Use "Ultra" quality textures with "High" in-game texture setting. Quality: Original "Ultra" textures used. No degradation in quality. Customization: Use as few or as many as your system can handle. Performance: Changes the way textures are loaded, possibly alleviating stutter caused by separation of texture files. Mod features - Version 1.0: Mipmaps generated for all* textures in graphics folder. A little less than 5000. Retains DXT types. Textures merged with current Watch_Dogs patch for easy use. Textures available as separate files for easy modding. Test files available. Works with both "High" and "Ultra" texture settings. Mod description: A common complaint about Watch_Dogs is that selecting "Ultra" textures will cause stuttering, while "High" textures run relatively smooth. The frame-rate hit is most noticeable when driving fast, where textures need to be loaded quickly in and out of VRAM. This can occur on many systems, even those with GPU's like GTX970 whose 3.5GB VRAM exceeds the games' recommendation of 3GB. Watch_Dogs normally uses 2 separate texture files per texture on "Ultra" setting. This mod merges the "Ultra" texture files in to the "High" texture files. Users can include as few or as many of the modded textures as they desire. If a texture is not included, the default texture will be used as normal. The recommended way to use the mod is on "High" texture setting. However, these combined textures could potentially have better performance than the default "Ultra" textures so it is possible to select "Ultra" in game and have a better experience than without the mod. How is this different than just selecting Ultra textures?: Well, first off, you get to choose which textures you want. And secondly, depending on where your system bottlenecks, you could get a performance boost due to the different way of handling textures, What the mod does not do: - Compress textures, alter them or otherwise optimize them compared to the original ones. Quality will be the same as original "Ultra" textures. - Remove all stuttering or lower VRAM usage. This is not a mod directly aimed at improving performance, even if it could indirectly do so. Mod limitations: * A handful of textures are excluded. Mostly those not using DXT compression and a few with naming issues. - Attempting to use all textures will generate a patch file larger than the game allows for. Mod is therefore split into a main file and an add-on pack containing the characters\kits folder. - Textures are loaded into VRAM in a different way than normally. Load could initially appear higher than if "Ultra" textures were selected. This is perfectly normal behavior for a GPU driver however. It will attempt to use its memory as efficiently as possible and as much of it as it can. Be aware that you could potentially experience new VRAM related issues. Installation: The easy way: Download and extract patch.dat & patch.fat to the data_win64 folder in your Watch_Dogs directory, overwriting those already present. Download Main Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1Sd5Isw This file includes around 4000 "Ultra" textures added to the current Watch_Dogs patch. It does not include files from the characters\kits folder. These appear to mostly be files used by unnamed NPCs and excluding them was a quick way to reduce patch file size. Download Watermark Test Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1Sd5PEt This file includes a few road textures and a liquor sign added to the current Watch_Dogs patch. The textures have been modified with a different number for a few of the mipmap levels. They're easy to spot near the Owl Motel. Use them to verify that you're modifying the game correctly or if you're curious about mipmaps. You can also use them to test the effects of anisotropic filtering. The slightly harder way: This involves modding the game manually and creating your own patch file. You can add any desired textures to either vanilla Watch_Dogs or any of the fantastic community-made mods. Download Separate Files - Main Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1dDfpBl All files in graphics folder, except characters\kits folder. Download Separate Files - Add-on Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1dDfjcO Files not included in the main version. At this point, its all the textures in the characters\kits folder. Download Separate Files - All Graphics Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1dDfmW6 All textures in the graphics folder. Its the same as downloading both the main file and the add-on file. Download Separate Files - Watermark Test Version 1.0: 1drv.ms/1dDfwNc This file contains the watermarked test files, if you're curious. In-depth description: Spoiler Mipmaps: Watch_Dogs uses mipmaps when displaying textures. Mipmaps are optimized, lower resolution versions of a texture, used at a distance. A mipmap level is a quarter of the size of the previous higher level. The use of mipmaps is affected by the in-game "Textures" setting, with the levels Medium,High,Ultra. Or the section <TextureResolution> in defaultrenderconfig.xml with the quality ids Low,Medium,High. Anisotropic filtering has a large effect on how mipmaps are displayed. DXT Compression: Watch_Dogs textures use DXT compression. Most textures in the game are DXT1, DXT3 or DXT5. Depending on DXT type, alpha (or transparency) information is handled in different ways. DXT1 uses the fewest number of bits for alpha and consequently file size and memory footprint are affected by DXT type. Using a DXT type that is too high (for example, if the texture is not transparent) will do nothing but needlessly increase image size with no gain in quality. XBT Files: Watch_Dogs stores its textures in XBT files. XBT files are DDS files with a header. There are two types of XBT files; the main texturefile, "_?.xbt", containing a texture and associated lower mipmaps. And a "_?_high.xbt" file containing an additional mipmap level, the highest quality version of the texture, from which the mipmaps in the main texture file were generated. The file-size of the _?.xbt files is a third of the size of its corresponding _high texturefile. The associated _high.xbt file to be used is referenced in the header of the main xbt file. Texture settings: The loading of _high files are controlled by the setting "SkipMipFiles" in defaultrenderconfig.xml. With a setting of 0, _high files will not be loaded. An additional setting, "SkipMips", will allow for the skipping of the highest available mipmap. "Ultra" setting loads mipmap00 from _high.xbt, as well as any additional mipmaps from main texture file. "High" setting loads main.xbt, with highest level being mipmap01. "Medium" setting loads main.xbt, but skips mipmap01. This is not all there is to texture handling within Watch_Dogs, but for the purpose of loading the highest quality mipmap level, this explanation will do. How the mod works: This mod combines the mipmaps from the main texture file with its corresponding _high file. The combined mipmaps are stored in the main texturefile. This allows the modded texture file to be used as a replacement, in effect adding "Ultra" textures to the files loaded when selecting "High" textures in game. There are several ways to do this. I've chosen to generate new mipmaps from the _high texture files, discarding the mipmaps found in the main texture file. It would be possible to combine all the original mipmaps in use by the game instead of generating new ones. The chosen method allows for the potential optimization of the original texture or adding of sharpening filters, but none have been applied so far. If time permits, or significant flaws with the used method are observed, I might choose to combine the original ones instead of generating new ones. Is this a new way to mod textures?: No, not at all. The most well known WD texture mod is made by Maldo. About 2200 texture files are included. And a little over 300 of those have mipmaps added. The rest have just 1 level. With only one mipmap, the textures will shimmer during movement. File size however, is reduced, allowing "Ultra" textures on a 2GB card. Feedback and Suggestions: - Please report any issues with the mod. If any textures misbehave, look strange or aren't loaded properly, please post a screenshot with a visible minimap and whatever information you find relevant. - If you have to choose which textures to include, those with text are recommended. - In-game anisotropic filtering isn't very good. Override it with GPU control panel.