Obsidian’s return to modern, first-person RPGs seems to be off to a good start with The Outer Worlds garnering plenty of positive reviews this week. Unfortunately, it isn’t all great news. While this seems to be one of the least buggy Obsidian game launches to date, the game is a little lacking when it comes to graphics customisation and accessibility options. Fortunately, there are some workarounds you can force in the .ini files.
For those of us on PC, The Outer Worlds comes with five adjustable quality settings, bundling several important settings into one option, reducing control over certain effects. These settings include: Screen Effects, View Distance, Shadows, Textures and Visual Effects. There is also an overall graphics quality setting to adjust everything on the list between low, medium, high, very high and ultra presets. There is also an FOV setting in the gameplay settings menu.
The problem with this options menu is that there is very little in-game control. You can’t choose your own anti-aliasing setting, you can’t turn off chromatic aberration without reducing the quality of other screen effects. Since The Outer Worlds is built on Unreal Engine 4, it should be possible to enable finer control over these options in-game, rather than coupling so many settings together.
The good news is you can poke around the INI files to make some changes but your mileage may vary. For the Game Pass/Microsoft Store version of the game, you won’t be able to access the main folder with the .exe file. However, if you go to %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\PrivateDivision.TheOuterWorldsWindows10_hv3d7yfbgr2rp\LocalCache\Local\Indiana\Config\WindowsNoEditor, then you will be able to access the INI files to make adjustments.
The most important file here is Engine.ini. In this file, you can add [SystemSettings] to the bottom if that section doesn’t already exist. Then in that section, you can force disable chromatic aberration with ‘r.SceneColorFringeQuality=0’, you can also enable higher quality Anisotropic Filtering by adding ‘r.MaxAnisotropy=16’. As modders get more familiar with the game files and what you can do with them, additional enhancements may also pop up over time.
Aside from your graphics quality settings, The Outer Worlds could also do with some extra input and UI scaling settings. In some instances, subtitle text is very small, so if you are playing in a living room on a high resolution TV, then you may want to scale the text and UI up a bit. You can do this in the Engine.ini file by adding the section: [/Script/Engine.UserInterfaceSettings], then under that, add ‘ApplicationScale=1.XX’ and replace 1.XX with a suitable scaling value. For example, 1.15 will make UI and text 15% larger. You can play around with this until you find a comfortable setting.
Mouse Acceleration can also be disabled in the Input.ini file. You’ll need to add a [Engine.PlayerInput] section and then add ‘bEnableMouseSmoothing=false’ and ‘bViewAccerlerationEnabled=false’ underneath.
Hopefully Obsidian can create in-game options for all of these settings as poking around configuration files isn’t the most user-friendly way of making adjustments. Future patch updates could also reset your custom config settings, so you should keep hold of backups for the original config files and your custom ones in case of any errors.
KitGuru Says: Despite the somewhat lacking options menu, The Outer Worlds does look nicer than I was expecting, with overused Chromatic Aberration being my only real gripe. Hopefully Obsidian can make the options menu a bit more user-friendly in a patch soon. Are any of you playing The Outer Worlds this weekend?