Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Graphics Settings

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“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” developed by Eidos-Montréal and released by Square Enix in 2016, is renowned for its intricate gameplay, compelling narrative, and particularly its impressive visual presentation. The game, set in a cyberpunk world of technological marvels and societal tension, leverages advanced graphics to create an immersive experience. This review will delve into the graphics settings of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” exploring the variety of options available, their impact on performance and visual fidelity, and how they contribute to the overall gaming experience.

Overview of Graphics Settings

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” offers a comprehensive suite of graphics settings, catering to a wide range of hardware configurations and player preferences. The game provides both preset configurations and custom settings, allowing players to fine-tune their visual experience. The primary categories of graphics settings include:

  • Resolution and Display Mode: Adjusts the screen resolution and display mode (fullscreen, windowed, borderless).
  • Texture Quality: Controls the resolution of textures used in the game.
  • Shadow Quality: Adjusts the quality and resolution of shadows.
  • Anti-Aliasing: Reduces jagged edges on objects to create smoother visuals.
  • Ambient Occlusion: Enhances the realism of lighting and shadows in contact areas.
  • Depth of Field: Simulates the blurring effect of objects that are out of focus.
  • Volumetric Lighting: Adds realistic light rays and fog effects.
  • Bloom: Enhances bright areas, creating a glow effect.
  • Motion Blur: Simulates the blurring effect of fast-moving objects.
  • Level of Detail (LOD): Adjusts the complexity of models at various distances.
  • Tessellation: Enhances the detail of surfaces by subdividing polygons.
  • Anisotropic Filtering: Improves the clarity of textures viewed at an angle.
  • V-Sync: Synchronizes the frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate to prevent screen tearing.

Preset Configurations

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” provides several preset configurations for players who prefer a quick setup without delving into individual settings. These presets range from “Low” to “Ultra,” each balancing performance and visual fidelity differently.

Low Preset

The “Low” preset is designed for players with older or less powerful hardware. It reduces most graphics settings to their minimum values, sacrificing visual quality for smoother performance. Textures, shadows, and effects are notably less detailed, and the game world can appear more flat and less immersive. However, this setting ensures that the game remains playable on a wider range of systems.

Medium Preset

The “Medium” preset strikes a balance between performance and visual quality. It enhances textures and effects compared to the “Low” preset while maintaining a focus on performance. Shadows and lighting are improved, and the overall visual fidelity is more appealing. This setting is suitable for players with mid-range hardware who seek a compromise between aesthetics and frame rate.

High Preset

The “High” preset offers significantly improved visuals, with higher texture resolutions, more detailed shadows, and enhanced effects. The game world appears richer and more immersive, with better lighting and environmental details. This setting is ideal for players with powerful hardware who want a visually impressive experience without compromising too much on performance.

Ultra Preset

The “Ultra” preset provides the highest level of visual fidelity, pushing the graphics settings to their maximum values. Textures, shadows, lighting, and effects are at their best, creating a stunningly realistic and immersive game world. However, this preset demands substantial hardware power, including a high-end GPU and CPU. Players with top-tier systems will benefit the most from this setting, experiencing the game as the developers intended.

Custom Graphics Settings

For players who want more control over their visual experience, “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” offers the ability to customize individual graphics settings. This flexibility allows for fine-tuning performance and visual quality to suit personal preferences and hardware capabilities.

Resolution and Display Mode

Adjusting the screen resolution has a significant impact on both performance and visual quality. Higher resolutions, such as 1440p and 4K, provide crisper and more detailed images but require more processing power. Display mode options (fullscreen, windowed, borderless) also affect performance, with fullscreen typically offering the best performance due to reduced system overhead.

Texture Quality

Texture quality settings determine the resolution of textures applied to game objects. Higher settings result in more detailed and realistic surfaces but require more VRAM. Players with graphics cards that have ample VRAM can enjoy richer visuals, while those with less VRAM might need to lower this setting to avoid performance issues.

Shadow Quality

Shadows add depth and realism to the game world, but higher quality shadows are computationally expensive. Players can choose from various shadow settings, from simple, low-resolution shadows to complex, high-resolution ones with soft edges. Adjusting shadow quality can have a noticeable impact on frame rates, especially in scenes with many light sources.


Anti-aliasing techniques smooth out jagged edges on objects, improving the overall visual quality. “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” offers several anti-aliasing options, including FXAA, MSAA, and Temporal AA. Each technique varies in effectiveness and performance cost, with MSAA providing better results but at a higher performance cost compared to FXAA.

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient occlusion enhances the realism of lighting by simulating the way light behaves in occluded areas, such as corners and crevices. Options like SSAO and HBAO+ provide different levels of detail and performance impact. Enabling ambient occlusion can greatly enhance the visual depth of scenes but may reduce frame rates on less powerful systems.

Depth of Field

Depth of field effects simulate the blurring of objects that are not in focus, mimicking camera behavior. This setting adds a cinematic quality to the visuals but can be taxing on performance. Players can choose to enable or disable this effect based on their preference for realism versus performance.

Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting creates realistic light rays and fog effects, adding to the atmospheric quality of scenes. This setting can significantly enhance the visual experience, especially in environments with dynamic lighting. However, it is also demanding on hardware, and players with lower-end systems may need to disable it to maintain smooth gameplay.


The bloom effect enhances bright areas, creating a soft glow that can make scenes appear more vibrant and dynamic. While it adds to the visual appeal, excessive bloom can sometimes be distracting. Players can adjust or disable this setting based on their preference for visual style.

Motion Blur

Motion blur simulates the blurring effect of fast-moving objects, adding a sense of speed and dynamism. While it can enhance the realism of movement, some players find it disorienting or prefer the sharper look of disabled motion blur. This setting allows for personal preference adjustment.

Level of Detail (LOD)

The level of detail setting adjusts the complexity of models based on their distance from the player. Higher settings ensure that distant objects retain more detail, creating a more consistent and immersive environment. Lower settings reduce the detail of distant objects to improve performance, which can be beneficial on less powerful systems.


Tessellation enhances the detail of surfaces by subdividing polygons, adding complexity to models and environments. This setting can significantly improve the visual quality of terrains and objects but requires a powerful GPU to handle the additional computations. Players with capable hardware can enjoy more intricate and realistic surfaces.

Anisotropic Filtering

Anisotropic filtering improves the clarity of textures viewed at oblique angles, making surfaces appear more detailed and less blurry. This setting has a relatively low performance cost and can greatly enhance visual quality, making it a recommended setting to enable even on mid-range systems.


V-Sync synchronizes the frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate to prevent screen tearing, a visual artifact that occurs when the frame rate and refresh rate are out of sync. Enabling V-Sync ensures smoother visuals but can introduce input lag and reduce performance. Players can choose to enable or disable V-Sync based on their preference for visual consistency versus responsiveness.

Performance Impact

The extensive graphics settings in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” provide a high level of customization, but they also have varying impacts on performance. Understanding how each setting affects performance is crucial for players looking to optimize their experience.

High-Impact Settings

Settings such as resolution, texture quality, shadow quality, and volumetric lighting have a significant impact on performance. Increasing these settings can greatly enhance visual fidelity but at the cost of lower frame rates. Players with high-end systems can maximize these settings for the best visual experience, while those with mid-range or lower-end hardware may need to find a balance.

Medium-Impact Settings

Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, depth of field, and bloom fall into the medium-impact category. These settings improve visual quality but do not typically have as drastic an effect on performance as the high-impact settings. Adjusting these settings can provide a good balance between visuals and performance.

Low-Impact Settings

Settings like anisotropic filtering, motion blur, and level of detail have a relatively low impact on performance. Enabling or increasing these settings can enhance the visual experience with minimal performance cost, making them good options for players looking to improve visuals without sacrificing frame rates.

Benchmarking and Optimization

Benchmarking tools and optimization techniques are essential for players to find the best settings for their specific hardware. “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” includes a built-in benchmark tool that allows players to test different settings and configurations to see how they affect performance.

Benchmark Tool

The benchmark tool in “Mankind Divided” runs a scripted sequence that simulates typical gameplay scenarios, providing detailed metrics on frame rates, CPU, and GPU usage. This tool is invaluable for players looking to optimize their graphics settings, as it offers a clear picture of how different settings impact performance. By running the benchmark tool with various configurations, players can identify the best balance between visual quality and smooth gameplay for their specific hardware.

Optimization Techniques

In addition to using the benchmark tool, players can employ several optimization techniques to improve performance without significantly sacrificing visual quality. These techniques include:

  1. Updating Drivers: Ensuring that the latest graphics drivers are installed can provide performance improvements and fix potential compatibility issues with the game.
  2. Adjusting In-Game Settings: Fine-tuning individual graphics settings based on the benchmark results can help achieve a smoother experience. For example, lowering texture quality slightly or reducing shadow resolution can have a substantial impact on performance.
  3. Overclocking Hardware: For advanced users, overclocking the GPU or CPU can provide additional performance headroom. However, this should be done cautiously, as it can lead to overheating and hardware instability if not properly managed.
  4. Disabling Background Applications: Closing unnecessary background applications and processes can free up system resources, ensuring more consistent performance during gameplay.
  5. Using Third-Party Tools: Tools like RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS) can be used to cap frame rates and reduce screen tearing without relying on in-game V-Sync, which can introduce input lag.

Visual Fidelity and Immersion

The graphics settings in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” significantly enhance the game’s visual fidelity and overall immersion. By carefully balancing these settings, players can experience the game’s cyberpunk world in its full glory.

Environmental Detail

The high level of detail in the game’s environments is one of its standout features. With high settings enabled, players can appreciate the intricate designs of urban landscapes, cluttered interiors, and futuristic technology. Textures are sharp, and the variety of materials and surfaces are rendered with impressive realism, from gritty, weathered walls to sleek, metallic surfaces.

Lighting and Shadows

The game’s lighting and shadow systems contribute significantly to its atmosphere. Volumetric lighting and dynamic shadows create a realistic and immersive environment, with light sources casting accurate shadows that move and change as the player navigates the world. This is particularly noticeable in areas with complex lighting setups, such as neon-lit streets and industrial interiors.

Character Models and Animations

Character models in “Mankind Divided” are highly detailed, with realistic skin textures, clothing, and accessories. The high-resolution textures and advanced shading techniques enhance the appearance of characters, making them more lifelike. Animations are smooth and fluid, further contributing to the believability of the game world.

Special Effects

Special effects such as explosions, fire, and particle effects are rendered with high fidelity, adding to the game’s cinematic quality. The use of bloom and motion blur enhances fast-paced action sequences, making them visually striking and dynamic.

Accessibility and User Experience

The extensive graphics settings in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” also enhance the user experience by providing accessibility options for a diverse player base. Players with varying hardware capabilities and personal preferences can tailor the game’s visuals to their needs.

Lower-End Systems

Players with lower-end systems are not left behind, as the game’s scalable graphics settings allow them to adjust parameters to achieve playable frame rates. The “Low” preset and customized settings ensure that even older or less powerful hardware can run the game, albeit with reduced visual quality.

High-End Systems

For those with high-end systems, the game offers the opportunity to push graphical boundaries. The “Ultra” preset and customizable high settings allow players to experience the game with cutting-edge visuals, taking full advantage of their powerful hardware to render the world with maximum detail and realism.

Personal Preferences

Individual preferences for visual style and performance are well-catered for. Whether players prefer a cinematic experience with all effects enabled or a more performance-focused setup with minimal distractions, the extensive settings offer the flexibility to achieve the desired balance.

Community and Mod Support

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” has an active modding community that further extends the possibilities for graphics customization. Various mods are available that tweak visual settings, introduce new graphical effects, and optimize performance for different hardware configurations.

Graphics Enhancement Mods

Several mods focus on enhancing the game’s visuals, such as texture packs that replace default textures with higher-resolution versions, reshade presets that adjust color grading and lighting effects, and mods that improve character models and environmental details.

Performance Optimization Mods

Other mods are designed to optimize performance, offering tweaks and adjustments that reduce the computational load without significantly affecting visual quality. These mods are particularly useful for players with mid-range or lower-end systems who want to maintain a smooth gameplay experience.


The graphics settings in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” are a testament to the game’s commitment to delivering a visually stunning and customizable experience. From the variety of preset configurations to the detailed custom settings, players are given the tools to tailor the game’s visuals to their specific preferences and hardware capabilities.

The ability to adjust settings such as resolution, texture quality, shadow quality, and anti-aliasing allows for a high degree of flexibility, ensuring that the game can be enjoyed by a wide range of players. The impact of these settings on performance and visual fidelity is significant, and the inclusion of a benchmark tool further aids in finding the optimal balance.

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” excels in providing a rich, immersive world that is brought to life through its advanced graphics settings. Whether players are exploring the dystopian streets of Prague or infiltrating high-tech facilities, the visual experience is a key component of the game’s appeal. By offering extensive customization options, the game ensures that every player can experience this world in the best possible way for their system and preferences.

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