It’s here! After 5 or so years the Mass Effect franchise is back. Seriously when Mass Effect 3 came out I was still halfway through university. It has been so long. And while the galaxy exploring sci-fi action might feel familiar, system requirements definitively have changed. So, if you are still using the same computer you had for mass effect 3 you might need some help. And this where this begins. Welcome to the LowSpecGamer, the show where we explore what it takes to run modern games on hardware that is under its minimum requirements. And on this episode we are going to check out a couple of tricks to get some extra performance on Mass Effect Andromeda. Let’s go. Hey, have you ever considered going into streaming. Humble Bundle is currently running a software bundle that has almost 350 dollars of streamer software for less than 13 dollars. If you use the link in the corner or description to buy this bundle, or just any bundle, the channel gets a little bit the sell, so I can use it to keep buying games because god… recently released games are so expensive.
Right, back to the video. Mass Effect Andromeda is a recently released game and the newest entry in the Mass Effect series. While other games in the series used the unreal engine, Andromeda decided to change to the sadly less flexible Frostbite engine, same used by Battlefield 1 and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. This change was done in order to push the limits and improve things like character animations…? Haha HAHAHA. The minimum requirements mention an i5 3570 and an Nvidia GTX 660. Which is why I am going to try this on the 2009 i5 750 and the 2012 GT 640, which should both be inferior to the minimum components. You thought I was joking about the a computer that is as old as Mass Effect 3? And as usual I am going to start with a resolution of 720. All settings to the lowest and the custom present. As it is usual for frostbite games I am going to talk about the internal resolution scaler. Andromeda has a a bunch of presets for the internal resolution but I highly recommend you leave it in custom and experiment with it yourself.
If you do not know what this, the internal resolution scaler allows you to change the render resolution of the game while maintaining a readable UI. If you set the game’s menu to custom you can drop it as low as 25%, although if you want go lower or prefer a more manual control you need to go to your configuration file. This is located on your documents folder, bioware, mass effect andromeda, save, and the file is called ProfOpts profile, in here you can lower anisotropic filtering, and set up any resolution scale as long as the mode is set to 4.
A value is on the scale means a render resolution of 40% for example. If you want to make sure all other values are to their lowest my configuration file is in the description. The other useful tool to play with is the game console, with can be open at almost any time using the button that is next to the 1 in your keyboard. The console autocompletes based on what you right so you can use it to explore other things to tweak. However, if you want to apply commands to the game every time it starts you need to go the wherever the game is installed and create a user.cfg file, and put the commands there. Make sure you have file extensions enabled so you actually create a cfg file and not a txt file.
In the description you will find the user.cfg I will be using where I added some commands to change some features that are still enabled after putting all the settings to the lowest. These first lines are an alternate way of changing the render resolution if you do not want to deal with the config file. These two disable some directx11 features, these ones need to be set to the number of cores in your CPU. And now, this set over here are quite interesting. These commands will allow you to disable some of the illumination system in the game. This means that the game will look much darker on many instances but you will get an important boost in performance. And finally, it is usually good practice to finish your files with some commands that shows something on the screen, that way you can make sure if they are actually being loaded. The first command here will show a bunch of info about your computer and the second one will show your FPS. With all of that set and done I set out to see what kinda of experience I could get from this game, on this computer.
Oh my, the Andromeda galaxy is way more blurry than I expected. Ok, so think about this. Humans move in mass to, what’s basically, a new galaxy and they first encounter- oh god, this is going to be more challenging than I thought it would be. And they encounter this new species of aliens and what’s their first response to that? Well, you guessed it right, it’s violence! The answer to all humanity’s problems. You need to set a new base in this new unknown galaxy? Violence! You need to reactivate a power relay station? Violence! So yeah, in case that’s not clear, it’s a little bit- I know it’s an action game but it’s a little bit disappointing that there’s no… let’s call it “diplomatic solution” to some problems in this game.
It’s all gunfights. Very representative of human problem solving, I guess. Ok, time to see what awaits us in this beautiful galaxy. Oh god, it has boosters, oh hmmm. Well, this sure ain’t Rocket League. Oh there’s a lot of options here. Woo! Oh fuck! It’s like learning to drive all over again, I’m loving this. Woohoo! Yep! Apparently the procedure to damage things in this game is to stomp it with your car. Oh god, oh god, ok. I can squish them all, I can do this. This is definitely the best way of doing combat with strange alien creatures, just run them over with your rover, yep, that’s exactly how it works. Ok, this is definitely going to work. Nope, miss them, missed them completely, now I’m taking damage. Ok, we’re going to take another go at it. This time there’s no escape. Yeah, that definitely did something. Yeah I think I made them angrier. Oh god. Oh god, now we fight random… Metal Gear? Well, they are now! While I am still a bit unhappy that the franchise abandoned the flexible Unreal Engine, and I am still glad there are still a couple of quick changes possible on this game.
Thank you at everyone who is donating to make it easier for me to do these videos. See you on the next one..
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