Let’s play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on a PC. If a few days ago we talked about Watch Dogs Legion as one of the first sandboxes markedly open to new generation trends, from Ubisoft we now have another long-distance game … but that leaves us with a bittersweet feeling in the technical section: it is about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on a PC. We liked the game a lot in general, as you can read in the analysis of our comrade Carlos Callego; but in this article we are going to talk specifically about the PC version, looking for an ideal configuration to play. Or at least the best possible balance between graphics and performance for most dedicated gamers.
Unsurprisingly, Valhalla runs on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine – the franchise standard since 2012 – with its relevant next-generation enhancements. Most notably, many gamers will be happy to know that the massive CPU demands we saw in the latest games from the French publisher are not a problem here. In fact, DX12 compatibility is one of the great novelties of this installment. Good news for high-end and mid-range processors alike. You will also be happy to know that a number of fairly decent configuration options for basic parameters (textures, shadows, post-processing) and others not so basic as volumetric fog, vegetation, level of detail of the world, of the characters or the quality of the reflections. .
What it does not have is support for ray tracing and DLSS, because this time Ubisoft has signed by AMD and not by Nvidia. They are two technologies in full swing, and although the first could be ignored without problem given the Viking setting; the second would have suited those who play at higher resolutions like a glove. The reason? Very simple: if the processors breathe a sigh of relief for the British lands, graphics cards now have a very big responsibility, and it would have been a good idea to render a few pixels less. Be that as it may, we are going to try to make the most of the resources we have.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Observations, balance and conclusions
To do this research exercise, we have used two computers. The former has a GTX 1080 Ti, an i7 8700K, and 16GB of RAM. The second, supplied by our colleagues at Nvidia, incorporates an RTX 3070, an i9 10900K and 32 GB of RAM. We’ve used the built- in testing tool directly from the game’s main menu to see how its heaviest settings perform at 1080p, 2K, and 4K; Although we realistically recommend that if you are going to do tests on your own, do your own benchmarks with MSI Afterburner or Fraps in the open world: the results change a lot depending on the reference material you use, and we are talking about a game that moves for open and closed environments alike.
Depending on the material you use, you will find that at the highest possible setting (ultra) raising the resolution to the next standard will cost you between 20 and 30 FPS in most situations, but those frames that you lose are also the same that you get when reducing graphics to a minimum within each resolution. In other words, playing ultra at 1920x1080p gives you more or less the same performance as playing low at 3840x2160p, at least on the two computers at our disposal. Perfectly balanced, as everything should be. Jokes aside, the truth is that the configuration tab helps us to know what parameters to raise or lower with a video memory consumption bar, comparisons and explanations about the impact of each setting.
For our part, we recommend that you take these considerations into account for fully playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on PC.
- You should use the full screen if you want to reach frequencies above 60 Hz, although it is realistically difficult to improve the frame rate beyond that.
- Unlike many other triple-A games, the maximum setting in Valhalla has quite a noticeable impact on the terrain shaping .
- There is an internal resolution scaling bar, but the best way to stabilize fluency is by pulling “adaptive quality” ( DSR ). If you’re aiming for 60 FPS, don’t hesitate: activate this button as a final prop to round out your settings.
- Some parameters seem very imposing in the chart sheet comparisons, but in most situations they do not carry as much weight.
Speaking of that last point, you will see that for example you can save 5% FPS at 1080p by lowering the volumetric clouds to “medium” although the VRAM consumption hardly improves by 100 MB. Similarly, lowering the clutter to medium or high won’t hurt much, but the extra fluidity is appreciated. But let’s get to the point: textures and shadows, as is often the case, are the most demanding in terms of demands and the most rewarding in terms of results. How far should they go down here? I would say that the high textures for characters are nothing short of a must to avoid feeling technically too backward during cutscenes and fights, while the environment ones can be easily lowered to medium to achieve more than worthy graphics.
It is also the first thing you must sacrifice if you are short of video memory … and we are talking about a very fussy game with that: there is more than 2 GB of VRAM separating the textures on the low side from the high ones. In the technical test, at least: in the game, it is not so noticeable. Shadows, on the other hand, should not only concern you with definition, but also with color: lower qualities leave us with an excessively flat image that environmental occlusion alone cannot save. It is from high that we find a slightly less plastic result, but clearly this aspect continues to separate the lighting from one generation of video games to another.
Be that as it may, having the possibility to experiment with various resolutions, we leave you an image with the configuration that we consider the most balanced. A few notes: your goal here is to achieve a native resolution and 60 FPS, it is not worth sacrificing anything to go higher (especially because it costs to maintain whatever rate you are aiming at) and we do not have restrictions so serious as to shoot less. If you have very low VRAM for open world games (less than 6GB) feel free to put the textures in the middle. Help yourself with more specific aspects such as volumetric fog or depth of field to scratch those missing frames, and try to leave some key aspects as high as possible such as character textures or world details as high as you can.