Helldivers 2 PC performance: best settings, performance, crashes

Hell Diver 2 marks the first time PlayStation Studios has launched a game on PC and console simultaneously, and it’s not the best start. Hell Diver 2 is impressive from a visual and performance standpoint, but crashing and matchmaking issues are currently worsening the experience for some players.

I’ve played the game a bit, and I’m here to find out the best settings Hell Diver 2 on the PC I found. We’ll also talk a little about overall performance, as well as the interesting upgrade options built into the game.

Best settings for Helldivers 2

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Hell Diver 2 quite measurable across all of its graphic presets, unlike similar games Remaining 2. When you first load the game, it will automatically determine your graphics settings based on your hardware, apparently targeting between 50 and 60 frames per second (fps), using the built-in graphics options and enhancement tools.

After testing each setting, here are the best settings I found Hell Diver 2 on PC:

  • Texture quality: Tall
  • Quality of object details: Currently
  • Render distance: Tall
  • Shadow quality: Currently
  • Particle quality: Low
  • Reflection quality: Currently
  • Space quality: Low
  • Ambient occlusion: On
  • Global illumination of screen space: Dead
  • Vegetation and debris density: Tall
  • Terrain quality: Currently
  • Volumetric fog quality: Currently
  • Volumetric cloud qualities: Currently
  • Lighting quality: Currently
  • Anti-aliasing: Dead

Of the above items, ambient occlusion and global illumination of the screen space are the most demanding, but they also have the greatest impact on image quality. Additionally, the built-in anti-aliasing has quite an impact on performance, most likely due to the lack of quality settings. You can enable or disable anti-aliasing. I suspect this is caused by the game using temporal anti-aliasing (TAA), which I’ll discuss later.

Otherwise, the texture quality depends on the GPU you use. The game requires at least 10GB of VRAM if you use the Ultra textures, but fortunately, the High textures look great too. I didn’t notice any performance degradation with higher texture settings, assuming you have enough VRAM to cover what the game requires in the graphics menu.

For some performance context, I hit 66 fps on the lowest graphics preset at 4K with the RX 7800 XT. At its highest, I was at 38 fps. Finally, with optimized settings, I achieved 55 fps. Across settings, performance was very consistent, except for some freezing issues (more on that later).

Differences in graphic modes in Helldivers 2.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

As you can see in the image above, my visually optimized settings are much closer to the Ultra preset, while delivering performance close to the Low preset. There’s always room for further adjustments, but these settings are a good start.

Helldivers 2 system requirements

System requirements for Helldivers 2.

As with most PlayStation Studios releases on PC, there are four tiers of system requirements, ranging from a GTX 1050 Ti to run the game to RTX 4070 Ti to run everything to the max. I couldn’t test all the GPUs listed here, but I’m curious about the boost modes they’re based on. I suspect they are using some form of enhancement, which is already in the game.

As for other requirements, the game only requires 16 GB RAM, but I highly recommend 32 GB if you plan to run the game at 4K. I noticed the RAM tops out at over 13GB at 4K, so 32GB would help.

Then there are storage requirements. The game requires 100GB, but at the time of release, the installation size was only 70GB. I suspect the requirements list 100GB based on future game updates, which will likely balloon the installation size over time.

What GPU do you need for Helldivers 2?

Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Hell Diver 2 isn’t an easy game to scale, so I’ve got some rough numbers here assuming you want to run the game at the highest graphics preset:

Those are the average results I got after running missions with each GPU. Hell Diver 2 was a very consistent experience while working, only dropping a few frames during demanding scenes across the GPUs I tested.

These results also indicate that the system requirements most likely use some form of enhancement. On the Ultra recommendation, for example, Hell Diver 2 call for a RX 7900

But graphically, Hell Diver 2 very well optimized. Graphics settings slightly improved performance, and on all three GPUs I tested, the experience was always consistent. I don’t imagine most people will have any problems achieving playable frame rates, assuming you can meet the minimum system requirements.

Improvements in Helldivers 2

Consistency is his highest point Hell Diver 2, and the rise is a surprising low point. This is one of the few AAA releases in 2024 to ship without AMD’s FSR, Nvidia’s DLSS, or Intel’s XeSS. There are no third party upgrades in this game. Instead, the developer includes its own upgrade solution.

This is where TAA comes into play again. Considering the game has an enhancement option and a simple button for anti-aliasing, I suspect it uses TAA and relies on enhancement mode to determine quality. There are a total of eight choices. For increased performance, you get Ultra Quality, Quality, Balanced, Performance, and Ultra Performance.

Upgrade options in Helldivers 2.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

As you can see in the comparison above, this looks like a fairly standard temporal increase. Everything about the Balanced preset can be used, but I’d avoid Performance and Ultra Performance if you can. I appreciate the many quality modes here, allowing you to improve performance and image quality in equal measure.

One of the interesting options Hell Diver 2 bidding is supersampling. This renders the game at a higher resolution and then scales it down for your target resolution. On top of the enhancement modes, there are Native, Supersampling, and Ultra Supersampling, with the two supersampling modes reducing performance while improving image quality.

Supersampling options in Helldivers 2.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

As you can see above, the supersampling is much sharper, even with 4K output. These are some great options to have if you have enough performance space Hell Diver 2.

Still, the game definitely requires DLSS or FSR. It’s an important graphics option at this point, and even if you can achieve good performance without upgrading, the option to upgrade it has become the norm in AAA releases.

Crashing and freezing

A player runs from robots in Helldivers 2.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

The elephant in the room together Hell Diver 2 was the PC crashing — and of course, I had a lot of crashes. But more often, the game freezes for 30 seconds or more. Sometimes this results in a crash, while other times, I can continue playing.

This was a pretty big deal at some point. In one mission, I was waiting for my extraction ship before the game froze and crashed, wasting the 25 minutes I spent in the mission. Other times, the game would freeze as I logged in, forcing me to go back through a rather long intro sequence to get back to the mission.

Some speculation online says that this crash was caused by an anti-cheat, but it’s too early to say for sure at this time. In the space of two days, I’ve seen two pretty big updates for the game, and I suspect there will be more to come. If you plan to play now, expect some turbulence with freezing and crashing.

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