Red Dead Redemption 2 FPS & Graphics

Frame Per Second & Graphics in RDR2

These settings reflect what runs best on MY hardware and may or may not run as well on your system.

One problem with the RDR2 benchmark system is that the minimum frame rate rating can fluctuate greatly from one test to another, even without changing any settings or altering anything on the computer.

After watching hundreds of runs of the benchmark I have come to the conclusion that the script is not exact.

I’ve had runs where the horses don’t run in the same direction, sometimes people get run over by the cart, sometimes the animals are in the scene and sometimes not.
Being that each run of the benchmark is slightly different, no 2 benchmarks are going to give the same exact results.

Following that logic, 2 things that do seem pretty even from test to test is fastest
frame rate (hereby listed as fps) and average.

Our goal will be to stay within 60 on the average fps.

Hardware/Set-up Used

The following is my basic specs, and while they can be used as a base line, they should in no way
be used as a goal. If your machine has lesser hardware, do not expect the same results.
In the same token, higher end software doesn’t always mean better fps as this game is also CPU bound.

  • Intel i7 6850k (6 Cores with 12 threads) runs at 3.6 to 3.6 GHz
    32 GB DDR RAM
  • ASUS ROG Rampage V (10th Anniversary Edition) Motherboard
  • Game installed on SSD drive
  • Steam installed on SSD drive
  • ASUS NVIDIA 1080 GTX (Founders Edition) Graphics Card
  • Dedicated Soundblaster PCI sound-card
  • LG 24 inch 1080p monitor running 1920×1080 at 60Hz

Software running in background:

  • Steam Overlay
  • RockStar Launcher
  • Soundblaster Control Panel
  • OneDrive
  • OBS (When recording)

Settings to Use

After 2 weeks and hundreds of tests, the following settings gave me the greatest frame rate with the highest quality.

After the list, I will list some settings you can increase that do not seem to alter frame rate if you choose them individually, but combined may drastically lower your frame rate, so play around with those that are listed as “0 frame rate Loss” to see how far you can push it.

1) First thing to do is under ADVANCED settings is to change the locked setting to UNLOCKED and make sure VULKAN is set for the graphics API.
With DirectX 12 my frames were often cut in half over the Vulkan API.

2) Starting from the top (After restarting game from changing graphics API in step 1)


  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Refresh Rate: 60
  • Screen Type: Fullscreen
  • VSync: ON
  • Triple Buffering: ON
  • Pause Game on Lost Focus: OFF (Personal Choice)
  • Constrain Mouse Pointer: OFF (Personal Choice)


  • Quality Preset Level: IGNORE as it will show CUSTOM when done
  • Texture Quality: ULTRA
  • Anisotropic Filtering: X16
  • Lighting Quality: ULTRA
  • Global Illumination Quality: High
  • Shadow Quality: High
  • Far Shadow Quality: High
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO): ULTRA
  • Reflection Quality: High
  • Mirror Quality: ULTRA
  • Water Quality: IGNORE as it will show CUSTOM when done
  • Volumetrics Quality: IGNORE as it will show CUSTOM when done
  • Particle Quality: ULTRA
  • Tessellation Quality: ULTRA


  • Advanced Settings: UNLOCKED
  • Graphics API: Vulkan
  • Near Volumetric Resolution: Medium *(Greatly drops fps if increased)
  • Far Volumetric Resolution: Medium
  • Volumetric Lighting Quality: High
  • Unlocked Volumetric Raymarch Resolution: ON
  • Particle Lighting Quality: ULTRA
  • Soft Shadows: High
  • Grass Shadows: Medium
  • Long Shadows: ON
  • Full Resolution SSAO: Off
  • Water Refraction Quality: Medium
  • Water Reflection Quality: High
  • Water Physics Quality: Middle Slider Setting *(Greatly drops fps if increased)
  • Resolution Scale: Off *(Greatly drops fps if increased)
  • TAA Sharpening: FULL on
  • Motion Blur: OFF (Personal Choice, no comparable fps difference)
  • Reflection MSAA: X2
  • Geometry Level of Detail: Middle Slider Setting
  • Grass Level of Detail: Middle Slider Setting
  • Tree Quality: High
  • Parallax Occlusion Mapping Quality: ULTRA
  • Decal Quality: ULTRA
  • Fur Quality: High
  • Tree Tessellation: Off

Final Thoughts/Settings

With the settings I’ve listed I get a solid 55 min FPS, 60 to 63 highest FPS, and an average FPS of 59.9

I’ve tried with higher settings and I honestly think most people would be hard pressed to see a difference going with higher settings than what I’ve listed.

The following settings when changed by themselves from above did not seem to alter fps enough to justify not increasing.
HOWEVER, these were tested one by one from above settings and increasing more than one of these may start to affect overall fps substantially.

  • Tree Quality High to Ultra: No FPS loss
  • Grass Detail from Middle to Max: No FPS loss
  • Full res SSAO OFF to ON: No FPS loss
  • Grass Shadows Med to High: No FPS loss
  • Volumetric Lighting High to Ultra: No FPS loss
  • Far volumetric Med to Ultra: No FPS Loss
  • Water Refraction Medium to High: No FPS Loss
  • Grass and Geometry Detail 3/4 way: No FPS Loss

Do note that future patches to the game may or may not alter the outcome of these tests.

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