Getting Started and Fixing Performance Issues in Batman: Arkham Knight

It's launch day and Arkham Knight players are facing crazy FPS drops, bad textures, and DLC take backs. Here are some fixes for performance problems and Day 1 FAQs.

Hello launch day! In 2009, Rocksteady Studios gave us the beginning of what would be known as the "this is how you make a Batman game!" series with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Today, the main trilogy ends with the release of Batman: Arkham Knight.

Since the game unlocked late last night/early in the morning depending on your region, the majority of Day 1 players are either fighting sleep deprivation at work, or are playing hooky.

Of course, Day 1 for any game is not without more than its fair share of frustrations, particularly if you're playing a PC release. The Batman: Arkham games have become rather notorious for save issues, and this latest one has been hit with a slew of performance issues.

Here are the answers to some of the biggest Day 1 questions. (If your question isn't answered here, take a look at Preorder DLC, Challenge Maps, and Other Game Launch FAQs)

Why is my pre-download not playable? 

Even though it has passed launch, there are a number of players who cannot access the game yet. Generally Steam is supposed to just start the decryption process automatically, but as with every other preloaded release, this is not always the case. 

  1. Restart Steam. This is usually the simplest way to get the de-encryption started.
  2. Verify your Steam cache. This may require you to install an additional update, but it should not require you to redownload large parts of the game. (NOTE: Some users have reported that after unpacking the game, doing this again to fix performance issues deleted the entire game, and required redownloading everything over again. Only try this if it is stuck in preload!)
  3. Check the available hard drive space you have on the drive you are installing the game to. While unpacking, the amount of space required for the game will temporarily double and/or take up the required space requirements on your C drive. If you do not have enough space on either drive, you may not have enough space to unpack the game. Delete the preload, and download again. (This will only take up as much space as the game needs to.)

Where is my Harley Quinn DLC?

This much-hyped preorder DLC story pack allows you to play as Harley Quinn and can be accessed by checking the Arkham Episodes menu. Note that there is not a lot of meat to this particular DLC, and the gameplay runs for approximately 30 minutes. 

If it is grayed out, you do not own this DLC.

All preorder versions should have come with an extra skins pack, but Harley Quinn is separate. Check to make sure that it shows up in your DLC list in Steam and that it is installed. 

If it is not there, double-check where you bought your copy of Batman: Arkham Knight. If you purchased directly through Steam, it should be there - send a help request to Steam support. 

If you bought a key elsewhere through a cd key reseller, make sure that the listing specified you will be getting the Harley Quinn DLC. (This is given as a seperate cd key from the base game.

Players who used an NVIDIA game key (or cd key resellers that are selling NVIDIA keys, e.g. do not get the Harley Quinn DLC. Some confusion arose because WB removed the DLC from a number of cd key codes at the last minute.

How can I increase game performance?

Arkham Knight is being slammed across the board for its poor performance on PC, and also for a number of optimization options that are missing through the game menu. it runs at a native 30 FPS, and the system requirements were increased just a short time before release. 

Many of these problems can be fixed by making changes to the .ini file in your Arkham Knight steamapps folder, including changing this game to run through DX11 and increase the FPS from 30 to 60 and up.

Open the .ini file in Notepad. You can find it by looking in:

Steam\steamapps\common\Batman Arkham Knight\BMGame\Config\BmSystemSettings.ini

Note: I highly recommend making a copy of the original .ini file if you're going to mess around with the settings. If you did not do this and want to revert to original, delete the file and verify your cache through Steam to redownload it.)

To turn off motion blur specifically, edit this line:


Note: Changing the DepthofField setting in the .ini file will get rid of more motion blurring but will break the Map and Detective Mode, and will also prevent the Block notification from displaying in combat.

These are some of the changes suggested by this Reddit user for increasing FPS and turning off GameWorks.

Note: If you make any changes to the BmSystemSettings.ini, make sure you set it to read-only so the game doesn't overwrite it.

You can enable MSAA or TXAA in the .ini, and both work for me without crashes, just have to remember to change .ini back to read-only after making changes.

  • YOUR-PATH/Steam/Steamapps/Common/Batman Arkham Knight/BMGame/Config/BmSystemSettings.ini

  • Up FPS to whatever you desire, I have mine at 62 so it has a couple frames leeway to go past 60, I just have a 60hz monitor.

  • CTRL+F to find the line: "bAllowD3D9MSAA=False". Change it to "...=True", and then turn on MFAA in NVIDIA Control Panel (if you have an NVIDIA card). Boom. MSAA + MFAA. Or, right under the MSAA option in the .ini there is a "bAllowTemporalAA=False" that you can experiment with.

But yea there isn't full-blown NVIDIA TXAA support which kind of sucks. But still. MSAA + MFAA is the best quality/performance option at this point IMO. Not a fan of FXAA personally.

Here are some of the other settings/optimizations I'm playing around with that seemed to have helped. YMMV.

  • I turned Shadows down to Normal, Normal looks fine and might as well scrap the couple extra frames in doing so

  • V-Sync off in-game, Adaptive V-Sync on in NVIDIA Control Panel. The rampant FPS drops and spikes and crazy FPS jumping around that this game currently has, seems to work a bit better with Adaptive V-Sync because of how much it jumps around

  • Make sure GPU is selected as PhysX device in NVIDIA Control panel. '3D Settings' --> 'Configure Surround, Physx' --> PhysX settings, change processor to GPU so it doesn't accidentally use CPU here

  • I turned the crap Bloom in this game off, changed to Bloom=False in .ini

  • To turn off (or rather, to turn way down) motion blur without causing crashes in the intro, go back to theBmSystemSettings.ini, and change the current values to the following: MotionBlurSkinning=0,AllowRadialBlur=False, and finally MobilePostProcessBlurAmount=0.0. You can keep MotionBlur=True, so the game doesn't crash, but these settings turn the motion blur down so low it is practically off. Better than nothing, at least temporarily.

  • I changed MaxAnisotropy from 4 to 16 in the .ini. "MaxAnisotropy=4" is the default.

  • I turned Reflections off. The original line reads Reflections=True, I changed to False. It is about halfway down the .ini if my memory serves me properly, so ignore the first couple reflection lines that pop up when you CTRL+F it.

  • Running in Windowed Borderless because for some reason full screen was crashing for me, even without modified .ini files whatsoever.

  • I have all in-game NVIDIA GameWorks features disabled, because they are totally FPS killers and the game is badly optimized enough, there isn't FPS to spare. At least on my system. The other settings, other than Shadows are on the highest available. Like I mentioned above, in-game V Sync is off and in-game AA is off. Using MFAA.

  • Changed Power management to "Prefer maximum performance" in NVIDIA Control Panel for the game. Also in the control panel I have the texture filtering set up as follows: 'Texture filtering - Anisotropic sample optimization' is Off, 'Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias' is on Clamp, 'Texture filtering - Quality' is on Quality, and finally 'Texture filtering - Trilinear optimization' is On.

Another Reddit user has suggested doing this to fix some of the performance issues as well:

"I went into the game directory, into the _CommonRedist folder, and installed/repaired everything. Since then, the game has run beautifully without any hiccups or fuss."

Users did report that when they went in to make any changes to the .ini file after following this method, all performance issues came back.

How do I fix the poor in-game textures?

Many players have reported sub-par textures in-game, even on expensive machines with much higher specs than required. One suggestion has been to delete and redownload in order to fix this issue with textures. 

I have not personally tried this fix and am dubious of wasting time and bandwidth in attempting it just to try and fix some ugly textures, at least as of Day 1.

(Edit: The only texture options are Low and Normal. Even on high-end machines, this is all you're going to get and deleting and redownloading is just a waste of your time.)

If your issues have not been covered in this article or Preorder DLC, Challenge Maps, and Other Game Launch FAQs and/or you have some suggestions for performance fixes, please leave a comment below!

Featured Columnist

Avid PC gamer and long-time console lover. I enjoy sneaking, stealing everything not nailed down, and shooting zombies in the face. I'm also a cat.

Published Jun. 25th 2015
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Also you can easily remove the annoying as hell unskippable intro logo videos. Seriously... devs need to start making these skippable as standard, on PC and console... chop chop guys.

    Just add "-nologo" (no quotes) to "Set Launch Options" in the Properties of the game via Steam.
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    This is true! I forgot they can be a big deal for other people, it's always brought up with every Arkham release since there are so many, haha.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Yer, it's a big deal for me. It shouldn't only be for PC either, console players should be able to skip all intro title things videos too.

New Cache - article_comments_article_24545