Black Desert Online has a fairly high hardware requirement to run to its full potential. However, by choosing the best settings, you can increase performance even on a below average PC.
Not only that, but since the Remastered patch, a lot of people have been having performance issues with the game even when they are well above the recommended specs. This guide will help you to finely tune your optimization settings to run the game to its full capabilities on your hardware.
- Disable low power mode. This one’s a big deal. If you AFK lifeskill, disable it anyway. The game is reduced to 3FPS when in tray, so you don’t have to worry about it. Low power mode makes the game sleep for about 10ms every frame to use less resources. Only useful if you’re on a high end rig and streaming so more resources are available for OBS.
- If you have a desperately weak GPU, you can use both upscale and crop mode in the Display -> Game Window settings to drastically reduce the render resolution of the game and boost framerates.
We’re going to create two custom saved profiles for our BDO settings. One for grinding, chilling, and general gameplay and one for large scale fighting. The objective of both is to have high framerates, and keep as many player effects on as possible, while allowing the system to adjust if FPS becomes too low.
First, we’re going to set our Optimization menu for both profiles.
- Attack decision effects do consume some CPU resources to display. It’s not much, but if you’re comfortable with BDO combat you can disable them. It’s more based on personal preference than anything to be honest. This setting requires a client restart to take effect.
- Auto Frame Optimization will start hiding unimportant effects when your FPS drops below the specified number. I usually keep it at 48 for my basic gameplay preset as frames below that tend to have animation timing issues which prevent you from doing combos. I recommend having it at 60 in your siege profile though.
- Putting the Effect Optimization slider about 25% from the left as shown in the screenshot will use lower quality effects for other adventurers without hiding them completely.
- I just set Character Optimization at max to override whichever graphics preset I’m in. You can leave this one disabled if you want.
- When you’re at world bosses like Karanda, Vell, and Garmoth; pressing Shift + F5 will toggle hiding other adventurers which will buy you precious frames. But you don’t want this enabled in general gameplay as it might hide people in PvP.
Standard gameplay profile
For this profile we’ll use the highest preset we can while also getting minimum framerates usually above our auto frame optimization setting when just grinding. It can also be personal preference, so if you can run Remaster but choose to run on High for extra smoothness and less harsh lighting that is perfectly fine. I’ll give you a basic explanation of the game settings.
- Anti aliasing is an FXAA implementation. It is a post-process effect and therefore has a frame time cost as the frame has to be rendered before the anti aliasing is then applied after the fact. If you want super smoothness and don’t care about jagged edges, you can leave it off.
- SSAO is also a post-process effect with a frame time cost, one much larger than FXAA as well. I find it looks nice on standard settings like High and Very High, but on Remaster when it gets applied to your character it looks really harsh in some lighting. This would be the first thing I would disable to squeeze out a few more frames if you need to.
- Display filter, looks like trash and is a post-process effect with a frame time cost. Disable it.
- Faraway Objects renders more polygons on distant terrain, but does not affect structures or anything. Also gives distant terrain a slightly more jagged appearance. Has an FPS cost for a rather minimal effect, up to you whether it’s worth it. I like it, but I’d recommend it be off.
- Depth of field is only useful for screenshots. Disable it during general gameplay on Remaster. You can leave it enabled on standard settings though because it isn’t in effect all the time.
- Faraway NPCs forces NPCs to load in immediately and thus can cause stutter. But I don’t like the blobs they become until you are very close with it off, so I leave it on. It’s personal preference but do know that disabling it will give you more FPS.
- Hit effect makes the screen blink when you get hit. Very distracting, leave it off.
- Reduce snow buildup gets rid of the snow shader in grinding zones. Very helpful as the snow shader is very taxing. Turn it on.
- Show blood splatter makes your character and clothes get all bloody when you’re fighting monsters. If you’re a manly man or otherwise edgy turn it on. If you’re a dainty princess or otherwise clean and tidy leave it off.
- Show bloodstains makes your screen get all bloody. Turn it off, it’s distracting.
Save your choices to Custom Save 1.
Large scale profile
- For best frame rate use Optimization mode with some brightness tweaks for extra clarity (make sure photo filter is set to None, it’s a post process effect.
- However any setting below Medium has reduced draw distance on fort walls and structures. Use Medium settings if your frame rate is acceptable on medium.
- Disable every extra effect. We want frames and low input lag here, not pretty post processing.
- Don’t use high textures for your node war profile. They have parallax textures which consume CPU resources.
- Also change your auto frame optimization to 60 so it will hide people’s effects when your frames drop below 60.
Save this to Custom Save 2.
Tips and tricks
- Uncheck Auto Arrange Inventory if you stutter when grinding. Apparently organizing the inventory makes the game hitch a bit when adding new items to it in bulk.
- If you use the Central Market, always navigate to the selling menu before closing it. Otherwise it keeps all the sellable items in the game cached and causes some bad stuttering.
- If you play on Very High and experience occasional stuttering but otherwise great FPS, reduce your settings to high. The only difference in visual quality between these settings is the level of detail on distant models. Skill effects also seem a bit more optimized on High while still looking great.
- Faraway NPCs in graphics settings can make you stutter in densely populated NPC areas like Heidel and Calpheon. Personal preference as to whether you change it or not. I personally can take the performance hit to not have blobs as all the townspeople until you’re 2 feet away.
- When changing graphics presets the draw distance settings don’t always apply properly and may cause stuttering. You’ll need to restart your game for best performance in this case.
- When changing “custom save” presets to get ready for NW/Siege or when finishing NW/Siege, the settings will revert on your next restart if you don’t go into the settings and just change any option first and click Apply. I don’t know why this is a thing.
- Increasing the contrast slider can make Remastered mode less bloomy.
Update to Windows 10 May 2019 – Version 1903
The update to Windows 10 pushed out in late May of 2019 makes Windows aware of the Ryzen topology and CCX design. Updating to this version heavily reduces stutter and decreases latency compared to the Spring Creator’s Update version 1803. Updating Windows will cause many device drivers to reset. If you use custom setups for game controllers, sound (such as Voicemeeter and Virtual Audio Cable), and GPU drivers (particularly 390.77) you may need to re-install and reconfigure those drivers after updating.
It is best to do it manually with the Windows 10 Update Assistant rather than wait for it to be pushed out to you via Windows Update services.
For the full benefit of this update we’ll need to download the new AMD chipset driver released with the launch of the Zen2 CPUs. This enables support for the faster clock ramping on Ryzen 3000-series. I recommend you update your chipset driver through the AMD website.
Ryzen 1000-series or 2000-series users still need to make sure they’re using the AMD Ryzen Balanced or High Performance power plans, but 3000-series users can use any power plan (except Power Saver) and expect similar FPS due to the clock ramping fixes in the new 3000-series chipset.
Disable Windows memory compression
If you experience excessive stuttering in game, it may be because your OS is using CPU cycles to decompress and read RAM which while very effective at reducing memory overhead in tasks that need it such as rendering complex 3D scenes and video and photo editing, is not efficient in games that require low latency over high throughput.
- Open Windows Powershell as an Administrator.
- Use the following command:
- To re-enable memory compression if you run into issues, do the following command:
After running either of these commands, a system reboot is required for the changes to take effect.
Clean up standby memory issues in Windows 10
As of the Creators’ Updates in Windows 10, there is a memory leak causing Windows not to release assets in standby in memory when they are no longer needed (such as keeping assets in memory after applications are closed). Windows considers the standby cache “free memory” but there is a latency penalty in first erasing the memory address before you can write to it with new data. That’s why it causes stuttering.
- Download Intelligent Standby List Cleaner and extract it somewhere you won’t delete it (so don’t leave it in your Downloads folder).
- Check the boxes setting ISLC to run on startup minimized. It will appear in your system tray. You can copy my other settings as well if you want, but the defaults are completely fine.
Optimal Nvidia settings
The game has a bug where even if you disable vsync in your driver settings, it may not unlock the framerate in (borderless) windowed mode. This bug can also attribute to stuttering and massive frame drops if you have a secondary monitor with a different refresh rate to your main monitor, when you’re watching hardware accelerated content like Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix since the Desktop Window Manager is trying to sync frames across both applications.
If you previously disabled fullscreen optimizations for BlackDesert64.exe, Black Desert Online Launcher.exe, or coherentui.exe; you’ll need to re-enable them because it causes a forced v-sync bug regardless of your nvidia profile settings.
- Download driver 390.77. All version 400+ drivers I’ve tested have had vsync off not apply in borderless window. If you stutter more than usual on 390.77, try 385.69.
(Sorry RTX users, I don’t have a borderless vsync fix for you. The 390.77 driver is not forward compatible with RTX cards. These tweaks will work in fullscreen mode for you though on the newest drivers.)
- Install driver 390.77 using a clean install, under advanced options. I personally also opt out of Geforce Experience.
- Download Nvidia Profile Inspector and use it to disable all vsync settings for the global profile. If you don’t use a G-Sync monitor, disable all the G-Sync options as well. Your settings should look like this.
- Do not change the pre-rendered frames setting in the global profile, or the Black Desert profile. For e-Sports titles you can manually change max-prerendered frames to 1 for lower input lag, but this causes stutter in BDO on Ryzen. I recommend leaving the max pre-rendered frames setting at default in the global profile, as well as the Black Desert profile.
- Also scroll down and set your power plan to Adaptive and Threaded Optimizations off to reduce stutter. These settings can be applied to the Black Desert profile instead of the global profile if your other games perform better with these settings on default, but I still recommend the global profile.
You can use Fast Sync to avoid tearing but it will glitch out when other things are running that use the GPU on another monitor like Chrome running Twitch or OBS and you will get limited to 60 FPS. The interrim fix when that happens is to restart your game, but just use v-sync off m’kay? It will also glitch out if you only apply v-sync off to the Black Desert profile. Make sure you apply that to the global profile, and if you need v-sync in another game set its profile separately.
If this does not work for you your current install of Windows 10 may be bugged. The Fall Creator’s Update (v1709) had an update to the way the Desktop Window Manager and Game Mode worked which bugged out vsync implementation in quite a few games. Updating your system normally to the Spring Creator’s Update or the newest doesn’t fix it as it’s considered a personal setting during the update process. The only way to fix this bug is to install the most recent version of Windows 10 from scratch using an ISO or the Windows Media Tool.
If you are using Windows 10 N edition, you need to install the Media Feature Pack.
Disabling Threaded Optimizations might reduce your FPS in idle situations such as when you’re standing still by up to 10%, but having it on drastically increases stutter and increases by how much your FPS will drop in intense situations from my experience. I highly recommend disabling it, even though it may seem like it’s costing you FPS.
Run the following command in elevated command prompt to delete the Nvidia Telemetry Service.
rundll32 “%PROGRAMFILES%\NVIDIA Corporation\Installer2\InstallerCore\NVI2.DLL”,UninstallPackage NvTelemetryContainer
Improving CPU performance
To best test your results, use two tests. The first is to grind at Tshira Ruins or Fogans as those zones are heavily straining on Ryzen CPUs in particular. The second is to sprint through Heidel, Calpheon, or Altinova on a horse to see how your choice has impacted the loading of characters.
Intel and AMD Ryzen users:
- Download Process Lasso and configure it to run on start-up for all users and have control over all your applications.
Black Desert does not function well with HyperThreading or Simultaneous MultiThreading. As such, on any platform that supports it, we will be disabling it to get an FPS boost. If you are on a platform that does not have any form of SMT such as an i5, you will not see benefit from this.
- Right click the Black Desert process in Process Lasso, and in the CPU Affinity > Always section check the section to disable HyperThreading or SMT. You may also see benefit from setting the game process priority to High, but I have not tested comparing it with Normal.
- Locate CoherentUI_Host.exe and xcoronahost.xem (Xigncode process) and set their process priorities to Idle. Do not change their affinities. Let them use your entire CPU. This should reduce the frequency of the “RBF crash” that causes you to crash on loading screens in heavily populated areas.
If you don’t want the Bitsum High Performance power plan which makes your hardware run at 100% speed at all times with no core parking (bad for when the game is in tray), you can uninstall it here.
AMD Ryzen only
If you’re on Ryzen 3000-series you probably do not need to do this section. Try it if you like, it won’t hurt anything but you may not see the same gains that 1000-series and 2000-series Ryzen users get from this as 3000-series has more robust IF. Just disable SMT. If you’re keen on overclocking, you can increase your Infinity Fabric (IF) clock instead.
With the May 2019 version of Windows, the scheduler should handle threads across the CCXs correctly. If you still get framerate drops you can still isolate the game to a single CCX.
This will cover how to do so on any Ryzen 3, 5, or 7 tier processor. If you use Ryzen 9 or Threadripper you’ll need to research the CCX/CCD layout of your processor.
(I get too many people asking how to do it on processors like the 2600 to the point where it’s kind of a meme to me now, so I decided to make it much easier. Unfortunately this means it doesn’t apply to processors such as the Ryzen 9 3900X or Threadripper due to the different CCX design.)
The compromise is that the less cores you use, the higher the CPU usage on the remaining cores. On higher graphics settings this can result in the same stutter you’re trying to mitigate if for example in Remastered mode you only have a few cores enabled pinned at 100% usage while running a fast horse across populated cities.
For the most aggressive way to curb frame drops in combat is to set BlackDesertOnline64.exe to only use cores on one CCX, as well as disabling simultaneous multithreading for the game. I’ve only tested this on my 8 core Ryzen 7 1700, which leaves me 4 physical cores for processing the game. Gameplay is quite smooth on lower settings; but in Remastered mode all 4 cores the game is running on are pinned to 95-100% in cities which results in stutter and framerate dips anyway.
- In Process Lasso, after doing the Intel and AMD section of the guide to disable SMT, find Black Desert’s executable and in the “Always” section select “Select CPU Affinity”. This should open a Window where you will see your affinity settings for BDO with SMT disabled already.
- Disable half of the cores sequentially and click OK.
It does not matter if you disable the first half or the second half, but I prefer isolating BDO to the second half as Windows will prioritize the first half for other processes first. This prevents other processes from interfering with BDO as much as possible.
For 4 core processors like those in the Ryzen 3 series, disable the first two that are still checked. For 6 core processors like the Ryzen 5 series, disable the first three that are still checked. For Ryzen 7 series you can follow the screenshot directly and disable the first 4 cores. CCX design diagram here.
Threadripper users may see benefit from installing Coreprio, however standard Ryzen users should not use it.
Threadripper, you will need to research which CCX is the primary/secondary CCX which has direct DRAM access to do CCX isolation tweaks for BDO. I think it’s CCX 3 on a 16 core Threadripper but I’m not sure.
Ryzen 9 has two chiplets with two 4-core CCXs in each. You’ll need to isolate BDO to 4 cores on the same CCX, or simply allow the Windows Scheduler to handle the game for you with just SMT off and ignore this section of the guide.
After some weeks using Process Lasso I noticed it nags you a lot to purchase the premium version. If you’re comfortable using Prio, you can use it instead if the nag is really bad. Just set the same cores in Prio that you would to PL. You do lose the ability to set the affinity and priority for xcoronahost and coherentUI as they’ll inherent it from the BlackDesert64 executable with a Prio setup though.
While Windows 10’s game mode doesn’t positively or negatively impact the performance of the game, it greatly negatively impacts the performance of other applications while you’re playing. Open the Windows Game Bar using Windows key + G while in game, and disable Game Mode if it’s enabled. It should be disabled by default.
Note having the Game Bar disabled in Windows settings does not disable Game Mode! Make sure you have Game Mode disabled explicitly.
For example when encoding in OBS I don’t drop any frames. With Game Mode on I start skipping 80% of the frames and playback is choppy. BDO is impacted the same from streaming regardless whether game mode is on or off, so it’s poor load balancing for other applications while game mode is enabled.
TCP/IP network tweaks
Changing TCP/IP settings to allow for packets to not be padded to your MTU value as well as other settings will influence BDO’s responsiveness over the network. It won’t completely alleviate desync, but it should reduce it some. Your mileage will vary with these tweaks though.
Download TCP Optimizer.
To tweak your system for the best possible gaming performance, please follow these steps:
- Apply the Optimal Settings
In the TCP Optimizer, set your advertised internet speed, choose the “optimal” settings, and “Apply” them (you can postpone the reboot for now). Make note of these settings, as you will need to manually re-do them when you switch to custom to do the following tweaks.
- Set Network Throttling Index In the “Advanced” tab of the Optimizer, set the “Gaming Tweak – Network Throttling Index”:
- NetworkThrottlingIndex: disabled:ffffffff
- SystemResponsiveness: gaming: 0
- Disable Naggling In the “Advanced” tab, set the “Gaming Tweak – Disable Nagle’s Algorithm”:
- TcpAckFrequency: 1
- TcpNoDelay: 1
- TcpDelAckTicks: 0
- Apply the Optimizer settings and reboot when prompted.
Based on the guild created by ACanadianDude.