Red Dead Redemption 2

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Denis Winter

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About this mod

Allows you to play with higher quality including Medium/High/Ultra textures.
Plus optimized fast settings for 3-8 Gb graphics cards.

Permissions and credits
The game doesn't allow you to use Medium or High textures if your VideoRam is 2 Gb,
this modified settings file solves this issue. The default Low preset for 2Gb cards
is slow and doesn't look good. The Optimized Settings allow you to play with
Medium/High/Ultra textures, and reach 40-60 fps with better visual quality.


Download, unpack, open your old existing system.xml file with WordPad in .... Documents/Rockstar Games/Red Dead Redemption 2/Settings, then find and write down the name of your card on a piece of paper exactly as it is at the bottom. Underlined in yellow in the picture. Copy and save your old system.xml in a folder somewhere, as a backup. Put the new modded system.xml in the Settings folder, overwriting the old file. Open it with WordPad and change the name of the graphics card from NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 to yours. That's important. Save and close the file.
Play the game.

(To restore the game to default settings, just delete the system.xml file. And start the game.
It will create the default system.xml file automatically. If the game doesn't keep these new settings,
mark the modded system.xml file as "read-only" (Right click of the mouse - Properties").
You can also change these settings with WordPad, not ingame, if your card has 2 Gb.
Do a fine tune of the parameters (resolution, textures, etc) in the system.xml to get more FPS, or to get better visuals.

Note. Your graphics card should have at least 2 Gb DDR5 VRAM and support Vulkan API.
(The minimal graphics card that'll provide 25-30 fps at Optimized Low 720p is equivalent to GTX 750.
No sense using slower cards).
See info about DirectX 12 at the bottom.

By the expression "cards like GTX 950" I mean the cards that are similar to it in performance.
For example GTX 950 = Radeon HD 7870 in performance.

All version 2 presets are faster than the respective older versions.

Update 4.
Special Version 2.7. On DirectX 12.
For cards like 1060 3 Gb and better.
Ultra textures, great quality.

Update 5.
Version 2.4.
1280x720 The Optimized Low.
Provides better fps than the default Low.
For cards like GTX 750 and slow 2 Gb laptop cards.

Update 6.
Version 2.6.
AMD Radeon cards.
1920x1080, Ultra textures.
For AMD cards like RX 470, 570, 580 and better.
Async enabled, which provides a smoother frametime,
a higher min. FPS and increases the stability of the game.

Update 7.
Version 2.8.
Ultra textures.
Optimized FHD 1920x1080 for maximum FPS.
For cards like GTX 1060, RX 470, RX 570, and better.
60+ average FPS on a card like GTX 1650 Super.

Update 8.
Version 2.9.
High textures, optimized for maximum FPS.
1600x900 - for cards like GTX 950, GTX 1050, GTX 960 2Gb and better.
1920x1080 - for cards like GTX 960 4 Gb, GTX 1050 Ti, RX 470, RX 570 and better.

Update 9.
Version 2.81.
Ultra textures.
1600x900 - for cards like GTX 960, GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, RX 560, etc
Optimized for maximum FPS. 5-7 fps faster than version 2.2.
Depth of Field deactivated, which improves the performance and stability
of the game.

Update 10.
Version 2.1b.
Medium textures.
Slight quality improvements.
The image is sharper, etc. For 35-60 fps gameplay.
1600x900 is for cards like GTX 950, GTX 960, RX 460 and better.
1920x1080 is for cards like GTX 960, GTX 1050,  GTX 1050 Ti and better.
1280x720 is for cards like 750 Ti, GT 1030 and better.

Update 11.
Version 2.85.
Ultra textures. Quality/max fps balance.
For newer fast graphics cards, starting from GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti and better.

Update 12.
Version 3.1.
DirectX 12 on Windows 10.
High and Ultra textures, 1600x900 and 1920x1080.
DoF deactivated, VSync on, a sharper image.
For graphics cards starting from GTX 950 (900p High),
and GTX 1050 Ti (1080p Ultra) and better.

You can use higher textures or resolutions than recommended, in this case
35-50 fps are not guaranteed, but you will benefit from higher visual quality.
In this case find a balance for a stable 30-40 fps gameplay. In the first
place you can edit resolution and texture settings in your system.xml.
A good option will be to set TAA sharpening to 1.5 or 2.0. 
If not changeable from the game menu,
find this parameter in system.xml
<sharpenIntensity value="1.000000" />
In some of my settings it's 1.000000,  but you can change it safely
to 2.500000 or 2.000000.
Tested it, looks better, can be applied if you like a sharper
picture. Which means if you want to get the best of the best
possible result for your graphics card, you can fine-tune it more,
giving it some more quality or fps.

NOTE. You can also add this line

<dof value= "false" />

paste it under this line <ssaoFullScreenEnabled value= "false" / >

This parameter turns off the Depth of Field, which consumes a lot of
your graphics card's resources. So it's easier for your card to
run the game without the DoF. All it does is make the background
blurry in some scenes, good for screenshots, not always good for the gameplay.
I can highly recommend adding this line to your settings.xml.
A big thanks to Thixones for coming up with an idea on how to turn it off.

You can also activate Vertical Sync, if you need it, by changing 0 to 1
in this line
<vSync value="0" />

I can also recommend Realistic Reshade With No Performance Loss
which makes the image much clearer, adds contrast, vibrance, shows
your current FPS, etc with almost no FPS loss. 1-2 in the latest preset.

Note. If your graphics card is much slower than GTX 950 start with version 2.1 for 1280x720 Medium, and in case the FPS is
over 40-45, you can go over to 2.1 1600x900 Medium settings, and then to version 2.9, 1600x900 High, etc
If your card's very very slow, try version 2.4 1280x720 The Optimized Low. It'll improve your fps at least.

Note 2. If you want to use DirectX 12 instead of Vulkan (for some 1Gb cards for example, open the modded system.xml file again, find the line


and change it to


Save and close the file. Don't forget that DirectX 12 runs 3-4 fps slower, but a bit smoother than Vulkan. The quality will be the same.