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Update 18.5: Download size heads up + graphical improvements explained!

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11 hours ago, DE_Steve said:


If you haven't heard, Sands of Inaros is coming soon! Check out the Hub here: https://warframe.com/18-5-hub

In order to best prepare you for the Update, we wanted to give a quick heads up on it's approximate download size: 4+ GB.

Why so big?

The short answer: Warframe has received months of technical graphics improvements, putting an extra layer of detail on every single graphical element of the game. When released, players on all platforms should notice a substantial increase in detail across all of Warframe’s game modes, weapons, characters and tilesets.

The long answer (that also makes up the past 2 months of my life):

With Inaros, the sands of old have been swept away from U18 Warframe leaving behind a newer, more vibrant U18.5 Warframe. In many respects, 18.5 is a remastered, more HD version of Warframe with months of technical graphical improvements and artistic relighting of many parts of the game (and more to come in subsequent updates). These changes sweep across lighting, materials, collision, so the 18.5 update is expected to be a larger-than-usual download – again, we're talking 4+ GB. On top of these changes are across the board rendering performance improvements we hope you'll enjoy, keep in mind that your particular hardware may benefit more and benefit less depending on your GPU, resolution and preferred graphics settings. All of these upgrades in 18.5 are cross-platform - yes! PC, PS4, and Xbox One Tenno will see these improvements as they are released.  Here's some results you may notice as a result of these sweeping graphical changes:


  • Lighting textures have been reengineered to reduce square compression artifacts and ugly color banding. You may have seen me point this out on past Devstreams.
  • All PBR materials have been recompressed with a more accurate format, new and subtle details are visible on your PBR'd Warframes, gear and in the environment.
  • Reflection Probes have been built through many areas of the game, grounding PBR materials with more accurate lighting.
  • Character and weapon lighting includes more accurate 'dual specular' lighting which means metallic surfaces are more realistic and fancy looking.
  • HDR rendering has been switched to a compact 32bit format which has improved HDR rendering performance for a wide range of GPUs.
  • Tonemapping has been adjusted to use more of the range of lighting content in the game, images have more detail, particularly richer in the darks.
  • Motion Blur and Depth of Field have been re-engineered to run faster and look better, fast moving and defocused objects no longer appear 'cut out' on their silhouettes.
  • Draw order optimizations have been applied to every object in the game, which improves overall performance, particularly in worst-case scenarios.
  • Atmospheric fog effects are now rendering in a separate lighting pass, allowing richer particle effects at distance without being 'erased' by atmosphere.
  • Particle lighting has been improved to more accurately represent the local lighting environment.
  • Wind force modelling on many particle systems increase realism as various environmental particles now respond to explosive forces and Warframe powers – you've also probably seen us showcase this in our most recent Devstream.
  • Bloom system has been softened and made more seated in the scene. The burnt-out look is replaced with a more subtle and gentle sci-fi glow.
  • Physics collision, performance and stability have all been improved, as a long-awaited upgrade of Warframe PhysX libraries has been completed.

PC Minimum spec remains unchanged. Combined with the optimizations mentioned, our tests are showing 18.5 as a better looking Warframe with 18.0 or better performance on an array of toasters and beastly GPUs!

So there you have it, Tenno. 4+ GB of content explained, and now it's time for me to go back to the team and bring this Update across the finish line to come out on PC soon.




All hail our lord savior Steve !!!!

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12 hours ago, DE_Steve said:



Considering 18.5 is all about HD and improvements, is there any chance we will be getting more appearance tabs? The default amount could be increased by a bit but it'd also be nice if we could purchase additional (possibly universal, rather than frame/weapon specific) appearance tabs with plat.


We've got loads of visual customization now but we're still stuck with 3 tabs. More upgrade tabs would be nice too.

Edited by Naith
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13 hours ago, DE_Steve said:
  • Physics collision, performance and stability have all been improved, as a long-awaited upgrade of Warframe PhysX libraries has been completed.

Is this going to improve rag dolls at all? Maybe so that they don't appear to fly around like they have Just Cause style thrusters attached to them?

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Sounds awesome Steve, cannot wait to see what you guys cooked up with it. I am just wondering if you are planning to use P2P to cut down on that insane level of bandwidth, considering the size and so many consecutive downloads. Here in EU it should be no problem to use the torrent protocol from within the client if you dabbled with the implementation and would likely speed up the process as well, although I hear the US ISP companies are being stupid with that, so distribution there might be funky.

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15 hours ago, DE_Steve said:



It's been a smart move to overhaul Warframe's graphics, since it's now 3 years old and with this upgrade it still might easily compete with current/next gen games.

(If everything goes well. I hope you don't get too much bugs to fix ;)

Really looking forward to playing Warframe Prime aka 18.5 :)

Edited by CruelMaiden
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3 hours ago, (PS4)ArnnFrost said:

So consoles are going to get the graphica updates and the Kavats at the same time PC does? Sweet!

Unfortunately no, he just said that the consoles will be getting it too, when they get updated.  "as they are released".

Consoles aren't jumping to 18.5 tomorrow.

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Do we have an ETA on some weird twitter post or something? other than "this week" which will probably be "aim for thursday, crunch through friday, deploy early saturday". I just hope for once the patch is not deplayed on the seams of their pants. not really complaining here. Just being a bit glib :P

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