Question Mid-Week Question: What's the first setting you change when you start a new game?

PCG Chris

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
You've just downloaded a new game, you've launched it for the first time, and you've hit the Escape key a few times to see if you can skip past the opening logos (you can't).

Now what? Dive into the options and settings—what's the first thing you usually change when playing a new game for the first time?

We'll post answers from our staff and the forums on Wednesday!

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Reactions: SWard
May 4, 2020
Since my laptop is a crappy one, the first thing I'd do is lower the resolution 😭sad I know 😭 wish I had a good gaming PC 😢

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Jan 29, 2020
Graphic > make sure resolution is correct. Turn off motion blur. Check what options are even there. Complain to invisible dev next to me when there's only three presets and no advanced options
Audio > tune down everything to around 60% or even less. Enable subtitles if available.
Last edited:


Community Contributor
Depth of Field OFF! Depth of field is a nice way to get the viewer's eye on something at a certain depth. Makes great sense for, say, a character portrait where you want people looking at the character. Games rarely use it well, though.

Dishonorable mention: lens flair. Fine if I'm looking through a space suit helmet or some other glass but games like to toss it around everywhere. Why are we burning GPU to make it appear that we aren't actually in the game but are watching it through a cheap video camera!?


Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
If it’s a game that is better played with a controller I always check the Steam Controller community layouts to see if I should try out a different configuration.
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Reactions: randyl
I always turn off Depth of Field and Blur. Then lower or raise the graphics settings depending on what type of game it is. If fps game, I normally play with a shorter view range, low shadows, and low-med resolution.

If it is a game like Assassin's Creed: Odyssey I turn everything on ultra, then do small changes if I need fps boost, but without noticeably making the game look worse. After that, I start remapping keybindings to my liking, normally by adding at least two keybinds to the mouse side buttons.


Community Contributor
Music off. Sorry, too repetitive for day-long sessions. Tropico is the only exception so far - love that Latin!
Oh wow, Tropico is the first game where I turned OFF the music because it got too repetitive! It's fun music but 30 minutes worth of songs playing over a 6 hour session is just too much. I play some 4X space games with even more repetition but the music is soft and atmospheric so I don't really even notice.
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Reactions: randyl
May 14, 2020
1. Change dat res to 1440p
2. Buffering off. Triple, double so on.
3. Blur off, blur is a slur.
4. DoF usually off
5. Chromatic aberration... Really? I'm not a pro photographer but, even I get that a good lense is one that eliminates that dang stupid thing.
6. Anti aliasing - set to match a balance between nice edges and the 2k res.
7. Sound quality to high.
8. Change power to optimal in nvcp.
9. Play game.
10. Search internet for better .ini settings.
11. Tinker for ever more.
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Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
Usually, it's turning the music volume off. There are exceptions from time to time, so then usually the next big flip of the switch is on any motion blur in the graphics settings. I'll try and play a quick session before I start futzing with any graphics settings, though.

If more games (I think I've only encountered one) provided the ability to switch to the ESDF layout instead of WASD, that would probably be my first setting, every time.


Community Contributor
Hmmm, I thought Tropico was the one that commissioned a 2-hour album of music. Am I thinking of Tropico 3?
Looks to me like we were both off by the same factor. There's a YouTube OST for both 3 and 4 that totals 2 hours, so that's about an hour each. Tropico 1 looks to have two hours worth, though. Oh, and Tropico 6 has well over two hours! I've only started playing that one.
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Reactions: Pecan
Jan 19, 2020
Depth of Field, God Rays/lens flare, Motion Blur, most movie effects, and ridiculous proprietary gimmicks. Crank up textures, shaders, shadows, and lighting quality. Turn stuff down if my rig can't handle it starting with water, lighting, and shadows with textures and shader stuff last.

I turn the movies effects stuff on if I want to take scenic screenshots to share in an article or forum. I hate playing with that stuff on. They can make for fun screenshots though.
May 16, 2020
Motion blur and Depth of field off, then I go on a rant to myself of; why on Gods green earth would anyone want to have these on when they hurt performance and looks.
Then I crank all the graphics to max only to realize that my FPS are on negative two.


Community Contributor
Ugh, I'll only turn on subtitles if I'm having problems hearing through an accent. Or sometimes if the dialog seems to have a lot of great lines so it can get included in a screenshot.


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