Guides

Dragon’s Dogma 2 PC Optimized Settings and Benchmarks

Here are the best settings for Dragon's Dogma 2, optimized for your PC

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is Capcom’s latest RPG, promising a massive open-world, four times bigger than its predecessor’s. Unfortunately, the game runs poorly, especially in towns and villages, bringing even the fastest CPUs down on their knees. To find the best PC graphics settings for Dragon’s Dogma 2, we’ll test every option of every setting available in the game. Let’s start with the official PC system requirements.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 PC System Requirements

The official PC specs are fairly modest, requiring a Core i5-10600 or a Ryzen 5 3600 alongside a GeForce GTX 1070 or a Radeon RX 5500 XT for 1080p 30 FPS at “Low” graphics settings. For 4K “High,” you should have a Core i7-10700 or a Ryzen 5 3600X paired with a GeForce RTX 2080 or a Radeon RX 6700 (or higher). About 16GB of memory is required to run the game at any quality preset and resolution.

Via Steam

Ray tracing pushes the GPU requirements to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or the Radeon RX 6800. Interestingly, there’s no mention of increased CPU specs even though it is needed, as you’ll soon see.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 GPU Benchmarks: NVIDIA vs AMD

Dragon’s Dogma 2 runs notably faster on AMD Radeon GPUs, with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX comfortably beating the NVIDIA RTX 4080 Super at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. The RDNA 3 flagship is 14-19% faster than the 4080 Super, depending on which resolution you’re playing at. FHD or 1080p sees the maximal lead, gradually diminishing as you increase the resolution.

The Radeon RX 7900 XT, a $699 GPU, also outmaneuvers the $1000 RTX 4080 Super at 1080p and 1440p, delivering 2x the performance as the RTX 4070 ($549). The GeForce RTX 4090, priced at $1599, posts higher 1% lows but fails to establish a meaningful lead over the Radeon RX 7900 XTX.

Ray-tracing doesn’t grant the NVIDIA cards any advantage over their AMD rivals, a super-rare occurrence. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX continues to deliver better performance than the GeForce RTX 4080 Super, while the 7900 XT maintains a slight lead (except at 4K).

The Conclusion: Dragon’s Dogma 2 runs substantially faster on Radeon GPUs, no matter what resolution or setting you’re playing at.

Performance Gains After Update #2

Following the first two title updates, Dragon’s Dogma 2 runs considerably smoother in crowded settlements. The performance improvements are most pronounced with ray tracing enabled, with gains of over 50% at 4K.

QHD or 1440p produces 18% higher lows with ray tracing enabled, versus 41% higher without it. Similarly, 4K nets a 44.6% improvement in lows following the latest update.

The gains are less prominent at lower graphics settings, with “High” and “Low” recording modest to subtle performance increments.

Resolution Scaling: 1080p vs 1440p vs 4K Benchmarks

Before we begin, please note that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a densely populated game, and the performance depends on the region and the time of the day. Towns tend to be much more taxing on the CPU than the wilderness, while ray tracing is more punishing in the evenings/nights.

Forest

The above benchmarks were conducted in the wilderness outside Vernworth. Going from 1440p to 4K (Max settings without ray-tracing), the performance increases by 30%, and another 18% on switching to 1080p. The deltas don’t change much with ray-tracing enabled, only showing minor variations between the three resolutions.

Graphics Presets: Low vs High vs Max

The GeForce RTX 4090 (and the Core i9-13900K) manage an average of 74 FPS at 4K “Max” settings in Dragon’s Dogma 2. This is the performance of the game in the forests surrounding Vernworth.

Forest

Switching to the “High” quality preset improves the frame rates by 23%, with “Low” bumping the performance by another 20.6%. The performance deltas within the castle walls are (completely) different. The “High” and “Low” presets are only 11% and 14% faster than “Max” at 4K, with even slimmer deficits at 1440p.

Town

The reason? The CPU bottleneck kicks in as you reduce the graphics settings (GPU load). To the extent that there’s a negligible performance deficit between 1440p “Low” and “Max” settings.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Ray Tracing Performance

In the wilderness, Dragon’s Dogma 2 exhibits some performance characteristics. The game is more CPU-bound at 4K (with and without ray tracing) than 1440p. Consequently, we see a 12% deficit with RT enabled at 1440p, while a paltry 3.5% drop at 4K.

Forest

Within the castle walls of Vernworth, the order is restored. 4K (with ray tracing) runs the slowest, with the rasterized version being 17% faster. Switching from pure raster to ray-tracing at 1440p grants a 9% uplift in performance.

Town

This is because 4K RT is immensely CPU bound (49%), while 1440p RT is about as CPU-intensive (30%) as its non-RT setting. The reason is that the number of rays cast is proportional to the pixel count.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 VRAM Usage

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is quite the VRAM hog. At 1440p, the game uses up to 8GB of graphics memory at the lowest texture preset, increasing to 9GB at “High.” At the highest quality “Max,” the VRAM consumption peaks at 10.7GB, with ray-tracing further pushing it up to 11GB.

Running the game at 4K “Max,” requires a 16GB graphics card, even if you’re disabling ray tracing. At 4K “Low,” the game uses 10GB VRAM, 11.1GB at “High,” and 13.5GB at “Max.” Enabling ray-tracing increases the graphics memory usage to 14GB. Shadow cache can eat up to half a GB of memory, so if you’re running low, that’s what I’d disable.

Shadows and Reflections

Dragon’s Dogma 2 features ambient shadows (ambient occlusion), baked-in shadow maps, and screen-space ambient occlusion. Enabling ray-tracing replaces the AO with ray-traced global illumination.

The impact of ambient occlusion and shadows is modest. Going from “Max” to “Low” grants only grants you a handful of frames, while “High” performs just as well as “Low.”

Screen space reflections (SSR) are a bit more taxing, draining 7% of the performance for producing low to moderate-quality reflections of on-screen objects.

Contact shadows improve the shadow quality and accuracy. They calculate the screen space lighting on a per-pixel and per-light basis. Consequently, it’s more taxing in areas with more light sources.

Contact shadows double the performance impact of standard shadows with a perceivable influence on lows.

Mesh and Tree Quality

Mesh quality controls the level of detail by changing the polygon count of the objects in the game. This affects the 3D depth detail of items, which is different from texture quality. Going from “Max” to “High” quality meshes grants a 9% performance boost at 4K, with no apparent improvement at lower quality settings.

Vegetation quality grants a 5% performance uplift upon switching from “High” to “Low.” A notable impact in visual fidelity with minimal framerate gain.

Anti-aliasing and Texture Filtering Performance

Texture filtering is a must in a game like Dragon’s Dogma 2. It improves the texture quality of the objects in the distance that otherwise look blurry and pixelated. Fortunately, 8x anisotropic filtering is as fast as the primitive “Bilinear” method and 9% faster than 16x.

TAA takes up 10% of the rendering time, cleaning up the image but reducing texture detail. Luckily, upscalers like DLSS 2 and FSR 3 do a much better job of temporal upscaling.

Special Effects: On or Off?

Special Effects controls particle effects like fire embers. It has a 7% impact on the game’s performance.

Dragon’s Dogma 2: DLSS 2 vs. FSR 3 Performance

Dragon’s Dogma 2 features NVIDIA DLSS 2 and AMD FSR 3. The latter lacks frame generation, only upscaling the image like its older rival. The two upscalers offer nearly the same performance thanks to the massive CPU bottleneck. Frame generation would have drastically reduced it, but it’s simply absent.

Don’t use interlaced rendering, as it’s an inferior variant (similar to checkerboard rendering) used on consoles. The same goes for the “Image Quality” slider that controls the internal rendering resolution, pairing it with primitive upscaling methods like bilinear or bicubic. The center position sets the resolution to native, while anything less or more enables upscaling or downscaling, respectively.

Technically, downscaling should produce the best image quality due to higher samples per pixel, but it’s often not worth the performance hit. Modern temporal downscalers like NVIDIA DLAA and AMD FSR 3 “Native AA” are more framerate-friendly and produce a higher-quality image.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 CPU Bottleneck

This game is massively CPU-bottlenecked in crowded settlements. At 1440p, the GPU-Busy deviation peaks at the “Low” present with an average of 51%. About half of the frametime (time to render the individual frames) comes from the CPU while the GPU sits idle.

1440p Max
1440p Low
1440p RT Max

4K is more GPU-intensive, with a GPU-busy deviation of 25-31%.

4K Low
4K Max
4K RT Max

Ray-tracing is a downer, increasing the deviation to 48%.

Update: Following the second title update, the GPU-Busy Deviation is down to 32% (previously 50%) at 4K “Max” with ray tracing enabled.

In sheer rasterization, the GPU-Busy Deviation has reduced from 28% (at launch) to 18% following the latest updates.

Best PC Settings for Dragon’s Dogma 2?

Despite being a headache to run, this game is relatively straightforward. Below are the optimized settings for Dragon’s Dogma 2 for different PC configurations:

High-end PCMid-Range PCLow-end PC
Resolution4K/1440p1440p/4K1080p
Texture QualityHigh (3GB)High (3GB)High (3GB)
Ray TracingOffOffOff
Contact ShadowsOnOffOff
Shadow QualityMaxHighHigh
Special EffectsHighHighHigh
Screen Space ReflectionsOnOnOff
Vegetation QualityHighHighHigh
Ambient OcclusionSSAOSSAOSSAO
Mesh QualityMaxMaxHigh
Texture Filtering16x16x16x
Anti-AliasingTAA
UpscalingOffDLSS “Balanced”DLSS “Performance”
Render ModeProgressiveProgressiveProgressive

Here are our definitions of high-end, midrange, and low-end PCs:

High-endMid-rangeLow-end
CPUCore i7-13700K/Ryzen 7 7800X3DCore i5-13600K/Ryzen 5 7600XLess than: Core i5-12400/Ryzen 5 3600
GPURTX 4070 Ti Super/RX 7900 XTRTX 4070/RX 7800 XTLess than: RTX 4060/RX 7600
Memory32GB (dual-channel)16GB (dual-channel)Less than: 16GB (dual-channel)

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Optimized Settings for NVIDIA RTX 4060 Laptop GPU

Here’s our performance guide with the optimized settings for folks playing on an NVIDIA RTX 4060 laptop GPU:

NVIDIA RTX 4060 Laptop GPUNVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
Resolution1080p1080p
Texture QualityHigh (3GB)High (3GB)
Ray TracingOffOff
Contact ShadowsOffOff
Shadow QualityHighHigh
Special EffectsHighHigh
Screen Space ReflectionsOnOn
Vegetation QualityHighHigh
Ambient OcclusionSSAASSAA
Mesh QualityMaxMax
Texture Filtering16x16x
Anti-Aliasing
UpscalingDLSS “Balanced”DLSS “Performance”
Render ModeProgressiveProgressive

Areej

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Find me at Hardware Times.com and PC Opset. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button