Did the new expansion Battle for Azeroth kill your FPS? No problem at all! With this guide, we will make sure your game run as smoothly as before! This guide is a compiled tutorial from several online sources which I collected online. Sources are listed at the bottom of this post.

Update drivers

Upgrade to the latest drivers might seem obvious, but for some reason my Geforce Experience didn’t update them automatically. So I’d recommend to check for updates if you didn’t do it recently. WoW will in most cases inform you when you start the game that the graphics card graphics are not up to date. (Both when the game is launched from the BattleNet client and also as a small warning triangle on the character login menu).

Disable Windows 10 enhancements

Are you on Windows 10? Are you running WoW in windows mode? Great! Go to “this PC”, click “Advanced System Settings”, then go to “Performance Settings” and set “Adjust windows for best performance”. This will remove unnecessary windows enhancements from the window mode.

Optimize Nvidia Control Panel Settings

Using Nvidia? Sweet! Go to Nvidia Control Panel, and navigate to 3D Settings, if you have program settings specified for WoW, delete it, and set to use global settings. Then go to the global settings and set it to the corresponding settings:

Disable Ambient Occlusion.
Anisotrophic filtering set to application controlled
Antialising Mode = Application controlled.
Turn off Antialiasing Transparency.
Maximum prerendered frames = Application controlled 
Power Management Mode = Prefer Maximum Performance
Preferred refresh rate = Highest Available
Shader Cache = On
Texture Filtering – Anisotropic Sample Opt = On
Texture Filtering – Negative LOD Bias = Allow
Texture Filtering – Quality = High Performance
Threaded Optimization = Off

Anti-aliasing

Anti-aliasing is when some guides seem to collide. Some will say disabling the performance a lot while some say it’s not worth it since the graphics will look crappy while no huge changes are done performance wise.  Anti-aliasing can be turned off from System-> Graphics -> Anti-Aliasing -> None. After comparing the max option to the low option, I experienced ZERO changes in terms of the FPS. I’d recommend you to try to change it though, who knows.

Shadows

Shadows have a huge impact on the game performance, but also on the games aesthetics. I’d recommend setting it low enough so the game looks good while still run smoothly. As an example, when I stand in Boralus overlooking the city, setting it on Ultra High will give me 40.1 FPS while Low gives me 55.6 FPS.

Boralus shadows on off comparison

Rendering scale

If you really care about FPS but less about the looks, you can always try to change the rendering scale. Lower settings will look blocky though, so use at your own preference. Default value is 1.0.

/console set renderscale 0.5

Disable streaming

In the battle net client, streaming is checked by default, which will make the client queue some video for you in the background clogging the computer resources. This can be turned off by going to Battle net client, navigating to options -> streaming and uncheck “Enable Streaming”. Then restart the client.

Disable Malicious Addons

Check if any of your addons is causing you issues. If it does, disable them all and try turn them on one by one to find the culprit.

Bonus

I didn’t try this trick yet, but I kinda laughed when I saw this. If you by engineering acquire and equip Gnomish X-ray Specs, it will prevent others players gear to render, and fewer details mean more FPS. I could see this trick actually be utilized in raids and locations where there is a lot of players.

Tested System

System tested (basic):
Nvidia GTX 97.
i5-3570K 3.40GHz
8GB RAM
Windows 10 Pro

Sources

Digital Trends

WoW Forums (Protohealz)

MMO Champion (Kokolums)