Best graphics settings for Fallout 4 for FPS and performance

Best graphics settings for Fallout 4 for FPS and performance
Rory Greig Updated on by

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✓ Quick tips for FPS
  • Disable weapon debris
  • Set Godrays to low quality

Since the announcement of a next-gen version of Fallout 4, there has been a renewed interest in the game. If you fancy getting back into the world of the Commonwealth but don’t fancy forking out for a new version you might well be looking to reboot the 2015 game for the first time in a while.

If that is the case, you’ll want to know the best graphics settings. While back in the day many players were plagued with performance issues, largely chalked up to poor optimisation and an infamous 60FPS frame cap, with modern technology it is much simpler to get a good graphics performance out of the game.

What are the best graphics settings for Fallout 4?

There are a tonne of graphics settings to adjust and fine-tune in Fallout 4. Sure, you could methodically go through each one deciding how much it affects your visual experience and keeping tabs on the consequences for performance, but that would take an age.

To make things simpler, we’ve provided two recommended settings – one that prioritises performance and one that maximises visual fidelity. Let’s get into it.

Best performance graphics settings for Fallout 4

Two people in power armor suits standing in a post-apocalyptic landscape, one wielding a large gun, captured with the best graphics settings for Fallout 4.

Here are the graphic settings optimised to maximise your performance. We’ll break this down more below but there are some settings that we’ve chosen to not set to a minimum. In each of these cases, it is because doing so costs relatively little in terms of computing power, but delivers a significant improvement to the visual experience.

Aspect ratio16:9 / native
Resolution2560 x 1440 / 1920 x 1080
AntialiasingFXXAA (Low)
Anisotropic filtering16 samples
Texture qualityMedium
Shadow qualityMedium
Shadow distanceLow
Decal quantityNone
Lighting qualityMedium
Godrays qualityLow
Depth of fieldStandard (Low)
Ambient occlusionSSAO (High)
Weapon debrisOff (best performance)
Screen space reflectionsOff
Rain occlusionOff
Motion blurOff
Lens flareOff

There are a few places here where we haven’t strictly gone for the least power draw possible. For example, we recommend not disabling Anisotropic Filtering but instead setting it to 16 samples. This is because it has a very minimal impact on performance but provides a significant improvement to graphic quality.

We recommended a medium texture quality, though you can safely set this to ultra provided your card has more than 6GB of VRAM. If it does you can rest assured it is not texture quality that is causing any performance issues.

Best fidelity graphics settings for Fallout 4

A dystopian city street scene in Fallout 4 at night with neon signs, debris, and a solitary figure in a trench coat and hat.
A dystopian city street scene in Fallout 4 at night with neon signs, debris, and a solitary figure in a trench coat and hat.

Despite its 2015 release date Fallout 4 has some impressive graphics settings. When all these are turned up and tweaked you can have a visually impressive gaming experience. You may need to do some fine-tuning here, however, as it can be surprisingly intensive on even some of the best graphics cards out there.

Aspect ratio16:9 / native
Resolution2560 x 1440 / 3840 x 2160
AntialiasingTAA (Best quality)
Anisotropic filtering16 samples
Texture qualityUltra
Shadow qualityUltra
Shadow distanceUltra
Decal quantityUltra
Lighting qualityUltra
Godrays qualityHigh
Depth of fieldBokeh (Best quality)
Ambient occulisionSSAO (High)
Weapon DebrisOff (best performance)
Screen space reflectionsOn
Rain occlusionOn
Motion blurOn
Lens flareOn

Despite being an old game, having all these graphic settings pumped to their highest setting makes for a pretty intensive workload for your PC. You’ll want one of the best GPUs for Fallout 4 to handle this. Some notable specs here include having god rays set to high quality. God rays can be a huge bottleneck for GPU performance but also look brilliant. If your system can hack them you get a great visual reward for having these set to their highest quality.

One setting stands out here and that is weapon debris. Despite this being our recommendation for the best fidelity graphic settings, you’ll notice that Weapon Debris is still left in performance mode. This is for good reason. In the years since the Fallout 4 was released, there have been a number of driver updates to modern GPUs and these have had an impact on Fallout 4, one of them being that Weapon Debris is essentially broken. If you don’t disable it, the majority of GPUs will crash the game fairly regularly.

Does Fallout 4 have ray tracing?

No there is no ray tracing available in the original Fallout 4. This is a shame as it has the potential to hugely elevate the graphics. It is possible it will be introduced in the future but for now, there is no sign of it.

Is Fallout 4 graphically demanding?

When it was first released Fallout 4 had a reputation for being poorly optimised leading to a demanding game. Fortunately, technology has progressed fast in the years since its release meaning that by today’s standards, it is no longer so graphically demanding.