Tweaking Field of View in Metro Last Light



Company: Deep Silver
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: May 23rd, 2013

Tweaking, screenshot comparison, performance, conclusion

Tweaking

Changing the FOV is simple: navigate to C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\4A Games\Metro LL, enter the folder labeled with a bunch of random numbers and letters (e.g. 110000103249C0e), and open the user.cfg file with Notepad. Once inside, hit Ctrl + F and search for “fov” to find the r_base_fov 50.625 line: 50.625 represents the default FOV. To alter it, simply replace the value with one of your liking (e.g. 60), save the file, and boot the game.

Screenshot comparison

I've tested the values most will want to use below: the default 50, then 55, 60, and 70.

As you'll see, the main character's hands were created with the default FOV in mind, and look far away and disproportionate the more you increase it. At 55 it's fine, but at 60 and especially 70, it proves quite distracting. Meanwhile, the rest of the scene definitely benefits from going up to 60, though acquires the 'fisheye' look at 70.

How much you value the wider perspective in the rest of a given scene, how much wider you want it, and your resolution should determine which value you pick. For most people, 60 -- give or take -- should do the job nicely. Note besides the hands issue, strange bugs are possible, though I didn't notice any in my brief testing.

Performance

Since more is being rendered on screen at any given time, it stands to reason framerate may drop the higher FOV is increased. Below that notion is put to the test.

The graph shows FOV has a significant impact on maximum framerate, but no definitive impact on minimum or average framerate. These are generally more important to smooth gameplay, though if you find yourself constantly below or at about 60 frames per second, you may want to leave FOV as is, or lower other settings in combination with increasing FOV, if it's important enough to you.

Conclusion

While not without downside, many will find the option to tweak Metro's FOV to be a worthwhile and appreciable addition; the key is to find a good balance between the downside and upside.