Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by David


Starfield is one of the biggest releases of 2023 and won’t be the last one. In the follow-up to the game’s launch, Bethesda revealed that Starfield is locked at 30 FPS on Xbox Series S and Series X consoles. The reason was that the game is CPU heavy and can’t maintain 60 FPS for the current console hardware. This sparked up a debate regarding the game’s PC port, will it be able to hit 60 FPS on mid-range PCs without significant compromise on image quality? We will answer this question and will also provide PC users with the optimized settings for Starfield to run the game at 60 FPS.

Starfield PC Performance Optimizations That’ll Help

Starfield is a Bthesda RPG with a huge scope. The game is set in space and keeps track of every object throughout different planets and systems. Obviously, this made Starfield a CPU-heady title which translates into mid-range CPUs having a hard time running the game at a locked 60 FPS.

PC users can brute force their way to Starfield 60 FPS experience with a high-end CPU. However, that is out of the question for Intel CPU owners, at the time of writing. Unfortunately, Starfield doesn’t play well with Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. A mid-range AMD CPU beats an Intel high-end CPU in Starfield benchmarks, while an AMD GPU can easily outperform high-end Nvidia GPUs, especially at the Ultra graphics preset.


It’s clear that Starfield at launch is optimized for AMD hardware, both CPU and GPU. This also reveals why Starfield has no DLSS support or XESS support, and only has FSR. Obviously, FSR is supported by all GPUs but DLSS provides better image quality over FSR.

There are multiple issues with Starfield on PC, but that doesn’t mean PC users can run the game at 60 FPS with good enough image quality, even PC users with Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. The following are the specs that I have chosen as a baseline for a mid-range PC and Starfield PC optimizations for a 60 FPS experience.

CPU: Intel Core i5-1200F 6C/12T
GPU: 12GB RTX 3060
Storage: XPG Gammix S5 SSD
Resolution: 1080p

You might have noticed that I have chosen the Intel and Nvidia combo for the Starfield PC optimizations. The reason is simple, Nvidia and Intel are the most used CPUs and GPUs by PC users and given the state of Stafield PC port at launch, are in dire need of PC optimization compared to an AMD-only systems.


In this Starfield PC optimization guide for a 60 FPS at 1080p experience, I will explain each graphics setting for the game and will also recommend the best preset for each of them. The recommendations I make are scalable to different resolutions and a higher-end PC.

Note: These optimized settings won’t guarantee a locked 60 FPS, especially for Nvidia GPUs. Starfield at launch doesn’t run well on Nvidia GPUs. If you look at GeForce Experience, it recommends the Low graphics preset to play Starfield at a locked 60 FPS on a 12GB RTX 3060 GPU. The optimized settings I recommend here will get you a mostly 60 FPS experience but you’ll notice FPS drops when in big cities.

Install DLSS Mod

 Bethesda RPGs are known for their modding communities and what better thing to mod in a Bethesda game than DLSS. Officially, Starfield doesn’t support DLSS, which is disappointing as it is a better upscaling tech compared to FSR. Install the Starfield DLSS Mod if you have an RTX GPU and enjoy better upscaling and performance.

Dynamic Resolution

Dynamic Resolution setting adjusts the game’s resolution depending on the GPU load to maintain FPS. Usually when Dynamic Resolution is enabled, we can set the FPS target but in Starfield’s case, it’s not clear what is the FPS target as there is only the option to enable Dynamic Resolution. In my optimized settings, I turned it off. But if you are using a lower-end or a weaker GPU compared to an RTX 3060, I suggest you enable it.


Recommended Setting: Off

Render Resolution Scale

The Render Resolution Scale setting allows PC users to set a fixed lower rendering resolution that is upscaled to their native resolution. You can set it between 50% to 100% values. Interestingly, PC users have to adjust the Render Resolution Scale if they have FSR enabled.

Usually, FSR or other upscaler like DLSS have options like Quality, Balanced, and Performance that determine the quality of the upscaling and performance. But in the case of Starfield, there is only the option to enable FSR and that’s it. PC users have to tinker with the Render Resolution Scale setting to adjust the quality of FSR upscaling. In my testing, Starfield at 60% Render Resolution Scale with FSR enabled produces a reasonable image.

Recommended Setting: 60

Starfield at 60% Resolution Scale with FSR.
Starfield at native 1080p.

Note: Lowering the Render Resolution Scale will only boost performance if the game is GPU-bound. Starfield is a CPU-heavy game and if the FPS is low due to your CPU being used 100%, then lowering this setting won’t produce satisfying results.


There are only two upscaling options in Starfield FSR and CAS. The lack of DLSS is disappointing but FSR is the next best thing. I recommend using FSR to help with the game’s performance. However, the Starfield graphics menu doesn’t allow you to set the quality of FSR or upscaling. Instead, you have to manually adjust the “Render Resolution Scale” option to set the game’s render resolution that will be upscaled to your native resolution.

Recommended Setting: FSR

Enable VRS

VRS or Variable Rate Shading is a graphical feature that lowers the visual fidelity of in-game objects in a way that it doesn’t feel like the game is using lower visual fidelity. In short, VRS tries to improve performance without you getting a hit on image quality. In my testing, I didn’t see a significant improvement in performance after enabling VRS. I recommend you keep VRS off and only enable it if you feel like you need more FPS.

Recommended Setting: Off

Shadow Quality

The shadow quality option is Starfield adjusts the quality of in-game shadows. Shadows traditionally are one of the most taxing graphics features in video games and Starfield is no exception. Lowering the quality does impact the shadow resolution and also lowers the distance at which shadows are rendered for objects. Medium preset is the recommended setting here as it doesn’t compromise shadow quality that much and takes Starfield closer to 60 FPS.

Recommended Setting: Medium

Shadows – Medium
Shadows – High
Shadows – Ultra

Indirect Lighting

 Indirect Lighting is one of the most costly settings in Starfield. While I noticed better performance at the Low preset, I can’t recommend that you set Indirect Lighting at Low. As you can see in the comparison shots below, selecting the Low preset makes the overall scene look blurry and low quality. My recommended setting is Medium as it doesn’t degrade image quality without compromising the 60 FPS target for Starfield.

Recommended Setting: Medium

Indirect Lighting – Low
Indirect Lighting – Medium


Starfield only makes use of the SSR (Screen Space Reflections), which are reflections that only appear if the object is in the player’s field of view and Cube Maps. The Reflection setting adjusts the resolution of the in-game reflections, both SSR and Cube Maps in Starfield.

In my testing, Reflections don’t impact Starfield’s performance that much but I recommend you use the Low preset for it. The reason is that Reflections aren’t that prominent in Starfield and we have to compensate for the Indirect Lighting setting that we can’t set to Low. Lowering this setting provides a decent enough boost to Starfield’s PC performance.

Recommended Setting: Low

Starfield Reflections – Low
Starfield Reflections – Medium
Starfield Reflections – High

Particle Quality

This Starfield graphic setting is pretty self-explanatory, it controls the quality of the alpha particles when ships explode, explosions go off, and more. Particle Quality setting really impacts PC performance in skirmishes and space dog fights. My recommended setting is to keep it at High. However, if you think alpha particles tank Staffield’s performance when they come on screen, drop this setting to Medium.

Recommended Setting: High

Volumetric Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in a game’s presentation. Volumetric Lighting adjusts the quality of the light that comes from the sun or other objects that fill the scene. Volumetric Lighting is one of the most taxing graphics settings in Starfield and Medium preset is a good balance between quality and performance.

Recommended Setting: Medium

Crowd Density

Crowd Density setting in Starfield adjusts the NPC count in big cities. In my testing, Crowd Density didn’t impact performance significantly and I recommend you set it to High. In case the frames are dropping too much while you traverse the Starfield cities, try lowering the setting for better performance.

Recommended Setting: High

Motion Blur

Motion blur gives the game a sense of smoothness while in motion. There is no recommended setting for it as gamers are divided on it. It comes down to personal preference if you want to use Motion Blur or not.

Recommended Setting: User preference

GTAO Quality

GTAO is an Ambient Occlusion technique that shades with shadows where two in-game objects meet. It grounds the in-game objects and gives a life-like feeling to them. In my testing, I was unable to find any difference between Medium and Ultra preset. It could be that the high preset only controls the distance from the player character at which objects are shaded. GTAO produces good results with its Ambient Occlusion, however, it comes at the cost of performance. I recommend you set it to Low for a 60 FPS Starfield experience.

Recommended Setting: Low

Starfield GTAO – Low
Starfield GTAO – Medium
Starfield GTAO – High
Starfield GTAO – Ultra

Grass Quality

Grass Quality adjusts the distance at which the grass and small vegetation render in Starfield. Anything below the High preset results in a noticeable pop-in as players move around on Planets with dense vegetation. Fortunately, the performance cost Grass Quality setting in Starfield is relatively low and you can set it to High and still get 60 FPS.

Recommended Setting: High

Grass Quality – Medium
Grass Quality – High
Grass Quality – Ultra

Contact Shadows

Contact Shadows is another demanding graphics setting in Starfield. Set it to Low for better performance.

Recommended Setting: Low


Vertical synchronization synchronized the frames with the display refresh rate to eliminate screen tearing. If you are using a G.sync or Free sync-supported display, you don’t need to enable V.sync. If you don’t like Screen Tearing while playing Starfield, I suggest you enable V.sync.

Recommended Setting: User preference

Starfield Optimized Settings For 60 FPS

Now that I have explained what each graphics setting does in Starfield along with our PC optimizations for each setting, the following are my Optimized Settings for the game that will ensure a 60 FPS experience at 1080p resolution.

  • Dynamic Resolution – Off
  • Render Resolution Scale – 60
  • Upscaling – FSR or Install DLSS mod
  • Enable VRS – Off
  • Shadow Quality – Medium
  • Indirect Lighting – Medium
  • Reflections – Low
  • Particle Quality – High
  • Volumetric Lighting – Medium
  • Crowd Density – High
  • Motion Blur – User preference
  • GTAO Quality – Low
  • Grass Quality – High
  • Contact Shadows – Low
  • VSync – User preference

Other Tweaks That’ll Help

Aside from tweaking the game’s graphics settings to boost performance, there are other tweaks that PC users can perform to play Starfield at the best possible FPS.

Nvidia Control Panel Tweaks

There are settings in the Nvidia Control Panel that can help PC users boost performance in Starfield. Open Nvidia Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings > select Starfield. Make the following changes and hit apply.

  • Anti-aliasing-Gamma Correction – Off
  • Antialiasing Mode – Application Controlled
  • Antialiasing Transparency – Off
  • CUDA GPUs – All
  • Low Latency Mode – Off
  • Power Management – Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Texture filtering – Quality – High Performance
  • Threaded Optimization – On
  • Triple Buffering – Off
  • Vertical Sync – Use the 3D application setting

Enable Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling

Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling is an option available to Windows 10 and 11 users that can potentially improve or stabilize Starfield PC performance. Open Windows Settings > System > Display > Graphics > Change default graphics settings > Enable Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. Restart your PC, launch Starfield, and enjoy.

That is all for our Starfield PC optimizations for a 60 FPS experience. If you are facing errors and issues with other PC games or your PC then also see our hub for commonly occurring PC errors and their fixes.


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