733 ratings
Shadow map mod V4 - a solution for terrible performance and input lag!
By I am not a spy... and 1 collaborators
This mod improves fps and reduces input lag by modding certain game settings that are not accessible. Like lowering shadow map, disabling chromatic aberration, and reducing some post processing effects.
Hello everyone.
Since payday 2 caused a lot of performance issues for a variety of people, I have been looking for different ways to improve performance for payday 2. I have tried a variety of fixes mentioned on this forum and even some for other games. But nothing seemed to work. So I decided to open up payday 2 and see what kind of settings they were running. Comparing the PC settings and console settings, they put a lot more pressure on PCs. The biggest thing that stood out was the shadow map. The shadow map they have set for PCs is 4096x4096, which is huge compared to console shadow map of 1024x1024. Reducing the shadow map to 1024x1024 allowed me to use a higher resolution with better performance. And when I limited my frames to 30, the input lag was little to none.

I urge everyone who is experiencing bad performance in Payday 2 to try this out. I am sure that you will see a significant improvement in performance of the game. If this mod did not give you a huge performance boost, you can add me, and we can work something out.

Change log
Version 4 (Current, Compatible with Patch 35)
Version 4 download[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]. (Recommended)
Version 4 (Disabled Anti-Aliasing) download[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].
*Lowers the shadow map from 4096 to 1024
*Removes Chromatic Aberration
*Reduces blooming and lens flare effects.
*Reduces other post processing effects
*Lowered number of particle instances from 50 to 10
*Disabled debug related rendering
*In the world scene, disabled "fog_processor" and "hdr_post_processor" (which lowers the amount of fog and disables HDR)

Version 3
Version 3 download[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].
*Lowers the shadow map from 4096 to 1024
*Removes Chromatic Aberration
*Reduces blooming and lens flare effects.
*Reduces other post processing effects

Version 2
Version 2 download[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].
*Lowers the shadow map from 4096 to 1024
*Removes Chromatic Aberration
*Reduces blooming and lens flare effects.

Version 1
Version 1 download[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].
*Lowers the shadow map from 4096 to 1024
How to install this mod
  • You will need the latest version of Payday Bundle Modder to apply the mod. Download the "pdmod_tool_v1.15_fix1.zip" from here[bitbucket.org].
  • After downloading the tool, extract it to another folder and then run it.
  • You will be presented with this warning, Press OK.

  • In the Options/About section of the tool, press the "Browse..." button and point it to your Payday 2 assets folder. (By default it should be located at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\PAYDAY 2") Like so:

  • Then the tool will say that the game version changed, press OK.
  • Now, you have to download the latest version of the Lower Shadow map mod, available here[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].
  • After downloading the mod, go to the "Apply Mod" tab in the Bundle Modder, and press "Open Mod"
  • Select the downloaded mod and press Open.
  • Now you should see mod's name, author, and the description. Press "Apply Mod"

  • Now your Payday 2 should be patched. Next, launch Payday 2 with fraps (or anything that shows you your frames per second) Like so:
  • According to your frames, you want to limit them to the nearest possible frame rate limiter (or lower). NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT REACH 30 FRAMES IN MAIN MENU, LOWER YOUR RESOLUTION.
    You want to go to Options -> Video -> Advanced -> Frame Rate Limit.
    My fps in my previous screenshot is 37. So I would limit my frames to 30.
    You want to keep your frames above the frame rate limit, if your frames go below the frame rate limit, you will receive mouse lag.
    So, if you receive steady frames above 60, limit your frames to 60, 45, or 30.
    If you receive steady frames above 45, limit your frames to 45 or 30.
    And if you receive steady frames above 30, limit your frames to 30.
    IMPORTANT!!! Make sure to disable vsync, it will decrease your frames!!!
  • And you are done! Mouse lag should be reduced, and frames should be steady. If you still have problems, take a look at the Additional tips section or you can add me on steam.
  • And finally, rate, comment, and favorite this to let others know that this works!
Additional tips
At the resolution of 800x600, I receive steady frames above 60, so I could run the game with my frames limited to 60 with no mouse lag. You want to play around with resolutions until you get steady frames above 30, 45, or 60. You DO NOT want to have Vsync enabled, anywhere in game or in Catalyst/Nvidia control panel. Only use the frame rate limiter in game.

I have not tested performance on any other system, but I would assume that nvidia, and even Intel HD 4000 will receive better fps than with vanilla game. Please provide some feedback, to let everyone know that this works.
Comparison (Vanilla vs Modded)
Main menu

Safehouse spawn

Safehouse outside back

Safehouse out front

Safehouse basement

Safehouse weapons and mask storage
How to remove this mod
If you want to remove this mod, you can go into your Payday 2/assets folder and open up a folder called "asset_backups". This folder should contain these 2 files "3b6c2da5af6f2e42.bundle" and "3b6c2da5af6f2e42_h.bundle". You want to copy them both into your assets folder, overwriting the files. (Or you can verify game cache)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I installed the mod, and I did not see any improvement in FPS or input lag. Did I do something wrong?
A: If the PAYDAY Bundle Modder applied the mod correctly and you're still receiving bad performance, odds are that your payday uses your integrated graphics card instead of your dedicated graphics card. I do not have a solution for this, a few people have reported this problem and said that nothing helped them. I myself only have an integrated card, so I couldn't help you. Sorry.

Q: I downloaded the mod and I cannot use it with the tool. What is wrong?
A: Some web browsers attempt to apply proper file extensions to files. So, it will change the extension of the mod from .pdmod to .zip. The tool will ONLY read .pdmod files. So you should change the extension to .pdmod. Here's a little tutorial on how to change file extensions[www.mediacollege.com].

Q: I downloaded the mod and it's a passworded zip file. What are you hiding?
A: The mod has been passworded because people have been extracting the mod contents rather than using them with the tool. This has been implemented in the Bundle Modding Tool a long time ago and hasn't changed since. With that said, if you wish to extract the files you may search for the password.

Q: A patch was released and the mod doesn't work anymore. What can I do to fix this?
A: It is likely that steam patched the mod files. You can download the latest version of this mod and apply it to your game. It is vital to check whether or not the version of the mod is compatible with the current patch. Some patches could change modded files, so I will need to make them "current patch ready".

Q: Can this mod get me in trouble?
A: I don't see why it would, but in the event that OVERKILL says otherwise I'm sure they will make a public statement of some kind, and remove the guide. This doesn't alter gameplay in any way, it's only client side, and does not affect other players in a party.

Q: At the download page for the pdmod_tool there are multiple downloads, what are they?
A: The downloads on Zwagoth's bitbucket page are some of his projects that he's working on. This includes the bundle bundle tools, map viewer, sound converter, and various other patches. You only need the "pdmod_tool.zip" to apply this mod.

Q: The PAYDAY Bundle Modder is giving me an error. How can I fix it?
A: You can add Zwagoth for assistance.

Q: I cannot download the PAYDAY Bundle Modder. Help me!?!?!
A: You can add Zwagoth for assistance.

Q: Can I download a mod that only removes chromatic aberration?
A: Yes, There is a patch to remove only chromatic aberration. It is availible to download on Zwagoth's bitbucket page at https://bitbucket.org/zabb65/payday-2-modding-information/downloads under the name "payday2_no_chromatic_abberation_patch.zip".

Q: I cannot find my PAYDAY 2 folder. Help?
A: By default your PAYDAY 2 folder should be located at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\PAYDAY 2"

Q: What about disabling Anti-Aliasing? It could improve frames for some.
A: In my research with the engine settings, I have found that disabling Anti-Aliasing does not give a frame boost. Instead it makes the game look bad, with no real performance boost. So I decided to leave this option off.

Q: I have a suggestion that might improve performance even further. How can I suggest it to you?
A: If you have any suggestions, you can post them in the comments. I will look at them and test them to see if they have any significant impact on the performance.

Q: How can I thank you? I threw my money at the screen, but nothing happens.
A: The best thing you can do is to let others know that this mod works. Spread the word.
Zwagoth - For the tools he provided.
I am not a spy... - For the mod and research.
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Natty 4 hours ago 
@MicHaeL of course it works in the latest updates, but I believe that some shadows of the second day in the Hotline Miami DLC are not being affected by this, which results in the drop for some people.
MicHaeL MonStaR 19 hours ago 
Just to "reply" to some earlier comments;

This modification works for me on the latest updates. As for the warning in the update-notes that "any mods will make the game crash" is probably more related to mods outside graphics/performance-changes.

Some people said that the Hotline-heist drops the performance drastically, even with this modification; I'm sorry, but I think either the mod hasn't been applied correctly (or somehow doesn't work), or your computer is really not up to it. Not to be a doosh about it, but I have a "mid-range" system in terms of its hardware and performance, and while I really NEED this mod to not get PD2 its framerate crushed to around 25-30fps, it still runs no differently with the Hotline-heist for me. I can definitely notice some extra "stress" as there also seem to be more smoke/fog/haze-effects present during this heist, but it's still no worse than before this update. So you either need to get this mod working or your system upgraded I'm afraid.
Spades Oct 1 @ 6:26am 
Game randomly crashes during heist. Anyone else gets that or is it just me?
(just checking as new update states all mods will crash the game)
Famai :3 Oct 1 @ 5:35am 
Hotline Miami seriously drops my fps even with this v4 mod. Day 2 is a total fps killer, like 14 fps x_x
Gold Oct 1 @ 4:06am 
Don't listen to people who say that the patch doesn't work as of patch 35 / Hotline DLC.
I did use it on the newer update and it works perfectly.
If it doesn't work on your machine, you must've done something wrong.
Also, this mod doesn't add new shadows, but simply lowers the shadow's quality, so this should work on any update.
Sarsaparilla Fizz Sep 30 @ 4:45pm 
As far as I can see it doesn't work as of patch 36.1. When I load any level including safehouse it just puts me in an endless loading screen. Overkill even has a note in there warning that a lot of mods may not work as of this patch, which leads me to think they must have changed some stuff on the back end. Sucks, my computer is decent, but OK's horrible lightmapping and shadows just KILLS my videocard trying to render it. Only game in my library I can't play at least 30 fps without modding. Guess I'll have to wait till someone can fix, or try Hotline map with 12 fps :S
dx5231 Sep 30 @ 1:16pm 
If I had to guess I'd say it wouldn't because of new heists. But I'm not sure how payday's engine works, or even how this mod works. Hopefully this can be updated quickly, my game lags to hell without this (even with a decent computer, huh), and the new heist just looks so cool ;_;
The Crimson Fucker Sep 30 @ 12:56pm 
Same question as AL2009man , still safe to use with new update/dlc ?
AL2009man Sep 30 @ 12:55pm 
Patch 37 already out, does it works with the recent Hotline Miami (not the base game) crossover DLC?
Knochensack Sep 29 @ 5:15pm 
Hey I am not a spy,
the Modder says that I don't have selectet the correct folder, which has to contain the "bundle_db.blb". So I did a little research and found that this file has been renamed to "all.blb" in some last Update and has to be named back to "bundle_db.blb". Fisrt of all is this correct? Then I looked for this specific file in the game folder and could not find it. In fact there was no .blb file at all. I'm really sure that I downloaded the correct Modder "pdmod_tool_v1.15_fix1" as it were a problem in other cases. I also ran the Steam file check, in case the file is missing or wasn't downloaded correctly, it didn't help. Maybe you have some last idea what could fix this? I really want to try this mod.