The Best Settings for Kena: Bridge of Spirits - A PC Optimisation Guide

How to get higher framerates in Kena: Bridge of Spirits' PC version

The Best Settings for Kena: Bridge of Spirits - A PC Optimisation Guide

Introduction - An excellent looking Unreal Engine 4 title  

When Kena: Bridge of Spirits was revealed, we fell in love with the game's visuals. This must be the power of next-gen, we thought. Then the game was revealed for PlayStation 4, and those "next-gen" thoughts were quickly put to one side. These visuals result from excellent optimisation and art direction, not the raw horsepower of PlayStation 5. 

While many will say that Kena is too similar to other titles, such as Legend of Zelda, Pikmin, and others, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a PlayStation/PC release, platforms which many of these comparable games aren't available. Beyond that, why should comparisons to great games be considered a bad thing? 

Today we will be looking at the PC version of Kena: Bridge of Spirits and how to get the best performance out of the game's PC version. To do this, we will analyse all graphical options within this Unreal Engine 4 masterpiece, including the game's DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 modes. We will also create an "optimised preset" for the game to deliver most players a considerable performance increase without noticeable graphics downgrades.

We hope that these settings and tips will prove helpful to Kena's PC players, as they raised our framerates from an average of 49.9 FPS at 4K on an RTX 3070 and increased it to 78,5 FPS, a 57% performance increase. Better still, we couldn't notice any reductions in Kena's image quality during gameplay. All we saw was that the game ran smoother. 

Contents

- DX 11 VS DX 12 - Which API is Best?

- 1080p, 1440p, & 4K Performance - AMD VS Nvidia

- Preset Scaling - Low, Medium, High, & Ultra

- Every Setting Tested - What has the largest impact?

- Resolution Scaling - Can upscaling look good? 

- Optimised Settings - The Best PC settings for Visuals and Performance

- Conclusion 

The Best Settings for Kena: Bridge of Spirits - A PC Optimisation Guide  

Full System Specifications

Below are the full specifications of our game testing system, which we built in mid-2020 to meet the needs of future games. Alongside this system, we will be testing various old and new graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, including Nvidia's RTX series and AMD's RX 6000 series.

To help support the website, we have included Amazon affiliate links below should you wish to purchase the same or similar PC parts.   


OC3D Game/GPU Test Rig (Affiliate Links Below)

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Processor with Prescision Boost Overdrive
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula (X570) Motherboard 
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB Series DDR4 3600MHz (2x8GB) Memory
Corsair RM1000i Power Supply
Corsair iCUE H150i RGB Pro XT All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair MP600 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Corsiar Obsidian 500D RGB SE Case
Windows 10 x64


Below we have detailed the reasons behind many of the hardware choices in our test system. 

The Best Settings for Kena: Bridge of Spirits - A PC Optimisation Guide  

CPU & Motherboard - AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Formula


There is a lot to consider when building a new games testing system. Will this system stand up to the test of time. Does this system contain the features that new games will require, and are we choosing the right CPU platform for the job? 

With the next generation of consoles coming with Zen 2 processors and support for PCIe 4.0 storage, it was logical to choose a Ryzen-based test platform. When we built this system, none of Intel's CPU offerings featured PCIe 4.0 support, and we could not build a new test system knowing that it will be outdated as soon as games start to utilise faster storage mediums. 

With ASUS' ROG X570 Crosshair VII Formula, we know that we have a motherboard that has capable VRMs to withstand the punishments that a hardware test system must face. With X570, we also know that we can upgrade to a newer Zen 3/Ryzen 5000 should we ever need to.   

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Memory - Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB Series DDR4 @ 3600MHz


Having chosen a Ryzen processor for our new test systems, we needed capable memory modules which offered clock speed that would allow us to get the most out of our Ryzen processor.

3600MHz memory is the "sweet-spot" for Ryzen 3000 series processors, offering high levels of memory bandwidth while settings AMD's Infinity Fabric speeds to optimal levels. With this speed in mind, we decided to opt for Corsair's Dominator Platinum RGB series of DDR4 modules, as it offers us a great aesthetic, has modules that offer our optimal memory speeds and has relatively tight timings given its clock speeds. 
 

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SSD Storage - Corsair MP600 2TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD


As we mentioned previously, future games are going to require fast NVMe storage. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will make fast SSD storage a baseline feature of new gaming systems.

PCIe 4.0 devices are an obvious choice for those who want SSDs with the most potential throughput, making Corsair's MP600 SSD a great option for us. With 2TB of storage available to it, it offers us more than enough storage for even the largest of PC games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare/Warzone will need a lot more 50GB upgrades before we would even dream of filling this SSD. 

While faster PCIe 4.0 SSDs are available today, this SSD was an excellent choice when we built this system in mid-2020. 


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Case - Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE

When it comes to PC cases we require two things, a large case (to accommodate large GPUs) that's easy to access and looks good on camera. When new graphics cards start to flood in, we need a case that can look good on video. Beyond that, when testing new graphics cards, we need an enclosure with a side panel that's easy to take on and off, speeding up our testing procedures. 

With these requirements in mind, Corsair's Obsidian 500D RGB SE was a perfect fit. It is large enough to accommodate any graphics card without interfering with a front-mounted AIO liquid cooler, and it has a hinged side panel to make component switching fast and straightforward. For our use case, this chassis is perfect. 

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Power Supply - Corsair RM1000i

Your power supply is the most important part of any test system. There's a reason why rule number 1 for PC building is no never cheap out on your power supply. 

Over the years, we have used many test systems which have been powered by Corsair's RMi series of power supplies, and the reasons behind that are simple. They are 80+ Gold rated, making them very power efficient, and we have never had an RMi power supply fail on us. If you read our PSU reviews, you will know that these units are solid performers. 

Corsair Link is also a useful component of Corsair RMi series power supplies, as they allow us to see how much power the unit is using at any given time digitally. 

We have also paired this unit with Corsair's premium braided cables, which gives our test system a more premium look. 

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Cooling - Corsair iCUE H150i RGB Pro XT

While we are keeping our Ryzen 9 3950X at stock clock speeds, we do want to do what we can to keep it cool under load. We also want to do what we can to keep our system as quiet as possible. With this in mind, we have decided to use Corsair's latest 360mm H150i series All-in-One Liquid Cooler.

With the iCUE H150i, we can control the units fans, pump and RGB lighting with the same software as our other system components and keep AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X cool with relative ease. When testing graphics cards, keeping other fan noise to a minimum is a must, as this allows us to properly judge the noise levels of specific graphics cards or other system components.    

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Most Recent Comments

26-09-2021, 11:29:26

Lonestar166
Thank you for this article. So many folks say a game is not optimized, when all they really need to do is check their settings. This article proves that no, you don't need the latest and greatest hardware to enjoy the game.Quote
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