Cyberpunk 2077: How to make it look and run better on console AND on PC

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Cyberpunk 2077 is a beautiful game if you’re running on PC. But with a few tweaks you can make it even better.

And the good news? Console players, too, can benefit from these small tweaks almost immediately.

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We’ve spent hours tweaking the settings, messing around with Nvidia’s brilliant DLSS (which literally saves the day as we’ll discuss later) and putting our test Nvidia 3080 GPU through its paces.

First, we’ll go through how to improve the QUALITY of the visuals. The second section will focus on PERFORMANCE gains, and will be more relevant for PC gamers.

Quality: These steps apply to both PC AND console.

Step 1: Navigate to the ‘graphics’ tab in the menu

In here you’ll see a number of different settings: Film Grain, Chromatic Aberration, Depth of Field, Lens Flare, and Motion Blur.

Time to get the hatchet ready...

Step 2: Film Grain: Turn this off immediately. It makes the game look foggy as Hell and actually may give you the odd frame or two back when playing on PC.

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Step 3: Chromatic Aberration. Now, this usually should be kept on – but it’ll basically make the screen react like a camera lens. In other words, it’ll amplify the effects of things such as neon, which play a big part in the game.

Some people may not like that look… and turning it off can improve image clarity. Our view? Keep it on for console, but toggle off for PC.

Step 4: Depth of Field can add, well, more depth, to the image – but it doesn’t work well in console. Switch this off. PC gamers, keep this on – you’ll notice the image doesn’t quite ‘look’ right.

Step 5: Lens Flare – keep this on. Given just how much neon is dotted around, the city will feel a bit ‘flat’ if the you don’t get the effect of the light scattering over the iris.

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Step 6: Motion Blur. Absolutely cull this immediately. It’ll make everything look more hazy and less sharp. PC owners may opt to keep on, but I’d argue removing adds further clarity – which can help combat some of the blur from DLSS. 

A note on HDR. Be careful! There are two HDR options HDR10 PQ and HDR10-SRGB. 

The SRGB one uses a slightly higher quality internal framebuffer so that’ll lead to the better image. Opt for that if you can and if you TV supports it.

 Oh, and on that – here are the settings I used on the 55ins OLED (Bx).

Maximum Brightness – 900

Tone-Mapping Midpoint – 1.20

Paper White - 170

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That should help! The actual calibrating system in Cyberpunk is  bit hit and miss – it’s hard to tell how the world ‘should look’.

READ MORE:Stadia crashes, just as Cyberpunk was making it look good!

Performance: These tips are just for PC players

PC owners, this is for you. Don’t spend hours, like I didn’t, trying to find the right balance. The below should hopefully do that for you. Note – everything is set to Ultra. With ‘Auto’ we were able to add ‘Psycho’ settings to Ray Tracing – but it really wasn’t worth the frame cost.

DLSS: Auto / Balanced – if screen above 38ins

DLSS: Performance – if screen below 38ins

Follow all of the above steps, then we recommend the following tweaks (used at your discretion).

DLSS: I’m sure you’re familiar with DLSS, but this essentially reconstructs a ‘4k’ image from a lower resolution image. In other words, the game may be running at say 1440p, but this is then ‘rebuilt’ to look like a higher resolution image. And in the case of Cyberpunk, it’s an absolute lifesaver. The Nvidia 3080 we’ve been using, although a beast, simply cannot handle the game at Ultra without DLSS switched on. When it’s on, it’s a different story altogether, the game runs brilliantly and handles far, far better.

After playing around, I recommend switching DLSS to ‘Auto’ if you’re playing on a screen larger than 38ins. Balanced will improve things even more, but you’ll see a frame rate hit. For those on a smaller monitor, say 27ins, opt for ‘performance’ then head into the Nvidia GPU settings (if you have a card) and play around with the sharpening.

Step 2: Turn off Cascaded Shadows Resolution: It’s automatically set to high, but knock it down to medium. You won’t notice anything really and it gives you a decent frame boost. 

Follow these tips, and you should see Cyberpunk 2077 starting to look a lot better, and you might just decide not to ask for a refund after all!

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