Guide:SkyrimPrefs INI/Display

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[Display]

bDeferredShadows

bDeferredShadows toggles deferred rendering of shadows. It is required for bDrawLandShadows and bShadowsOnGrass to work. It is recommended to be enabled. If using ENB, this must be enabled. bDeferredShadows was added with the official 1.6 patch.

bDeferredShadows=0bDrawLandShadows=1

bDeferredShadows=0
bDrawLandShadows=1
bDeferredShadows=1bDrawLandShadows=1

bDeferredShadows=1
bDrawLandShadows=1

Default is 1.

bDeferredShadows=(0,1)

bDrawLandShadows

bDrawLandShadows toggles the ability of land objects such as rocks and mountains to cast shadows. It can be disabled for a slight performance gain. If using ENB, this must be enabled.

Dependent upon:

  • bDeferredShadows=1
bDrawLandShadows=0(Default)

bDrawLandShadows=0
(Default)
bDrawLandShadows=1

bDrawLandShadows=1

Default is 0

bDrawLandShadows=(0,1)

bDrawShadows

bDrawShadows is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Oblivion, where it also appears to do nothing.

Default is 1.

bDrawShadows=(0,1)

bFXAAEnabled

bFXAAEnabled toggles an almost zero-cost approximation of antialiasing using the FXAA technique. It actually seems to work well, and may be good enough on low-end systems to use it and disable antialiasing (iMultiSample=0). Note, however, that there is a slight blurring applied to everything as a side effect.

bFXAAEnabled=0

bFXAAEnabled=0
bFXAAEnabled=1

bFXAAEnabled=1

Default is 0. Low, High, and Ultra presets are 0. Medium is 1.

bFXAAEnabled=(0,1)

bFloatPointRenderTarget

bFloatPointRenderTarget toggles the ability of lighting to be rendered using floating point (decimal) values rather than only integer values. This increases the precision of lighting. It comes with a medium performance impact, and is recommended to be set to 0 if not using ENB. If using ENB, bFloatPointRenderTarget must be set to 1.

Default is 0 (although default set by the game without the value present is 1).

bFloatPointRenderTarget=(0,1)

bFull Screen

bFull Screen toggles the ability of the game to be rendered fullscreen. This setting cannot be changed in-game.

Default is 0.

bFull Screen=(0,1)

bMainZPrepass

bMainZPrepass toggles ZPrepass. Enabling ZPrepass tells the game not to render certain objects to try to increase performance. t is exceedingly buggy in Skyrim, causing weird flashing on objects, so it must be left disabled.

bMainZPrepass=0(Default)

bMainZPrepass=0
(Default)
bMainZPrepass=1

bMainZPrepass=1

Default is 0.

bMainZPrepass=(0,1)

bShadowMaskZPrepass

bShadowMaskZPrepass is believed to toggle ZPrepass on the shadow mask. Enabling ZPrepass tells the game not to render certain objects to try to increase performance. In testing, no difference was noticed, but that could mean nothing, given the nature of the setting. It is recommended to leave it at its default value since there very well might be a good reason Bethesda disabled it.

Default is 0.

bShadowMaskZPrepass=(0,1)

bShadowsOnGrass

bShadowsOnGrass toggles the ability of objects to cast shadows upon grass. The grass itself does not cast shadows. If using ENB, this must be enabled. This may be disabled for a minor performance increase. bShadowsOnGrass was moved from Skyrim.ini to SkyrimPrefs.ini in the official 1.6 patch.

Dependent upon:

  • bDeferredShadows=1
bShadowsOnGrass=0

bShadowsOnGrass=0
bShadowsOnGrass=1(Default)

bShadowsOnGrass=1
(Default)

Default is 1.

bShadowsOnGrass=(0,1)

bTransparencyMultisampling

bTransparencyMultisampling toggles transparency antialiasing on textures for better quality. Recommended to be disabled for better performance.

Default is 0.

bTransparencyMultisampling=(0,1)

bTreesReceiveShadows

bTreesReceiveShadows toggles the ability of trees to cast shadows on themselves. It may be disabled for a slight performance gain. If using ENB, this must be enabled.

bTreesReceiveShadows=0(Default)

bTreesReceiveShadows=0
(Default)
bTreesReceiveShadows=1

bTreesReceiveShadows=1

Default is 0.

bTreesReceiveShadows=(0,1)

fDecalLOD1

fDecalLOD1 is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Fallout 3.

Default is 1000.

fDecalLOD1=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fDecalLOD2

fDecalLOD2 is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Fallout 3.

Default is 1500.

fDecalLOD2=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fGamma

fGamma sets the gamma brightness. It is changeable in the in-game Settings > Display menu as Brightness.

Default is 1.

fGamma=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fInteriorShadowDistance

fInteriorShadowDistance sets the distance that shadows are cast from the player while indoors. Wherever no shadows are cast, the place is put in a perpetual shadow, effectively decreasing the light cast indoors. See fShadowDistance for the outdoor shadow distance.

fInteriorShadowDistance=3000(Default)

fInteriorShadowDistance=3000
(Default)
fInteriorShadowDistance=1000

fInteriorShadowDistance=1000
fInteriorShadowDistance=500

fInteriorShadowDistance=500
fInteriorShadowDistance=0

fInteriorShadowDistance=0

Default is 3000.

fInteriorShadowDistance=(0,0.0001,...)

fLeafAnimDampenDistEnd

fLeafAnimDampenDistEnd is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed.

Default is 4600.

fLeafAnimDampenDistEnd=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fLeafAnimDampenDistStart

fLeafAnimDampenDistStart is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed.

Default is 3600.

fLeafAnimDampenDistStart=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fLightLODStartFade

fLightLODStartFade sets the distance light will begin to fade. It is changeable in the in-game Settings > Display menu as Light Fade. It has ultimately little effect unless increased to very high values.

fLightLODStartFade=3500

fLightLODStartFade=3500
fLightLODStartFade=50000

fLightLODStartFade=50000

Default is 1000. Low is 200. Medium is 1000. High is 2500. Ultra is 3500.

fLightLODStartFade=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault sets the default mesh level of detail fade bound. Lower values increases the detail of distant models. Compared to fMeshLODFadePercentDefault, it seems to be tuned for more fine detail with less priority on meshes farther away.

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=256(Default)

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=256
(Default)
fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=32

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=32
fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=1

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=1

Default is 256.

fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault sets the default mesh level of detail fade percent. Larger values increases the detail of distant models. Compared to fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault, it seems to be tuned for distance with less priority toward fine detail.

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=1.2

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=1.2
fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=2.4

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=2.4
fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=4

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=4

Default is 1.2000000477.

fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist sets the primary mesh level of detail fade distance. The maximum distance with uGridsToLoad at 5 is around 16896.

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=4096

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=4096
fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=16896

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=16896

Default is 4096. Low and Medium presets are 4096. High and Ultra presets are 10000000.

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance sets the primary mesh level of detail fade distance for trees. The maximum distance with uGridsToLoad at 5 is around 16896. See the Skyrim Tree Settings Guide for more information.

Dependent upon:

  • bRenderSkinnedTrees=1
  • bEnableTreeAnimations=1 in Skyrim.ini
  • bEnableTrees=1 in Skyrim.ini
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=2844(Default)

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=2844
(Default)
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=16896

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=16896

Default is 2844.

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist

fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist sets the secondary mesh level of detail fade distance. The maximum distance with uGridsToLoad at 5 is around 16896.

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=4096fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=3072

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=4096
fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=3072
fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=16896fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=16896

fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=16896
fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=16896

Default is 3072. Low and Medium presets are 3072. High and Ultra presets are 10000000.

fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance

fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance sets the secondary mesh level of detail fade distance for trees. The maximum distance with uGridsToLoad at 5 is around 16896. See the Skyrim Tree Settings Guide for more information.

Dependent upon:

  • bRenderSkinnedTrees=1
  • bEnableTreeAnimations=1 in Skyrim.ini
  • bEnableTrees=1 in Skyrim.ini
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=2844fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=2048

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=2844
fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=2048
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=16896fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=16896

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=16896
fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=16896

Default is 2048.

fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fShadowBiasScale

fShadowBiasScale sets the depth bias of the shadows applied to surfaces. Low values reduce peter-panning (detached shadows), but causes more shadow acne (AKA shadow striping). Slightly higher values increases the depth angle slightly, causing far less shadow acne. Extremely high values eventually remove shadows completely. Negative values remove the shadow depth bias progressively until everything around the player is covered in shadow, effectively removing the lighting around the player. It is recommended to be set to 1. ENB users using ENB shadows may safely reduce it, but should realize that doing so seems to cause the shadows to be more pronounced and create a darker atmosphere.

fShadowBiasScale = -1

fShadowBiasScale = -1
fShadowBiasScale = 0

fShadowBiasScale = 0
fShadowBiasScale = 0.15

fShadowBiasScale = 0.15
fShadowBiasScale = 0.25

fShadowBiasScale = 0.25
fShadowBiasScale = 0.5

fShadowBiasScale = 0.5
fShadowBiasScale = 1

fShadowBiasScale = 1
fShadowBiasScale = 1.5

fShadowBiasScale = 1.5
fShadowBiasScale = 2

fShadowBiasScale = 2
fShadowBiasScale = 8

fShadowBiasScale = 8

Default is 1. Low is 0.5. Medium is 0.3. High is 0.25. Ultra is 0.15.

fShadowBiasScale=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fShadowDistance

fShadowDistance sets the distance that shadows are cast from the player. Increasing this also has the side effect of lowering the resolution of shadows, as the shadow map is stretched across this distance. This may be offset by increasing iShadowMapResolution. It is recommended to be set to 4000 or higher to avoid obvious shadow transitions. 2800 is a good compromise for lower-end systems.

fShadowDistance=0(Default)

fShadowDistance=0
(Default)
fShadowDistance=2800

fShadowDistance=2800
fShadowDistance=4000

fShadowDistance=4000
fShadowDistance=8000

fShadowDistance=8000

Default is 2500. Low is 2000. Medium is 2500. High is 4000. Ultra is 8000. Recommended is 4000.

fShadowDistance=(0,0.0001,...)

fShadowLODStartFade

fShadowLODStartFade is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Fallout 3.

Default is 200.

fShadowLODStartFade=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fSpecularLODStartFade

fSpecularLODStartFade is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Fallout 3. fSpecularLODStartFade may set the distance specularity begins to fade. It is changeable in the in-game Settings > Display menu as Specularity Fade.

Default is 500. Low is 200. Medium is 500. High is 1000. Ultra is 2000.

fSpecularLODStartFade=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist sets the distance that skinned trees are rendered. See the Skyrim Tree Settings Guide for more information.

Dependent upon:

  • bRenderSkinnedTrees=1
  • bEnableTreeAnimations=1 in Skyrim.ini
  • bEnableTrees=1 in Skyrim.ini
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=0

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=0
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=3600

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=3600
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=5000(Default)

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=5000
(Default)

Default is 3600. Low and Medium presets are 3600. High is 5000. Ultra is 10000000.

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=(...,-0.0001,0,0.0001,...)

iAdapter

This setting does not appear in game-generated INIs--only ones created by the Skyrim Launcher via the preset files. It has been empirically verified that changing this setting in SkyrimPrefs.ini has no effect in game, but instead must be changed inside Skyrim.ini, otherwise the default value shall be used (which is 0). This can be confirmed by observing that setting it to 1 in Skyrim.ini will change the adapter from the default while removing or setting the value to 0 will cause the game to use the default adapter. Conversely, the same experiment shows that the default adapter is still used despite any value entered for it in SkyrimPrefs.ini.

Low, Medium, High, and Ultra presets are 0.

iAdapter=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iActorShadowCountExt

It has been verified that this setting is completely placebo. The game does not recognize the setting at all. It does not appear in game-generated INIs or in Launcher presets, however it appears to exist within the preset files, where its values for Low, Medium, and High presets are 2 and Ultra is 6. It existed in Oblivion, but was removed from Skyrim.

iActorShadowCountExt=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iActorShadowCountInt

It has been verified that this setting is completely placebo. The game does not recognize the setting at all. It does not appear in game-generated INIs or in Launcher presets, however it appears to exist within the preset files, where its value for Low is 2, Medium and High is 4, and Ultra is 6. It existed in Oblivion, but was removed from Skyrim.

iActorShadowCountInt=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iBlurDeferredShadowMask

iBlurDeferredShadowMask sets the amount of blurring applied to shadows. It is NOT dependent upon bDeferredShadows being enabled (deferred here means that the blur is applied after the shadows have been rendered). Lower values make sharper shadows. Higher values make softer shadows. Negative values produces the maximum blur level. Lowering this value may help reduce the aura or glow around the player. This should be set to at least 1 if using ENB shadows. For vanilla shadows, this should be set to at least 3 (5 is recommended) to help blur the shadow striping away.

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=0

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=0
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=3

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=3
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=5

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=5
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=-1

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=-1

Default is 5. Low is 0. Medium is 1. High and Ultra presets are 3.

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=(-1,0,1,...)

iMaxAnisotropy

iMaxAnisotropy sets the level of anisotropic filtering (AF). This improves the texture quality of distant objects. It is recommended to be set to 0 and force either driver AF or ENBoost AF in its place.

iMaxAnisotropy=0

iMaxAnisotropy=0
iMaxAnisotropy=4

iMaxAnisotropy=4
iMaxAnisotropy=16

iMaxAnisotropy=16

Default is 8. Low and Medium presets are 1. High is 8. Ultra is 16.

iMaxAnisotropy=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iMaxDecalsPerFrame

iMaxDecalsPerFrame sets the maximum number of decals displayed per frame. It is recommended to increase this to 250. If this is set to 0, most decals will be disabled.

Dependent upon:

  • bDecals=1

Default is 10. Low is 0. Medium is 10. High is 30. Ultra is 100.

iMaxDecalsPerFrame=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame

iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame sets the maximum number of decals displayed on skin per frame, most notably blood decals on the player's skin. These decals are independent from iMaxDecalsPerFrame. It is recommended to increase this to 100.

Dependent upon:

  • bDecals=1 in Skyrim.ini under [Decals]
  • uMaxSkinDecals in Skyrim.ini under [Decals] must be greater than 0.

Default is 3. Low is 0. Medium is 3. High is 10. Ultra is 25. Recommended is 100.

iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iMultiSample

iMultiSample sets the level of antialiasing (AA) applied to edges to make them smoother and less jagged. Due to the fact that it is extremely costly performance-wise, it is recommended to leave off and use other methods of AA such as FXAA, SMAA, or other implementations in SweetFX or ENB. If using ENB, this must be disabled. See bFXAAEnabled above.

iMultiSample=0

iMultiSample=0
iMultiSample=2

iMultiSample=2
iMultiSample=4

iMultiSample=4
iMultiSample=8

iMultiSample=8

Default is 0. Low is 1. Medium is 4. High is 8. Ultra is 16.

iMultiSample=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iPresentInterval

This setting does not appear in game-generated INIs--only ones created by the Skyrim Launcher via the preset files where its default is 1. It has been empirically verified that changing this setting in SkyrimPrefs.ini has no effect in game, but instead must be changed inside Skyrim.ini, otherwise the default value shall be used (which is 1). This can be confirmed by observing that setting it to 0 in Skyrim.ini will turn off VSync while removing or setting the value to 1 enables VSync. Conversely, the same experiment shows that VSync remains enabled despite any value entered for it in SkyrimPrefs.ini.

iPresentInterval=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iScreenShotIndex

iScreenShotIndex sets the number of the screenshot made when bAllowScreenshot is enabled in Skyrim.ini. It increases incrementally with each screenshot taken.

Default is 0.

iScreenShotIndex=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iShadowFilter

iShadowFilter toggles the shadow filter on and off. If set to a value between 0 and 4, the shadow filter is on. If set to any other value, be it below 0 or above 4, the shadow filter is turned off, which causes buggy shadows that induce CTDs. It is recommended to leave at its default value, since all values between 0 and 4 appear to produce the same result.

Default is 3.

iShadowFilter=(0,1,2,3,4,5)

iShadowMapResolution

iShadowMapResolution sets the resolution of shadows. It can have a significant performance impact if set too high (or if set to 0 or -1). If set to 0, everything will be covered in a global shadow within the fShadowDistance or fInterorShadowDistance, and this is rather performance costly. Negative values (all negative values do the same) produces the maximum shadow resolution and is insanely performance unfriendly. A value of 1 gives the best performance, but quite naturally looks awful unless used in combination with other settings to effectively turn shadows off (see the Skyrim Configuration Settings Guide). Values that are not texture sizes produce flickering shadows (e.g., 1000 will flicker but 1024 will not).

iShadowMapResolution=512

iShadowMapResolution=512
iShadowMapResolution=1024

iShadowMapResolution=1024
iShadowMapResolution=2048

iShadowMapResolution=2048
iShadowMapResolution=4096

iShadowMapResolution=4096
iShadowMapResolution=-1

iShadowMapResolution=-1

Default is 1024. Low is 512. Medium is 1024. High is 2048. Ultra is 4096. Cheapest is 1. Most expensive is -1. Recommended is 1024 or higher in texture size increments.

iShadowMapResolution=(-1,0,1,...)

iShadowMapResolutionPrimary

It has been verified that this setting is completely placebo. The game does not recognize the setting at all. It does not appear in game-generated INIs or in Launcher presets. Its origin is from the SkyrimPrefs.ini file that resides inside the extra Skyrim directory inside the main Skyrim directory, where it is set to 2048.

iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iShadowMapResolutionSecondary

It has been verified that this setting is completely placebo. The game does not recognize the setting at all. It does not appear in game-generated INIs or in Launcher presets. Its origin is from the SkyrimPrefs.ini file that resides inside the extra Skyrim directory inside the main Skyrim directory, where it is set to 1024.

iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iShadowMaskQuarter

iShadowMaskQuarter is a shadow setting that cannot be altered, whose default value is 4, and shall forevermore be 4. This value is written and rewritten to the INI file every time the game is run, needed or not. Indeed, setting the file to read-only mode is the only way to change the setting and it not be altered, but even then, the game still will only use a value of 4! It is impossible to change this setting's value!

Default is 4. Low and Medium presets are 3 (which will be replaced with 4 upon first run of the game). High and Ultra presets are 4.

iShadowMaskQuarter=4

iShadowMode

iShadowMode is believed to be unused by the game. It is recognized by the game, but does not appear to have any effect. This has been empirically verified through extensive testing with various values, all producing the exact same shadow effects. It originated with Fallout 3.

Default is 3.

iShadowMode=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iShadowSplitCount

It has been verified that this setting is completely placebo. The game does not recognize the setting at all. It does not appear in game-generated INIs or in Launcher presets. Its origin is from the SkyrimPrefs.ini file that resides inside the extra Skyrim directory inside the main Skyrim directory, where it is set to 2.

iShadowSplitCount=(...,-1,0,1,...)

iSize H

iSize H sets the height of the game resolution in pixels. This setting cannot be changed in-game.

Default is 480.

iSize H=(0,1,...)

iSize W

iSize W sets the width of the game resolution in pixels. This setting cannot be changed in-game.

Default is 640.

iSize W=(0,1,...)

iTexMipMapMinimum

iTexMipMapMinimum sets the minimum mipmap that the game can use for textures when it finds it can benefit from it.

Default is 0.

iTexMipMapMinimum=(0,1,...)

iTexMipMapSkip

iTexMipMapSkip sets the texture quality (determined by the number of mipmaps to skip). It is recommended to be set to 0 to preserve full texture fidelity.

iTexMipMapSkip=0

iTexMipMapSkip=0
iTexMipMapSkip=1

iTexMipMapSkip=1
iTexMipMapSkip=2

iTexMipMapSkip=2
iTexMipMapSkip=3

iTexMipMapSkip=3

Default is 0. Low quality is 2. Medium quality is 1. High quality is 0. Low preset is 1. Medium, High, and Ultra presets are 0. Recommended is 0.

iTexMipMapSkip=(0,1,...)

iWaterMultiSamples

iWaterMultiSamples is believed to be unused by the game. In testing, no difference was noticed. It originated with Fallout 3.

Default is 0. Low and Medium presets are 1. High and Ultra presets are 4.

iWaterMultiSamples=(...,-1,0,1,...)

sD3DDevice

sD3DDevice appears to only be used by the Skyrim Launcher to detect the correct preset. It has been verified that it is not used by the game itself, just the Launcher. If Skyrim is not using the correct graphics card, fix that elsewhere (i.e., the driver).

sD3DDevice="Name of Graphics Card"