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Zenless Zone Zero (ZZZ) PC Optimized Settings: Every Graphics Option Benchmarked

The best settings for "Zenless Zone Zero," optimized for your PC!

Zenless Zone Zero (shortened “ZZZ”) is developer miHoYo’s (aka HoYoverse globally) latest and most anticipated addition to their catalog of free-to-play gacha games, previously having made popular titles such as Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. Released on July 4th 2024, this game utilizes the Unity engine and makes use of 3D cel-shading techniques to give it that classy animated look (seen in titles such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Hi-Fi Rush), bringing its vibrant futuristic themes and array of characters to life.

Having reached 50 million downloads across all platforms already, and many more character events to come, this game is poised to take over the internet as the definitive new gacha game to play. Zenless Zone Zero is currently available on PCs, PS5, iOS, and Android, though it’s worth noting that these have different builds (aka versions) each.

This means that while it may run well on a mobile device, the PC or console version may not run the same as they have a heavier build and size. Which is why in this guide, we’ll go through every graphics setting and benchmark every option, to recommend the best graphics settings for Zenless Zone Zero on PC for the smoothest experience possible. The recommended options you can pick based on your PC’s power level (defined near the end of the article) will be showcased at the end.

Let’s start by looking at the official PC requirements!

Zenless Zone Zero PC Specs

To run the game at the “Low” preset settings at 1080p 60 FPS you require at least an Intel Core i5 7th or equivalent CPU from 2016, paired with the NVIDIA GTX 970 or equivalent GPU from 2014. Finish it with at least 8 GB of Dual Channel RAM and 57 GB of storage space (with another 58 GB needed for decompression, ie 115 GB in total for installation), preferably an SSD.

Official Specs via Epic Store

Pushing it up to the recommended settings, corresponding to a “High” preset level at 1080p 60 FPS, you need an Intel Core i7 10th gen or equivalent CPU from 2020 paired with the NVIDIA GTX 1660 or higher.

The specs are very modest and as long as you have a laptop or PC built in the last 10 years, this game should be running just fine. The only bottleneck here is the storage space, especially with the SSD requirement, so make sure enough space is cleared out before starting!

We also recommend using the official “HoYoPlay” launcher to download and manage this game from here (click on download now). Compared to the Epic Store version, this should get quicker updates and require fewer launcher steps. However it is to be noted that Epic Store can sometimes give discounts on purchases in-game, and both versions can be used as and when needed simultaneously since the in-game account is the same. Buy on one, launch through the other, save money, profit!

Our Test Bench

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-14700KF.
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z790 Gaming X AX.
  • Cooler: Asus ROG Strix LC II 360.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Super.
  • Memory: 16GB x2 DDR5-6000 CL36.
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000e.

Windows/ System Settings to Optimize

Before we dive into optimizing the game, we recommend configuring certain Windows and Display settings for the best performance before we even boot in. This should be standard for every game. First, make sure all unnecessary applications are closed.

Use “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open up Task Manager and turn off any applications you’re not using. Things like WhatsApp or Epic Games, etc tend to run in the background, shut them down. Do not touch the ones under “Windows Processes” though.

Enable Resizable BAR (SAM)

Resizable BAR was enabled on most x86 motherboards and GPUs following the adoption of the PCIe Gen 4 standard. Traditionally, the CPU and GPU have communicated through a narrow BAR (a 256 MB window), constantly moved around to allow the CPU to access different parts of the graphics memory. Resizable BAR allows the CPU full access to the GPU’s memory bus rather than a small portion.

Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs and newer support Resize BAR, while AMD’s Ryzen 3000 chips and onward also support it. On the GPU side, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 series and newer feature Resizable BAR support. The Radeon RX 6000 cards were the first to enable it on the opposite side.

Enabling Resizable BAR usually involves turning on two PCIe technologies from the motherboard BIOS: Above 4G Decoding, and Resizable BAR support. The ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI motherboard guides are linked for further instructions.

Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling and Windowed Optimizations

Next, ensure you have “Optimizations for windowed games” enabled in your Windows settings as this will help with latency and thread priorities. To get there, open System Settings (Right-click on the Windows logo and click settings) -> Display -> Graphics -> Default graphics settings and enable both options.

Xbox Game Bar

Now go into the “Gaming” Setting from the sidebar. Click on Game Mode and make sure it is turned on. Next, in the “Captures Setting,” turn off all the options if you don’t intend to take screenshots or record the game.

If you’re playing on a laptop, make sure the power plan is turned to “High Performance” or equivalent and the correct GPU is selected, either in the Windows settings or the inbuilt app (such as the Alienware app). And always keep it plugged in while gaming unless that’s not an option. Finally, open the NVIDIA or AMD companion app and make sure the latest drivers are installed.

With that out of the way, let’s proceed to the display and graphics settings within the game. We’ll analyze each setting under the “Graphics” tab. The other tabs do not affect the performance. We’ll start with the “Basic” Options.

Overclock your Graphics Card

Overclocking GPUs is a fairly safe and easy process. If done right, it won’t void your warranty and can boost your gaming performance by at least 5-10%. Unlike CPUs, you don’t have to mess with the BIOS or worry about BSODs. All you need is MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X (they work with GeForce and Radeon cards regardless of the AIB):

Enable XMP/EXPO Memory Profile

XMP profiles (EXPO for AMD Ryzen platforms) are a set of predetermined memory clocks and timings known to run stably on a given memory die. They’re a shortcut to overclocking your memory without testing every frequency and timing.

Via G.Skill

Most motherboard BIOSes include this setting on the BIOS homepage, under one of the following: Extreme Memory Profile, AI Overclock Tuner, Load XMP Profile, EXPO, A-XMP, or DRAM Profile. Further instructions are linked.

Note: You can turn on the “FPS Display” and a few other metrics over in your respective overlay (GeForce Experience, Xbox Game Bar, or any third-party solution). Make sure to keep this on if you want to check the FPS you are getting while optimizing and turn it off later if needed. We recommend using MSI Afterburner’s inbuilt overlay.

Display Mode

Keep this at “Fullscreen“. This ensures the game gets maximum performance and other apps do not distract from it. Other display modes can lead to stutters and unwanted FPS drops.

Considering this is a graphically pretty undemanding game, you can also switch to “Windowed” if you want to use other apps at the same time, and comes down to personal preference.

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

Changing resolutions is the first thing to do when optimizing a game. You should use the resolution that matches your monitor’s. But it also depends on your system. As a thumb-rule, a higher-end system should target 4K, mid-range 1440p, and low-end 1080p.

On our system, switching from 4K to 1440p, the performance does not change, and from 4K to 1080p, it increases by 0.8%. The age-old adage is of course true, lower resolution means better frames. But in this scenario, we are heavily CPU-bottlenecked, meaning turning down the resolution did nothing much. If your GPU is less powerful, you will see much more noticeable differences.

Keep this at your monitor’s resolution and only change it if all else fails.

Best Graphics Preset for Zenless Zone Zero

Once the target resolution has been selected, we can start with optimizations to increase our frames. We’ll look at the “Rendering” option near the end as that is something only to be touched when all else fails.

Zenless Zone Zero has three presets going from “Low”, “Medium” and “High”. Let’s see how they stack up.

The GeForce RTX 4080 Super (and the Core i7-14700KF) manage an average of 168 FPS at the 4K “High” setting in ZZZ. The following are the presets ranked in percentage gains going down from the “4K High” preset to the “4K Low” Preset:

  • Medium: 21%
  • Low: 28%

Try out the preset that gets you close to your target frames and we’ll proceed to toggle each option to maximize frames while maintaining visual fidelity in the coming sections.

Vertical Sync and FPS

Vertical Sync helps synchronize frames with your monitor’s refresh rate to help prevent screen-tearing, at the cost of added latency. Only turn this on if you’re getting noticeable screen tears, otherwise, keep this Disabled” to get an uncapped refresh rate and lower latency. Consider turning on Nvidia G-Sync or AMD Freesync variable refresh rate (VRR) solutions if your monitor supports it.

FPS (Framerate Limit) helps prevent jitters due to framerate fluctuations to achieve consistent graphics and network performance. Keep this at “Unlimited“, unless you’re getting constant stutters. In that case, turn it on and keep it at your monitor’s refresh rate to get the best experience possible (usually 60).

Anti-Aliasing Quality

Anti-aliasing is used to smoothen jagged edges, most noticeable on the borders of objects as “jaggies”. Turning it on helps smoothen those edges out and makes the image look more cohesive at the expense of a slight blurriness. Changing between TAA and SMAA, we get the following FPS:

TAA (Temporal Anti-Aliasing) has no impact on the frames here, while SMAA (Subpixel Morphological Anti-Aliasing) has a 1% FPS loss. Stick to TAA if you don’t mind the added blurriness, or feel free to turn it off if you don’t mind the jagged edges as the performance is the same. You can try switching to SMAA if you want a smoother image at the expense of some lost frames.

Shadows

“Shadows” controls the resolution and quality of the shadow maps used in-game. This setting controls both the dynamic shadows for objects and characters as well as the sun-casted shadows. Going from High to Low decreases the resolution and quality of shadow maps.

Going down from High, the gains are:

  • Medium: 0.1%
  • Low: 2.3%

We see barely any difference between the high and medium, while Low brings us an FPS boost.

  • For Visual Fidelity:High” as the difference is negligible between medium.
  • For FPS:Low

FX Detail

This setting adjusts the particle density and the quality of particle effects emitted by particle systems, such as the ones from bullets, explosions, fires, etc. The higher the setting, the more particles present in the scene, and more effects are hence visible.

Going down from High, the gains here are:

  • Medium: 0.1%
  • Low: 0.5%

  • For Visual Fidelity:Medium” to account for extra dips due to more explosions etc while maintaining a healthy particle density and quality.
  • For FPS:Low” as there’ll always be instances where particle counts abruptly increase and we want the least impact possible.

Shading Quality

Shading quality sets the visual fidelity of ambient shadows, similar to ambient occlusion but more subtly, affecting the colors of different objects when illuminated. This means it controls how accurate the lighting will be. This is really important in a game like ZZZ where cel-shading is used, as turning it down will make everything look flat, including hair and other display elements too.

As seen above, there is negligible impact on performance (the low setting even introduces a CPU bottleneck making it worse than higher options), while making the game look much worse in presentation. Keep this at “High” no matter what.

Character Quality

This setting controls the level of detail (LOD) by changing the polygon count in the meshes of the characters in the game. The higher the setting, the more detailed the object’s geometry, and the higher the CPU load. This game also seems to change the texture resolution on the characters with this setting

As seen above, turning it to low only makes things worse due to bottlenecks or has negligible positive impact. Leave this one at “High“.

Environment Quality

Similar to the previous setting, but for the environment itself. This setting controls the level of detail of distant objects and changes their render distance, adjusting the distance (from the player) at which objects are culled from view, including vegetation, buildings, and enemy units (leading to pop-ins).

Once again, this setting has barely any impact in this game, giving a measly 0.1% increase at the expense of worse-looking environments and LODs. Keep this at “High“.

Mirror Reflections

Mirror Reflections in this game controls the reflection details in the environment by setting the rendering frequency and resolution of global scene reflections produced by large objects, such as tall buildings and scenery as well as nearby smaller objects and screen space reflections in puddles, etc. So it’s not just for mirrors, but more so for “reflections” in general. At low and above, we get access to cube maps in the reflections.

As seen above, this setting has a massive impact on frames compared to the other settings. Going down from High we get the following benefits:

  • Medium: 16.3%
  • Low: 16.3%
  • Disabled: 17.6%

The benefits are only gained when going from High to anything lower. Even disabling the setting barely gives us any frames after that. Hence we recommend “Medium” for visual fidelity, and “Disabled” if you need more FPS.

Volumetric Fog

This setting modifies the resolution and quality of volumetric fog to create clearer light shafts and fog effects, noticeable in places where a light source or the sun shines through the foggy areas. Also noticeable as the haze in distant locations, and very important for the game’s visual presentation.

As seen above, this setting also has a significant impact on frames compared to the other settings. Going down from High we get the following benefits:

  • Medium: 1.1%
  • Low: 1.2%
  • Disabled: 2.6%

Due to its importance in the game’s visual presentation, stick to “Medium” and go down to “Low” if you need more FPS. Do not disable this one.

Bloom, Distortion, Color Filter Strength

  • Bloom is the luminous glow of certain objects in the game world, such as light sources. Usually, this shouldn’t have an impact, but surprisingly we gained 1.5% by disabling this. Hence we recommend disabling this for frames, but stick to what you prefer if you have enough FPS.
  • Distortion is basically a heat distortion effect, around heat-emitting objects such as fires, similar to the heat haze effect. But in this game, it can be seen around sources other than heat too, such as “ethers”. No performance impact was noticed and is hence a personal preference.
  • Color Filter Strength is a post-processing effect that basically acts as an Instagram filter. This is once again a complete personal preference and we noticed no performance impact in our tests. Try turning it down to 0 to check the difference and adjust it to your liking for the game’s presentation. (The devs set it at a 10 by default so leave it there if you want the original intended experience)

Rendering

“Rendering” or resolution scaling is a way to massively increase performance at the cost of resolution (added blurriness in upscaling). We’ve kept this at the end since it is always recommended to play at native, ie 1. If you are still struggling with frames after trying out all the optimized settings above, it is time to try upscaling. (DLSS or FSR are not included in this game, but can be enabled through the Nvidia or AMD control panels respectively)

By default, the game starts at a Render Scale of “1“, which means it is rendering at the native resolution you have selected. Changing from 1, we get the following:

  • 0.8: 0.2%
  • 1.2: -22.5%

Once again, the accursed CPU bottleneck strikes us here and 0.8 only offers a 0.2% benefit. Meanwhile increasing it to 1.2 (rendering at above the native resolution for a crisper image) drops the FPS by 22.5%. If you are however getting subpar FPS (less than 60 or even 30), changing this to 0.8 should help.

Meanwhile, if you have plenty of extra frames to spare like seen here, consider trying 1.2 to get the best-looking crisp images possible in-game.

Additional Settings

Under “Other” settings, the “Show Combat DMG” option is available. We recommend leaving this at Enable, but if you really need more FPS or are seeing stutters, consider “Disabling” this. This refers to the numbers you see on enemies whenever you land an attack.

Zenless Zone Zero: CPU Bottlenecks

Zenless Zone Zero is mostly GPU-bound at 4K (UHD). 1440p (QHD) and 1080p (FHD) are heavily CPU-bound with a GPU-busy deviation of 41% and 53% respectively using the “High” quality graphics preset settings.

4K High Preset
1440p High Preset
1080p High Preset

The yellow lines indicate the “GPU-Busy Deviation”, which says how long the GPU had to wait for the CPU to hand it data, representing a CPU bottleneck. This points towards some optimization issues as one would expect much higher FPS on such a modern CPU. Hopefully, future patches by miHoYo will sort this issue out.

Best PC Settings for Zenless Zone Zero

Here are the optimized settings for high-end and low-end PC configurations:

Optimized SettingsHigh-end PCMid-Range PCLow-End PC
Resolution4K (3840 x 2160)1440p (2560 x 1440)1080p (1920 x 1080) or lower
Display ModeFullscreen/WindowedFullscreen/WindowedFullscreen
V-SyncDisabledDisabledDisabled
FPSUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Anti-Aliasing QualitySMAASMAATAA or Off
ShadowsHighHighLow
FX DetailHighMediumLow
Shading QualityHighHighHigh
Character QualityHighHighHigh
Environment QualityHighHighHigh
Mirror ReflectionsHighHighMedium or Disabled
Volumetric FogHighHighMedium or Low
BloomPersonal ChoicePersonal ChoiceDisabled
DistortionPersonal ChoicePersonal ChoicePersonal Choice
Color Filter StrengthPersonal ChoicePersonal ChoicePersonal Choice
Rendering1.21.2 or 10.8 or 1

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)
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