Announced yesterday, Apex Legends is out on PC and available to play for free right now. It's 60-player squad-based battle royale spun off from the Titanfall universe. Apex Legends uses the Source engine and runs pretty well overall. However, those with lower-end systems may run into frame rate issues in Apex.

This Apex Legends PC performance guide can help you find the right balance between visual quality and frame rates. Using the chart below, you can find out just how demanding each graphics option is in Apex, demonstrating the percentage drop in frame rates when turning the graphics setting from Low to Ultra, or the in-game equivalents. This provides an at-a-glance look at which graphics settings affect performance the most in Titanfall: Apex Legends.

Together with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options for the optimum PC gaming experience with Apex Legends. As ever with online shooters, 60fps should be seen as a must in Apex Legends in order to not put yourself at a huge disadvantage. Our recommendation is your disable whatever it takes to get a locked 60 frames per second.

Apex Legends System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory. I attempted to drop with my squad in the same hotly contest area repeatedly in order to gauge performance.

Apex Legends Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

 

What are the most demanding graphics options in Apex Legends?

Ambient Occlusion Quality is the most demanding graphics option in Apex Legends, and by some distance. 20% was lopped off my frame rate in testing, which was equivalent to about 24 frames per second. It's a fantastic looking effect though and, handily, there are four levels to mess around with. 

The other big standouts are Spot Shadow Detail and Volumetric Lighting, both of which can cause noticeable hits to Apex Legends' frame rate. Visually, Volumetric Lighting is the pick of the bunch but it can also slightly mess with your vision. Those after a competitive advantage may be inclined to turn this off.

Apex Legends Graphics Settings

Antialiasing

Antialiasing smooths the image, reducing jagged lines and shimmer effects. Turning this setting down in Apex Legends will reduce the load on your graphics card. Apex Legends offers just a single AA setting - TSAA.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 5/5


Texture Streaming Budget

Texture Streaming Budget simply controls the amount of video memory reserved for texture streaming. This setting should be set at the same amount as your graphics card VRAM. However, if you are running other programs simultaneously you may need to drop it one setting down to avoid occasional stuttering in Apex Legends.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5


Texture Filtering

Texture filtering controls the sharpness of surface details, particularly when viewed at an angle. Turning this setting down will help to reduced your GPU load.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5


Ambient Occlusion Quality

Ambient Occlusion controls the render target resolution used for SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion). This is the most demanding graphics setting in Apex Legends and should be your first stop to improve frame rates.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 4/5


Sun Shadow Coverage
 

Sun Shadow Coverages dictates the quantity of the shadows cast from the sun. Turning this setting down will ease the load on both your CPU and GPU while playing Apex Legends.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5


Sun Shadow Detail

Sun Shadow Detail controls the detail level and resolution of shadows cast by the sun in Apex Legends. Turning this setting down will ease the load on both your CPU and GPU.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 3/5


Spot Shadow Detail

Similar to Sun Shadow, Spot Shadow Detail dictates the quality of shadows cast from lights found within the environment. Turning this setting down will ease the load on both your CPU and GPU.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5


Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric Lighting is a visual effect that renders sunbeams and simulated light scattering in the air. While not massively demanding compared to other games, it does still have a noticeable impact on Apex's frame rate.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5


Dynamic Spot Shadows

The counterpart to Spot Shadows, Dynamic Spot Shadows controls whether lights in the environment can move, and therefore cause moving shadows too. Turning this setting down will low the demand on both your CPU and GPU while playing Apex Legends.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5


Model Detail

Fairly straightforward, Model Detail controls the detail level of both objects in the environment and character models themselves. The strain on this setting will be on your GPU. The more characters on-screen at once, the lower your frame rate.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 4/5


Effects Detail

Quite a difficult setting to actual benchmark considering it's entirely situational, Effects Detail controls the level of detail on visual effects like explosions and shields. During more hectic moments this may cause a bigger frame rate drop in Apex Legends.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 1/5

 

Impact Marks

I still remember when Impact Marks blew my mind in Goldeneye. These are the bullet holes you see left in walls. The higher this setting the greater the number of impact marks that can be rendered simultaneously.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5


Ragdoll

Again, another tricky setting to benchmark but Ragdolls concerns ragdoll animations when characters die. In theory, this shouldn't ever be overly demanding but it will tax your CPU slightly.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5

Our Favorite Comments
"Well. This game works better than expected. Sure, it's not well optimized for all graphic settings but with some youtube tweaks you can make it run silky smooth.I was sick of the battle royale genre but this game is very fun to play."