Nvidia Launches Two Tweak Guides for Skyrim

Over the last few weeks, Nvidia has posted two tweak guides for the just-released RPG from Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The first guide offers ten pages of tweaks, ranging from general system optimization to general video settings to playing around with Object Fade and Actor Fade. The second guide is designed for PC gamers who don't want to sift through ten pages, and are looking to make quick changes to make the game look better.

Up first is Nvidia's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 10-page Tweak Guide, written by Koroush Ghazi and naturally focuses on the GeForce customer. "The aim of this guide is to allow you to better understand and utilize all of the configuration options available in Skyrim, as well as a selection of advanced tweaks to enhance the game," he writes. "What follows are full descriptions for all of the settings available in Skyrim's options menus. Performance information is also provided for every setting, although bear in mind that the precise impact on your particular system depends on your specific hardware combination and and your other game and system-wide settings."

But before gamers dig into all the options, Ghazi suggests that users download and install the free FRAPS utility to objectively measure the changes in Frames Per Second (FPS). He also said that VSync is enabled by default, and cannot be disabled using the in-game settings. To get an accurate FPS reading, VSync will need to be addressed which is covered in the Advanced Tweaking section of the guide. An enabled VSynch means the FPS will be capped to the refresh rate of the display, thus framerates won't go beyond 60 FPS on a monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

The second Skyrim guide actually appeared just before Thanksgiving, and offers "Five Fast Skyrim Tweaks Guaranteed To Make Your Game Look Even Better." This one requires the use of a 3rd-party tool called Nvidia Inspector, and covers the following settings: ambient occlusion, high quality anisotropic texture filtering, shadow quality, tree self-shadowing and uGrids. The latter setting refers to the hundreds of thousands of sections that create Skyrim's world, and by default, Skyrim loads the five nearest sections within your line of sight, plus the one your character inhabits.

"On a mid-to-high end system this setting can be tweaked, forcing the game to load seven sections, dramatically improving scene quality in many locations," the guide reads. "Higher values, such as nine and eleven, are extremely unstable and therefore only recommended for users wanting to create wallpaper-worthy screenshots. By rendering this extra detail your frame rate will be reduced (to what extent is impossible to say as this reduction can vary wildly from scene to scene)."

If you haven't started tweaking Skyrim already, Nvidia offers plenty of reading material and advise to get the game running optimally on your Nvidia-based system. Most of these tweaks also applies to AMD GPUs until the guides discuss the Nvidia Control Panel, but these settings could easily be translated for the Catalyst Control Center.

  • Pyree
    That is handy.
  • jcb82
    Thats what I love about PC gaming, zillions of ways to tweak and get the most out of your unique hardware.
  • aevm
    How about AMD, did they make a guide for their cards too?
  • soccerdocks
    aevmHow about AMD, did they make a guide for their cards too?
    It took them 3 weeks just to get the beta crossfire drivers released. They're not gonna release any guide.
  • jhansonxi
    Nice that Nvidia is providing the guides. Getting the maximum performance out of a video card is tricky on the PC with the number of GPUs/CPUs/RAM types.

    On the Xbox360 the game looked great but the gameplay wasn't. The AI has really horrible navigation issues. Lots of opponents get stuck on edges or behind small movable objects. Managed to fall out of the map by climbing the wall at the end of the Southfringe Sanctum. On the other hand, blasting dragon corpses 1000s of yards over mountains with a fireball is fun.
  • alidan
    jcb82Thats what I love about PC gaming, zillions of ways to tweak and get the most out of your unique hardware.
    personally, i just wish every game just worked right the moment i put it in.

    i mean feed the game what i have. than give me the options and show me a projected fps.

    do i want the best graphics
    do i want better graphics than my card can handle fast
    do i want the best at 30fps
    do i want 60fps
    do i want the lowest setting so i can go really really fast...

    and im not really talking about dumbing the graphics interface down, what im talking about is a game developer should have certain presets for each card... it cant be that much work, you more or less know how cards preform, make the game know what would look best at certain frame rates...

    i hate how when im given the choice, how every time my graphics settings are put to mid range, when i have yet to play a game that i couldn't max on my 5770 at 1920x1200 with shadows turned off, and no aa. (i dont have battle field 3 but that is one, and if you don't have a retardedly far draw disntacen in skyrim, you can basicly max that too)

    i mean look at the toms Hierarchy chart. i had a 6800 ultra and oblivion played like crap on it, so lets assume thats the minimum.

    that would be about 17 graphic levels pre tweaked for your gaming experience, and they know better than anyone what their engine can do, do you don't spend an hour or so figuring out what is the best you can play at and still get decent frame rates.

    games not working 100% of the time, and the initial tweak is probably the only two things i don't like about gaming on the pc.
  • maddad
    Even if the game developer could take into consideration some graphic cards, they could not account for all the different hardrive, ssd, CPU, motherboard, drivers, etc... that people might be using. An Xbox 360 and a PS3 are constants. It is difficult to program for all the possible PC configurations people might have. I don't mind making some tweaks to get the game running the way I want it to on my machine.
  • MrShadowGuru
    Good that Nvidia is thinking about the consumers.
  • BulkZerker
    Nvidia: Because you damn kids bitch too much about FPS or image quality.
  • soccerdocks
    alidangames not working 100% of the time, and the initial tweak is probably the only two things i don't like about gaming on the pc.
    You make it seem like gaming on a PC is way more complicated. There are really only two additional steps to game on a PC.
    1. Install the game. I don't get what's to complain about this. You basically push the "next button" 6 times.
    2. Adjust image quality. Usually either low, medium, high, and ultra.

    That's really all you need to do differently. Its really not that different and I don't see it as something to complain about.