The best PC games ever Best PC games of 2018 Best graphics card 2019 Best free games Dota Underlords builds Teamfight Tactics guide

5

Metro Exodus graphics performance: How to get the best settings

Our exodus into the graphics performance apocalypse

Featured post

The first of Metro Exodus‘ two DLC expansions arrives on PC today, so I thought it was high time to revisit my jumbo graphics performance test to tell you how to get the best settings on even more of today’s best graphics cards. After all, there have been several new Nvidia RTX and AMD Navi cards released since Metro Exodus came out in February, so regardless of whether you’re starting the game for the first time or jumping back in for a bit of Two Colonels action, here’s how to get Metro Exodus running at a smooth 60fps.

Metro Exodus graphics performance: PC requirements

But first, some PC requirements. Given the sheer brute force required to run Metro Exodus, 4A Games have been very particular about what kind of PC system you’ll need to get the game running smoothly across a variety of resolutions and frame rates. Their minimum specification, for instance, is intended for 1920×1080 play at 30fps, while their Extreme spec is for 4K at 60fps. Here’s a reminder of what they all are:

Minimum specs (1080p 30fps):
OS:
Windows 7-10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-4400
RAM: 8GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 670 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 / AMD Radeon HD 7870
Video memory: 2GB
DirectX: 11 / 12

Recommended specs (1080p 60fps):
OS:
Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K
RAM: 8GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 / Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
Video memory: 8GB
DirectX: 12

High specs (1440p 60fps):
OS:
Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K
RAM: 16GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti / Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Video memory: 8GB
DirectX: 12

Extreme specs (4K 60fps):
OS:
Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K
RAM: 16GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Video memory: 11GB
DirectX: 12

For the record, my PC had an Intel Core i5-8600K and 16GB of RAM inside it, plus all the latest graphics drivers and Windows 10 updates installed. Naturally, this means I’m not really equipped to try the game’s Extreme settings, but Nvidia have told me this doesn’t actually add any additional graphics effects on top of what you get on Ultra – it just cranks them up to 11. Really, though, Extreme is for enthusiast PC systems only, and not for the likes of my mid-range build. As a result, the highest setting I’ve tried across every graphics card on test here is Ultra.

Click the links below to see how each graphics card fared. Apologies in advance for a few notable omissions this time round. I’ve done my best to get a full spread of older GTX 10-series cards, but stock levels for Nvidia’s GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti remain extremely low, so I still haven’t been able to get any in for testing. Fortunately, though, Nvidia’s RTX 2070 is pretty much on par with the GTX 1080, while the RTX 2080 is roughly in line with the GTX 1080 Ti, so if you happen to have either of those cards, you should still be able to get a pretty good idea of what to expect by heading to the corresponding RTX page.

Metro Exodus graphics performance: The goal

As mentioned above, the aim here is to get Metro Exodus running at 60fps at 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 4K. It’s a pretty tough ask in some cases, but as long as you’re prepared to make some compromises in the graphics settings department, it is doable. Plus, the great thing about Metro is that even its Low quality setting still looks pretty damn fine, so hopefully you’ll find something to your liking here no matter what kind of graphics card you’ve got.

To test each card, I used the game’s benchmarking tool, which much like previous Metro games is a separate application that lives in your Metro Exodus game folder. This sees the camera take a turn through a slice of the Taiga, one of the game’s early open world environments. First, we get a sliver of the outdoors and the local wildlife, and then we take a gloomy tour of a burning wooden hut, complete with plenty of fire effects and shafts of light peaking through the rotting walls. And because the world of Metro is a magical place, said hut also becomes an icy winter palace for a split second to see how the graphics card copes with some of its other weather effects.

Then it’s back outside to a rather demanding stretch of forest (almost every graphics card took a massive dip here) with a deer running across your field of vision, before the benchmark ends down at the riverside, day turning to night, and a rather nasty beasty floating around in the water.

Metro Exodus graphics performance: How to get the best settings

I stuck with the benchmark’s preset quality settings during my tests, but it’s worth pointing out that my review build of the benchmarking tool came with a very specific set of settings that aren’t necessarily reflected in-game when you actually change the overall quality setting. The Shading Rate, for example, stays at 1.0x regardless of what quality setting you pick, and Motion Blur is always set to High, which isn’t reflective of what I was using in the benchmark.

As a result, here are the settings I used across each of the four main quality options to obtain my results, and what I’d recommend you use in your own game as well:

Low quality:
Texture Filtering:
AF 4x
Motion Blur: Low
Tessellation: Off
Advanced PhysX: Off
HairWorks: Off
Ray Tracing: Off
DLSS: Off
Shading Rate: 50%

Medium quality:
Texture Filtering:
AF 4x
Motion Blur: Low
Tessellation: Full
Advanced PhysX: On
HairWorks: Off
Ray Tracing: Off
DLSS: Off
Shading Rate: 100%

High quality:
Texture Filtering:
AF 16x
Motion Blur: Low
Tessellation: Full
Advanced PhysX: On
HairWorks: On
Ray Tracing: Off
DLSS: Off
Shading Rate: 100%

Ultra quality:
Texture Filtering:
AF 16x
Motion Blur: Normal
Tessellation: Full
Advanced PhysX: On
HairWorks: On
Ray Tracing: Off
DLSS: Off
Shading Rate: 100%

There was also a specific RTX profile in my benchmarking tool, which was essentially the same as Ultra but with ray tracing and DLSS switched on. However, I should point out that the DLSS option was actually broken in my build, so it wasn’t actually applied to any of the tests despite being set to On. It still works in-game, but given Metro’s rather irritating quick-save/auto-save only options, this makes it a bit difficult to test accurately.

As such, I’m going to leave DLSS testing for a bit until it’s available in the benchmark so I can keep everything nice and fair, and I’ll update this piece with more results when it’s been patched in. I’ve still included the ray tracing results, though, so at least you can see how much of a performance dip you can expect if you don’t want to apply DLSS at all.

As for more general settings advice, keeping things like Advanced PhysX and HairWorks switched off is pretty much a given with this kind of game, but I also found that Low’s 50% Shading Rate took an even bigger load off the GPU. As such, I’d recommend dropping that down a bit if you’re having trouble in certain areas – perhaps not all the way down to 50% (or 0.5x as it’s represented in-game), but maybe somewhere around the 0.7x mark if your graphics card is having a tough time of it.

I’d also recommended keeping Texture Filtering to AF 4x rather than AF 16x, as well as switching off Tessellation if you’re still having trouble.

With all that in mind, let’s board this apocalypse train and take a look at some of them there graphics cards, eh? Just click the page numbers below or hop back up the page to the card of your choice.

Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

If you click our links to online stores and make a purchase we may receive a few pennies. Find more information here.

Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

More by me

Support RPS and get an ad-free site, extra articles, and free stuff! Tell me more
Please enable Javascript to view comments.

Please log in to reply.

Advertisement

Latest videos