id Explains How to Tweak the Most Out of PC Rage, More Official Settings Coming Soon

The PC version of Rage will soon have a bevy of new ways for gamers to tweak the way the game behaves and looks on their system, id Software tells Kotaku.

"Rage has fewer tunable settings than games we've released in the past," Robert Duffy, Rage programming director, told Kotaku. "We've added a few more video options in the update that will be available soon and these will provide gamers more flexibility in tuning the game for performance and quality. Additionally we've defaulted several things differently based on CPU/GPU combinations, so that will also help with the overall experience."

"We are still evaluating which options to surface in the update but currently we've added:"
1. Texture Cache [ Small | Large ] which alternates between 4k and 8k pages
2. Texture Anisotropy [ Low | High ]
3. VSYNC [ Off | On | Smart ] "Smart" will only be available once future drivers come out that supports the extension so Off and On are the only options when the patch initially hits.

John Carmack, Rage's technical director, said he was a "bit surprised at the intensity of the reaction" to the low number of video options.

"We are providing a few more options in an update, and we will probably document some of the more obscure tuning options that can be done manually," he said.

We asked Duffy for a quick run down of what gamers can do now, if they want to much about in the game's console or Steam settings. Here's what he told us:

Here are several ways to change settings but the easiest is through the Steam launch options for the game which are accessible by right clicking on RAGE in the Steam Library, choose Properties, and then Set Launch Options. Depending on your setup the following can boost performance and/or quality.

If you have a high end GPU with at least 1GB+ of dedicated video ram you can use what we refer to as 8K Pages. These pages are effectively the GPU-based texture cache and if the video ram is available can greatly reduce texture page-in. Please note that if enough video ram is not available, setting this can drastically reduce performance and this does not always play nice on a 32bit OS. The following command line can be used to enable 8K textures. (Current valid settings are 4096 or 8192.)

+vt_pageImageSizeUnique 8192 +vt_pageImageSizeUniqueDiffuseOnly8192 +vt_pageImageSizeUniqueDiffuseOnly2 8192

Another setting that will prove beneficial to gamers with 4 or less cores is to try different values for vt_maxppf. This particular setting changes how many texture pages are transcoded per frame. On systems with fewer cores reducing it from the default of 128 can greatly enhance performance and limit texture page-in artifacts. A value of 16 appears to be the best option in cases where the CPU is getting hammered because of fewer cores. The patch defaults this value based on the number of cores present but in the meantime gamers can use the following command line to see if it helps with any issues they may be seeing. (Valid settings for vt_maxppf are 8, 16, 32, 64, 128)

+vt_maxppf 16

Let us know in comments what you find works best for your system. Also, what other settings you'd like to seen built into the options menu for the PC.

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You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.