Skyrim .ini Tweaks – Graphics and Performance
Go to Documents/My Games/Skyrim and find ‘SkyrimPrefs.ini’ file. First, to be on the safe side, make a copy of this file and save it on your desktop. Then rename the original file “SkyrimPrefs_ORIG.ini” just in case so you don’t accidentally copy over it should you need it in the future.
Open the “SkyrimPrefs.ini” you saved on your desktop with any text editor (I use Notepad++) and find these lines to tweak them per your requirement. We will walk you through the effects of changing these configuration variables – what benefits they bring at how much system resource.
If you are tweaking Skyrim for performance, you may need to find a good balance between eye candy and efficiency.
Improves the sharpness of the shadows yet has no effect on performance. So, you may not see any FPS loss even when you have set it to high. It is recommended that you change this value to 1 but if the shadows are too sharp, you can set it to 2.
Improves tree LOD distance. You can change it to 10000000.0000 if you want to improve the LOD distance or keep it as it is.
Improves LOD distance of shadows. You can change it to ’1000.0000′.
Improves shadow filtering. You can set it between 1 and 4 (Low, Medium, High, Ultra). You can set it to 4 to improve shadow filtering or lower the quality of shadow of filtering if you want to improve performance.
Change it to 1 to enable Transparency MS.
Improves Water AA sampling. You can change it from 1 to 4 (Low, Medium, High, Ultra). Change it either to improve the eye candy or to improve the performance or find a good balance between two.
Improves the tree shadows – You can change it to 1 to enable shadows on trees or keep the shadows disabled if you are looking to squeeze performance out of your machine.
Enables land shadows – You can change it to 1 to enable land shadows. Again, shadows eat a lot of system resources and video card memory, keep it disabled if you are looking to squeeze performance.
Improves grass distance. Greatly effects performance. I have tested it up to ’400.0000′ – you can tweak it this variable either for graphics or performance.
iWaterReflectHeight=512 / iWaterReflectWidth=512
Improves Water Reflection Resolution, which obviously will use your system resources. You can either keep it as it is, if you want to improve the performance or even lower it. Or change both to 1024 for eye candy.
If you want to disable mouse acceleration, you can change it to 0. You will need to increase the mouse sensitivity in-game when you disable the mouse acceleration.
If you are experiencing low textures and other textures related graphics issues, you can tweak this variable to improve texture and skin rendering. You can set this value to 40 to start with. Or keep it as it is, if you are looking to squeeze performance.
Additionally, you can add following ini tweaks at the end of the your SkyrimPrefs.ini file:
The above five ini tweaks improve water rendering – Again, you can keep either lower the value or set them as it is, to make water look gorgeous.
If you want to improve mesh on long distance in Skyrim, add the above three ini tweaks at the end of the configuration file. These tweaks will improve the mesh distance.
Save the SkyrimPrefs.ini and exit. Start Skyrim!