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Banished Video Settings Quick Guide for Windows Please note that the document pasted in with a good attempt at the formatting, but missed! I will fix it later, please be patient. This short layman's guide provides a brief explanation of Banished's video settings. Some of these settings will have a large impact on how well Banished runs and some will help with "out of memory" crashes. I will approach each setting's explanation with these two particulars in mind. Our goal is to have Banished run as fast (and stable) as possible with little or no video degradation; a happy median. Even if your system seems to run fine with all the game's settings maxed out, I still recommend you review your choices as these can greatly impact other aspects of Banished, like modding and map size, for example. Before I get into the explanations, I have some general advise on keeping your game running as efficient as possible: 1. Make sure you are running the latest Banished retail version; see the first entry. 2. If you are experiencing crashes, report them to Shining Rock Software support (see the bottom of the linked page) after reading the FAQ to verify that your error is not already addressed. 3. Make sure your machine is in the best game-running shape that you can! This subject is much too broad to cover here, but there are many tweaking sites and free programs available to help. A few items to keep in mind are: · Make sure your hard drives are defragged on a regular bases. There are a lot of free defragging programs available (including the one packaged with Windows), but I use Puran because it allows the targeting of specific directories, boot time defrag, and more. · Keep the number of background tasks to a minimum. This is an expansive subject and I will not attempt to touch it here, but this is one of the main causes of poor performance on capable systems. Puran also offers free, a whole suit of utilities (some to help streamline the number of background tasks); please note, if you use the full suite, Puran Defrag does not need to be downloaded separately. Many people use CCleaner instead, which has been around a long time. 4. Beware of quick solutions, like editing your registry, unless you've fully researched the problem and solution and, you know what you are doing. 5. Remember, large maps can crash the game on any system, as stated on the official Shining Rock Software site: "...at some point very large maps will crash the game due to out of memory, or textures failing to be created." Banished Video Settings Graphic quality is subjective, there can be no doubt, but many of the standard graphic settings in today's games are unnecessary. For example, antialiasing was used on lower resolution screens to minimize pixelization (it softens pixel hard edges), but isn't necessarily needed on today's HiRes monitors. Turning off this setting alone can greatly improve performance, decrease resource demands, and help alleviate certain problems. Please be aware: · If you don't like the visual outcome of lowering a particular setting, feel free to change it back, but remember, there are consequences. Carefully weigh the visual gain against the benefits of performance, and in some cases, stability. · Hardware and or driver settings can (and usually do) affect your options and, in some cases, will override them. Hardware and or driver settings are beyond the scope of this guide. Renderer: The renderer option lets you set your DirectX version for the game to either DirectX 9.0c or DirectX 11. For the purpose of this guide, I'd recommend going with DirectX 9.0c. 9.0c requires fewer resources and is more stable, but it does not have all the features of version 11. With a game like Banished, the differences should be virtually unnoticeable. Adapter: The adapter option allows you to select which video card and or driver to use with Banished. Most computers will have only one video card, but may still offer two choices, one usually being generic. It's hard to point you to the correct option because this depends upon your hardware, but I can tell you what not to choose! Stay away from generic options, such as: Generic PnP Display, Standard VGA Graphics Adapter, etc. Generic choices typically utilize a built-in Windows VGA driver whereas most video card manufacturers will supply a much better choice. Two very popular gaming cards are ATI and Nvidia, but other valid option may be Intel, ASUS, and a few others. If your choices are still ambiguous, the best way to choose the proper adapter is to identify what you have, but even these steps can vary depending upon which Windows version you are running. You can try looking here, or Google "identify windows video card" and append your OS version (i.e. "identify windows video card windows 10"). Resolution: The resolution option has a very big impact on performance, but you should generally stick to your monitor's native resolution. If you choose anything but the native resolution, the pixels will not be one-to-one with the game's rendering, but approximate, which means your graphics will be blurry, especially text. Most newer, standard monitors are 1920x1080 (if you use an HDMI connection, it is 1920x1080). Generally, the native resolution will be the largest of your choices and at the top of the resolution list. If in doubt, Google your monitor's model number. As a last ditch effort, if your game's performance is still unsatisfactory, you can lower the resolution setting, but make sure this is the last thing you try. Quite frankly, if you have to resort to lowering this setting, it might be time to update your system! Refresh Rate: Refresh rate is the number of times the monitor is refreshed per second. In most cases, you'll stick to 60Hz, which is pretty standard nowadays. This setting generally does not affect performance (see VSync below), though some people claim they can see 60Hz refresh rates (if your monitor appears to strobe, you are one of these folks). If your eyes are this sensitive, you can increase the refresh rate if the option is available with your hardware. Personally, I could see strobing on the old CRT monitors at 60Hz, but never had this problem on modern LCD monitors. VSync: The Refresh Rate described above determines the number of times the monitor is refreshed per second, but in most cases, this does not correspond to the number of times Banished redraws its screen, which can vary significantly. When on, VSync assures that Banished does not redraw its screen while the monitor is in the middle of a refresh. If this happens, you may notice a "tearing" of your graphic screen (only part of the scene is redrawn resulting in a horizontal line somewhere on your screen, but only for a split second or, 1/60th of a second, to be precise). If VSync is on, your scenes should never "tear," but in most cases, you will never display more than 60 fps (frames per second). Unfortunately, turning VSync on can result in stuttering (skipping, dropping frames, etc.) if your system cannot keep up with the monitor's refresh rate. Without getting too technical, I suggest leaving VSync turned off (not selected) unless you notice a lot of "tearing." Fullscreen: I recommend running all games in full screen for a number of reasons, most importantly of which is performance. Most video cards are tweaked to run in full screen because they can write directly to the graphic system without going through a Windows' buffer. In window mode, all screen output is filtered through a Windows' buffer and will always result in a slowdown, though in some cases, the performance hit is negligible (on fast systems). Another reason is CPU resources, which are spread thinner when running programs windowed. Antialiasing: Pixels are aligned in a grid. With this technique, drawing a curve or diagonal line will result in jaggedness, or pixelization. Antialiasing is a method used to help diminish this jagged effect. But, as previously stated, today's HiRes monitors have very small pixels compared to their brethren of yesteryear, so antialiasing has become superfluous, in most cases. My recommendation is to set the option to None. If you are still unconvinced, change the setting and judge the difference for yourself. Just remember, with antialiasing on, at a minimum, the neighbors of over 2 million pixels (1920x1080) have to be examined, judged, then redrawn, ~30+ times per second. This, alone, is a huge resource drain, even with hardware optimization. Texture Filtering: You can think of texture filtering as antialiasing on steroids! I don't have the room to properly explain this here, so I will direct you to Wikipedia, if you want a better understanding. Just remember, texture filtering, in most cases, will have the largest impact on quality versus performance and, it also has the largest impact on the amount of video RAM used. In other words, if you are having bad performance and or crashes with Banished, you can lower this setting to help with both. Again, I cannot simply tell you which setting to choose, but I would start with the lowest (Bilinear) and work your way up (I use Bilinear on my laptop and am happy with the results). Keep in mind, texture filtering is not the only determining factor of graphic quality. Many times, a lower texture filtering setting can be compensated for by adjusting Banished's other settings. In other words, if the Bilinear setting doesn't look as good as you want, don't just choose a higher setting, try tweaking Banished's other settings first. Shadow Resolution: Shadows, in a game, can compensate for other graphic shortcomings, but at the expense of resources. Even so, from a purely visual point of view, I'd recommend keeping this setting as high as possible. If, after lowering other settings, you are still having performance problems, you can think of lowering shadow resolution or simply turning shadows off (see Shadow Quality below). Shadow Quality: Unlike Shadow Resolution, Shadow Quality can have a significant impact on graphic resources (performance and memory requirements). With this setting, I recommend you start with the lowest setting (excluding None) and work your way up, stopping on the lowest acceptable setting. I find Low does what I need. Reflections: Reflections can help compensate for graphic shortcomings, but can also significantly deplete available video resources. I consider reflections eye candy. But, if you can afford the overhead, I suggest you keep it set for Terrain, at a minimum. If you've lowered other setting and are still having trouble with performance and or crashing, you can simply turn reflections off. Quick Video Settings The following table is a summary of my recommended settings, depending on whether you are after performance or stability. If you are crashing, there is a good chance you are running out of resources, so my recommended settings are just a starting point (with trial and error, you should be able to minimize crashes, if low resources are indeed the cause). You will need to contact Shining Rock support once you narrow down the problem. See this guide's description for clarification of the recommendations below. Setting Performance Diagnosing Renderer DirectX 9.0c DirectX 9.0c Adapter Manufacturer Driver Manufacturer Driver Resolution Your Monitor's Native Resolution Your Monitor's Native Resolution Refresh Rate ~60Hz ~60Hz VSync Off Off Fullscreen On On Antialising None None Texture Filtering Lowest Acceptable Bilinear Shadow Resolution High Low Shadow Quality Low None Reflections Terrain None Quick Settings' Table If you find any problems (grammatical or technical) in this document, please let me know. I will let the guide simmer awhile before releasing it as a PDF, if a PDF is requested. This document is Copyright © 2017 by Troy A. Dalton and permission is given only to link to it from other sites, but not to reproduce it electronically. It may be printed for personal consumption. The only reason for the copyright notice is document control, so if you find this on any site other than Black Liquid's, please let someone know.