera swooping through one of the game’s many crowded towns while it’s raining. There are plenty of NPCs and bits of environment to tackle, and I found the average frame rate it spits out at the end roughly matches what I experienced in-game as well.
I say roughly, as in a lot of cases, the average frame rate was perhaps a touch higher than the in-game speeds I experienced (the beginning of the benchmark begins inside, for instance, which produced universally higher speeds than the bits taking place outside, potentially skewing the results slightly), but I’ve also made note of how much the game dips below that average to hopefully give a more accurate picture of what you can expect.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey PC graphics performance: How to get the best settings
I stuck with the game’s preset quality settings during my tests, but there are plenty of options available to help improve your PC’s performance if you’re finding it’s struggling to keep a steady frame rate.
One of the most helpful features is switching on the Adaptive Quality setting. This kicks in when your frame rate drops below either 30fps, 45fps or 60fps (depending on which one you pick) and dynamically adjusts the game’s anti-aliasing (or edge-smoothening tech) to help push the frame rate back up.
I’d also recommend adjusting the game’s Shadows setting too, as this is another one that has a big impact on performance. Helpfully, Ubisoft’s settings menu shows you exactly what each option does in-game via a small picture, so you can see exactly what effect it will have without having to boot up the game first.
You can probably get away with cutting back on the Environmental Texture Detail, too, as the difference between Low and High is pretty small. I’d recommend keeping it as high as you can in the Character menu, though, as you’re going to be spending a lot more time scrutinizing the backs of Kassandra and Alexios and their wonderful sets of colourful armour than you are a bunch of walls.
Depth of Field also affects performance, so knock it down to Low or turn it off completely if you’re still finding the game chugs a bit. Turning it off will bring all objects into focus, while low blurs stuff further away, but I don’t think it’s something you’re really going to notice in the grand scheme of things.
It’s also worth noting that you can set an FPS limit in the Display menu as well if you want to keep the frame rate as steady as possible. You’ve got plenty of options, too, as the limit goes from 30fps right up to 90fps in 5fps increments, giving you loads of choice depending on what kind of graphics card you have.
With all that in mind, let’s Sparta-kick our way to some of them there graphics cards. Just click the page numbers below or hop back up the page to the card of your choice.