Some people are reporting issues where they are seeing lower quality visuals than they believe their PC is capable of, the below is an explanation of why this may be the case and what you can do to fix it. If this doesn’t address your issue, please post in www.totalwar.com/Rome2Support where our team will help you further.
Graphics Quality, Video Memory and the new “unlimited video memory” option
In Rome II (and previously in Shogun 2, Napoleon & Empire), the game auto-detects how much video memory your graphics card has – which is displayed in the Advanced Graphics options UI.
Before a battle or campaign is launched, towards the end of the loading screens progress, the game will calculate how much video memory is needed to display the scene at your current graphics settings. If it determines that you don't have enough video memory to accommodate all the content in the pending campaign/battle it will automatically downgrade graphics settings e.g. reducing texture quality from High to Low or disabling Anti-aliasing. The game continues to downgrade graphics settings until there is enough video memory for the pending scene, and the scene then loads.
Because we may downgrade your settings, you may not get the quality you selected in the UI.
This is the default behaviour of the game ** which would explain why some players are seeing low quality graphics when they’ve maxed out their graphics settings. **
Note that your graphics settings aren’t being permanently changed; we try to load every scene at your chosen settings, only downgrading behind-the-scenes if we absolutely have to in order to fit all the content on your graphics card.
Unlimited Video Memory tick-box:
In Rome2 we have a new custom Advanced Graphics Option checkbox: “Unlimited video memory”.
If you tick the box, the game will not downgrade your graphics settings, regardless of your available physical video memory.
If you then proceed and load a scene that requires more video memory than you have physically on your graphics card, the operating system may start swapping graphics resources to-from your system memory or hard drive.
As a result, while enabling this option ensures that you always run the scene at your chosen settings, you may experience poor performance – e.g. if you select Extreme on a low end card for instance.
If you’re experiencing consistently very low frame rates with this option enabled adjust your graphics settings by selecting a lower-quality preset e.g. switch use ‘Very High’ rather than ‘Ultra’.
You may also want to reduce the quality of specific settings in the Advanced Graphics options.
By default the “unlimited video memory” option is off and your graphics options may be silently downgraded.
If you suspect that this is happening and want to know which settings are being auto-downgraded, look in the gfx.log file which you can open by running the following command (make sure you include the open and close double-quotes):
"%appdata%\The Creative Assembly\Rome2\logs\gfx.log.txt"
Downgrading, Over budget by 301 MB
Downgraded Extreme Terrain Quality to 4
Downgraded Shadows to 4
If you are being downscaled you need to enable the “unlimited video memory option”, or lower your settings.
Note that auto-downgrading may not lead to improved frame rates, especially on Low end cards. Use the new Graphics Benchmark to adjust performance.
Using the Benchmark to help find the best Graphics Settings
If your rig is struggling to keep up decent frame rates, then the Graphics Benchmark is a good feedback tool for adjusting your graphics settings.
In the Advanced Graphics options there’s a “Run Benchmark” button that launches the in-game Benchmark. This is new to ROME II - benchmarks in SHOGUN 2 could only be run from Steam launcher short-cuts.
To run the benchmark click “Run Benchmark”, then select the “forest” option in the list box, then click the tick-box.
The benchmark runs for a minute or so, using your current graphics settings (possibly downgraded if unlimited video memory is not checked), recording your frame rate during a scripted non-interactive fly-through of the Historical Teutoburg Forest battle. At the end of the benchmark a frame-rate graph is displayed along with an average frame rate.
So, focussing simply on the average frame rate, run the benchmark and note down the final average frame rate displayed.
Then change to the next lower preset (e.g. drop from Extreme to Ultra) and run the benchmark again.
Keep going until you get a frame rate that you find acceptable, for most players this will be at least 20fps. On very low spec machines this frame rate may not be achievable, but the process still applies.
We have found that tweaking settings appropriately will solve the majority of players concerns in this area, but we appreciate it may not address yours - please post in www.totalwar.com/Rome2Support where our team will help you further.