We knew throughout development that performance was going to be important to our players. It’s been a difficult balance between our artist vision for the game while trying to meet player expectation for how it’ll run on different hardware, especially with our relatively (at least compared to AAA) small studio size.
Sharing expectations with you all is difficult! So many different things can impact how the game performs. A mix of hardware and software variances can make night and day differences, but by sharing a couple of example builds below, we hope you can get an idea of what to expect from Nightingale at the Early Access launch.
These may fluctuate throughout Early Access, as oftentimes game development is unpredictable, and making what seems like a small change can have large, unintended consequences. But, rest assured the team will always be looking at ways to adapt and improve. It’s why once the game launches it can be so important that you share your PC specs, game settings, and what you’re experiencing!
*Game build as of January 31, 2024
** Frame generation is a new feature to Nightingale and currently experimental. You may experience reduced stability or increased artifacting in some scenarios
Not sure how your build measures up? Try inputting your hardware into UserBenchmark and comparing it to a build above to see approximately how comparative it is.
Tips to Maximize Performance
Trying to optimize your gaming experience? Here are some suggestions to get the most out of the game, outside of upgrading your device:
Install Nightingale on an SSD: Solid State Drives allow for much quicker access to data compared to Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), which is especially important as the game continuously communicates with our servers.
Update your drivers (especially your graphics cards!!!): A lot of known issues and optimizations are addressed on the software side, so make sure to do regular updates to your PC and check in with your graphic card software as they aren’t always captured by default Windows updates.
Have a wired, high-speed internet connection: As Nightingale needs to check in with our servers, having a strong, stable internet connection is vital to avoid rubberbanding, disconnects, and longer loading times. Often wireless connections are much less stable than being hardwired.
Pause VPNs while playing: While VPNs are very handy tools, they can interrupt or delay connections to our servers which can cause rubberbanding or disconnects.
Limit running other applications when playing: It might not be the best time to export a video or make updates to your own game while playing Nightingale. Try closing any non-necessary or resource-intensive programs before jumping into the Realms.
Turn on performance boost options: Intel, Nvidia and AMD all have their own AI-powered super sampling or upscaling solutions (XeSS, DLSS, and FSR) that is supported by Nightingale.
Enable frame generation: Frame generation interpolates a frame in between each rendered frame that can improve your framerate by up to 80%! Nvidia DLSS, and AMD FSR both have options available for some cards to utilize frame generation in Nightingale.
Play on a lower screen resolution: The more pixels your computer has to render, the more it has to work and likely hit bottlenecks. It’s expected that on the same hardware you will get more frames at 1080p than 4k, but how much you want to trade off visual fidelity for FPS can be very personal.
Ensure your PC is operating at its ideal temperature range: PCs overheating can mean that you’re going to have a bad time. Make sure your PC internals are clean, it’s in a well-ventilated case/area, and your thermal paste hasn’t degraded.
Individual settings to adjust: For those looking to optimize the visuals but can’t crank all of the settings up to high, here are the options you can try lowering and the ones you can try bumping up from the baseline:
1. Try increasing the performance level of your performance boost upscaling. IE, if your on DLSS Quality, try DLSS Balanced. if your on TSR Balanced, try TSR performance mode These settings often have a very helpful impact on framerate, for only minor visual changes, especially at 1440p and greater resolution.
2. Try a lower setting for global illumination. Lumen is amazing, but it can be expensive on your GPU. Try dropping your global illumination to balanced or performance mode to help your framerate
3. Try a lower shadows setting. Shadows can be expensive to render, and lowering your shadow quality can help improve your framerates
4. Consider lowering your quality preset a full notch. We try to estimate a performance setting for your hardware that should perform well, but sometimes just moving your quality preset down one notch can give you the performance you are looking for.
5. Consider lowering your resolution. If you need more frames, moving from 4k down to 1440p, or 1440p down to 1080p can significantly reduce the load on your GPU and generate better framerate.
What in Nightingale Affects Performance Specs
There are a lot of different ways to build a game, and many of them have different pros and cons! Some players want to play with friends without the hassle of renting servers, some like static maps because it makes guides easier, and some want high-fidelity graphics while others are perfectly content with 8-bit art. Here are some decisions we made that impact how intensive Nightingale is to run:
Unreal Engine 5: There are a lot of new technologies with this new engine, but it does mean our team, and the industry at large, are new to optimizing the experience around emerging technologies such as Lumen and Nanite. As Epic, graphic card manufacturers, and developers get more familiar with these new technologies, we’re likely to see further optimizations from all ends. Additionally, these new technologies scale directly with the number of pixels being rendered, so we have a heavy reliance on upscaling to achieve higher resolutions.
Procedural generation: Static maps can allow developers to thoroughly test different areas and make customizations. Nightingale, however, is largely procedurally generated, which means if a certain tree or structure is causing issues, it can be a little harder to reproduce and figure out the root cause (Nightingale also features a robust time of day system, meaning it does not rely on pre-computed lighting). We went the route of procedural generation as it best fit our vision for Nightingale’s Realms, and hopefully prevent players from getting too bored of the same repeated area.
High-fidelity art style: The more polygons and details your computer has to render, the harder it has to work. Low-poly art styles can help a lot with performance and have their own charm, but we opted for more detailed models, environments, textures and effects. How much folks value graphic style is highly personal, but this is the artist vision we had for our game.
Server connections: Having a game connect to servers allows a lot of Nightingale to happen, like our dedicated servers and Realm generation, but it does add another layer to the performance conversation. You can have the best PC on the market but if you struggle to get reliable internet, you may experience issues while playing.
Early Access: We don’t consider Nightingale a “finished” game, and will continue to add, change, and optimize throughout Early Access. There might be updates that make your performance better but others worse, or vice versa. While our team has put in a lot of work to do our best for the launch version of the game, there will always be areas to improve on, especially as we get more information from players like yourself!
We look forward to your feedback and giving regular updates on any major changes.
- The Nightingale Team (Inflexion Games)