When I have caustics turned on, the viewport shows nice, smooth caustics but when I render, it's made up of a lot of little dots. I know I could crank my render times way up and those dots will even out. But to save time, is there a way to use the caustics algorithm that the viewport is using? I know it won't be as accurate, but it actually looks pretty good for something much faster.
This depends on the render mode. Max render time and samples is used in the live render port. The custom control will create different results, depending on the settings.