Contrary to popular belief, Baldur's Gate 3's graphics resource usage is heavy. Do not let the name "turn-based" fool you into thinking Larian Studios has gone with subdued graphics. The graphical fidelity of Baldur's Gate 3 is up there with the latest and newest-generation games.
The game runs exceptionally well for the most part. However, if you're still experiencing some lags and stuttering issues, it's worth tweaking a few settings to get the most optimal experience on your PC.
We tried these settings on NVIDIA's RTX 3080, running alongside a AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core Processor with 32GB RAM. Even if your PC is strong, it is best to tweak in-game settings for optimal performance. It is beneficial not just for your PC long-term, but also for running the game smoothly.
Whether you have aged hardware or the latest equipment under the hood, these settings will net you consistently higher FPS as you traverse the land of the Forgotten Realms. The settings aim to not only improve your FPS but also retain the relative visual fidelity of the game.
Note that if we skip any of the settings under any category, it is because the setting might not be relevant and can be left as default.
Baldur’s Gate 3 System Requirements
|OS||Windows 10 64-bit||Windows 10 64-bit|
|Processor||Intel I5 4690 / AMD FX 8350||Intel i7 8700K / AMD r5 3600|
|Memory||8 GB RAM||16 GB RAM|
|Graphics||Nvidia GTX 970 / RX 480 (4GB+ of VRAM)||Nvidia 2060 Super / RX 5700 XT (8GB+ of VRAM)|
|DirectX||Version 11||Version 11|
|Storage||150 GB||150 GB SSD|
For the API, launching the game using DirectX 11 is best. We tried both DX11 and Vulkan, and experienced bad performance on the Vulkan API. The game wasn't utilizing the full extent of Vulkan, resulting in poor performance. This is rare for Vulkan as it delivers exceptional performance in almost all the pother games that offer Vulkan API. For example, Red Dead Redemption. I've played that game for hundreds of hours with Vulkan with consistently high FPS on ultra settings.
So select DX11 for API when launching the game.
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Display Mode: Fullscreen
- VSync: Disabled
Depending on your display, the resolution can be changed, but it is best to go with 1080p for the most optimal results. As for the refresh rate, you can try increasing it depending on your monitor's refresh rate. But, if your monitor supports 60 Hz as the max FPS, it is best to leave it at 60 Hz.
- Model Quality: High
- Detail Distance: Medium
- Instance Distance: High
- Texture Quality: High
- Texture Filtering: Anisotropic x16
- Animation Level of Detail: High
- Slow HDD Mode: Turn it ON if you have the game on your HDD and OFF if it is installed on your SDD.
- Dynamic Crowds: Off
The Animation Level of Detail didn't seem to affect performance at all, so it can be set to High at all times. Dynamic Crowds can be a bit heavy, depending on your CPU. It determines the population of the crowd in-game. The busier the crowd is, the more it will have to render, resulting in more CPU usage. If you have an older CPU, it is best to turn it off. But if you have a newer CPU, feel free to turn it on. We had it enabled on our AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core Processor.
A bit more explanation about the Slow HDD Mode: according to the system requirements, the developers recommend installing Baldur's Gate 3 on an SSD. If you are running the game on a hard drive, you should turn slow mode on. The problem is you may experience lower performance and lower image quality. If you have space, install the game on SSD in the first place.
As mentioned earlier, Baldur's Gate 3 is a resource heavy game with plenty of in-game assets to load in real time. You will notice some textures still loading up, even at the highest texture quality. If you have the game on a hard drive, it can cause lag and stuttering issues as the newly rendered data is read off your hard drive.
When you turn Slow HDD mode ON, it eliminates the issue by storing the bulk of the data inside your GPU VRAM and system RAM. However, the issue is that storing the data on GPU VRAM and system RAM can stress them and cause even more stuttering long-term issues.
This problem is quite rare nowadays though, mostly found in aged hardware like a spinning Hard Drive. It is best to install the game on your SSD and avoid using Slow HDD Mode altogether.
- Shadow Quality: Medium
- Cloud Quality: Medium
- Fog Quality: Low
This is the most optimal setup. However, you can change bump Cloud Quality up to High and Fog Quality up to Medium, depending on how well it performs on your system. But both should be set to the above given setup for starters.
- NVIDIA DLSS: Balanced or Quality (Only supported by NVIDIA RTX Graphic Cards)
- AMD FSR 1.0: Off
- FidelityFX Sharpening: Off
- Anti-Aliasing: TAA. If you have an NVIDIA RTX GPU, you can select DLAA
- Depth of Field: Off
- God Rays: Off
- Bloom: Off
- Subsurface Scattering: Off
AMD FSR 1.0 is probably the worst thing you can enable in this section. It will make the game look bad, but you might get a slight performance boost. We recommend leaving it off, even if you don't have the NVIDIA DLSS option.
Currently, the game does not feature AMD FSR 2.0, which is a better option compared to 1.0. Larian Studios has already confirmed it will be introduced in future patches but with no definite release date.
Note, these settings can prove to be the best for your particular system or turn out to be mediocre. It is best to play around with them as the base for your tweaks. You can also always let the game choose the optimal settings for you, and from there, follow our guide to turn the relevant settings on or off as you see fit.