After nearly a decade of waiting, Cyberpunk 2077 is finally out. However, while most of us expected the game to be a resource hog, we didn't really expect it to be unoptimized.
A visually beautiful game, Cyberpunk 2077 is heavy on both the CPU and GPU. Not to mention, it lacks optimization. This means that you can't just jump into the game and have it automatically set the right graphics settings for you.
With that said, knowing the best Cyberpunk 2077 PC settings will let you enjoy the game and its many easter eggs how it should be.
Scroll down below to find out exactly what these settings are.
Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements
First things first, let's start with something fairly basic: the PC requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 as outlined by CD Projekt RED.
The PC requirements, as is usually the case, is separated between "Minimum" and "Recommended".
The former is aimed towards playing the game smoothly at 1080P on Low settings. Meanwhile, the latter aims to let gamers enjoy the game on High settings at the same 1080p resolution.
In addition to these, CD Projekt RED has also given requirements and recommendations for those who want to play the game at 2560 x 1440, as well as those with Nvidia RTX cards, but we'll talk more about that later.
For now, let's focus first on the settings where most of us are likely to play the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements (Minimum - Low at 1080p)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K / AMD FX 8310
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 / AMD Radeon RX 470
- VRAM: 3GB
- Storage: 70GB (SSD is highly recommended)
- Operating system: Windows 7 (64-Bit)
Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements (Recommended - High at 1080p)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 / AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
- RAM: 12GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) / AMD Radeon RX 590
- VRAM: 6GB
- Storage: 70GB (SSD is highly recommended)
- Operating system: Windows 10 (64-Bit)
How to Get the Best Cyberpunk 2077 PC Settings
The easiest way to improve performance at Cyberpunk 2077 is to play around with the game's graphic presets.
If your graphics card is at the same level as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) or the AMD Radeon RX 590, the game should automatically set it to "High". However, the GTX 1060 6GB and Radeon RX 590 will only give you around 30fps at best, with the occasional dips to the low 20s.
If you drop the setting to "Medium", you'll enjoy a sizable 30% to 40% boost in performance, while dropping it down to low will yield around a 60% to 70% boost.
Still, just because it's the easiest doesn't mean that it's the best.
When it comes to tinkering around with graphic settings, the presets aren't the most effective. Certain graphical settings can be tweaked that will significantly help improve performance without affecting the aesthetics as much.
After playing around with the settings, we've found that these have the most significant effect on performance:
Volumetric Cloud Quality and Volumetric Fog Resolution
"Volumetric Cloud Quality" and "Volumetric Fog Resolution" are extremely GPU-intensive because of how they determine just how good the light passing through fog, dust, and clouds in the game look like.
At the "High" preset, this is automatically set to "High", which is not ideal.
Bringing both of these from "High" to "Low" can help stabilize the performance of your GTX 1060 6GB so it doesn't dip below 30fps, and can go as high as 40fps in certain areas without affecting graphics quality as much.
Cascaded Shadow Resolution
Another high resource hog in Cyberpunk 2077 on the PC is the "Cascaded Shadow Resolution".
By default, it's set to "High" on the "High" preset as well, and dropping it down to "Low" will give you a couple of fps back without the associated visual hit that you would have expected.
Max Dynamic Decals
Dropping "Max Dynamic Decals" to "Low" or "Medium" from "High" can also help improve performance with minimal effects on the graphics.
Screen Space Reflections
Given the number of reflective surfaces scattered all over Cyberpunk 2077, especially in Night City, turning down "Screen Space Reflections" will have the most impact on your game's visuals.
We suggest giving the different settings a try to see if you're okay with trading off visual acuity in favor of a performance boost.
Field of View
By default, Cyberpunk 2077 sets the Field of View to 80 degrees. However, if you drop this down to 70 degrees, your PC won't have to render as much of the world at the same time when playing in first-person, which is like 90% of the game. This results in improved frame rates, although not as dramatic as that of the other settings here.
Dynamic FidelityFX CAS
Dynamic FidelityFX CAS is not something that a lot of PC gamers are familiar with.
Basically, what this setting does is that it automatically adjusts the rendering resolution of the game in real-time to improve performance.
Using this setting, you can set the target frame rate (anywhere between 10fps up to 240fps) and how much the resolution will change.
So, for example, if you set the target frame rate to 60fps, the game will try its best to keep frame rates at 60. However, I suggest that you don't lower the minimum resolution below 80%.
The reason for this is that the graphics quality suffers too much if it has to shift from 1920 x 1080 (100%) to anywhere below 1600 x 900 (80%).
Tweaking this setting alone, without the others we mentioned above, could nearly double your frame rates and let you play the game at 40-50fps consistently with no noticeable difference in graphics quality.
The Best Cyberpunk 2077 Settings
Unless you've got a high-end gaming PC, we recommend sticking to these settings for optimal performance.
- Contact Shadows: On
- Improved Facial Lighting Geometry: On
- Anisotropy: 8
- Local Shadow Mesh Quality: Low
- Local Shadow Quality: Low
- Cascaded Shadows Range: Low
- Distant Shadows Resolution: Low
- Volumetric Fog Resolution: Low
- Volumetric Cloud Quality: Low
- Max Dynamic Decals: Low
- Screen Space Reflections Quality: On
- Subsurface Scattering Quality: Low
- Ambient Occlusion: Low
- Color Precision: Low
- Mirror Quality: Low
- Level of Detail: Low
One thing you'll also want to do is to move Cyberpunk 2077 to your SSD storage drive. Although the game doesn't have any loading screens, the fact is that it relies on your computer hardware to load objects and textures fast enough makes installing the game on an SSD necessary.
Without an SSD, even a high-end PC will occasionally get pop-ins and lags because an HDD just can't keep up.
Unfortunately, outside of dropping the preset down to "Low" on top of dropping the Dynamic FidelityFX CAS minimum resolution to 70%, hitting 60fps with just a GTX 1060 or an RX 590 is impossible at this point.
The only way for that to happen is for CD Projekt RED to optimize the game better, which could take weeks if not months.
For now, the best way to improve performance in Cyberpunk 2077 is to follow the tweaks we mentioned above. It won't get you to 60fps yet, but it'll get you close to it, which is much better than running the game at 30fps with the occasional dips to the low 20s.
You can also enjoy the game much better by following the tips in our Beginner's Guide.