Horizon Forbidden West: the best PC settings look a lot like Guerrilla’s choices for PlayStation 5

Now that Horizon Forbidden West is out on PC and we have had a good deal of time with the final shipping game, we can tie up some loose ends that were left hanging after last week’s first look. What do optimised settings look like? What about Steam Deck? And are any lingering issues that should be addressed in future updates?

Kicking off with those all-important optimised settings, we had additional insight into making our selections owing to our in-depth conversation with Guerrilla Games and Nixxes, as documented on Eurogamer last week. For example, some settings are there for completeness’s sake but won’t really impact performance on most gaming PCs. Take ambient occlusion, for starters. There’s an SSAO option and the ability to turn it off – and that’s it. The performance win in disabling it is inconsequential, so keep that on. It’s the same thing with screen-space shadows. Such options may exist for the benefit of Steam Deck and ultra-low spec hardware but they should be left on for the majority of users.

Beyond that, there are some presets that can safely ‘whacked up to max’ in the finest PC tradition without too much in the way of a performance hit. PS5 delivers many of its textures with 4x anisotropic filtering, but the cost of texture filtering is minimal on PC, meaning 16x is perfectly viable. You’d want the detail increase of 8x over the console version but on an RTX 3070, there’s no performance impact at all in going up to 16x. Hair quality can also be run at max (ie ‘high’) as that’s a match for PS5 and while lower quality settings are available, the frame-rate boost is negligible – even at native 4K on the same RTX 3070.

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