Sleeping Dogs Tweak Guide

Product: Sleeping Dogs
Company: Square Enix, Eidos Interactive
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Eric Amidon
Date: August 22nd, 2012

Page 2 - Presets, Resolution, AA, Motion Blur, SSAO


You probably aren't concerned with using these, but seeing the game at each different preset does give you a strong idea of where to start when you fiddle with the specific options, and of what you're doing when you do.

Low offers a barebones presentation with minimal depth for those especially challenged in the hardware department. A drastic visual difference can be observed when going from Low to Medium, and much more subtle differences when going from Medium to any setting above; at these higher settings, most differences are attributed to higher levels of AA and SSAO.

If you know you need every ounce of performance you can get, you may be able to skip straight to Low, but otherwise read on.


Resolution typically has a major impact on performance at all levels, but this isn't so much the case with Sleeping Dogs. While framerate differences are clear, declines are small at lower resolutions, and major only at high resolution.

Lowering this setting should be a last resort, as it majorly degrades visual fidelity.


Antialiasing in Sleeping Dogs is unfortunately locked in some ways: you get the options of going with FXAA Normal (Normal), FXAA High + MSAA Medium (High), and FXAA High + MSAA High (Extreme), with no way to separate, or to disable it altogether.

In practice, there's little observable visual difference between Normal and High: most of any given scene is smoothed out reasonably, but on close inspection you'll notice it lacking on certain surfaces, like on the bannister in the images above.

The Extreme setting gets rid jaggies on these as well, but of course its name is apt and it comes at an extreme performance cost. For most people, Normal is recommended; going to High or Extreme is only advisable if you're on a monster setup and have the power to burn.

Motion blur

Often a topic of debate amongst PC gamers, motion blur simulates a low framerate to give the impression the world around you is moving as you move. Some love it; some hate it. If you're in the former camp, you can see below how it affects performance.

Results show motion blur has no definitive impact on performance in the benchmark, though this is to be expected given there is little or none present in it. Experiment with it in-game to see if you like the effect, and if it's worth what's likely a relatively small performance hit.


Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) adds significant depth to the visuals of just about any scene courtesy of more realistic shadows, but it can come with a significant performance hit.

Like with AA, SSAO is forced in Sleeping Dogs. This is odd given the known performance hit it incurs, but likely it was done so for artistic reasons. In any case, the visual difference is subtle to the point you'd only notice it subconsciously during gameplay, but is appreciable regardless.

As is typical between different types and levels of AO, the performance contrast here is massive. Given the small visual impact, consider the High setting a luxury, much like Extreme AA.