Metro: Last Light Performance Tweaking Guide

UPDATE 05/14/13: 4A Games has posted an update on Steam regarding the ability to tweak the game’s Field of View (FOV). Check out the details below the fold.

UPDATE 05/15/13: 4A Games has released a new patch allowing users to tweak the FOV. The patch also fixes issues for AMD cards. Be sure to read our guide for changing the FOV here.


Like its predecessor, Metro 2033, 4a Games’ Metro: Last Light is designed to take advantage of powerful PCs. Though the game also plays well on consoles, Last Light looks best on PC and offers a host of graphical options that are otherwise unavailable anywhere else.

Most people with early access to Metro: Last Light seem to be playing the game with no issue, but more than a handful have reported experiencing technical issues that have bogged down an otherwise smooth and solid experience. The problems pertain to the game’s framerate, with players facing sluggishness despite having gaming rigs beefy enough to deliver good performance.

If you’re experiencing lower than your expected framerate, there’s a number of things you can do to improve your game.

But first things first — here’s what you’ll need to get the game running.

Recommended

  • Windows: Vista, 7 or 8
  • CPU: 2.6 GHz Quad Core e.g. Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB
  • DirectX 11
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 580/660 Ti (or AMD equivalent e.g. 7870) or higher

For 3D Vision Support:

  • NVIDIA GTX 580/660Ti or higher
  • 120Hz Monitor
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision kit for Windows Vista, 7 or 8

Optimum

  • Windows: Vista, 7 or 8
  • CPU: 3.4 GHz Multi-Core e.g. Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • DirectX 11
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 690 / NVIDIA Titan or AMD 7990

For 3D Vision Support:

  • NVIDIA GTX 690
  • 120Hz Monitor
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision kit for Windows Vista, 7 or 8

Disable PhysX

If you do not have an NVIDIA card, you must disable Last Light’s advanced PhysX setting, as it can create performance issues with non-NVIDIA cards. You’ll find the option in the Game Options menu, as seen above, not under Video Options.

Recommended Settings

4a Games also provided the following recommended settings as way to get the game running at 1080p with a consistent 40-60+ frames per second, with v-sync enabled. The recommended spec calls for a quad core processor and 4GB of RAM, paired with an NVIDIA 660 or 580, or an AMD 7870. Here’s how 4a Games says to set up the game in Last Light’s options menus, should you have a similar build or better.

  • Quality: very High
  • SSAA: OFF
  • Texture Filtering: 16x
  • Tessellation: Normal (4a recommends setting this to “off” on gaming laptops)
  • Motion Blur: Normal

We’ve tested these settings and can verify that they should help the game should look great and run smoothly.

If you have a faster video card, you may be able to tweak some of these settings upwards — but If you want to be able to enable 4K resolutions or multi-screen support, or to switch on 4x SSAA and turn Tessellation and Motion Blur to maximum, you will need to meet (or exceed) the Optimum specifications. That means SLI/crossfire set ups, GeForce GTX 690s or Titans, or AMD 7990s and above.

You can test out all of your settings by running the Metro: Last Light benchmark program (MetroLLBenchmark.exe), located in <Steam Directory>/SteamApps/common/Metro Last Light/. That can help to design your own preset options and run benchmarks to see how well your PC perform while running the game. Unlike other benchmark software that ships with games, the system in Metro: Last Light accurately depicts conditions you’d see in the game proper, and it provides you with a graph and detailed information about your framerate after you run the test.

Game Ready Drivers

If you’re running the game on an Nvidia card, we recommend downloading the 320.14 beta drivers, which are the official “Game Ready” drivers for Metro: Last Light, and provide a significant performance boost to the game over any previous drivers. Head on here to begin downloading.


Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so expect further updates over the course of the week. Please feel free to provide tweak suggestions in the comments.

Update 5/14/13: 4A Games states that players will soon be able to tweak the game’s FOV values through the game’s .ini file in a patch that is coming in a few days. They have provided the following reason for its omission in the game: 

Hey all. The community feedback about FOV has not gone unnoticed. 4A Games has this update for you about FOV and what they are working on:

We’re aware the community have been asking for a ‘Field of View’ slider for Metro: Last Light. Unfortunately, this was not as simple a thing to implement as it might appear!

The main reason for maintaining a fixed FOV is because we have 3D elements like the watch and weapon ammo that need to remain visible.

In addition, all the game’s first-person cut scenes and cinematics and each and every animation involving Artyom’s hands – idle weapon animations, reloads, ladder climbing, melee attacks etc, – were created assuming the same, fixed field of view.

Changing the FOV would break all the cut-scenes and animations – you would be able to see inside Artyom’s arms, or they would appear to float in the air in front of you. Or worse.

We had considered offering three FOV pre-sets, but this would still require significant work to re-do every animation, adjust the HUD and UI and other seemingly small but incredibly time consuming tasks.

Even with a wider but still fixed field of view, Artyom’s hands would look too far away. We know – we tried.

Game performance is also tied to FOV – the amount of geometric detail we put in each scene has been partly determined by this set FOV, and setting a wider FOV would have a performance impact.

We understand this issue is important to many people, and we have been looking at possible solutions.

In the immediate term – the next title update, due in the next few days will allow you to directly change the FOV in the .cfg files.

Needless to say, we will be updating this tweak guide accordingly with detailed instructions on modifying the game’s FOV values, when the patch is released to the public.


Be sure to check out our lists of extras, unlockables, and secrets on the Metro: Last Light cheats page. Or, see how to complete every challenge on the list of Metro: Last Light achievements, or the Metro: Last Light trophies.


Read more of Ian Miles Cheong’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter:@stillgray and @gamefrontcom.

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5 Comments on Metro: Last Light Performance Tweaking Guide

Sho

On May 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Thanks, this is great info. Unfortunately it looks like the 2033 config flags for field of view aren’t applicable to Last Light. If you find out anything regarding FOV or depth-of-field tweakability I’d appreciate an update.

g3orge13

On May 15, 2013 at 3:12 am

oh yes, redemption
4a games, I’m counting on you

Reaper

On May 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

i am running nvidia surround, game will only run in surround mode, does anyone know how i can force it to run in 1080p please? i really want to try this game but im only get about 20fps at 5760×1080 with a few settings dropped down a bit, would run no problem at max at 1080p
win 7 x64, 2x gtx560ti sc
please please any help :(

dsfezezfze

On May 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

And you call that tweaking guide ? Omg

Zach

On April 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I’m running a Intel Core 2 duo processor, with an AMD Radeon R7770, 3G’s of Ram, and it’s still laggy on the lowest settings, any comments?