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DayZ Performance Tweaks

Updated on February 14, 2014

Why does it lag?

The wait is finally over as famous ArmA 2 mod DayZ finally became a standalone game on December 16, 2013 when it was released as an early access alpha version. Even in alpha the game is a lot of fun if you get over all the bugs and issues it currently has.

The game runs on a very CPU intensive game engine called Real Virtuality 3 developed by Bohemia Interactive which is the same engine that runs ArmA 2. CPU intensive game engine combined with the fact that the game itself is far from being finished and properly optimized is every PC gamer's nightmare so it is no wonder many people fall into despair trying to get their video settings low enough to make the game run smoothly. Luckily there are steps you can take to make your game run smoother.

DayZ is currently in Alpha stage.

In-game settings

Most demanding and performance eating options are under the "rendering" tab you should set these to low or even consider disabling them completely.

Disable rendering options for best performance

Actual Tweaks

This is where the magic happens, outside the game. These three steps should deliver quite significant performance boost as we lower some of the most performance eating settings that unfortunately aren't changeable inside the game at the moment.

Step One

Go to “My Documents\Dayz” and open Dayz.cfg with notepad or any other text editor then search for these two lines located at the bottom.

  • GPU_MaxFramesAhead=number
  • GPU_DetectedFramesAhead=number

Set number to 1 by default it is around 1000. This tells the game to not pre-render frames.

Step Two

Go to “My Documents\DayZ Other Profiles \your profile\name.dayzprofile”.

Open this with notepad and scroll to the bottom of the text file there you should find these four lines:

  • sceneComplexity=140000; this changes distant object detail, set between 50000-200000
  • shadowZDistance=50; this changes the distance shadows appear in game, set between 50-250
  • viewDistance=1500; this sets the maximum distance you can see in game. set between 1000-3000
  • preferredObjectViewDistance=1000; this sets the maximum distance objects appear. set between 800-2500. Keep this number smaller than viewDistance

Play with the numbers and see what settings give you the best balance between graphics and FPS (frames per second). These changes should deliver a decent performance boost already but there is one more thing you can do if you're a Steam user.

Gigabytes to Megabytes conversion


Step Three

Go to your Steam library and Right-Click on DayZ and choose Properties then under the General tab click on "Set Launch Options" and copy the following line:

-cpuCount=6 -maxMem=6144 -maxvram=3047

These numbers are computer specific so you will have to change them to match your system.

"-cpuCount=number" This is the amount of cores your CPU has for example if you have quad core you change the number to 4.

"-maxMem=number" Maximum RAM available to the game. Leave at least 2g of RAM for your system to run so if you have 8g of RAM you could give the game 6g. Set the number as megabytes (mb). Conversion 1g = 1024mb.

"-maxvram=number" Maximum video memory available to the game. There is no need to leave any excess video memory to your system so if you have 3g you can use it all. Conversion 1g = 1024mb.

Set Launch Options in Steam

Enjoy smoother gameplay!

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    • profile image

      Dan 3 years ago

      @Kingsly - If you haven't worked it out by now it's 6 x 4 from the chart above.

      i.e 6144 x 4 = 24576

    • profile image

      Kingsly 3 years ago

      i have 24 Ram how does that translate to mb ?

    • profile image

      BhBlack02 3 years ago

      Going to test this now. I'll tell you how it goes.

    • gguides profile image

      Holf 4 years ago from Cold North

      3GB is quite small amount of RAM as it is often advised to leave at least 2GB of RAM for system to run on. Following this advice you'd only have 1GB for the game.

      You can try different numbers but I recommend you get a few more GB of RAM changing the game's default usage.

    • profile image

      Danuti 4 years ago

      i have a question, my sistem only has 3GB of ram, I put all the ram in the game or should i leave some to the OS?