Alright, here’s a quick rundown on everything in that picture:
Window Mode: Wether or not you want NMS to run in a window or not (Obvious, I know, but I am listing everything.)
Monitor: If you have multiple monitors, you can choose which one it runs on.
Resolution: Sets the resolution of the game. It you’re okay with 900p or even 720p, go right ahead and change it. Or leave it at native resolution, which I strongly prefer.
V-Sync: Ever see screen tearing while playing? Enable this and that is gone. Minor impact to FPS
Anti-Aliasing (AA): Smoothes out the jagged lines you see in objects both near and far (Mostly seen in far ones.) The higher the setting, the better the smoothing, though I prefer just regular FXAA. Higher you go, the more the FPS impact.
On-Foot FoV and Flight FoV: Crank it up if you want to see more; It will ‘warp’ the screen the more you turn it up. I play at max, hehe.
Motion Blur: How much the screen is blurred when you swing the camera around real fast. I prefer it off, honestly. Minor FPS impact.
HBAO: I dunno why they use HBAO; It’s Ambient Occulusion. Basically puts a shadow at the corner of every model, makes it look MUCH more realistic, and would be best if on. Moderate FPS impact.
Anisoropic Filtering: Not entirely certain how it affects the game, but from what I’ve seen, it works best with AA on. The higher it’s set, the more FPS impact.
Texture Detail: Basically, the resolution that the textures are rendered at. Lower you go, the more blurred the textures will be. Long as you got enough VRAM (4GB) you’ll be good with it maxed. If you got 2GB, best to set to medium.
Shadow Detail: The higher you go, the less pixelated all the shadows will be. This one primarily needs a strong GPU Processor. Might be best to leave at Medium or Low, then tweak as your system allows.
Reflection Quality: Well… It’s how well stuff reflects, like on the water surface. Suspect only a minor FPS drop with it.
Light Shafts: Or God Rays. Stand under a tree with the sun on the other side of it, and you’ll see what it does. Minor-Moderate FPS drop.
Max FPS: Unless you got a 144hz monitor, Leave it at 60. Your monitor probably is a 60hz, which means any FPS over 60 won’t even be rendered by the monitor.
Gamma: Higher you go, the ‘brighter’ everything will be. Go too far and things just get washed out with white. I’d leave it alone.
Terrain Quality: I am SO GLAD we don’t have to edit the .txt file to change this… Ahem. This affects how high of quality the terrain is rendered around you. On low settings, terrain away from you will render in a lower poly quality. If you want scenic screenshots, or want to see the land in the actual polygon quality, turn it up. Relies mostly on GPU Processor and CPU strength.
And there we have it! (: