This Overwatch graphics tweak increased our fps by 50 percent

Overwatch has been out for several months now, and while it's not the most graphically demanding game it can chug a little bit on older GPUs. Obviously, lowering your graphics settings is an easy way to achieve better performance, but sometimes you don't have to tweak much in order to receive a fairly massive performance bump.

As pointed out by Redditor raydialseeker, the Dynamic Reflections setting is guilty of significantly weighing down frame rates with minimal visual impact. By switching the setting from High to Off, we were able to increase our framerate by 30 to 50 percent. Obviously, that's changing the setting from its most impactful to not at all, but the difference in what you see on screen is surprisingly small.

The Dynamic Reflections setting is what causes players and other moving objects to be mirrored in pools of water and other shiny surfaces. Buildings, scenery and other static objects still reflect in all their glory, even with the setting turned off. Here's what that looks like—take note of Lucio as he skates past.

Dynamic Reflections High

Dynamic Reflections Off

There is a difference, sure, but is it worth 30-50 percent or more frames? In a standard game using a GTX 980 Ti, 1080p resolution and graphics set to high/ultra across the board, my framerate sits between 140 and 170 fps. By disabling dynamic reflections but leaving everything else the same, my framerate jumped up to the 190 to 270 range—a massive increase. 

Now, is there really a difference between 150 and 250 fps? For most of us, not really. But knowing about such a performance difference is significant for players trying to maintain 60 or more fps at 1440p or 4K resolutions. I didn't have a weaker graphics card on hand to test the difference at lower settings, but other Redditors in the thread reported similar percentage jumps. 

Of course, this isn't exactly new information—extensive optimization guides have been around since launch. But since such a massive increase can be attributed to a single, largely insignificant graphic setting, we felt it was worth putting out a PSA. So if you don't know, now you know.

Bo Moore

As the former head of PC Gamer's hardware coverage, Bo was in charge of helping readers better understand and use PC hardware. He also headed up the buying guides, picking the best peripherals and components to spend your hard-earned money on. He can usually be found playing Overwatch, Apex Legends, or more likely, with his cats. He is now IGN's resident tech editor and PC hardware expert.