[Guide] Reshade 3.0 for better UWO graphics

ReziliaRezilia Posts: 0Member Beginner
Reshade 3.0 is the evolution of Reshade and SweetFX. It allows gamers to change color, lighting, and other graphical effects in ways that graphics card settings typically do not allow. In UWO, the changes are drastic - taking a dull, plastic looking game and making it extremely vibrant and cartoony, actually fitting the game's models.

The following pictures are good comparisons, although you'll notice details better while in-game. For some reason, imgur decreased the image quality; not my fault, I swear.

Here's a comparison between no and some Ambient Light. This is during a sunset/sunrise period: https://i.imgur.com/Nzzx5Wf.jpg

And here's comparison between no and some SurfaceBlur. It's hard to tell the difference at this size, so you should test it in-game: https://i.imgur.com/5X8PNwj.jpg

Reshade 3.0 can be easily found online. Once you've downloaded it, run the program, find UWO (right-click UWO on your desktop, Find Location, and then look at the computer url/line to find UWO's launch application), and select DirectX 9. Once the files have been placed into the UWO folder (don't worry, this doesn't edit UWO's files), run UWO.

Once in UWO, you'll notice that Reshade takes a bit to load things, which slows down the game's intros. Just spam Esc to get through the intros, and go onto your character. Once you're on your character, you can press Shift+F2 to bring up Reshade - pay attention to the tutorial, then choose on of the methods below.

Note: Every time the character changes a map or teleports, it forces Reshade to reload. This can be a pain if you're spam-changing maps, so turn off all options or move Reshade files out of UWO if you're going to be doing a spamming session. It's also recommended to use Window mode since leaving and going back to the game in Fullscreen forces a reload every time. It's suggested to alter your graphics card settings before using Reshade, since Reshade does not boost actual graphical quality.

Quick Reload

This method selects only the most basic changes to UWO. Despite having a small number of selected options, the visuals aren't that different from Slow Reload, but it's up to you. This method takes only 15 seconds to load each area, while SR can take upwards of 40 seconds.

HDR - very good boldening, but makes wood too red in places like guild building

Slow Reload

This method brings out all the capabilities of Reshade for UWO. Many of these options rely on personal preference, but some are necessary to get the proper effect. Remember that this method will cause you to wait a long time overall to enjoy the game, but after loading initially in a map, Reshade does not lag your game at all.

Adaptive Sharpen - necessary
AmbientLight - optional (drastically improves night/day effects, but sunset/sunrise tint everything orange)
Clarity - necessary
Colorfulness - necessary
Curves - necessary
Deband - completely optional; I've yet to see it make a difference in this game
DepthHaze and DOF settings - I have yet to notice any effect

DPX - optional, recommended (may be too bright for some)
Emphasize - necessary; stops the color settings from being too bold, especially HDR
HDR - optional, recommended (may be too dark for some)
Mode 1/2 - optional, not recommended (makes dark borders, but hurts smoothness)
FXAA - disable
GaussianBlur - optional, recommended (makes textures more realistic)
HighPassSharp - optional, recommended (adds slight sharpening)
LiftGammaGain - optional, enhances light and darkness of colors (requires custom values)

LightDoF - like other DoF settings, haven't noticed a difference
LumaSharpen - necessary
LUT - super advanced, not worth tinkering with
MXAO - optional, I don't think UWO even has AO
SMAA - enabled
SurfaceBlur - optional; not recommended (it's hard enough to see textures as-is)
Technicolor 2 - optional, recommended (colors are far stronger, but not in a bad way)

I hope this helps those of you who believe that UWO looks too bland and want it to look better.


  • ReziliaRezilia Posts: 0Member Beginner
    After a good deal of testing, I've found that my previous statement was incorrect - there's no need to disable UWO at all if you're using quick reload, and you might not even need to if you're using slow.

    This is because all options you're not using can be deleted in .....\Papaya Play\Uncharted Waters Online\reshade-shaders\Shaders. Do NOT delete DrawText.fxh or ReShade.fxh, as these are core files for Reshade to work.

    Once this is done, quick reload takes a split second, being even faster than the transition time between maps. Also, the transition between sea maps is even faster than town map changes.

    Note that if the text in-game is too blurry on slow reload, that's because of SMAA. You can disable SMAA if you want the text to go back to normal.

    Merry Xmas! ^^

  • Bran34Bran34 Posts: 0Member Beginner
    So, I hate to necro this (and with a first post no less) but after setting all this up on the latest version of reshade 4.2, I found that it works quite well!  Also, you can prevent the reloading of shaders entirely with the graphics settings options. 

    In the launcher, under settings and in the "Graphics Details" tab, if you set the "Device Reset at Scene" to Level1 (Invalid) It will no longer reset the graphics device when you change scenes, thus making reshade no longer reload every time to enter a new zone.  

    In all, just using the adaptive sharpening shader and adding some bloom and the ambient lighting can make the game look much more palatable, and thanks to the artstyle the game's graphics have actually aged pretty well.  Since papayaplay haven't deleted this topic, I assume that they don't mind people using reshade, either, which is good, so I'd urge anyone who hasn't at least tried this out to see for yourselves how the game can look.
  • Just tried this, and it indeed works very good. Much recommended.
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