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Tweaks & Special K (FAR)
By Aemony
Includes quick links to Special K (FAR) and other relevant mods.
This guide have updated to reflect the current state of the game and Special K (aka FAR) following the release of the July 15 2021 patch for the game.

For updated information related to Special K (FAR), please see the Special K wiki:

└ Tools/Mods
More mods can be found over on NieR:Modding[] or Nexus Mods.[] Or join the modding community over on the NieR:Modding Discord server.[]

Performance improvements:
Special K (aka FAR)[] has a few noteworthy features for the latest game version on Steam:
  • Enables much faster loading times.
  • Can improve the frame pacing of the game and eliminate micro stuttering.
  • Decrease the global illumination below that of the lowest setting of the game for a major performance improvement.
  • As well as various other minor fixes and features that improves the overall rendering pipeline and latency, such as Nvidia Reflex integration.

Automata LodMod: LOD/AO/shadow improvements
See Havoc's forum thread for this mod.
  • Fixes LOD pop-in.
  • Fixes AO shadows appearing through walls.
  • Improves shadow resolution.

HD Texture Pack
GPUnity's Texture Pack replaces many default low resolution textures with higher resolution versions. See the Special K wiki[] for installation instructions.
For keyboard & mouse users: Input Overhaul Mod (NAIOM)
For now this mod is not compatible with the latest version of the game, but the author is looking into the issue.
  • It allows for a dedicated evade button.
  • Disables double tap evade and pod petting.
  • Improves mouse sensitivity, among other things.

Save Game Editor

Inventory Editor

SteamID64 Editor

Special K (aka FAR)
Special K[] features NieR: Automata specific tweaks and features (collectively known as FAR) created by Kaldaien with contributions from various individuals. For years these tweaks were essential to fix various issues the Steam version of the game suffered from, and many of these features and fixes made their way into the game officially following an update to the game released by Square Enix on July 15, 2021.

With the current state of the game Special K is no longer as essential though it still features improvements to the latest version of the game that some may find beneficial:
  • Enables much faster loading times.
  • Can improve the frame pacing of the game and eliminate micro stuttering.
  • Decrease the global illumination below that of the lowest setting of the game for a major performance improvement.
  • As well as various other minor fixes and features that improves the overall rendering pipeline and latency, such as Nvidia Reflex integration.

For updated information please see the Special K wiki:

├ Global Illumination
Global illumination (indirect light bouncing) is a massive performance hog of the game that both the game and Special K allows changing, though in different ways.

It is currently unknown if there is a direct correlation between official in-game quality levels and those of Special K’s override, however as far as can be determined based on visual impact and performance gains, the in-game quality levels seems to stretch themselves from SK’s Ultra level (assumed to be the same as the in-game High level), to SK’s High level (assumed to be approximately the in-game Medium level), and a separate quality level between that of SK’s High and SK’s Medium that would correlate to the in-game Low quality level. For a visual comparison between quality levels, see Visual Impact[] section over on the Special K wiki page.

The game does not seem to expose lower quality levels of global illumination, such as SK’s Medium, Low, or Off, where the main performance gains can be found for lower-end devices.

So to summarize, In-Game vs. Special K global illumination levels:
  • In-Game High is basically SK Ultra.
  • In-Game Medium loosely translates to SK High.
  • In-Game Low is somewhere between SK High and SK Medium.
  • SK Medium has no direct answer through the in-game setting.
  • SK Low has no direct answer through the in-game setting.
  • SK Off has no direct answer through the in-game setting.

Enable Special K's global illumination override:
  1. The game's own global illumination toggle on the Settings page must be set to High for Special K's override to have an effect.

  2. Press Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + ← Backspace to open the control panel of Special K.

  3. Expand the NieR: Automata > Lighting subsection.

  4. Adjust the Global Illumination Quality for a performance boost.

      Warning: Off is only recommended for below-minimum builds due to the massive visual impact it can cause in certain dark environments (make objects appear completely red)

└ Uninstall outdated versions of FAR
The legacy version of FAR (v is not compatible with the new updated Steam version, and the game will fail to launch if left in the game folder. The files related to FAR needs to be removed manually from the game folder, so please remove them from the game folder. This is most easily done by removing any and all files that is not shown in the below image.

  • This is how a fully cleaned out folder looks like after the game has been launched once:

  • If the game has not been launched yet another executable along with some batch files will also exist in the folder.

  • Only GOTY owners have the Wallpaper folder.

  • Validating game files or uninstalling/reinstalling the game through Steam will not remove third-party files, such as FAR, from the game folder.

These are the files and folders related to older versions of FAR:
Remove any file with dinput8 in its name. These are the main components of FAR.
Holds NieR: Automata tweaks config.
Holds outdated shader config for the outdated custom ReShade of FAR.
Holds non-functioning auto-updater version data.
Holds FAR diagnostics logs.
Any file or folder with ReShade in its name is related to FAR's outdated custom version of ReShade.

The White Screen Issue
The relevance of this information in 2021 after the 2021-07-15 patch is unknown. The information has therefor been archived in a separate Steam guide:

< >
Trunks el come viejas Apr 26 @ 2:16am 
I erased all far folders, the game opens like it is all right, but the text in menus is intelligible, someone has a solution for this?
^6Smithinator1337 Nov 1, 2021 @ 2:13pm 
Hi @Aemony,

I've found an issue that seems to be happening to at least one other person besides myself. I'm not sure where the right place to report the issue is since I still don't have a great grasp on the dichotomy of FAR/Special K so I'll just summarize it here.

The meat of the issue is here:

Basically there are some cutscenes that cause a visual bug that makes the game unplayable, and I suspect it's specifically cutscenes with the "X Years Ago..." subtitle that pops up at the beginning, i.e. the route B forest cutscenes.

It definitely seems to be a FAR issue, since uninstalling it resolves the error. I double checked and I think my FAR version is 0.9.2.

Just passing it along in case it gets fixed and saves other people the trouble I had figuring it out. Thanks!
V!KiNG Sep 11, 2021 @ 8:51pm 
Funny story: my fully updated NieR install will *only* start with the outdated FAR v0.7.0.23 installed. I tried updating SK to the latest version and the game won't start.
Aim Goblin Jul 23, 2021 @ 7:05pm 
I need help, i downloaded new patch and already deleted all folder FAR but my game stuck on blackscreen
Aemony  [author] Jul 20, 2021 @ 9:33am 
@TheFamousChrisA: It's for the best -- what people aren't aware of is that "uninstalling" a game through Steam just removes the game files that the Steam client itself created, so doing that way would leave any third-party file still remaining in the game folder (such as FAR or other mods).
≈✨Hrethgir™✨💖≈ Jul 20, 2021 @ 9:25am 
Thanks for adding information related to deleting specific files for the new version. Not sure if I wanted to reinstall and delete everything so going to try this out after verifying the games integrity.
Aemony  [author] Jul 18, 2021 @ 5:18am 
@fanfan: As I understand it the new LodMod makes the NA Partial LOD Fix obsolete.
fanfan Jul 18, 2021 @ 4:09am 
Thank you for always keeping the guide up to date. In the FAR wiki, it's suggested to use the new Automata LodMod to fix LOD pop-in. Does this new mod make the NA Partial LOD Fix obsolete or should both be used for the best result?
Aemony  [author] Jul 18, 2021 @ 1:27am 
I've added back the Global Illumination section to the guide as we noticed yesterday that SK's override still works provided the game's own global illumination is set to "High", and SK's Medium, Low, and Off options still grants higher performance gains than the game's own "Low" option! 🤣

Cloudy Canadian Jul 17, 2021 @ 8:06am 
Thank you for all the work you have put into all this!