Performance in WildStar is a hot topic. This guide serves as a reference for common techniques and settings that may help boost the performance of your WildStar client.
When diagnosing issues or looking for areas of improvement, it helps to understand the various areas of the game you can look into in order to make tweaks as necessary. The main one is obviously the Video Settings, available from the Esc menu options. You can also see significant improvement by tweaking existing Addons, or downloading new addons. Console Commands are also helpful in situations where a specific setting is not listed at all in the UI. You can monitor your connection and framerate by using Alt + F1 to enable an overlay that shows your MS and FPS in the lower right-hand corner. If this doesn’t provide enough information, there are a few addons available to choose from as well.
Starting off, you’ll want to base your Video Settings off of the official System Requirements. Machines on the lower end of the spectrum will want to choose the Low or Ultra Low configuration presets. On higher-end machines, it is recommended to start with Medium and tweak each setting as necessary. I’m covering the heavy-hitters as far as video settings are concerned. The ones not listed here have some impact but not as much as these. You’ll want to experiment with the rest of the settings on your own.
View Distance / View Distance (Horizon): Turn these all the way down on lower-end machines. Both view distance sliders have a huge impact on performance, and one of the first things to check when you have widely inconsistent framerates.
Clutter Distance: Same situation as the view distance sliders. This option selects how far away objects will appear. The Medium default is a good position, but you will want to turn it down if you are having issues.
Dynamic Shadows: Another taxing setting to check when you have bad performance. Set to off and test for improvements.
Render Resolution: If you’ve turned everything all the way down and are STILL experiencing issues, you can try setting this to Low. It will make your game look like garbage though.
Addons are a very common source of performance issues, even on spectacular rigs. Because of this, you’ll want to get familiar with diagnosing problem addons and reloading your UI. Clicking on the Memory column in the Addon window will organize all of your enabled addons by current memory usage. The ones on the top of the list are highly-likely to be suspect if you are currently experiencing an issue.
From this menu you can also use the Reload UI button to reset your addon’s memory usage, which can help clear out some temporary clogs. You can also quickly do this via the chat window by typing in the command /reloadui . If addons are repeatedly using lots of memory or causing frequent errors, select that addon from this list and hit the Change Load Rules button on the bottom. Choose the Do Not Load radio option, then reload the ui. The addon will then be disabled. Keep in mind that there are some essential addons which you will not be able to disable in this manner.
Common problem addons:
Bijiplates / Nameplates (Nameplates is the default addon. Test both and see which one works better for you.)
TargetFrame (use Fast Target Frames)
CombatLog (high-usage in PvP and raids, and generally safe to turn off)
GroupDisplay (sometimes causes issues when in a Raid group)
Console commands can both be entered via an in-game console when enabled, or via your chat window with an alternate command. If you would like to use the actual console, you can enable it for your WildStar client by first editing your launcher from your taskbar or desktop and selecting Properties. In the Target field, add -console at the end of the file path listed in the textbox. It should look something close to:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\NCSOFT\WildStar\Wildstar.exe” -console
Now when you are in WildStar, you can use the tilde key (~) to enable the console to enter commands. There are currently two popular commands that are used, one decreases the intensity of spell effects while the other fixes the field of view. While the field of view change won’t help performance much, the default setting is unpopular and can induce headaches or even nausea for frequent players.
To reduce spell effects via the console (useful for Raids and Warplots):
For the simple chat command, use:
/eval Apollo.SetConsoleVariable(“spell.visualSuppression”, 0.9)
To change the field of view to a more tolerable setting:
For the simple chat command, use:
/eval Apollo.SetConsoleVariable(“camera.FovY”, 60)
This is a list of changes you can try that have reported to have helped in some cases.
Removing Your Game’s Saved Data and Addons
Delete the folder:
Keep in mind that this removes all of your addons and saved settings, and you will have to redo them. In some cases this has reported to improve framerates drastically, but most likely only applies to those who started with much older WildStar clients in the closed beta. If you have a rogue addon causing havoc, this technique can help as well.
Disabling Aero for Windows Users
Aero takes up quite a bit of resources, and you will most likely see a boost in overall computer performance by disabling it.
Check that your Power Options are set to High Performance
Some Windows machines (especially laptops) may be using a power scheme that forcefully limits the output of the hardware.
Close Background Programs
While it is tempting to have Twitch.tv up while you’re in Nexus, playing videos and/or streaming will take up useful resources. Be sure your computer can handle it. Disabling as many external programs (especially web browsers) while in-game will help alleviate some performance issues.
Update Video Drivers
Sometimes simply updating your video drivers can help immensely with your GPU performance. In some cases, it’s worth testing the beta drivers as well.