Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy graphics optimization guide - video settings benchmarked

Written by Chad Norton on Wed, Nov 3, 2021 2:55 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

It's been over a week since the Guardians of the Galaxy landed on our PC systems, and overall the general reception has been pretty positive. However, it also suffers from a few technical and performance issues, so how exactly can we get some more FPS in this game? What are the most demanding graphics options? And which ones can we turn on or off with little to no FPS or quality loss?

In this article we will take a look at which Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy graphics settings are the best to turn all the way up to Ultra and which ones can get us a little FPS boost for no real visual loss when we turn them off or down. We've compiled a list below of the most demanding graphics options in the game, so you can get a handle on what to expect when you adjust different graphics settings in Guardians of the Galaxy to get the perfect balance of visual fidelity and FPS performance in game.

Below you will see every graphics option listed and benchmarked against a minimum graphics setting used as our baseline benchmark for Marvel's GotG. From there we see which graphics options have the highest performance impact on our hardware for the least visual improvement, and then we will see which options can be turned up to max and deliver the best visual improvement in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you want to look at some more graphics benchmarks with various gaming graphics cards running Guardians of the Galaxy then you can check out our Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy PC Performance Benchmarks article instead, or you can have a look at the various Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy PC Graphics Settings that we'll be discussing here in this article.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy PC system requirements

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy PC performance report and graphics card benchmarks

For the performance cost result baseline we used the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card - which is the minimum required GPU for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - an Intel Core i7-10700K processor, and 16GB of DDR4 memory. Additionally, we tested ray tracing performance on an RTX 2060.

To standardize the benchmark tests they were all carried out using the in-game Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy benchmarking tool. Although we found it to deliver higher FPS than we would normally find in-game, it is a great way of testing how demanding each individual graphics setting is because it has a varied environment with lots of instances of each setting on display.

The benchmark tool itself moves through several parts of the Knowhere area, gliding through streets and stalls with lots of NPCs, colorful lights, and reflections.

If you see any significant discrepancy/difference between the benchmark tool FPS and actual FPS returned then please do share your findings in the comments below.

There's quite a few graphics settings available in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, so we went through the 12 graphics options listed (14 including ray-traced reflections and ray-traced transparent reflections) and tested each one in turn, recording the average frame rates for each and then comparing them to a baseline FPS that was recorded with all the graphics options either turned off or to their lowest settings.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy baseline FPS

To give us a comparable FPS baseline for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Frame Rates achieved when all Guardians of the Galaxy's graphics settings are on lowest or OFF.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further to the right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

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What are the most demanding graphics options in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy?

As you can see in the FPS performance graph above, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy suffers from some of the biggest optimization issues we've seen recently. In our graphics card performance benchmarks, the difference between Low and Ultra often resulted in less than 10fps difference. This makes it quite difficult for any individual setting to affect FPS all that much.

Hence why a lot of settings in Guardians of the Galaxy have the same result. But the most demanding graphics option in Marvel's GotG is Light SCattering at a measly 2.75% FPS performance cost. This is followed by FidelityFX CAS Sharpening at 2.59%, and Depth of Field surprisingly at 2.43%.

Next on from that is Texture Quality at a 1.46% FPS performance cost, and Anisotropic Texture Filtering at 1.29% FPS cost. The rest of the settings provide minimal FPS performance cost, including Level of Detail at 0.49%m Shadow Quality and Screen Space Reflections both at 0.32%, and finally Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Chromatic Aberration, and Lens Flare all at 0.16%.

Apart from that though, there isn't much else to mention. Ray Tracing and DLSS provide the biggest difference in FPS performance, which will be discussed later in this article. I guess on the upside this means that if you're already getting a decent frame rate on Low settings, turning a few of them up higher won't actually affect performance all that much.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy All Graphics Settings Benchmark Guide

Best Video Settings in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

There are quite a few graphics settings available in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy in order for us to customize our FPS and get the right balance of FPS performance and visual quality.

Below we've provided both a score for the performance impact as well as a priority score designed to recommend which graphics settings you should prioritize turning up (the higher the number, the better).

Obviously, these scores are subjective and we really do encourage you to share your own thoughts in the discussion area below on what you think are the best Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy graphics settings are. But for now, let's jump in...

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Anisotropic Texture Filtering

Anisotropic Texture Filtering 16x Anisotropic setting performance impact

Anisotropic Texture Filtering graphics option Anistropic Off compared to 16x Anisotropic

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Anisotropic Texture Filtering

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Anisotropic Texture Filtering 61

Anisotropic Texture Filtering option range: Anisotropic Off/2x Anisotropic/4x Anisotropic/8x Anisotropic/16x Anisotropic

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Anisotropic Texture Filtering setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Higher quality filtering improves texture quality when viewing distant surfaces at an angle. However, lower quality filtering can improve GPU performance.

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Level of Detail

Level of Detail High setting performance impact

Level of Detail graphics option Low compared to High

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Level of Detail

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Level of Detail 61.5

Level of Detail option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Level of Detail setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? This controls the complexity of the geometry. When set to High, objects will be more detailed and will not drop to lower complexity models until they are far away from the player. When set to low, geometry will be less detailed, but performance can improve.

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Shadow Quality

Shadow Quality High setting performance impact

Shadow Quality graphics option Low compared to High

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Shadow Quality

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Shadow Quality 61.6

Shadow Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 5/5

What does the Shadow Quality setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? A higher shadow quality allows for more detail, making shadows appear sharper and cleaner by using a higher resolution shadow map. Lower quality shadows can improve performance.

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Texture Quality

Texture Quality High setting performance impact

Texture Quality graphics option Low compared to High

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Texture Quality

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Texture Quality 60.9

Texture Quality option range: Low/High

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Texture Quality setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Having a higher quality increases texture resolution but will also increase the amount of memory used.

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Screen Space Reflections

Screen Space Reflections On setting performance impact

Screen Space Reflections graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Screen Space Reflections

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Screen Space Reflections 61.6

Screen Space Reflections option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Screen Space Reflections setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Screen Space Reflections are created by ray-marching into the image on screen to create dynamic reflections as well as the static scene reflections. SSSR benefits from a smoother and more realistic spread of reflections. Rougher surfaces in particular will benefit from this. Having no screen space reflections will improve GPU performance.

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Motion Blur

Motion Blur On setting performance impact

Motion Blur graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Motion Blur

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Motion Blur 61.7

Motion Blur option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Motion Blur setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Motion Blur makes movement appear smoother by blurring the pixels along the direction of movements. Disabling this setting will improve GPU performance.

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Radial Blur

Radial Blur On setting performance impact

Radial Blur graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Radial Blur

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Radial Blur 61.7

Radial Blur option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Radial Blur setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Radial Blur works similarly to motion blur, but instead originates at a single point on the screen and blurs outwards/inwards. Disabling this setting will improve GPU performance.

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Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration On setting performance impact

Chromatic Aberration graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Chromatic Aberration

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Chromatic Aberration 61.7

Chromatic Aberration option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Chromatic Aberration setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Chromatic Aberration simulates the effect of the refaration of light into a camera lens, causing a slight blur and color shift on the edges of some objects. Disable for a slight improvement on GPU performance.

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Lens Flare

Lens Flare On setting performance impact

Lens Flare graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Lens Flare

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Lens Flare 61.7

Lens Flare option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Lens Flare setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Lens Flare simulates the effect of a bright light source when its beam passes through a camera lens, creating internal reflection and scattering artifacts.

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Depth of Field

Depth of Field On setting performance impact

Depth of Field graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Depth of Field

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Depth of Field 60.3

Depth of Field option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Depth of Field setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Depth of Field is primarily used in cinematics and simulates the effect of a camera to train your eye to focus on an area or object of importance. Setting to Low or Off entirely will improve GPU performance.

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Light Scattering

Light Scattering High setting performance impact

Light Scattering graphics option Low compared to High

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Light Scattering

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
Light Scattering 60.1

Light Scattering option range: Low/High

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Light Scattering setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Light SCattering creates realistic beams as light passes through foggy or dusty environments. Setting to Low will improve GPU performance.

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FidelityFX CAS Sharpening

FidelityFX CAS Sharpening Max setting performance impact

FidelityFX CAS Sharpening graphics option 0 compared to 100

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 61.8
FidelityFX CAS Sharpening 60.2

FidelityFX CAS Sharpening option range: 0% > 100%

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the FidelityFX CAS Sharpening setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Adjust the quality and crispness of the on-screen image.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy ray tracing benchmarks

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy includes support for both Ray-Traced Reflections and Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections, as well as support for Nvidia DLSS. Ray tracing is only available on certain hardware capable of supporting it. The same goes for DLSS, however it is exclusive to Nvidia hardware only, whereas Nvidia and AMD users can make use of ray tracing with supporting hardware.

For these results below we used the same setup as above, however with an RTX 2060 for the ray tracing settings to see how demanding each one is and whether their performance cost is worth the visual gain. We did not use DLSS during these benchmarks at all, but that would certainly help improve FPS after enabling ray tracing.

So with all that said, let's take a look at the PC performance breakdown of ray tracing and DLSS in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy...

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Ray Tracing baseline FPS

To give us a comparable FPS baseline for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Ray-Tracing Frame Rates achieved when all Guardians of the Galaxy's graphics settings are on lowest or OFF.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 121.5

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Ray Tracing Performance Breakdown

The further to the right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

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Ray-Traced Reflections

Ray-Traced Reflections Ultra setting performance impact

Ray-Traced Reflections graphics option Off compared to Ultra

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Ray-Traced Reflections

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 121.5
Ray-Traced Reflections - High 86.3
Ray-Traced Reflections - Very High 70.6
Ray-Traced Reflections - Ultra 51.7

Ray-Traced Reflections option range: Off/High/Very High/Ultra

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Ray-Traced Reflections setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Ray-TRaced Reflections give more accurate reflections but can be very demanding on performance. DXR capable graphics card required.

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Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections

Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections On setting performance impact

Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections graphics option Off compared to On

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Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Avg FPS
Baseline 121.5
Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections 120.4

Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections option range: Off/On

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 5/5

What does the Ray-Traced Transparent Reflections setting do in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy? Enable DirectX Raytracing (DXR) for life-like relfections from selected transparent surfaces.

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Conclusion

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy graphics settings performance results and conclusion - Looking at all the results above we can see that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is quite a demanding game. It is also quite unoptimized in terms of the difference in FPS performance between Low and Ultra graphics settings. Hopefully an update will improve that at some point.

For instance, the difference between Low and Ultra settings on a GTX 1060 is around 4-6fps at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. That means each individual setting will have negligible impact on performance when switching between Low and Ultra, sometimes even within a 0.1fps difference.

That said, there are still some settings which will be able to squeeze out a few extra frames in case you need them. These include Light SCattering, FidelityFX CAS Sharpening, and Depth of Field all at an FPS performance cost of 2.75%, 2.59%, and 2.43% respectively.

These 3 settings should your first priority in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy to gain a little FPS. FOllowing that you should look at Texture Quality, which has a 1.46% FPS performance cost, and Anisotropic Texture Filtering just behind at a 1.29% FPS performance cost.

Finally, there's Level of Detail at 0.49%, Shadow Quality and Screen Space Reflections at 0.32% each, and Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Chromatic Aberration, and Lens Flare all at 0.16% FPS cost. These last settings have minimal impact on frame rates, and so are purely just personal preference at this point.

Of course, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy also includes support for ray tracing and DLSS. The latter of which will significantly improve performance, especially if you have any ray tracing enabled. Additionally, Ray-Traced Reflections have 3 different quality settings, and in our testing we found Very High to be a pretty good balance of visual improvement and FPS loss.

And that's it for the most important graphics options in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy! As always we're now passing it onto you guys! We would love to hear your thoughts on what graphics settings you turn all the way up in Guardians of the Galaxy for little to no performance impact, and which options you turn down to get some extra frames so we can all benefit from better performance and image quality in this very good looking game!

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10:29 Nov-05-2021

lol what's there to optimize, the difference between low and ultra is like 10%

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20:56 Nov-03-2021

Extremely disappointed with the optimization.

3

Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 6GB Edition 32GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3550H 4-Core 2.1 GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB