Day Z graphics tweak guide

As we all know DayZ is a very demanding game, in all senses of the word. ArmA 2 itself needs a good amount of RAM, CPU and GPU power itself, and the DayZ mod adds a whole other layer of code on top. Also since DayZ uses a very unique “hive” central server there is more demand on your internet connection. The game server that we play on has a huge part to play in this equation as well. You really have to make sure your rig is set up properly to get the best performance. The goal is the highest FPS or Frames Per Second that is possible for our machine.

Field of view or FOV may be changed (some people can do without adjusting FOV – depends on your monitor mostly). Click here for a full guide on changing your FOV. FOV is how much can you see on the screen at any given time. Default is I think 65 but I like 80 or 85 for DayZ.

There are a lot of tweaks that you can do besides the settings in-game. If you are not comfortable changing your config files, then you might want to leave them alone. MAKE A BACK UP OF ANY FILE BEFORE YOU CHANGE IT. I will not be responsible for you messing up your installation! This is your one and final warning!

Make sure that all of your drivers are up to date. Motherboard/CPU, graphics card, and sound card especially. Up to date drivers will fix a lot of issues! 

For the giant polygun bug going on right now try this tip from gamefoo:

Got those giant shards and artifacts making the game unplayable? Fix is here:

  1. Go to Documents/ArmA 2/playername.ArmaA2OAProfile
  2. Open file in Notepad
  3. Search for “sceneComplexity=;”
  4. Change to “sceneComplexity=100000;”
  5. Save changes and exit.
  6. Launch DayZ with preferred method.

Also you can make this tweak by setting “Object Detail” to “Very Low” (thx again to Szalent)

 A quick tip: if things are suddenly running bad you can try and flush the system. You flush by holding SHIFT and pressing the numberpad “-” key. Then let go of SHIFT and type the letters:  F   L    U   S   H   (flush).  Your screen will go black for about 5 seconds, be careful.

Graphic Card Settings

The fist thing we are going to look at is your graphics card settings, not your settings in game. Weather you have an Nvidia card or an ATI card you can do this. If you have some 3rd party card then I have no idea… I will pray for you. I am not going to tell you how to find your graphics card settings, I am not a tech support guy. Good places to look are your Control Panel, also you might want to try looking in the programs list for either Nvidia or ATI. Below is an example of what they look like. DO NOT USE ANY SETTINGS YOU SEE ON THE IMAGE BELOW. I purposely made it very blurry so no one tries to use those settings. The real settings will be below the image. This is just what the panels look like, you have to find them on your own computer. You will have one of these depending on the brand of your graphics card:


ATI on the left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.


Once you find the panel make the adjustments below to suit your taste. Keep in mind that the higher you put most of these settings might slow your game down, but if you find the exact right one for you, it is really going to smooth out your game. You may or may not have all of those setting options, depending on a lot of factors. There may be a couple settings that can go bad, but most of the choices you can make here are every safe for your system. You don’t have to worry about backing anything up just yet, that will come when we tweak the .cfg or “config” files.Here are somethings to try taken from here.


  1. Ambient Occlusion – Off
  2. Anisotropic Filtering – Application controlled
  3. AntiAliasing Gamma Correction – On
  4. AntiAliasing Mode – Application controlled
  5. AntiAliasing Setting – Application controlled
  6. AntiAliasing Transparency – Off
  7. Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames – 0
  8. Multi-Display/GPU Accelaration – Single Display
  9. Performance Mode
  10. Power Management Mode – Prefer Maximum Performance
  11. Texture Filtering Sample Optimization – On
  12. Texture Filtering Negative LOD Bias – Allow
  13. Texture Filtering Quality – High Performance
  14. Texture Filtering Trilinear Optimization – On
  15. Threaded Optimization – Auto
  16. Triple Buffering – Off
  17. Vertical Sync – Off



For many more tweaks including changing configuration files click read the rest of this entry below.



Tweaking Arma2OA.cfg

You may or may not have all of those setting options, depending on a lot of factors. There may be a couple settings that can go bad, but most of the choices you can make here are every safe for your system. You don’t have to worry about backing anything up just yet, that will come when we tweak the .cfg or “config” files. Once you find the .cfg files for the next part, BACK THEM UP FIRST. I told you I would not warn you again, but I like you so I did…

We are going to change the arma2oa.cfg file next. Mine was found in the location below, but every computer is like a snowflake, no two are alike.

C:\Users\*your_user_name*\Documents\ArmA 2\arma2oa.cfg

Or possibly here:

C:\Users\*your_user_name*\Documents\ArmA 2 Other Profiles\*profile_name*

If you have changed to a different profile, you need to look in the folder “Arma 2 Other Profiles” to find the right file. Thanks to Szalent for that tip.

Copy/paste a backup of that somewhere (that’s 3 warnings!)and make some of the following edits:

shadingQuality=0 ( this might not be there)

Set the three settings below to zero if you want (thx farettig)


Quote from the pastebin, author is anon:

“AToC controls anti-aliasing on foliage. setting it to 6 disables AA on grass, which gives you a massive performance boost. The PPAA commands enable a very light, basic FXAA, which gives you back AA on the grass, and finishes off other details in-game. Combining FXAA + normal AA = more fps, looks better.”

If anyone has anything to add comment below or shoot me an email at and I will make the changes and give you a shout out.


In-Game Settings

Next we are going to move to the in-game settings. Some of these are personal preference, feel free to set thme as you want, this is just a guide.

View Distance: 1600 (rumor is that this is the max that DayZ allows)
Brightness: 1
Gamma: 1

Texture Detail: HIGH (just my personal pref.)
Video Memory: Default (using a setting other than Default can be very bad)
Anisotropic Filtering: HIGH (makes things like the lines in the roads less blurry)
Anti Aliasing: OFF or HIGH (find out what works for you)
ATOC:  All Trees (this is setting 6 in the .cfg)

Terrain Detail: Normal (that’s what mine is)
Object Detail: Very Low (my attempt to squeeze more FPS out – adjust to your liking)
Shadows: OFF or HIGH
HDR: Normal (supposedly you can set this higher with no FPS hit)

Quality: leave this alone, should say Custom
Interface Resolution: best to set to your native resolution
3D Resolution: same as above
Post Proccessing Effects: OFF (this setting causes major lag)
Aspect Ratio: leave alone (mine says Custom)
Vsync: OFF

That concludes the in-game portion. In this last section I am going to talk about tweaks on the shortcut.


Setting Up the Launch Parameters

Find the ArmA2OA or beta shortcut that you launch the game with. If you launch using Steam then you can add these arguments to Steam so it adds them every time. This is mine below. DO NOT COPY MINE. If you just copy and paste my settings, you’re gonna have a bad time. I have a 3 core CPU which is very rare. Most people have either 2 or 4 so set the -cpuCount= to however many cores YOUR computer has. Remember, this is just a guide. This is not the bible of graphics settings. There is a wiki page here: Arma2: Startup Parameters. That link *is* the bible, so use it.

-cpuCount=3 -maxMem=2047 -world=chernarus -skipIntro -nosplash -noPause

Ok, let’s go over these

-cpuCount=3 (put this to how many cores you have)

-maxMem=2047 (anything higher than 2047 just reverts back to 2047. 2047= 2 gigs of RAM)

-world=chernarus (loads the only world DayZ uses)

-skipIntro (get’s rid of the movie playing behind the menus)

-nosplash (removes the intro logo’s and screens)

-noPause (this is huge – makes it so that when you alt-tab out the screen still shows live action instead of freezing)

Additional arguments that I don’t use (thanks longshot)

-winxp This obviously runs things in Windows XP mode. This makes the game run in Direct3D 9, not the Vista/Windows 7 version . might give a boost for some people.




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