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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a 2018 action-adventure role-playing game developed by Ubisoft Quebec, and published by Ubisoft. It is the eleventh main installment in the series and it is a successor to Assassin’s Creed Origins that was released in October 2017. Odyssey is visually one of the most impressive games in the series and one of the most demanding video game titles in the last couple of years. In this article we will explore Assassin’s Creed Odyssey graphics settings and game’s system performance on PC platform. We will also provide a graphics settings optimization guide for owners of AMD Radeon RX 580 and Tier 4 graphics cards.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is powered by Ubisoft’s internally developed AnvilNext 2.0 engine that also powers up other Ubisoft’s titles such as For Honor and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. Unlike those titles, which run smoothly on PC, Odyssey is a very demanding title that might turn off PC gamers that strive only for 60 FPS lag-free experience. In order to examine game’s performance, we have used our standard benchmark PC rig with the following components:
Testing Rig Specifications
In order to measure how many frames per second can our system achieve, we have used game’s built-in benchmark tool. After finishing the benchmark run we wrote down our average FPS results and later compared them with the results from other runs.
Since Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offers plenty of adjustable graphics settings with which you might not be familiar with, there are five image quality presets at your disposal to easily switch to: Ultra High, Very High, High, Medium and Low. Here you can see our average FPS results for 1080P resolution at each of the mentioned presets:
As you can see, game’s performance on Radeon RX 580 isn’t very impressive. If you compare these results with the ones from our previous benchmark of Assassin’s Creed Origins, you will notice a couple of things. First of all, Odyssey scores much worse results than Origins on Ultra High settings. In fact, our RX 580 managed to render 10 FPS less on average in Odyssey than in Origins. On Very High and High presets, results were nearly identical. On Medium and Low presets, however, situation was much better, as Odyssey ran with +7 FPS on average than Origins.
Our overall benchmark results seem to be pretty consistent. Each time we lowered our image quality presets, we would obtain an extra 7 frames on average. Throughout our testing, our minimum results resided in 20-25 FPS range, while our maximums tended to go beyond 70 FPS. Game looks really impressive at Ultra High quality, but these settings are hard to recommend if you own Tier 4 graphics card. On Medium settings game looks decent, however, our general recommendation would be to play the game on high-medium settings if you wish to get the full experience.
If you own RX 580, or any other Tier 4 graphics card, then playing this game on resolutions higher than 1080P is extremely inadvisable. Performance on these resolutions is quite pathetic, and it won’t bring you any joy, except if you like watching slideshows. Game might be playable on Low-Medium settings on 1440P, but only if you have an LFC capable FreeSync/G-Sync monitor.
After examining overall image quality presets, we proceeded further with the analysis of all graphics settings in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This phase of analysis consisted of running the game at ultra preset, but with each separate image quality setting disabled or maximally lowered. After we acquired the results with each of the settings off, we had the ability to compare them with the results while they were on. Thus we had a chance to determine performance impact of each of the graphics settings on overall frame rate. As a baseline we used ultra quality preset. Here are the results:
Chart above shows a lot of data. As you can see, turning antialiasing off didn’t improve performance at all (except increasing minimum FPS a bit). Same thing also applies to Terrain Quality and Ambient Occlusion. Turning down some settings didn’t improve our average frame rates, but it did increase our maximum FPS. This is most notable with settings such as Environment Details and Clutter. If we try to translate our data into relative measures, here is what we get:
The largest impact on system performance by far has the Volumetric Clouds graphics setting. Although volumetric clouds do like nice, in our opinion they are pretty worthless feature, as most of the time you won’t be looking in clouds. Luckily, turning off this setting won’t disable clouds completely (as was the case in Assassin’s Creed Origins), so proceed doing that without any fears.
Next setting that impacts performance a lot are Shadows. This is pretty understandable, as shadows are considered to be the most taxative feature in computer graphics overall. We prefer to have this option on very high quality, however, if you don’t notice any difference between lower presets, than feel free to lower overall quality of shadows if you want to squeeze out extra FPS.
Another graphics settings feature that kills performance in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is Characters Texture Detail quality. This very minor feature will eat almost 14% of your average FPS, and in our opinion is barely noticeable. Our advice is to lower down this setting to Medium. Same thing applies to Character setting which modifies textures quality of other NPCs.
Another setting that bizarrely kills performance, yet is barely visible is Depth of Field feature. This feature is mostly notable underwater, however, even in ordinary situations it might produce a little bit of blur in order to add extra depth to overall image fidelity. Since it’s so subtle, it is very hard to recommend keeping it on. In our opinion, you should kill it off, and enjoy some extra FPS.
Finally, there are two more settings to be discussed about. First one is Screen Space Reflections (SSR), and the second one is Fog. SSR in this game looks amazing, so we recommend to keep this setting on high quality, as even on medium it will decrease overall image quality a lot. Fog, on the other hand, is a cool feature, but like Depth of Field, you will barely notice it. You should turn it off to gain more FPS.
Assassin’s Creed Origins also has Adaptive Quality feature with which you can force the game to decrease graphics settings in real-time in order to obtain desired FPS. You can set this option to 30, 45 or 60 FPS. Since game has hard time achieving stable 60 FPS on average in general, this option isn’t very useful, but can afford you couple of extra FPS here and there. If, however, you have a powerful graphics card, such as RTX 2060, or RX 5700, than this feature might prove very handy.
Just like many other new games, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives you the ability to lower internal resolution in order to obtain better average FPS. In-game, this graphics settings is called Resolution Modifier and enables you to do just that. You can increase the resolution above 100%, or you can decrease it to 50%. Since we wanted to achieve as much FPS as possible, we tested out its performance by progressively lowering it down. Here are the results with Ultra High graphics preset on:
Lowering down resolution to 90% will greatly improve average FPS, and will increase your maximum FPS a lot. Impact on image quality is noticeable, but bearable. If you use external graphics enhancement software, such as Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS), you can lower down internal resolution, but sharpen the image at the same time, That way you can improve performance, but also minimize image quality downgrade. In our opinion going below 90% isn’t recommended as it will greatly decrease image quality, and make it very blurry.
Recommended settings for Radeon RX 580 and other Tier 4 graphics card
If you have an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card, here is our recommendation which settings should be enabled and which should be disabled in order to achieve optimal 60 FPS experience at 1080p resolution:
|Adaptive Quality||60 FPS|
|Screen Space Reflections||High|
|Characters Texture Detail||Medium|
|Ambient Occlusion||Very High|
|Depth of Field||Off|
We didn’t modify any of the display settings, which means that we kept our screen resolution modifier on default 100%, and didn’t change field of view settings at all. With the above settings we managed to achieve pretty enjoyable gameplay experience while retaining optimal graphics quality. When we ran again built-in benchmark with these settings our rig scored a very favorable 58 FPS on average. Keep in mind that the benchmark scene is set in an urban area with lots of objects and NPCs. These factors put a lot of stress on GPU, so your frame rates will likely be higher in wilderness, and in open areas. In short, with these settings our average frame rate in cities was around 45 to 55 FPS on average, while in the wilds was around 60 to 80 FPS. Since we ran our benchmark on FreeSync monitor, our gaming experience was mostly smooth, but occasional stutters due to loading made it a bit choppy, so it wasn’t 100% silky smooth.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks and preforms almost the same as Assassin’s Creed Origins. However, Odyssey seems to be a more optimized game, but not very much. Developers at Ubisoft probably realized that Origins was too CPU dependent, so they optimized Odyssey to be less CPU heavy, and more GPU dependent. Overall results are satisfactory, but AnvilNext 2.0 proves to be quite an unoptimized engine.
Thankfully, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey seems to run a bit smoother on most mainstream PCs. Colors look vibrant, and Aegean Islands look incredible. If you own an LFC capable FreeSync/G-Sync monitor, you can achieve very smooth gaming experience with your RX 580, or any other Tier 4 graphics card. For achieving stable 60 FPS on 1080P resolution with ultra graphics settings, we recommend investing in Nvidia RTX 2060 or AMD RX 5600 XT.