Screen Space Reflections
Alters the presence of advanced reflections and their effect on the environment, mainly pertaining to water surfaces. Disabled, water is very flat, dark, and dull and very little is reflected in and off it; the objects around it suffer as a result. Enabled, we see much more realistic water surfaces: shiny, capturing much more of the light sources and objects around them and reflecting on those objects as nature intended for a much more pleasant look.
Performance is impacted here perhaps more than anywhere else, chopping framerate by about 15 across the board. However, water is pretty rare, and there doesn't seem to be much if any visual difference elsewhere, so should you choose to leave this enabled, it is likely only to hurt you on the odd map. Nice as it can look, it's not essential, and those who value consistent performance may want to disable it, given the drastic effect on framerate.
This setting is said to have a high GPU impact and no CPU impact.
Depth of Field
Changes whether objects at a distance are blurred for cinematic effect or not. In Vermintide, the implementation is conservative, unlike with many games, touching only really on far off surfaces like mountains. As such, if you normally dislike Depth of Field, you may want to try it here.
With great Depth of Field... Okay, but seriously, there's a straight 5 FPS impact all around when enabling this setting. While some will prefer it (especially with the classy implementation), it's far from critical, and an almost free five frames are very welcome, so anyone hurting for performance should disable it.
This setting is marked as having a high GPU impact and no CPU impact.
Another contentious option, Bloom is that ethereal shader effect you either love or despise. Again, though, Fatshark avoids going over the top with it as so many games do and instead utilizes it to add a mild warmth to scenes.
Curiously, our repeated testing revealed no performance changes when disabling or enabling Bloom except to minimum framerate, where a 4 FPS change is observed.
Enabling this is recommended, as the performance impact is overall negligible and the warmth is subtle enough that it should be welcome to most. If you hate it even when employed conservatively, though, by all means disable it for a moderate boost to your minimum framerate.
Bloom is said to have a low GPU impact, and no CPU impact.
This setting specifically targets light shafts sourced from the sun. As you can see, this has a major impact on visuals, adding a realistic brightness to specific areas. As with Bloom, this is down to preference, but most should find it welcome.
Light Shafts drops performance by 2-4 FPS. It's something you won't always see, and it's not imperative, so between that and the moderate change in frames, it's a good choice for consideration when tweaking.
This option is marked as having a low GPU impact and no CPU impact.
Judging from the name, you'd think this would affect the look of skin on NPCs and such, but it actually only seems to enable or disable SSAO. Likely, this is a bug or unintentional coding mistake.
Our benchmark, which we ran several times, tells us there's a definitive increase in average, minimum, and maximum framerate when disabling this setting. Unlike with SSAO, the increase is a few frames smaller. Peculiar behavior, indeed.
This setting is said to have a moderate GPU impact and no CPU impact.
Vermintide scales more visually and performance-wise across more different settings than possibly any game I've ever encountered. Normally I summarize these guides by noting two or three highly impactful settings, but this game has about six, and then a handful that are moderately impactful.
I strongly recommend going through the entire guide if you haven't yet because there are also a ton of settings that offer small performance boosts individually and a large increase collectively, and many of the more notable options are heavily down to visual preference and tolerance. All that said, the big ticket items are Character Texture Quality, the shadow options (Sun Shadows, Local Light Shadows, Max Shadow Casting Lights, SSAO), Anti-Aliasing, and Screen Space Reflections.
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