As we’ve already said, NieR: Automata does not feature a lot of graphics settings to tweak and as a result of that, the game does not scale well on older graphics cards. However, it appears that modders have figured out a way to almost double the game’s performance; something that will be very useful to those with relatively weak PC systems.
Modder ‘DrDaxxy‘ adjusted the game’s Global Illumination solution, resulting in 30-60% performance increase in a modern-day graphics card (NVIDIA GTX980Ti). On mobile GPUs and older graphics cards, however, this fix/tweak almost doubles the game’s performance.
According to DrDaxxy, NieR: Automata uses a super expensive Global Illumination solution. Its GI compute shader is an array it loops over, which by default has 128 elements. DrDaxxy cut the number of elements to 16, which is the minimum as only values divisible by 16 are allowed.
As such, the overall performance has been significantly increased at the cost of a simpler GI solution. DrDaxxy has provided some comparison screenshots and as we can see, there are some slight differences between them.
Still, we strongly believe that PlatinumGames should offer such option for those facing performance issues (or at least include it in the game’s Low preset setting).
DrDaxxy has not released yet a mod with this fix, though those interested can download and add/use his code in a DLL.