A bit more of a problem than the screen tearing issue, the “texture streaming” in Rage for the PC is driving many gamers crazy.

Update 10/08/2011: Steam just released a patch for Rage which new graphics options for “texture cache”, “vsync” and
“anisotropic filter”. Once updated, you will likely no longer need the tips detailed here. See the update notes for this Rage patch.

This problem is noticeable the moment you start the game. You step out into your bleak, desolate world to take in the new sights and suddenly all sorts of stuff starts popping up around the edges of the screen as you look left or right. This is all part of the much heralded ‘megatextures’ in the new id tech 5 engine.

Check out a video of this in action. This poor guy is running a mid-range graphics card with his settings too high.

Bethesda has been active on their own forums trying to help out gamers.

Here is what their Sr. Community Manager had to say about tackling the issue of textures on objects popping up a split-second after they come into view of the camera:

The texture streaming is limited by the performance and number of cores of the main processor (CPU).

The higher the resolution at which the game renders and the higher the anti-aliasing setting, the more texture data is needed to texture the environment. If you do not have a high end CPU you may momentarily see blurrier textures and texture popping when the view changes quickly.

If you have a processor with few cores and you have a high end NVIDIA graphics card then you can try turning on the “GPU Transcode” menu option in the video settings menu in RAGE. By enabling this option a large percentage of the texture calculations are moved to the graphics\ processor (GPU). However, this option is not available on all graphics hardware and may not appear in the menu if your hardware does not support the necessary features.

On processors with few cores without the ability to turn on “GPU Transcode” you can significantly improve the texture streaming performance by adding the following to the RAGE launch options in Steam:

+vt_maxPPF 16

The launch options can be found by right-clicking on RAGE in Steam and selecting “Properties”. Then click on “Set Launch Options” in the dialog that pops up.

Bethesda goes on to say that lowering the AA setting (Anti-Aliasing) will help solve the texture streaming performance issue.

Improving Texture Look

Lastly, there is an additional Steam launch option as a graphics tweak that allows you to force the game to use its higher quality 8192×8192 texture set.

The game swaps in lower quality textures on the fly to increase performance. This puts a stop to that and only uses the good stuff.

Solid Tip: You can enter these 4 lines into a new text file called rageConfig.cfg and put it in the Rage base folder instead of messing with launch options. Simply paste them in the newly created file without the + signs and save it. Note that you can find a ton of other settings to put in this config file by searching the net but pretty much all of these people throwing out settings don’t really know what they are talking about.

If you choose to go looking for other tweaks, know that half the junk out there is literally ignored by the game, and other parts of it may make your experience worse.

+vt_pageimagesizevmtr 8192
+vt_pageImageSizeUnique 8192
+vt_pageImageSizeUniqueDiffuseOnly 8192
+vt_pageImageSizeUniqueDiffuseOnly2 8192

By adding these settings to the RAGE launch options more texture data will stay in video memory which may not only reduce blurry textures and texture popping but will also allow complex scenes to be rendered with more texture detail.

Hope this helps! Maybe now we can actually enjoy the game…