PSA: How to zoom out more with an Nvidia graphics card

There have been numerous threads where people have complained about not being able to zoom out enough with a 1080p monitor. I’ve got a fix working, but it wasn’t completely obvious how to do it, so I thought I’d share step by step instructions. Note that this is specific to Nvidia graphics cards, but you can do the same thing with AMD virtual resolution.

Open Nvidia Control Panel, this should be accessible from an icon called Nvidia Settings on the right hand side of the Windows taskbar.

In 3D Settings, go into Manage 3D settings, and on the Global Settings tab, find the setting “DSR - Factors”. You can enable 1.78x to allow 1440p resolution, and/or 4.00x to allow 2160p resolution.

For the “DSR - Smoothness” setting below that, there is some personal taste involved, but 50% is a good starting point for 1440p, and 20% for 2160p.

Click Apply, and then go to the Display section, Change resolution, and scroll up to the top of the Resolution scroll box, where you will see a section for Dynamic Super Resolution. In there you will now be able to choose 1440p or 2160p. Click Apply after choosing one.

Once you have done that, you can run the game, and you will be able to configure the graphics in-game to 1440p or 2160p, with it being re-sized down to fit your 1080p screen. If you use 1440p, keep enhanced graphics turned off. If you use 2160p, you can turn enhanced graphics on, and you will still be able to zoom out farther than 1080p with enhanced graphics off. The amount of the map that you see on the screen will be exactly the same as if you had a 1440p or 2160p monitor.

As a side effect, the text in the game becomes much smoother and clearer than it is when running at 1080p.

Obviously this does require more graphics card performance compared to just running at 1080p.


Cool! I’ll have to try this sometime. Thanks for the pro tip!

I wonder if it would work for AoE3, too? (More of a curiosity point than anything else for AoE3.)

It won’t necessarily work for other games. Game code really ought to make what is shown on screen independent of resolution. So if you play a FPS or driving game, for example, where you set the field of view, that is what determines your view of the world, and the resolution only changes the quality of that. AoE II DE is a bit weird in not doing this and making the field of view of the map dependent on resolution.

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You can also do it with AMD card

open AMD radeon settings

go to display and turn on virtual super resolution

for example my monitor’s max resolution is 1600x900 but i can use the virtual resolution and increase it to 1920x1080. It works, but looks a bit blurry.

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Yeah with both GPU methods you will lose quality because of very same reason when you zoom out in the game, the pixel gets deprecated, those methods also have a big impact in GPU load, this game doesn’t use too much gpu power, but i wont recommend it for other games, cause you will lose quality and performance.

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I actually think the DSR image looks better at the same zoom. Here are a couple of screenshots from the benchmark, with the DSR 1440 at 50% zoom, which gives the same view as native 1080 at 100% zoom. The frame rate, shown in the top right corner, is not significantly different (Ryzen 5 3600, 1660 Super), but whether you lose performance will depend on the balance between your CPU and GPU performance. If you use the ability to zoom out farther, then yes, that will reduce performance, as the game slows down the more is on screen.

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I agree! FPS games that don’t have a FOV option is frustrating. Like Fallout 4. A FOV setting for RTS, like AoE, would be great

Spirit of the Law has looked into this, and in AoE3 DE, the field of view is independent of the resolution (as it should be):

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With 3D models, that’s easy. You’re talking about sprites and 2D graphics on an orthographic view with AoE 2, which is why resolution affects zoom.

But it already has multiple zoom levels, it surely doesn’t have different resolution sprites for each zoom level, so it’s already re-sizing the assets. Indeed, when you change the zoom level, it doesn’t change in discrete steps, it progressively zooms from one level to the next, which pretty much proves that it is re-sizing the assets rather than switching between different assets.

Not necessarily. It renders everything at the resolution you pick, and then you can zoom IN on that render. The max zoom level to zoom out is probably locked to having everything at its native resolution; the engine can only scale one way. That’s why the UHD graphics pack lowers the maximum zoom level, and you can’t zoom out past a certain level. Notice that even CaptureAge doesn’t let you zoom out anymore; that is probably a feature that took a lot of development time in AoE2:HD.

The zoom is also locked for strategic reasons, I’m sure.

All of this is speculation ofc, but it’s an educated guess.

So, hold on

Is this for a 1080p without UHD?

No way to do this for a UHD one too?

If you use this to set the resolution to 4k, then you can use the enhanced graphics, and you can still zoom out farther than the maximum standard 1080p zoom out. It’s considerably more demanding of graphics card power, though. The following give the same field of view as each other:

1080p, non-enhanced, 100% zoom. Benchmark score 1229.
1440p, non-enhanced, 50% zoom. Benchmark score 1229.
2160p, enhanced, 75% zoom. Benchmark score 1179.

That is with a Ryzen 5 3600 and 1660 Super. Obviously you can zoom out most with the 1440p non-enhanced, next is 2160p enhanced, then 1080p non-enhanced. For my taste and preferred zoom, 1440p non-enhanced is the sweet spot, as it has no performance hit. If you have a more powerful graphics card, you might be able to go to 4k enhanced without any performance hit.

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Wow, this is amazing! Just tried it. I’ve never seen so much AoE at a time :open_mouth: :smiley: Thanks for the info, @breeminator!

PS: For the DSR - Factors, is it okay to keep multiple options checked/enabled? I assume so. I assume it’s just saying, essentially, “Make these options available to choose in apps, etc.,” or similar, but wanted to make sure…


Yes, checking them just makes them available in the list of resolutions. It’s all a little obtuse, particularly because of how the resolutions are hiding away above the top of the scroll box for the list of available resolutions. But it has saved me from having to buy a 1440 screen, as I’m happy with how it looks on a 1080 screen with it set to 1440, whereas I just found the limited max zoom out too annoying at 1080 otherwise.

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Yep, is definitely a little obtuse. Ooh, I should try this for Fallout 4! The field of view (FOV) is awful for that game and trying to edit .CFG files of the game yields iffy and non-permanent results.