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5 Batman: Arkham Knight PC Performance Optimization Tips

Batman: Arkham Knight is suffering from major performance issues on the PC. Here are some tips on how to get the game working right, so you can spend less time toying around with settings and more time busting heads.

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You have a great video card, and downloaded the latest drivers for it, but the PC port of Batman Arkham Knight still suffers from significant performance issues, mainly in the form of stuttering and frame rate drops. This happens even on systems that meet or even surpass the game's recommended system requirements.

Although most gamers would prefer to have everything set to maximum, with a minimum resolution of 1920x1080, that won't be possible until the developers release a patch to drastically improve the game's performance. Or until technology reaches a point where it can overcome the game's faults. While we're waiting, here are some tips to improve Arkham Knight's performance so that it can both look and play acceptably well.


Disable Nvidia GameWorks and Other Features

Although Arkham Knight is supposedly optimized for Nvidia video cards, it supports advanced features like PhysX rather poorly. The main culprit is the Interactive Smoke/Fog effects, along with the Interactive Debris. Disabling these two options alone provide a significant enough performance boost that other settings like detail quality can be left on High. The hitch is, the game looks kind of boring without these advanced features turned on.

Putting the detail settings to Low will improve performance, but there will be a noticeable drop in graphics quality. In our tests, switching the setting from High to Normal doesn't provide much of an improvement.

But you can get by with setting Shadows to Low, since the game takes place mostly in dark, and you probably won't be paying that much attention to shadow quality while punching faces. It may be a negligible frame rate increase, but it's something. The same goes for turning off Anti-Aliasing.


How to Change the Frame Rate Cap

For some reason, the developers decided to install a 30 FPS (frames per second) cap on the game. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to overcome.

Go to the folder "[...]\steamapps\common\Batman Arkham Knight\BMGame\Config" and find the file "BmSystemSettings.ini". Open it with Notepad.

Locate the line that reads: "MaxFPS=30.000000", change it to "MaxFPS=120.000000", then save. All done!


Other Optimization Changes

While editing the BmSystemSettings.ini file described above, there are a few other settings that might boost performance. But be aware that they are just as likely to make performance worse, so use them with care. These changes include:

  • Enable DirectX 10: Change AllowD3D10=False to AllowD3D10=True
  • Turn Off Bloom: Change Bloom=True to Bloom=False
  • Turn off Reflections: Change Reflections=True to Reflections=False

How to Disable the Intro Videos

Sick of those unskippable intro movies for Nvidia, WB, Rocksteady, etc? Well, now you can skip them and get straight to the game.

Go to the folder "[...]Steam\steamapps\common\batman2\BmGame\Movies" and locate two files: "Startup.swf", and "StartupNV.swf". Rename them to StartupNV.swf.bak and Startup.swf.bak. That's it. This fix won't impact game performance, but at least you won't have to waste any more time with those annoying startup videos.


Last Resort: Lower the Resolution

If you still want it all (Nvidia GameWorks and High Settings), or if the above tips aren't enough, then the simplest thing to do is to gradually dial back the game's screen resolution until you find an acceptable balance between quality and performance. The trade-off is that you won't get to see as much of the game while you're playing, and setting the resolution too low will make the game look grainy.

Managing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 23, 2015 11:45 AM

    Steven Wong posted a new article, 5 Batman: Arkham Knight PC Performance Optimization Tips

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 11:48 AM

      Tip 6: Got an AMD card? Don't even think about it.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 12:16 PM

      Tip 7: Get it on PS4 or Xbox One

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 12:18 PM

        yuck

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 12:25 PM

        A guaranteed level of graphical fidelity and having to learn something other than a fucking keyboard?!? BLASPHEMY! BURN THE WITCH! BURRRRRN THE WIIIIIITCH!

        • reply
          June 23, 2015 12:40 PM

          I only play these kinds of games in a 360 controller. People using keyboards for them are crazy.

          • reply
            June 23, 2015 12:43 PM

            I know, it was more of a jab at folks who refuse to play anything else but PC games. I love me both when/if I can afford it

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 12:32 PM

        were you able to preload yesterday for the midnight release?

        • reply
          June 23, 2015 12:37 PM

          Yeah. I haven't played it yet though. lol

          I had to nuke a bunch of games to make room for it -- I bought a big drive to put in it like a year ago, but haven't ever gotten around to installing it. lol

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 12:39 PM

        And still be locked to 30 fps lol

        • reply
          June 23, 2015 12:42 PM

          Sure, but on a console that cost the same as most peoples' video cards alone.

          I just like playing the game and not worrying about what I could be spending money to upgrade to make things better. :)

          • reply
            June 23, 2015 12:55 PM

            I havent had to buy a new proc, mobo, ram in YEARS. Graphics cards have been the only thing I've upgraded. The game runs perfectly fine at 60 fps aside from a few dips

          • reply
            June 23, 2015 1:07 PM

            But you spend a hell of a lot more for games, so I suppose it probably evens out if not tips the balance to pc.

            • reply
              June 24, 2015 5:56 AM

              It's still nowhere close to Steam sales, but Sony's been doing better about discounting games fairly heavily on their digital store -- there's a sale on right now with a lot of last fall's big games for $25-30. They run a lot of deep flash sales that bring the $15ish PSN titles down to 5 or less, too. It's a far cry from last gen when digital games would debut at full price and never budge for the life of the console.

      • reply
        June 24, 2015 5:54 AM

        It looks really good on PS4 (I'm sure Xbone is fine too, just haven't seen it up close).

        Also 30fps is perfectly fine for a single-player action game, it's not a fighting or racing game for pete's sake.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 12:31 PM

      Glad you didn't suggest disabling motion blur, that has been causing people to have to redownload the entire game

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 8:37 PM

        That's really strange, before I heard about it the first thing I did was disable it and so far I'm good.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 12:32 PM

      "MaxFPS=120.000000"? why stop there? i'd leave out the decimal entirely

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 12:37 PM

      Tip #8: Wait 2 weeks for a patch to fix this mess.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 1:04 PM

      Step 1: Ask for a refund.
      If you can't, punching a wall will make a more enjoyable experience than this game right now.

      "The main culprit is the Interactive Smoke/Fog effects, along with the Interactive Debris. Disabling these two options alone provide a significant enough performance boost that other settings like detail quality can be left on High. The hitch is, the game looks kind of boring without these advanced features turned on."
      That has always been a problem with these Batman games they make, they are deliberately made to look the game look much better with physx, and push nvidia cards sales, with money flowing to the game from Nvidia ofc.
      If this theory wasn't true, when the physx options are disabled, they would just have pre rendered, non dynamic effects in the places where physx objects are, instead of just leaving empty spaces all over the place.

      But this time they haven't managed to make it work even for Nvidia cards xD, i'ts quite hilarius really, they ended sabotaging themselves while trying to sabotage the competition xD.

      Don't get me wrong, the Batman games except from those things are really good and i like them, but they stain what could be even better games.

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 2:12 PM

        Both of the consoles are AMD, no?

        • reply
          June 23, 2015 2:29 PM

          But for example the PS4 has a separate physx hardware module even if it has an AMD card.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 1:18 PM

      this article is basically saying "Here's some shit you can do, I dunno it might work or it might just crash, gl "

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 1:22 PM

      You can also just add "-nologo" to the command line parameters to skip the intro videos.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 2:05 PM

      Buying a new PC game is like rolling dice - what you end up with is a gamble.

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 2:40 PM

        Buying a new PC game is like rolling dice - what you end up with is a gamble.

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 3:15 PM

        It wasn't always this way, but even with top of the line hardware and an engine that rarely struggles on PC (Unreal), you can still bet the devs targeting specific platforms such as the Xbox and PS4 trying to squeeze everything they can out of those, aren't going to take the time and make sure the PC version is also top notch. Or more importantly, ensure it scales to all specs. That's the tricky part. When people with hardware inferior to the consoles expect the same flawless 60fps as the previous gen Batmans. And people with hardware on par or superior expect 120fps at 1440p and up.

        Not gonna happen!

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 7:40 PM

        except you can see how it rolls and then decide if you wanna put money on it.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 2:41 PM

      Anyone try the game with a dedicated physics card? I have a 980TI and a 780 SOC that I have setup as my dedicated Physics card for games that support it.

      • reply
        June 24, 2015 8:40 AM

        im playing with a 970 G1 + 770 4GB

        57avg in bench

        capped at 30fps game runs fine for me. (max 1440p downsampled) All the smoke and papers flying around n shit has seemingly no effect on my performance. I assume its using my 770 for physx.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 4:44 PM

      What I don't get is that all of the other games in this series were flawless, weren't they? It's got to still be the same engine (unreal I think?) right? Why the shit show now?

      • reply
        June 24, 2015 8:43 AM

        just read its supposedly running on a heavily modified UE3.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 4:47 PM

      Maybe turn down that super vga and go with just vga for now. Ega if you have amd card.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 5:12 PM

      I think you have the wrong file names listed for the intro movies. The correct files are called StartupMovie.swf and StartupMovieNV.swf

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 5:36 PM

        Adding -nologo to runtime settings is a safer choice. I read that the movie titles in that folder might be spoilerific

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 6:09 PM

      Has anyone gotten SLI to work? The new driver last night alledgely added it, but 2nd GPU not going above 5% with SLI enabled.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 7:38 PM

      Eek, someone glad to have moved on from PC problems, but I imagine a patch fixing this right up soon

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 7:44 PM

      Runs fine on my 980 GTX Ti.

      • reply
        June 23, 2015 8:11 PM

        Yeah it runs rock solid at 30fps on my 650 dollar video card, too.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 8:35 PM

      After some more trial and error I found that the nVidia Smoke thing was the killer on my system. I turned it off and changed my FPS back up to 60 and it runs flawlessly now. Everything is Normal except for Textures because I only have a 2gb card.

    • reply
      June 23, 2015 8:45 PM

      Ya know what's a bag of dicks??

      Arkham Knight.

      Why? Because even after installing from disc, it still makes you download 33 GB from Steam.

      Bag. Of. DICKS

      • ArB
        reply
        June 23, 2015 9:01 PM

        Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat, seriously? That's the only reason to buy it on discs!

    • reply
      June 24, 2015 3:18 AM

      Heh... http://steamcommunity.com/games/208650/announcements/detail/145587678164818505 - A tad bit embarrassing, I'd say.

      Woke up yesterday morning sick, skinned through 10 pages of people reporting in on NeoGAF, and instantly opted for the PS4 version. Which would have been great, but loading the game up until the point where I could run it (I have 350M downstream...) took 5 hours. Then it let me play it for about 2 hours. Then it told me it needs to finish loading... Estimated time remaining: 32 hours.

      I'm trying to find a way to be a happy consumer here, but I'm running out of options... I hope the damn thing is loaded when I get home tonight.

      • reply
        June 24, 2015 4:53 AM

        By the looks of that, it seems that they relied heavily on Physx when making the game, and once again it shows that Physx performance sucks big time.

        "When running Nvidia SLI, using the NVIDIA Control Panel to set one card as a dedicated PhysX card may improve performance" That this can be possible shows how bad it is.

      • reply
        June 24, 2015 5:04 AM

        That's the worst part of PSN, downloading the game.

    • reply
      June 24, 2015 8:36 AM

      Im not having any problems with the game running at the capped 30fps

      im usually the one with all the crashes