Last of Us Part 1 Best Settings [PC]

We'll help you configure the best settings to use for Last of Us Part 1 for smooth gameplay.

The Last of Us Part 1 is one of the most anticipated PlayStation exclusives to ever release on PC after God of War 2018. However, unlike God of War, the Last of Us was released in a pretty poor condition with several game-breaking bugs, texture rendering issues, and overall poor performance.

Needless to say, this is one of the worst ports of a Playstation game to every hit PC, which is quite a shame considering how much hype was behind it. So, we’ll be attempting to optimize this port from being unplayable to playable with our Last of Us Part 1 best settings guide on PC. 

Key Takeaways
  • The Last of Us Part 1 has been released in poor condition on PC with several performance issues and bugs
  • First, you need to least have the following specs as a minimum to run the game on your PC: 
    • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X/ Intel Core i7-8700
    • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 5800 XT (8GB)/ AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (8GB)/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8GB)/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (8GB)
    • System Memory: 16GB
    • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit, Version 1909 or newer
    • Storage Space Requirement: 100GB SSD
    • Notes: 60 FPS @ 1080p, High preset settings
  • To improve the performance on PC, we suggest using our Last of Us Part 1 best settings for best optimization.

Last of Part 1 PC System Requirements

PC System Requirements for Last of Us Part 1
PC System Requirements (Credits: Sony)

Before we dive headfirst into the several optimizations needed to enjoy this port with better performance, you have to make sure that your PC is capable of running it. Now, there are several different system requirements that you need to gauge your PC with to know what kind of performance you can expect from the game. Here are the official system requirements for Last of Us part 1 PC:

Minimum PC Requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X/ Intel Core i7-4770K
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon 470 (4GB)/ Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (4GB)/ Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti (4GB)
  • System Memory: 16GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit, Version 1909 or newer
  • Storage Space Requirement: 100GB SSD
  • Notes: 30 FPS @ 720p, Low preset settings

Recommended PC Requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X/ Intel Core i7-8700
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 5800 XT (8GB)/ AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (8GB)/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8GB)/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (8GB)
  • System Memory: 16GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit, Version 1909 or newer
  • Storage Space Requirement: 100GB SSD
  • Notes: 60 FPS @ 1080p, High preset settings

Performance PC Requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X/ Intel Core i7-9700K
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 6750XT/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • System Memory: 32GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit, Version 1909 or newer
  • Storage Space Requirement: 100GB SSD
  • Notes: 60 FPS @ 1440p, High preset settings

Ultra PC Requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X/ Intel Core i5-12600K
  • Graphics Card: AMD RX 7900XT (FSR Quality)/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
  • System Memory: 32GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit, Version 1909 or newer
  • Storage Space Requirement: 100GB SSD
  • Notes: 60 FPS @ 4K, Ultra preset settings.

These are the various system requirements that Sony has put out to let PC players know what kind of PC they must have to enjoy this masterpiece. Now, even if the system matches the Ultra PC requirements, you still aren’t guaranteed the best experience in-game due to various performance issues. However, this is where our best settings guide will come into play. Let’s get started with them now. 

Last of Us Part 1 Best In-Game Settings

The Last of Us Part 1 features a boatload of graphics and video settings that we can mess around with to tune the experience according to our preference. Some settings you might be familiar with, while some may be confusing. We’ve tested different combinations of settings and found the combination below to get the best performance without sacrificing much quality. Just follow along, and you’ll be good to go. 

Important: Before jumping into the graphics settings and configuring everything, let the precompiling shader process complete. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to hours, depending on your system. However, letting this process complete is crucial to having the best experience in the game. 

Last of Us Part 1 Best Display Settings

Last of Us Part 1 Display Settings 1
Display Settings 1 (Image: eXputer)

Here are the display settings for Last of Us Part 1 PC that you need to configure: 

Display ModeBorderless Window
Aspect RatioAuto
Display ResolutionNative Display’s Resolution
Ultrawide PillarboxesDefault
Framerate CapUnlocked
Scaling ModeNvidia DLSS Super Resolution / AMD FSR 2
QualityBalanced Mode
SharpeningYour preference
Field of ViewYour Preference
Camera Shake10
Motion BlurOff
Chromatic Aberration Intensity10
Film Grain Intensity0

Display Mode: Borderless Window

Unfortunately, the Last of Us Part 1 PC does not offer a fullscreen mode. This has been the same case with other PlayStation releases on PC, so you’ll have to make do with the borderless fullscreen mode. 

Aspect Ratio: Auto

You can manually select your display’s aspect ratio here. However, the Auto option does the right job of selecting the best aspect ratio according to your display. Your aspect ratio will probably be either 16:9 or 16:10. 

Display Resolution: Native Display’s Resolution

Here, you’ll have to select the native resolution that your display supports. Playing at any resolution lower than your native resolution will result in muddy textures and loss of clarity in-game. However, you will get a significant gain in FPS, but it definitely not worth it. 

Ultrawide Pillarboxes: Default

If you’ve got an ultrawide monitor, this option is necessary to fit the image properly on your screen. Disabling this option will result in several texture issues on your monitor. 

VSync: Off

VSync is known to introduce severe input lag on several PCs. However, since this isn’t a competitive game, you may turn it on if you experience a lot of screen tearing. 

Framerate Cap: Unlocked

You don’t need to add an FPS cap to your game unless your GPU is capable enough to render more than 60 FPS on average. In that case, you can add an FPS cap to save power and avoid high temps.

Last of Us Part 1 Display Settings 2
Display Settings 2 (Image: eXputer)

Scaling Mode: Nvidia DLSS Super Resolution or AMD FSR 2

Scaling Mode will let you select the correct upscaler for your game. If you have an Nvidia RTX GPU then you’ll be able to use DLSS Super Resolution. If you’ve got an AMD GPU or an Nvidia GTX GPU series, AMD FSR is the best option for you. 

Quality: Balanced Mode

In the Quality setting, you’ll select the upscale mode on which the Last of Us Part 1 will render. Anything lower than Balanced looks weird, so best set this to that. 

Sharpening: Your Preference 

This is a sharpening filter that you can adjust according to your preference. The best way to approach this is to set this at 50 and either increase or decrease it according to taste. 

Last of Us Part 1 Display Settings 3
Display Settings 3 (Image: eXputer)

Field of View: Your Preference

Select the Field of View (FOV) according to your preference. Be sure not to go overboard with the field of view, as the higher the FOV you have, the higher it’ll cost to render more objects on screen at once, decreasing performance. 

Camera Shake: 10

Although Camera Shake is usually an effect for aesthetics, in Last of Us Part 1, it actually adds to the immersion in cutscenes and gameplay. Hence, leave it at a 10 value. 

Motion Blur: Off

Motion Blur looks really bad in the current state of Last of Us Part 1. It isn’t as cinematic as the PS5 release; hence best to disable it for now. 

Chromatic Aberration Intensity: 10

Chromatic Aberration Intensity adds a filmic quality to the scenes in The Last of Us Part 1. It adds picturesque quality to the scenes in the game with little to no performance impact.

Film Grain Intensity: 0

Film Grain Intensity reduces your in-game visibility quite a lot and is merely for aesthetics purposes. It ruins the picture quality for no good reason, hence turning it off (0) completely. 

Gore: Default

If you’re playing Last of Us, you definitely need the gore that comes with it. All the blood splatters, cuts, and head stomping feel realistic and add to the game’s character. However, if you feel queasy around Gore, you can turn it off from here. 

Last of Us Part 1 Best Graphics Settings

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 1
Graphics Settings 1 (Image: eXputer)

Here’s a summary of what your Graphics settings should look like in Last of Us Part 1:

Graphics PresetCustom
Animation QualityMedium
Draw DistanceMedium
Dynamic Objects Level of DetailLow
Character’s Level of DetailMedium
Environment Level of DetailLow
Dynamic Objects Texture QualityMedium
Character’s Texture QualityLow
Environment Texture QualityLow
Visual Effects Texture QualityMedium
Texture Filtering8X
Texture Sampling QualityHigh
Ambient Shadow QualityQuarter Resolution
Directional Shadow ResolutionLow
Directional Shadow DistanceLow
Image-Based LightingOn
Spotlights Shadow ResolutionHigh
Point Lights Shadows ResolutionMedium
Bounced LightingOff
Screen Space Shadows QualityHigh
Dynamic Screen Space ShadowsOn
Contact Shadows QualityUltra
Screen Space Ambient OcclusionOn
Ambient Occlusion Denoise QualityHigh
Screen Space Direction OcclusionOn
Screen Space Cone TracingOn
Screen Space ReflectionsOn
Screen Space Reflections Accuracy100
Screen Space Reflections Distance100
Glossy Reflections Quality100
Real-Time Reflections QualityOff
Real-Time Clouds Shadow ReflectionsOff
Screen Space Sub-Surface ScatteringOn
Refraction QualityMultilayered Refractions
Depth of FieldOff
Motion BlurOff
Bloom ResolutionOff
Volumetric QualityLow
Lens FlareOff

Graphics Preset: Custom

There are several graphical presets in Last of Us Part 1. Since we need to fine-tune all the last of us part 1 best settings here, best leave the presets to custom. 

Animation Quality: Medium

The animation quality of the characters’ and objects’ interaction is quite taxing on your CPU. The medium setting seems to give you the best performance and a great balance of animation quality. Anything higher than that may increase your CPU usage and also its temperature. 

Draw Distance: Medium

The Last of Us Part 1 is a game with wide landscapes and great open areas for you to just stay still and appreciate. Hence, it’s no surprise that a great Draw Distance will definitely tax your FPS and bring the overall game performance lower. Medium introduces fewer texture pop-ins compared to low and gives you a decent chunk of performance to work with. 

Dynamic Objects Level of Detail: Low

Dynamic Objects Level of Detail is also one of the most taxing graphics settings in the game. This impacts how the object’s look changes with respect to your character and its interaction. Low gives you the best performance across the board, but objects may look worse in some scenes, but overall the performance gain is worth it. 

Character’s Level of Detail: Medium

Setting the Character’s Level of Detail to Medium will render the model of your character and other NPCs around you with moderate texture details. This will give you a huge impact on performance, especially in crowded areas of the games like settlements. 

Environment Level of Detail: Low

The whole game boasts great outdoors and wilderness when it comes to the Environment Level of Detail. Although, Medium is a nice balance between quality and performance. Keeping the current optimization state of the game in mind, low will be more suitable. The environment won’t look as vibrant or nice but at least you won’t have FPS drops or stuttering every two seconds. 

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 2
Graphics Settings 2 (Image: eXputer)

Dynamic Objects Texture Quality: Medium

It’s similar to the Dynamic Objects Level of Detail setting above. However, it’ll determine the quality of those details on objects. Set this to Medium as it gives a decent boost in performance while also displaying nice object details whenever they’re on screen. 

Character’s Texture Quality: Low

Character’s Texture Quality is similarly taxing to its level of detail component. Low seems to get you the best performance in levels where there are a lot of NPCs. This will save you from random FPS drops and keep your average FPS up. 

Environment Texture Quality: Low

Environment Texture Quality setting depends on the amount of VRAM you have, similar to the other texture quality settings in this section. If you have a decent chunk of VRAM, you can crank it up to high to get the most texture details in the environments around you.

Visual Effects Texture Quality: Medium

Visual Effects in Last of Us Part 1 don’t really have a major performance impact on your game. They mostly decide how the quality of explosions and others affects your

Texture Filtering: 8X

The difference between the 8X and 16X Texture Filtering options and pretty negligible but you’ll gain a solid 2-3 FPS in performance. Hence, it’s best to set it to 8X. 

Texture Sampling Quality: High

Texture Sampling helps add minute details to objects and environments. We’ve observed no measurable performance between low and Ulta; hence high seems to be a good middle ground for this setting.

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 3
Graphics Settings 3 (Image: eXputer)

Ambient Shadow Quality: Quarter Resolution

Shadows play a huge role in setting the right ambiance in The Last of Us Part 1. In Ambiance Shadow Quality, going from Full to Quarter resolution gave us a nice 4% FPS boost without turning this feature completely off. 

Directional Shadow Resolution: Low

Going from Low to Ultra in the Directional Shadow Resolution deduced FPS about 12-15%, which is a huge performance loss. Even though Ultra looks significantly better, you’re better off setting this to Low. If you have a decent rig, you may crank this up to high. 

Directional Shadow Distance: Low

The Last of Us Part 1 engine produces some of the best directional shadows we’ve seen in games, especially when it comes to their dynamic movement. However, they are also quite taxing on performance. Hence the Low setting is best in this case. 

Image-Based Lighting: ON

Image-Based Lighting is one of the most impactful shadow settings in this section, as it signally changes the way the light bounces off the surfaces and environments. Turning this on will be slightly taxing on your performance, but the trade-off is so worth it. 

Spotlights Shadow Resolution: High

There are very few places that will make use of Spolights Shadows Resolution e.g. the workbench or indirect shadows on objects—switching from Low to Ulta taxes you with 1-2 FPS. Hence high would be a good option here. 

Point Lights Shadows Resolution: Medium

Compared to the Spotlights Shadows Resolution setting above, Pointlights are more abundant in the game, and choosing a higher setting here will greatly tax your performance. So, the medium is recommended here. 

Bounced Lighting: OFF

Bounced Lighting controls how much the light scatters on objects from a source. This setting is surprisingly taxing, and the visual difference is not that much noticeable in normal gameplay. Best set this off. 

Screen Space Shadows Quality: High

Screen Space Shadows Quality really changes the shadows the objects and terrain produce significantly around you. Going from Low to High will cost you 1-2% performance but will add a really nice graphical quality to scenes. 

Dynamic Screen Space Shadows: ON

As far as we’ve observed, this setting had no performance or graphical changes in the game. To be on the safe side, so might as well keep it on. 

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 4
Graphics Settings 4 (Image: eXputer)

Contact Shadows Quality: Ultra

Contact Shadows Quality will help you improve the self-shadow quality of the characters and the objects around you. Surprisingly, going from Low to Ultra costs nothing, so we might as well set this to Ultra. 

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion: ON

Ambient Occlusion adds tremendous depth to the environment around you, especially finer details. Without it, the graphics look flat. Keep this on, considering it costs only 1-2% performance.  

Ambient Occlusion Denoise Quality: High

Ambient Occlusion Denoise Quality helps sharpen object textures in your peripheral vision. Keeping it high won’t cost much but adds finer details to objects. 

Screen Space Direction Occlusion: ON

Screen Space Directional Occlusion improves the quality of in-direct lighting on objects and terrain. Keeping it on isn’t costing you much, either. 

Screen Space Cone Tracing: ON

Screen Space Cone Tracing effects that very finer areas where shadows can form of your character and NPS around you. You can keep it on without worrying about any performance loss. 

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 5
Graphics Settings 5 (Image: eXputer)

Screen Space Reflections: ON

Screen Space Reflection isn’t just one setting in the Last of Us Part 1. It’s a parent setting that lets you control different aspects of SSR in the game. Turn it On to fine-tune SSR instead of completely turning it off in your gameplay.

Screen Space Reflections Accuracy: 100

Screen Space Reflections Accuracy will control the quality of SSR Reflections you observe on surfaces and water. Moving the slider from 0 to 100 will cost you 1-2 FPS and improve the SSR significantly. Keep it at 100 unless you’re really saving up performance. 

Screen Space Reflections Distance: 100

Similar to the Accuracy, you should also set the Screen Space Reflections setting to 100 as it doesn’t have any additional cost and improves the SSR quality tremendously. 

Glossy Reflections Quality: 100

And set the final slider, Glossy Reflections Quality, to 100 as well as it also doesn’t affect your performance much and produces quality reactions off shiny surfaces. 

Real-Time Reflections Quality: OFF

Real-Time Reflections is one of the most demanding settings in The Last of Us Part 1. It determines the production of complete reflections of objects on reflective surfaces. Turning this off will net you a good 15% improvement in performance relative to Ultra. However, the reflections will look odd, especially in mirrors. 

Real-Time Clouds Shadow Reflections: OFF

Real-Time Clouds Shadow Reflections is also one of those settings that may have a minor cost to them, but you don’t really notice them in gameplay much. You best leave it off for the extra performance. 

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 6
Graphics Settings 6 (Image: eXputer)

Screen Space Sub-Surface Scattering: ON

Screen Space Sub-Surface Scattering will improve the look of the characters’ skin in Last of Us Part 1. This costs 2-3% performance; normally, we’d turn this off. However, since the game has a lot of dialog and meaningful character interactions, best leave it On for extra immersion. 

Refraction Quality: Multilayered Refractions

Refractions affect the translucent surfaces like glass in the game. The Multilayered Refractions will display the actual rendered environment through the surface rather than a pre-rendered image. This only affects if translucent surfaces are in your area and impact performance by 1-2%. 

Depth of Field, Motion Blur, Bloom Resolution: OFF

These post-processing effects don’t really look good and cost a decent chunk of performance when turned on. You should set these off. 

Last of Us Part 1 Graphics Settings 7
Graphics Settings 7 (Image: eXputer)

Volumetric Quality: Low

Volumetric Quality setting cost and quality depends on your internal resolution. If you’re using an upscaler, it’ll look considerably worse than the native resolution. In any case, to favor performance set this to the low preset. 

Lens Flare: OFF

Lens Flare controls the quality and instances of lens flare in the Last of Us Part 1. Turning this off will give you a good 4-5% improvement in performance.

Did You Gain Performance with These Settings?

These are the best Last of Us Part 1 settings you should use on your PC to improve performance. Although the game’s condition is not that great at the moment, the devs have assured us that they’ll investigate these issues and come up with a fix for them in their tweet. We’ll also update this article with more fixes and tweaks as new patches hit PC. But for now, optimizing the game settings is all you need to do right now, and I hope this port gets fixed. 


Is Last of Us Part 1 optimized on PC?

No. The game has been released in poor condition on PC with several bugs and performance issues.

Have developers now fixed the Last of Us Part 1 PC’s performance now?

The latest patch for the game has just been released, called patch, which addresses several performance concerns. The game’s condition is now significantly better than it was on launch, but it has miles to go.

Why isn’t there a fullscreen mode in Last of Us Part 1 PC?

Most Sony exclusives released on PC lack a proper fullscreen mode. However, you can still use all the graphics features in borderless mode, which doesn’t seem to impact the performance much.l

Update On Last of Us Part 1: Update got live on 11th April 2023, improving the game’s performance and fixing several cameras jittering that players have been complaining about. 

Want to improve performance for Last of Us part 1? Check out the guides below:

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Ayyoun is a Senior Writer & Editor for Error Fixes, and Game Settings guides on eXputer. He’s been passionate about games and technology since he got his hands on the PlayStation 1. He has a software engineering background and loves to play games from a technical perspective. He has a knack for uncovering solutions for the latest games and presenting them in easy-to-follow guides for his audience. You can keep up with his gaming activity on his Steam profile.

Experience: 7+ years || Worked For VeryAli Gaming and IGN || Education: B.S Software Engineering, Editing Mastery from Udemy.

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