Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Optimization Guide: Most and Least Intensive Graphics Settings

Rockstar’s blockbuster title finally came to PC a while back, but the reception was less than positive. The optimization was sub-par and the game performed poorly even on the most powerful graphics cards. The problem was that changing the settings didn’t affect the performance. Using an RTX 2080 Super, I got 45-47 FPS in the first level at ultra. Switching to the low graphics preset pushed it up to 48-49 but that’s about. It was downright frustrating. Thankfully, after the first act gets over, the performance is much better.

If you are still running into performance issues on the PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2, read this guide. You’ll know which settings to change and which ones don’t impact the picture quality by much.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC: Performace at Ultra vs Low

It’s really hard to get it Red Dead Redemption 2 to run at 60 FPS on PC. Lowering the settings from ultra to low at times has no notable impact on performance (the very first mission). At best, the performance delta between the ultra and low quality preset is that of a mere 10 FPS for the most part.

Using an RTX 2080 Super

Although, the in-game benchmark shows a big gap between the ultra and low quality presets, in most scenes, it rarely veers past 10-12 frames per sec. This is especially prominent in the very first level where reducing the graphics quality has almost no impact at times. As you progress more through the game and reach the town of Valentine, the graphics menu starts becoming relevant. Even then, it’s just a few options that have a notable impact on performance.

GameDebate did a really good job of demonstrating the impact of each option on performance. Have a look

So essentially, it’s just the reflection quality, water quality and volumetric setting that can be lowered to boost performance. You can also check out their guide to note the impact of each option on the visual fidelity if you’re interested. Now, let’s head to the benchmarks.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Benchmarks

As you can see, all the cards deliver 60+ FPS at the balanced quality preset. While that is true for the in-game benchmark, you’ll often drop below even 40 FPS which is quite annoying.

At 1440p, the GTX 1660 Super becomes unviable while the RTX 2060 barely manages to cross the 60 FPS mark. The Radeon RX 5700 XT (by far) performs the best at the balanced quality preset, beating the 2070 Super as well as the much more expensive 2080 Super.

At 4K, the RTX 2080 Super and AMD’s 5700 XT are the only surviving cards and the rest of parts bow out with lows of as much as 1 FPS. Here, the Navi flagship levels with the 2080 Super as the bandwidth advantage of the latter comes into the picture.

I found that AMD cards perform the best at the balanced quality graphics preset. At highest quality, the 2070 S performs on par with the 5700 XT while the 2080 S manages to edge past it. So, anyone with a Navi card should stick to that preset and then make changes to options that don’t have a notable impact on performance.

How to get 60 FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2 PC

In my opinion, the easiest way to get to the 60 FPS mark is to scale down your settings to the Xbox One X equivalent and then see what kind of performance you get. I saw an increase of around 50% on doing so, and there’s little impact on the quality unless you check with a magnifying glass.

Source: EuroGamer

Use these settings, then using the above chart, start increasing the settings until you reach your desired quality-performance ratio. That’s it for now. Let us know if you have any queries. I’ll get back ASAP.



Computer Engineering dropout (3 years), writer, journalist, and amateur poet. I started Techquila while in college to address my hardware passion. Although largely successful, it suffered from many internal weaknesses. Left and now working on Hardware Times, a site purely dedicated to. Processor architectures and in-depth benchmarks. That's what we do here at Hardware Times!

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