Like the grizzled marines which adorn its cover, Gears of War has become a veteran of the gaming scene. Busting onto the scene with the Xbox 360, when the notion of a cover shooter was fresh, we're not onto our fifth mainline Gears title. Gears 5 doesn't stray too far from what its fans love, but it does expand its horizons somewhat with open-plan levels and some of the most gorgeous vistas we've ever laid eyes on. It's the sort of shooter rollercoaster which is built to please the eyes as much as itch your trigger finger, and can look fantastic with the right PC hardware behind it.

Here's every advanced graphics setting found in Gears of War 5 PC, benchmarked and tested for their Frames Per Second performance hit. Using the chart below you can find out just how demanding each setting is. Along with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options, or how important they are to keep an eye on.

Gears 5 System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used a PNY GeForce GTX 2060 6GB, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor clocked @ 4.2 GHz, and 16GB DDR4 memory.

Gears 5 Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is when switching from Low to Ultra. In the case of Tiled Resources, the bar actually goes left as enabling this graphics setting improves performance.

 

Gears 5 Graphics Settings

Gears 5 comes with a thoroughly comprehensive range of graphics settings. Possibly some of the most detailed we've seen, in fact, comprising some 28 distinct advance graphics settings around with. That's excluding video options as well, such as Field of View, frame rate caps, V Sync, resolution scaling and more.

Character Texture Detail

Set the size of texture maps used for characters and weapons in Gears 5. Recommend you set to at least Medium.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5

 

World Texture Detail

Sets the size of texture maps used for all aspects of the world. Recommend you set to at least High.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Effects Texture Detail

Sets the size of texture maps used for visual effects in Gears 5. Affects aspects such as flame effects.

Performance Impact - 0/5

 

Cone Step Mapping

This setting adds depth to surfaces based on the distance from the player. Recommend you set to at least Medium.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Texture Streaming

Controls the rate at which textures are streaming in. Set this setting lower to reduce memory usage on your video card. However, this will cause textures to load in slower.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 4/5

Texture Filtering

Texture filtering, or anisotropic filtering, enhances the image quality of textures view at oblique angles by reducing blur and preserving texture detail. Doesn't have much visual impact until 8x Anisotropic.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

Character Level of Detail 

Adjust the complexity of characters based on distance from the player. 

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5

 

World Level of Detail

Adjusts the complexity of the world in Gears of War 5 based on the distance from the player. Set this lower and more instances of pop-in will occur.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Foliage Level of Detail

This setting adjust the distance at which grass and other foliage will be drawn into the world. As with World LoD, setting this to lower settings will cause grass to fade in, in front of the player. Recommend you set to at least Medium

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 3/5

Animation Quality

Simple enough this one, it adjusts the quality of the animation. Performance mode will reduce the animation fidelity while Best will increase the animation quality. Set to Auto mode to dynamically change based on your performance targets.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5

Dynamic Shadow Quality 

This setting affects Gears 5's visual fidelity of dynamic shadows. On lower settings, shadows will be of lower quality or sometimes removed entirely. Set to High for a good balance between visuals and performance hit.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Capsule Shadow Quality

A new one by us, capsule shadow quality adjusts the quality of soft shadows producer by characters in indirectly lit areas. Difficult to discern much of a difference above Medium, although there's practically no performance hit on our test system anyway.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Ambient Occlusion Quality

This setting generates contact shadows where the edges of two objects meet. This option isn't as demanding in Gears 5  as it is in some other AAA titles but it looks great on High and above.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Ambient Occlusion Intensity

Directly tied into the the setting above, Ambient Occlusion Intensity affects how intense the shadows are when generated by screen space ambient occlusion. We found it best to just leave it at the default of 9.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 0/5

Tessellation Quality

Dynamically modifies the detail level on the ground based on the distance from the player. Fairly demanding but it looks fantastic on High and Ultra, particularly in the snow.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 4/5 

Volumetric Fog Quality

The performance hit of this setting is obvious heavily dependant on the amount of fog in any given scene. Barely any difference between Low and Ultra so feel free to keep this low.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 0/5

Screen Space Reflections

Reflects dynamic objects within the world that are visible on-screen. This setting looks really great on High and above.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

Refractions

Time for a brief physics class. Refractions cause light to appeared warped and distorted as it travels through transparent objects such as glass, ice or water.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5

Particle Spawn Rate

Adjusts the spawn rate for certain particle effects. The higher the number, the more particle effects there are in Gears 5. Not overly noticeable, to be honest, but just shift this one up as high as you feel comfortable with.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Bloom Style

Gears 5 has two types of bloom - Standard and Anamorphic. Standard bloom spreads equally in all directions while anamorphic bloom is stretched at the sides. I found anamorphic a little too distracting.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 0/5

Bloom Quality

Simulates the glow effect of light sources within the world. It hurts the eyes a little but it certainly looks nice.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5

Lens Flare Quality

Simulates the visual effect produced by bright light sources when viewed through a lens. The lower the setting, the less intense the effect. Requires bloom to be anbled. Medium is, well, the happy medium for this particular setting.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 1/5

Depth of Field 

This blurs the scene based on the distance from the camera's focal point. A matter of taste. although I believe it looks decent.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Sub Surface Scattering

This setting simulates light passing through objects and is used in Gears 5 to affect the quality of the characters' skin. Not to be confused with ray tracing. Barely noticeable during gameplay.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5

Motion Blur 

Motion Blur is a divisive one. I don't personally mind it and usually leave it unless it's particularly offensive. In Gears 5 it looks great provided you don't increase the intensity too much.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

Motion Blur Intensity

Adjusts the intensity of Motion Blur in Gears 5.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 0/5

Sharpening

Sharpens the detail of textures in the scene. Over-sharpening edges can lead to aliasing effects. Comes down to personal preference.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5

 

Tiled Resources

Tiled Resources improves texture streaming efficiency by optimising texture loads into VRAM. Certain older hardware may not support it but if you can enable, do it. Turning this setting off caused a drop in frame rate in Gears 5 as well as significant hitching.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority 5/5