The best graphics settings will vary depending on your PC’s hardware and personal preferences. Here are some general settings that you can follow to get the best possible performance and visuals.
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Window Mode: Full Screen
Resolution: Native or 1080p
Framerate Limit: Native
Field Of View: 60
Texture Quality: Maximum
SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion): High
Depth of Field: OFF
Motion Blur: OFF
Shadow Quality: High
Lighting Quality: High
Effects Quality: High
Volumetric Fog Quality: High
Reflection Quality: High
Water Surface Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
Ray Tracing Quality: OFF or Maximum
Texture Quality – Maximum
Unlike other video games, changing the texture settings does not improve the resolution of the textures. Hence, it does not have that much of an effect on the performance of Armored Core 6.
This setting affects the Anisotropic Filtering of the textures. Pay attention to the VRAM of your GPU and choose High or Maximum based on that.
Antialiasing – High
There are different antialiasing techniques like FXAA, TAA, MSAA, and SMAA, with FXAA being the least technologically expensive. Armored Core 6 only employs FXAA and TAA, shown in-game as Low and High, respectively. I recommend the High setting as TAA is a better antialiasing technique than FXAA.
SSAO – High
SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) is a unique trick that adds realism to how things look in a video game.
Since this option has a noticeable effect on the overall quality of your surroundings, a value of at least High is recommended. There is some performance impact, so you can go lower to Medium if needed. This will add depth to all of the superbly crafted environments.
Depth of Field – OFF or High
This setting is a bit of a personal preference as it makes objects in the background less sharp to give Armored Core 6 more of a cinematic look. So it is recommended to keep this setting OFF as it also slightly gives more FPS.
If you like the depth of field look, you can turn it to anything lower than Maximum with a slight performance hit. The Maximum setting in is too aggressive and will blur out the whole screen and make the overall image look relatively softer.
Motion Blur – OFF
Motion Blur is yet another setting that boils down to personal preferences. Thus, it would be best if you kept Motion Blur OFF. This will also improve the performance a tad bit.
But similar to Depth of Field’s case, you can turn it to Maximum for a small FPS hit.
Shadow Quality – High
Now, this is one of the settings that significantly hit the performance of Armored Core 6. Unfortunately, shadows are also significant for the quality of any video game. So, a shadow quality of at least High is recommended.
Anything lower than that will be noticeable. While the performance hit from High to Maximum will be too high to be worth it.
Lighting Quality – High
Lighting quality improves the lighting of the game. This setting does not have any noticeable effect on the performance, so it is recommended to crank this up to the Maximum. There should not be any significant change in the framerate.
Effects Quality – High
I recommend keeping it High as the lower values remove a lot of effects without any performance improvements whatsoever.
Volumetric Fog Quality – High
This setting is also fairly demanding on your graphics card. The jump from High to Maximum is exceptionally high. This jump alone would cost you a good chunk of your framerate.
Conversely, the performance is the same at lower settings. So, the recommendation is to keep the volumetric fog quality at High unless you have a very beefy card.
Reflection Quality – High
While the visual difference between High and Maximum can more or less be ignored, the performance difference is a lot. So, keep this one at High and enjoy a relatively higher framerate.
Water Surface Quality – High
This setting determines how water reacts to your Raven’s landings. There is no performance impact, so it should be kept at High.
Shader Quality – High
Shaders are very important for a video game to look visually pleasing. There is no effect on the performance of increasing the quality of this one. So, we will be keeping it at High.
Ray Tracing Quality – OFF or Maximum
Contrary to what the existence of this setting might make you believe, Armored Core 6 does not have any ray tracing during normal gameplay. This setting does not affect whatsoever on normal gameplay whatsoever.
You can turn it to Maximum if you have a capable graphics card that supports ray tracing.
Due to the quirks of the game engine, Armored Core 6 might have bad performance on CPUs with hyperthreading enabled. Four-core CPUs are especially prone in this regard. To fix this, access your BIOS/UEFI and turn off hyperthreading if you’re on Intel or SMT in AMD’s case.
Hardware GPU scheduling and Variable refresh rate might also be a reason behind the stuttering. You can deactivate both of them by going to Display > Graphics Settings.
In some cases, the Easy Anti-Cheat might be the culprit behind Armored Core 6’s lousy performance. Disabling it will lock Armored Core 6 into an offline-only state.
Go to the folder where your game is installed.
Backup the original start_protected_game.exe by renaming it to start_protected_game.bak.
Make a copy of armoredcore6.exe.
Rename the copy to start_protected_game.exe.
Following Elden Ring’s footsteps, Armored Core 6 also has the infamous bug. If you are unaware of the bug, the performance is impacted if the game engine detects a CPU0 core.
I did not encounter any game-breaking bugs. Even if you do, the only way to solve this issue is to turn off the CPU0 core through the Task Manager or a similar process manager.
Go to the Details tab.
Find either start_protected_game.exe or armoredcore6.exe.
Right-click on it.
Choose Set affinity.
Uncheck CPU0 from the newly opened window.
Unfortunately, the caveat is that you must redo this whenever you restart your system. You can use Project Lasso to get around this, but you must buy it. Instead, System Informer is recommended as it is free and open-source.
You can click on Save for armoredcore6.exe or start_protected_game.exe in the Right-click menu for the settings to persist in System Informer.
For a well-rounded experience in Armored Core 6, I suggest using High Antialiasing to enhance edge smoothness and selecting High SSAO for added environmental depth. Setting Shadow Quality to High strikes a good balance between visuals and performance, in my experience. It’s worth noting that individual preferences and PC specifications can play a role in determining the final settings.
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