Capcom explains why Resident Evil 7's FOV is capped at 90

Last week we dug through Resident Evil 7's options files on an unsuccessful hunt for a way to widen the game's FOV past 90, the maximum allowed through the in-game menu. Entering larger values didn't work, and setting the value of one option, "FOVHackEnable," to 'true,' just rewarded us with a crash. So we asked Capcom if it was possible to widen the FOV, and today we were forwarded answers from the Japanese development team. The bad news: Resident Evil 7 isn't built to work with an FOV past 90.

Capcom offered both an artistic and a technical reason for 90 being the widest possible FOV option in RE7. "FOV capped at 90 degrees is a game design decision," said the statement we were sent via email. "The dev team explored potentially going wider after seeing feedback from the demo, but going wider introduces issues where certain objects, textures, etc. are then not fully rendered out for performance considerations.  It will also have performance implications since going wider will introduce more objects into the scenery. Having too much peripheral vision for this type of game can also lessen the tension and atmosphere intended for the game."

So what about that FOVHack setting in the options file? It's vestigial, Capcom told us: "FOVHackEnable was prepared during development and the parameters that weren’t used never went through testing, which is why a freeze occurs when set to true."

Some small issues aside, Resident Evil 7 on PC was overall a great experience at launch, with good performance across most systems on day one, some beautifully grotesque imagery, and support for HDR. It's one of the first PC games that can make that claim. Aside from FOV, one of the other common criticisms of the PC version is its missing support for 21:9 monitors, so we asked Capcom about that, too. 

The response: "There are currently no plans to support wide aspect ratio monitors."

Sorry, ultrawide gamers. No dice, perhaps because of Capcom's tight control of FOV for the sake of scares, as explained above.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).