This guide will show you how to optimize the graphics in Starcraft 2 in order to get the best graphic quality while maintaining playable frame rates.
To do this we will be modifying the Variables.txt file located in Documents/Starcraft II
The first thing you should know is that unless you have a graphic card that is already running the game at Ultra, then you ARE NOT running starcraft at optimal graphics settings because it is simply impossible to do this in the options menu.
I have a Mobility Radeon 4650 with 512mb. By implementing the changes in this guide I was able to go from High and Medium settings to mostly Ultra settings all while keeping the frame rate intact!
On with the guide!
1) The first thing you want to do is open up starcraft II. Go to the options menu and set ALL graphic options to Ultra also set the screen resolution to the highest one. 1366x768 in my case.
2) Next make a copy of Variables.txt file located in Documents/Starcraft II in case you mess up.
3) Now open the Variables.txt
Here you will see most of the settings the game uses and which we will be modifying.
These are the settings that deal with creep quality. These need to be toned down a bit especially creepQuality. Don’t worry this has no real impact on image quality but gives us
some overhead to play with later on. Creep absolutely kills the frame rates if left at default.
creepQuality=2 (default 3) set to 0
creepreflection=0 (default 1) set to 0
creepselfshadow=0 (default 1) set to 0
Another important setting is foliage. We need to tone this down also as it also hammers the frame rate
foliagedensity=0.350000 (default is 0.750000)
Add these 2 lines manually in order to limit the frame rates in Starcraft 2 and prolong the life of you graphics card. If you don’t do this Starcraft will run at 100-200 frames in the menu screens heating up your graphic card for no reason.
These are the most important settings which will give us better graphics:
GraphicsOptionEffectsDetail=1 (default is 3) Starcraft is extremely reliant on your cpu, unless you have a powerful cpu you need to tone this down. Don’t worry it’s not really noticeable and worth it for the frame rate.
GraphicsOptionPhysicsQuality=1 (default is 3) Change this also to free up cpu resources
GraphicsOptionTerrainQuality=2 (default is 3) If you have 1Gb ram on your card leave this alone
shadowmapsize=1024 (default is 2048)
soundchannels=32 Very important setting turn this down to free up cpu cycles
SoundQuality=1 (Default is 2) Free up cpu cycle without any noticeable loss in quality
Change these to the following:
vsync=0 Make sure this is 0
Lastly modify the water so it looks good but doest drag our system
Now save everything and your done!
I hope you have found this guide useful, please post suggestions, comments and success stories!