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Resident Evil 7 no stutter guide for 30 and 60 fps systems

The release of the last Resident Evil game has had us go from indifferent, to cautiously optimistic, to infatuated with one of the best releases in the series; a game on par with the couple of initial classics and the fourth instalment. Capcom decided to drop the third person over-the-shoulder perspective for this one and go with the first person camera, refreshing the whole series in the process. Make no mistake, this is one of the greats, and you owe it to yourself to at least try it out even if you aren't into horror games at all. Unlike other publishers, Capcom has been kind enough to provide a demo of the first hour of the game in Steam. Go ahead and try it.

The game itself is quite well optimized, as it is one of the initial PlayStation VR titles released and that means it has to adhere to specific latency requirements. The good news for PC gamers (sorry, no PC VR yet) is a 60fps target where most older GPUs and systems can have a proper experience. Unfortunately, the game has a single performance issue. The auto-detection of proper settings is not the best in the business and it results in constant stutter in most systems, even really high end ones. We will provide you with a guide on how to get rid of that stutter no matter the system you have, and even settings to play at 30fps if you are with an older budget rig.

Before we start, grab the latest drivers

Here for NVIDIA users, and here for AMD users (get the Latest Windows Optional Driver).

Game Settings for GPUs with less than 4GB of memory

We have to start with game settings first. Navigate into Options --> Graphics in the game menu. If your GPU has 4GB or less VRAM, the settings below are highly recommended, with the performance-critical settings highlighted in bold:

Screen Resolution: 1920x1080
Refresh Rate: 59.94Hz
Display Mode: Full Screen
Field of Vision: 90
Frame Rate: Variable
V-Sync: Off
Rendering Method: Normal
Resolution Scaling: 1
Texture Quality: Medium
Texture Filtering: Very High
Mesh Quality: Very High
Anti-Aliasing: FXAA + TAA
Motion Blur: On
Effects Rendering: High
Depth of Field: On
Shadow Quality: High
Dynamic Shadows: On
Shadow Cache: Off
Ambient Occlusion: HBAO+
Bloom: On
Lens Flare: On
Volumetric Lighting Quality: High
Reflections: Variable
Subsurface Scattering: On
Chromatic Aberration: One
Color Space: SRGB

These settings are optimal for GPUs in the GTX 960/Radeon R9 280x performance range. We disable in game V-Sync control since it seems not to really work properly, as well as the internal frame limiter. If you have a GPU with 4GB of memory, you can try raising Texture Quality to High, but it might cause momentary stutters. Non-variable reflections kill performance in spaces with a lot of items in them, like the living room in the main mansion, so variable is what is recommended. Shadow Cache should be set to Off since enabling it only provides a performance boost for cards with 6 or more GB of memory. For everything below that, it should be set to Off.

EDIT: The Shadow Cache setting is more complicated than we thought it would be. It seems that some GPUs (mainly NVIDIA ones) seem to be fine with it even if the don't have more than 4GB of VRAM. The way it looks in our opinion, is that if the VRAM of the card is close to full because of the usage of other settings such as Texture Resolution or Shadow Quality, then Shadow Cache causes stutter. If there is enough VRAM for it, it seems to benefit performance greatly. Try to experiment with your specific setup.

Now the important part. Since the game's frame-pacing systems (its V-Sync setting and Frame Limiter settings) seem to be performing under-par, we have to substitute with external tools to provide frame rate control. There are two different ways to do this, depending on if you have an NVIDIA or AMD GPU.

Settings,  NVIDIA GPUs

For NVIDIA GPU owners the NVIDIA control panel and Riva Tuner Statistics Server are used to enforce V-Sync and limit the frame rate to reduce latency. Imagine that your card renders frames back to back, so without a limiter there is a "depth" of frames in the display queue that increases input latency. When the mouse moves if the card has to show five frames until the frame where input was inserted, that would be perceived like latency from the player. A frame limiter not only improves the pacing on which frames are delivered (meaning evenly within a second), but it also makes sure that there are no extra frames in the back buffer. It also helps you save power.

Right click on your Desktop and open the NVIDIA Control Panel and go to 3D Settings from the left, then select the Program Settings tab. From the list, look for Resident Evil 7, the name of the executable is re7.exe. When you select it leave everything in default mode, except the following:

Power Management Mode: Prefer Maximum Performance
Shader Cache: On
Vsync: Adaptive

For 30fps, set Vsync to Adaptive/Half-Refresh.

If you already have MSI Afterburner installed, Riva Tuner Statistics Server (or in short, RTSS) is an integral part of it, so you don't need to install it as an extra. After RTSS is installed, run it and you should be able to see its icon in the System Tray. When it opens press the plus button on the bottom left and navigate to where you have Resident Evil 7 installed. You have to select re7.exe and it will be added. Select it and make it look like this:

Now when your game runs your GPU should always utilize its maximum frequency, the driver should enable its own V-Sync implementation, and the RTSS frame limiter will improve input latency even more.

If you need 30fps, you just need to set the Framerate limit to 30.

Settings, AMD GPUs

For AMD GPUs we will need to have RadeonPro installed. Keep in mind it needs .Net Framework 3.5 preinstalled, and Windows 10 don't come with it by default. You can easily add it though. After you're done with the installation, open RadeonPro. Press the button with the green cross in the top middle right and navigate to where Resident Evil 7 is installed (usually steamapps\common\Resident Evil 7 - Biohazard) and select re7.exe.

With the game profile selected on the left, go to the Launcher tab and select Steam/Impulse/Origin.

We need one final step to make sure that RadeonPro works correctly with the game. Press the top middle Settings button and select Compatibility List from the left. Then, press Add and select re7.exe. With it selected, make sure that the options look as below:

Now that it's added, we can press Save and then with the profile still selected we go to the Tweaks tab and set it as follows for 60fps:

If you have a lower-end system and you want 30fps, we recommend the following:

Run the game using RadeonPro and the profile should activate just fine.

If your system has performance issues even with the 30fps limit, the first step we recommend for you is enabling the Interlaced Rendering Method. It lowers the rendering resolution and makes the game more fuzzy, but it fits with its general look and it provides a tremendous performance uplift. If your GPU is below the recommended specification, or it has fewer than 2GB VRAM, we recommend lowering in addition Texture Quality, Shadow Quality, Volumetric Lighting Quality and Ambient Occlusion, in that order, until you get playable frame rates.

We hope the guide has helped, please share it and comment on improvements below.


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