Shaders are an extra option that provide players with detail such as shadows, water quality and fur rendering applied to the player and most NPCs. The higher the player's graphics quality and device specifications, the better the environments and models will look. Be aware that performance may be affected on older devices.

Alternative Water

This toggle does not affect overall water quality. Players experiencing graphical problems with 2.7's water should toggle this option in an attempt to correct water rendering. There are no options to change water quality as there were in previous versions beyond this one "bug fix" toggle.


Shadows, when enabled, will allow the game to dynamically calculate lighting and shading. All entities and objects will cast shadows. On lower graphics qualities, object shadows are baked in order to increase performance. Entity shadows are very dark, low quality and pixelated. On higher graphics qualities, shadows are more detailed, support some degree of transparency, higher quality and realistic.

The option is available in all quality settings.

Fur Effects

New to version 2.7 and above, most entities including wolves, bears, and cougars have fur rendered on their models. While the effect is more bristly on wolves' models due to problems with shadows, it is a soft blur effect on most other animals.

Fur is only rendered in 'Beautiful' and 'Fantastic' quality settings. It is completely disabled in 'Good' and 'Fast'. Players cannot manually toggle this effect.



  • Shaders were introduced in Amethyst Mountain Deluxe, if not earlier.[citation needed]
    • Both fancy water and shadows were disabled in 2.5.1, perhaps as a result of the introduction of time. It is believed that this occurred due to technical issues, funding limitations or time constraints.
      • They have since been re-enabled; the lighting and shadows cast at midnight are due to moonlight.
  • Shadow quality is more pixelated in lower graphical settings. This is normal.
    • Only the shadow cast by entities in 'Fast' and 'Good' is dynamic. Environmental lightmaps are baked to increase performance. In 'Beautiful' and 'Fantastic', environmental lightmaps are dynamic.
  • Following a teaser picture[1] of the new multiplayer map in which shadows are visible beneath the wolf avatar, Dave has mentioned that it may be possible to re-introduce this feature in the upcoming tablet version provided devices are powerful enough to support shaders[2]. Presumably, those that aren't won't allow the options to be toggled.
  • Fast and Good utilise 'baked' lightmaps. These means shadows are pre-calculated and are not dynamically rendered, which requires less processing power to render. This is ideal for use on older or unsupported devices.
  • Water uses Suimono, a third party asset by Tanuki Digital. In previous builds, WolfQuest used water assets from the professional Unity engine. This likely makes interaction with water (swimming and splash effects) possible and grants the team more potential for their game world's environment.
    • Suimono will sometimes render a splash-with-water-droplets effect on-screen if the camera is submerged in deep water, then surfaces.
    • Unlike the default Unity water planes, Suimono does not appear to reflect the game world or any entities in the vicinity. This appears possible, though it is not known if this will change. As it is now, it only reflects specular light on the surface which renders underwater lighting effects.
  • If standing under a dynamic shadow, animals with soft or "blurred" fur effects will not be affected.[3]
    • As it is a realtime shader, the soft fur effect is not without issues. If a grizzly bear wades through a body of water, it will appear to be floating or walking on water; this happens because the fur shader applied to the 3D model takes priority over the plane of water. It is not really walking on water. For this reason, bears will avoid contact with water and, in most cases, the AI will reroute its path in a way that tells the NPC to turn and (briefly) flee. So far, this has only been observed in bears.[4]


  2. • New Version: Pictures
  3. Comparisons: beta screenshot showcasing the differences between the soft and rough fur shaders in 'Fantastic' quality with shadows enabled. In another example: this grizzly bear is unaffected by the shadow cast by a nearby tree; these examples show why wolves do not use the same shader as most other animals.