Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

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TundraPuppy
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Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby TundraPuppy » June 2nd, 2011, 1:04 am

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a technical document, some details have been summarized or simplified. Estimations of performance benefits or losses are estimates. Every computer is different, this is just a general guideline. More powerful video cards and CPUs will result in better performance. The best way to tell whether settings will work well for you or not is to experiment. Developers are highly encouraged to either notify me of any incorrect information, or simply to edit/correct this post.



The following is a detailed list of the different graphic settings for theHunter, as well as an brief explanation as to what each setting does so that you know what to look for in-game. It also includes an estimated analysis of the impact on performance, should you choose to modify your settings.

This list is based on a computer containing a mid-range CPU/video card. Forcing certain graphic options by using your video card's drivers are not recommended and can create visual problems or crashes; use the in-game graphical settings to tune your visuals.


Graphics Quality is an over-all setting that will adjust the other settings to roughly be optimal for a particular system. Default is the default settings that theHunter is released with. Low and High are for less powerful systems and more powerful systems, respectively. Custom can be chosen to not adjust the other settings and all you to adjust them yourself for fine tuning.

Note, that when you change this setting, it will change the other settings to a suggested setting, but it will not visually update the setting choices until you click Save, and then reopen the Settings options.

This setting, when chosen, will control the general graphics quality of the game, based on how powerful your computer is.


Fullscreen controls whether the game runs in a window on your desktop, thus sharing the load of your desktop with the video card, or the game runs fullscreen, thus taking priority of your video card. While running in windowed mode may make it faster and easier to use other programs at the same time as your game, it is also usually more taxing on the video card. Additionally, attempting to change resolution will result in the window changing size, while changing resolution when running a fullscreen will keep the game expanded to the size of the monitor and simply make the pixels appear larger or smaller.

This setting, if enabled, will increase framerate slightly.


Vertical Sync controls whether the in-game frame rate is synchronized to the monitor refresh rate. If you are running on a monitor that operates at 60Hz, and the game is outputting at 100 frames per second, the game will send frames faster to the monitor than it is able to display, and you will have some frames overwritten, which causes a visual effect like screen tearing or oddly fractured looking lines horizontally across the display. Synchronizing the frame rate to the refresh rate will mean no frames are overwritten - thus, Vertical Sync is essentially dropping frame rate until it matches the refresh rate of the monitor, and you will not see the visual artifact of screen tearing, increasing video quality.

Depending on the type of VSync the developers have chosen to use, this setting, if enabled, can lead to a feeling of slight input lag. Straight frame buffering can cause some amounts of input lag, while ping-pong buffering is more free of input lag.


Screen Resolution controls the number of pixels that is displayed on the screen, as well as the refresh rate (the hertz, abbreviated by Hz) of your monitor. The higher the resolution, the crisper the game will look. As a general rule it is important to keep the screen resolution at your maximum native resolution for your monitor. CRTs have more visual flexibility in this area; an LCD screen will blur and appear visually muddied if you attempt to display either more or less pixels than the native resolution of the monitor. Check your monitor manual or on-screen menu to determine the appropriate resolution you should use.

This setting will decrease framerate the higher you set it, however if you are running at fullscreen, it should always be at your native resolution.


Scene Complexity controls the in-game representation of how detailed objects are. A higher setting here results in more complex geometry in things like foliage, rocks, as well as making objects remain highly detailed at farther distances from the player. This is due to LOD (level of detail), which is used to swap lower resolution objects in as the player moves farther away from them and higher resolution objects in as the player moves closer to them. Lower settings result in a less detailed world and objects lose their detail at closer distances to the player.

This setting will decrease framerate a moderate amount the higher you set it.


Texture Quality controls the in-game resolution of textures. A higher setting here will result in higher-resolution (more pixels per in-game space) textures, which will make them appear sharper. Lower settings result in a lower-resolution texture being displayed, which is then resized larger, losing detail and appearing blurrier.

This setting will decrease framerate a moderate amount the higher you set it.


Shadow Quality controls the in-game resolution of shadows. A higher setting here will result in higher-resolution (more pixels per in-game space) shadows, which will make them appear sharper. Lower settings result in a scaled up lower-resolution shadow being displayed, losing detail and appearing blurrier.

This setting will decrease framerate a high amount the higher you set it.


Multisample Anti-aliasing controls how smooth edges and color transitions appear, by slightly blurring (shading) the screen. This is done by choosing a pixel, then looking at the surrounding pixels in a grid in order to blend them with colors. For example, a blue pixel next to a yellow pixel will become lightly tinted with the yellow, and thus begin to get greener. The amount of pixels used - the resolution of the grid - is controlled by the number after the setting - for example 1x uses no pixels, 2x uses one pixel per side, 4x uses two pixels per side, etc. Additionally, Multi-sampling Antialiasing will also determine how smoothly edges of diagonal polygons are rendered, with higher multi-sampling resulting in smoother diagonal edges.

This setting will decrease framerate a high amount the higher you set it.


Anisotropic filtering controls the appearance of textures that are used on parallel surfaces to the player's view; for example, a road running off in the distance, or a long wall you are standing next to. This is done by resizing (sampling) the textures into non-square textures of varying sizes, then applying them to the parallel surface as appropriate. When textures are simply kept square, then applied, they blur and become muddy looking. Using non-square (rectangular) textures allows them to only stretch in one direction, and thus will preserve their sharpness. The amount of samples done is controlled by the number after the setting - for example 1x uses no sampling, while 16x may use up to 16 samples.

This setting will decrease framerate a high amount the higher you set it.




[edited 6/2/11 - small typos/content changes for clarity]
[edited 1/16/14 - finally caught up with new settings. two and a half years!]
Last edited by TundraPuppy on January 16th, 2014, 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Cireme
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby Cireme » June 2nd, 2011, 2:16 am

Great post! Should be a sticky.

I hope you don't mind if I illustrate it. :)

Overall Quality (click to enlarge)
From left to right: Low, Medium, High, Very High

Image Image Image Image


Scene Complexity
From left to right: Low, Medium, High, Very High

Image Image Image Image


Texture Quality
From left to right: Low, Medium, High

Image Image Image


Shadow Quality
From left to right: Low, Medium, High, Very High

Image Image Image Image


Multisample Anti-aliasing
From left to right: Disabled (x1), Enabled (x4)

Image Image
Last edited by Cireme on January 18th, 2014, 12:40 am, edited 6 times in total.
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MonacoSteve
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby MonacoSteve » June 2nd, 2011, 2:38 am

A big thumb up from my side. Exactly what computer noobs like me need! Thanks a lot!
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BigAl
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby BigAl » June 2nd, 2011, 3:15 am

Cireme wrote:Great post! should be a sticky.

+1
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wintergoose
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby wintergoose » June 2nd, 2011, 3:26 am

Exelent tread.
Just one thing : The scope Scope optimization unchecked/checked
If I understand this right so are this sharpest when unchecked.
Unchecked is the default setting. It is enabled when it is unchecked.
To get higher framerate you have to check the box.
This confused me when it come first time because it is upsite of the other.
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby JohnyAngelo » June 2nd, 2011, 4:57 am

Seems like I would not use that Scope optimization.
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MonacoSteve
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby MonacoSteve » June 2nd, 2011, 5:07 am

JohnyAngelo wrote:Seems like I would not use that Scope optimization.


If possible, yes, avoid it. In fact, for some unknown reasons, "scope optimization" also compromizes the unscoped view on the landscape somewhat! You are well advised to disable this box, if your FPS rate is not dropping too much otherwise.
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby JohnyAngelo » June 2nd, 2011, 5:22 am

MonacoSteve wrote:
JohnyAngelo wrote:Seems like I would not use that Scope optimization.


If possible, yes, avoid it. In fact, for some unknown reasons, "scope optimization" also compromizes the unscoped view on the landscape somewhat! You are well advised to disable this box, if your FPS rate is not dropping too much otherwise.


Ill do that definitely. My fps are quite steady and high, but somehow I thought its need to be checked to have everything on "max" :D
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MonacoSteve
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby MonacoSteve » June 2nd, 2011, 5:32 am

JohnyAngelo wrote:Ill do that definitely. My fps are quite steady and high, but somehow I thought its need to be checked to have everything on "max" :D


This is exactly the trap in which many fall. "Optimization" automatically suggests that everything will somehow be "better" if you enable it. In fact, this "optimization" is only good for the FPS, but on the expense of the overal grafical quality (and in particular the scoped view). A better wording here would probably help a lot.
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Greysow
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Re: Explanation of Graphical Settings for theHunter

Postby Greysow » June 2nd, 2011, 11:01 am

Nice one. Should definitely be stickied imo. Would save a lot of questions asked (if only people check it first..) and a lot of different and, sometimes not very accurate, explanations.

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