Can someone help me determine why my render is coming out in such low quality? I have Cycles up to 500 Render Samples, but I have no idea why it looks like it's only using one.
If you have any number other than 0 on the render layers, then your rendering will be limited to that value.
Solutions (choose one):
Make the number of samples on the render layer, the number of samples you need.
Turn that number back to 0 so that the sampling is controlled by the overall render settings for the scene.
Turn the layer sampling settings to "ignore"