ASTC control for game graphics in BlueStacks 5

How will this help?

This detailed guide will help you understand how to use the ASTC control feature on BlueStacks 5.

Most new games use ASTC texture compression to enhance the gameplay experience. This feature will give you a significantly better visual experience and stable frame rates on BlueStacks 5, especially while playing games that utilize ASTC, like Seven Nights II, Huang Yi Qun Xia Biography M and 美好 的 世界 獻上 祝福!Fantastic Days.

This article explains the following:


What is ASTC?

ASTC stands for 'Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression'.

In 3D graphics, 'texture' is the digital representation of the surface of an object. In addition to two-dimensional qualities, such as color and brightness, a texture is also encoded with three-dimensional properties, such as how transparent and reflective the object is. Once a texture has been defined, it can be wrapped around any 3-dimensional object. This is called texture mapping.

Well-defined textures are very important for rendering realistic 3-D images. However, they also require a lot of memory. When playing games, high-resolution textures contribute to better graphics and a more immersive gaming experience. This is accomplished by allocating more graphics processing capability and more memory. 

The rationale for the development of the Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) is to reduce data size, memory footprint, and loading time, yet delivering high visual quality for a given texture and increase the game performance. 

Click here to see the difference in the game visuals for different ASTC settings.


How can I enable ASTC on BlueStacks 5?

1. Open the Settings menu by clicking on the gear icon on the side toolbar.

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2. Click on the 'Graphics' tab. 

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3. Here, locate the section "ASTC textures (Beta)" and click on the dropdown menu available under it. You will see three options in the menu, as shown below.

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  • Disabled: Selecting this option disables the ASTC feature on BlueStacks 5.
  • Software decoding: With software decoding, the CPU performs all the high-resolution texture decompression to compose and render the image.
  • Hardware decoding: With hardware decoding, the GPU is dedicated to rendering the compressed textures leading to a substantial improvement of the gaming experience.

4. Select the ASTC setting that you prefer and click on "Save changes" on the bottom right.

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NOTE: If the GPU/graphics card on your PC does not support hardware ASTC, you will see a warning message when you select Hardware decoding, as shown below. 

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What is the difference in textures for different ASTC settings?

The images below show the difference in the game visuals of State of Survival under different ASTC settings.

With ASTC disabled:

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With Software Decoding:

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With Hardware Decoding:

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With ASTC disabled:

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With Software Decoding:

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With Hardware Decoding:

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Thank you for choosing BlueStacks. We hope you enjoy using it. If you have any further questions, please contact us at support@bluestacks.com. Happy Gaming!

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