If You’re Okay With Compromised Graphics Quality, That Is
Right now, Destiny 2 is one of the most popular games on consoles, and a strong candidate for an award in the GOTY 2017. Graphics-wise, it demands a beefy GPU to run smoothly, or at least that’s what Bungie suggested. But if you, like many other gamers, don’t even have a dedicated GPU to begin with, your integrated graphics will actually be enough, as this gamer showed when his GTX 1080 died on him. Keeping that in note, we’ve made an easy-to-understand guide to running Destiny 2 if your laptop/desktop has integrated graphics. Read on:
PS: It goes without saying that this isn’t a magical solution where you can expect the game to run smoothly and have all the eye candy. You will be compromising on many things, sometimes ones which might not cut it for you. The framerate will also be dependent on your CPU speed and the amount of RAM you have.
1. The Basics
As the name suggests, these are basic and ‘everybody knows this’ sort of tips, but they’re also overlooked many times. Be sure that you’re not one of them:
- Update/Change your drivers: If you’re using a laptop, there’s a good chance that your Intel graphics driver might be a modified one. I recommend going to the website of the manufacturer of your integrated graphics and downloading the original, unmodified drivers there. Make sure that they are up-to-date as well. When installing the drivers, you’ll get an option
- Kill unnecessary background processes: Background processes can hog both your CPU and your RAM. Be sure to kill them in the task manager. In certain cases such as Cortana the process will turn itself back on, for which you’ll need to do some tinkering in order to keep it off.
- Performance mode: The control panel of your integrated graphics will have certain ‘modes’ that do their namesake functions. Turn on performance mode to get a certain boost.
- Disable battle.net: This background process can also take up horsepower you could be using on gaming. Go to settings>general and select “Exit battle.net completely” on the option that says “When I launch a game”
2. In-Game Settings
In-game settings are also simple to understand and it gets even simpler as we just want a decent framerate even if it means bidding adieu to eye candy. But, there are still certain things you should take care of:
- Shadows: By default, the game doesn’t turn shadows off even when you tune all of the settings to their lowest. But by editing the file located at C:\users\ [YOUR USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Bungie\DestinyPC\prefs\cvars.xml, it is possible. Search for a variable called “local_light_shadows” and change its value to 0 to disable it.
- Render resolution: Render resolution lies in the advanced panel of in-game video settings and basically changes the how 3-D elements and graphics of the game are rendered without affecting text and resolution of in-game menus. Anything under 30% can be considered too pixelated to use but if you have a laptop with a decent enough processor then chances are your integrated graphics will also be relatively modern. This allows you to keep the render resolution at ~35-45% and still get a playable framerate.
- Capping framerate: When your GPU becomes the limiting factor of your rig your framerate can go haywire. Putting a limit to the maximum framerate has actually proven to provide a more stable and playable experience.
3. Miscellaneous tips
Apart from the previous tips there are other general ones that are applicable in this case to help you improve your framerate too:
- Appropriate cooling: Despite requiring a decent GPU to run smoothly, Destiny 2 is also dependent on your CPU, meaning you’ll need to keep an eye on those temps and, if they reach dangerous levels (causing thermal throttling), take measures regarding your CPU’s cooler: ramp up its fan speed or get a better one (applies to desktop PCs only). In the case of laptops getting a cooling pad is the way to go
- VRAM: This option is dependent on the specs of your current rig. Your system will allocate some of the system memory as available vRAM to run graphic-related tasks (video games in this case). You can change this setting to allocate greater or a lesser amount of memory, changing the performance of the graphic-related task accordingly. So, if you think that you have plenty of RAM then it might not be a bad idea to allocate some extra system memory as available vRAM. However, depending on your motherboard, this setting may or may not be available to you.
- Storage tweaking: Defragging your hard drive can also decrease load times. If you own two hard drives, you could also try going for a RAID setup for faster speed but lesser redundancy (in RAID 0). But if you have some cash to spare, then getting an SSD is definitely better than a RAID 0 setup. Keep in mind, though, that once you get an SSD and have been using it for a while DO NOT defrag it in the hopes of performance boost. It decreases the longevity of your SSD – certainly something that you wouldn’t want!
Like we’ve said earlier, you’ll probably be getting playable framerates by making huge compromises, sometimes to the point where the enemies will look like small chunks of pixels to you. But if you’re okay with that, then you can still play Destiny 2 and progress in the main story. Probably best to steer clear of multiplayer, though.