Best Graphics Setting For Valorant
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Valorant, released on June 2020, is a character-based tactical shooter from Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends. You will see similarities in gameplay and mechanics from other popular shooter games like Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six Siege, and Overwatch. It immediately became popular and became one of the best competitive FPS game. It also received several nominations on The Game Awards 2020 as Best Multiplayer Game, Esports Game of the Year, and Best Community Support.
On the technical side, Valorant is built on heavily modified Unreal Engine 4, same engine used on Fornite (will transition to Unreal Engine 5) and some anime video games. Valorant also looks like Paladins from Hi-Rez. If you know Paladins and don’t know Valorant (or vice-versa), you will mistakenly thought that Valorant image is Paladins’.
The developers offer a variety of graphical quality settings to provide the best image possible. Though some of the usual settings are available, some settings that considerably affects the image quality like ambient occlusion, tessellation, and shadow quality are missing.
We will play and test these settings and see what they do to the image and performance of the game.
|Minimum 30 fps||Recommended 60 fps|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo E8400||Intel Core i3-4150|
|Memory||4 GB||4 GB|
|Video Card||Intel HD 4000|
1GB Video Memory
|GeForce GT 730
1GB Video Memory
|Operating System||Windows 7/8/10 64 -bit||Windows 7/8/10 64 -bit|
Valorant’s minimum requirements are really low in today’s standards, even the developers only required a 13-year-old processor in Core 2 Duo E8400. RAM requirement is also too low requiring only 4 GB and the graphics requirement is also too low, requiring only Intel HD 4000 which is slower than the GeForce GT 710. By these requirements, you should be able to play Valorant with a budget system from 2012.
The recommended requirement to get 60fps only required a budget processor and graphics card from 2014. This is great work by the developers since Valorant and these types of games require precision over image eye candies.
- System A – Intel Core i3-4160, Intel HD 4400, 6 GB DDR3-1333
- System B – Intel Core i3-3240, GeForce GTX 550 Ti, 12 GB DDR3-1333
We do have 2 systems to test Valorant in different scenarios. For image settings tests, we used System A. We ran the test on the firing range and do the practice skills test which lasted 90 seconds. We used the MSI Afterburner benchmarking tool to record the average and 1% low frames per second.
For the preset tests and actual game benchmarking, we used both systems with different resolutions. At 1280×720, we used System A on Ascent Map. At 1920×1080, we used System B on the Icebox map. We played Spike Rush mode and benchmarking started at the start of each round and ends when the player dies.
Settings Image Comparison and Performance
Material quality setting controls the detail on each object, mostly by improving textures
The impact on performance is very minimal on high settings. We can set this to High.
Texture Quality setting is supposed to improve the textures, but in this setting, it does absolutely nothing. Maybe this setting is already handled by the Material Quality setting.
Even though the texture quality setting does nothing in the image, it still deducts some fps on medium and high quality. We recommend setting this to low.
Detail Quality adds detail to the objects and environment. It adds some objects to the surrounding like flowers, leaves, and trashes. Trees are mostly affected by this setting.
It diminishes some fps especially on high. Setting this to medium makes the image look better without sacrificing some fps.
UI Quality setting controls the in-game image quality while the heads-up display (HUD) is on. At low setting, the in-game image is a little darker making it harder to see what is happening in-game while the HUD is on. At medium, it is now brighter and you can now see what’s going on while the HUD is on. At high setting, it is still bright but the game is now blurred.
The performance impact is very minimal but we don’t it helps in improving the game’s image quality so we recommend setting this to low.
Vignette makes the lower and upper sides of the screen darker.
The performance impact is very minimal but you won’t really notice this additional effect in-game and we recommend to just turn this setting off.
Anti-aliasing makes the edges of the objects smoother. Among the methods available, MSAA 4x gives the best quality while MSAA 2x is the worst. FXAA stands in between.
On to their performances, we were surprised by the FXAA with only minimal fps hit while giving desirable quality. Meanwhile the two MSAA modes took away half of the fps compared to FXAA and when it is turned off. FXAA is no doubt the best option for this setting.
Anisotropic Filtering improves the ground texture. Textures are more visible at a higher value.
Anisotropic filtering in Valorant moderately impacted the performance as opposed to our previous articles with benchmarking texture /anisotropic filtering, in which the performance is almost unaffected.
Improve Clarity adjusts the game’s contrast.
Turning this on took away 13 fps on average. The visual impact is not really that useful so we recommend turning this off.
Experimental sharpening sharpens everything on the screen, making blurred textures clearer.
The performance hit is minimal and yet it improves the visual so we recommend turning this on.
Bloom controls the intensity of light sources.
The performance impact is minimal but we don’t find this useful and we would rather save some fps by turning this off.
Distortion adds refraction effect on scope’s lenses, but then that’s it. We expected to see some blur effect but there was none.
The performance impact is very minimal but we don’t see visual improvement, even if we have seen one we would have also turned this off.
Cast Shadows add shadows to your character, but we only saw shadows on guns.
It moderately affects the performance, but since the visual improvement is not really useful, we recommend turning this off.
The Best Setting
The developers did not provide presets for easy visual configurations. We made our own presets including the best setting based on our recommendations earlier.
Our custom setting looks very similar to Medium+On preset with minor differences in lighting. The High preset adds objects and details to the environment. Setting everything to low or off, Valorant looks like a 12-year old game like the first Borderlands.
On our System A tests at 1280×720 resolution, our Custom setting managed to give us 32 average fps with 26 1% low fps which is better than the Medium+Off preset with 28 average fps and only 19 1% low fps. Both the Medium+On and High presets are under 20 on average and 1% low fps, which is considered unplayable for this fast-paced type of game. With everything turned off and set to low, Low preset almost reached 60 fps on average with over 37 1% low fps. Depending on your system, the Low and Custom setting gives you the playable framerates.
At 1920×1080 resolution, our System B were playable on all presets. Low and Medium+Off preset cracked 70 average fps with over 40 1% low fps. Medium+On preset is just over 50 average fps with 39 1% low fps while High preset is under 50 average fps with 27 1% low fps, which is still playable. Our Custom preset almost hit 70 fps with 68 average fps and 42 1% low fps.
Summary and Recommendations
With similar visual quality compared to Medium+On preset and yet way better performance, this means that we were successful in figuring out which settings are worth turning on and which that need to be turned off.
If you have a better system than the ones we have, you can maximize the Anisotropic filtering to 16x to get clearer textures.
Despite being built on Unreal Engine 4, the developers made a way to make this game playable on budget and even on 9-year-old systems. The only issues we have are that some settings don’t provide the quality they are supposed to produce like the texture quality, distortion, and cast shadows. But Valorant is still a fairly new game so we are hopeful that the game will improve even more not only in graphics but as a game in general.