The following tweaks involve editing the User.ini and UT2003.ini files, both found in the x:\UT2003Demo\System directory. Before we make any changes, make sure you've gone through the in-game settings first and made all the necessary changes there. Then make a backup of each of the above files and rename to something like User.Real_ini and UT2003.Real_ini.
Note that settings that are provided in-game are not provided below. These are ".ini file only" tweaks. Use Notepad to edit these files.
In the Player settings section of the in-game settings you'll note that the player name you enter can't exceed 14 characters. Open up User.ini and edit the following section:
Where you can enter as long a name as you like, or use special characters not available within the game. As of the first patch your longer name will now show up on servers without being cut back to 14 characters!
bPlayAnnouncer=True (set to False to turn off the Announcer's play-by-play)
V=ShowSpeechMenu (change to SpeechMenuToggle)
The speech menu key assignment doesn't work properly in the demo. To get it working correctly change the value assigned to the speech menu key to the correct one provided. In this example the V key is used.
The remainder of the User.ini file contains your control settings and key bindings. Almost all can be changed within the game, so don't edit them in the .ini file unless you have some knowledge of the commands used.
This is the heart of the game engine and changes here can improve performance and/or visual quality beyond the options available on the in-game settings screens. At the same time, a wrong entry or typo here can give you a lot of grief, so make sure you backup the file first.
Look for the [section] and the entries below (default settings provided) and make the appropriate changes based on your system capabilities:
CacheSizeMegs=32 (increase to 64 or higher depending on texture settings & Video RAM)
Increasing the cache size can improve overall performance, especially if you have high texture detail settings and 64MB of Video RAM or more.
This setting tells UT how to adjust graphics quality while you play to maintain a desired frame rate. The default is a reasonable 35 frames per second (fps), however, if you want the graphics quality to improve, lower this setting (to 20 for example) so that only when your system is seriously struggling will UT cull objects and reduce image quality to assist. That way you can experience UT in its full graphical glory. Alternatively, you can turn this setting up (to 40 for example) to help slower systems play at a reasonable framerate.
Using the in-game settings under I can't exceed Normal for the Texture and Character detail level on the in-game settings. However, there is a way to set all the texture detail settings to their very highest, and that is to edit the above entries and set them to UltraHigh. In practical terms, I didn't notice a jump in detail (perhaps they didn't include the highest detailed textures in the demo), however, if you want to be assured of the highest image quality, set them to UltraHigh or even High. Note that performance may drop also.
This is a vital setting. It determines your network rate in bytes per second. Tweaking this setting can improve lag problems. For 56K modems, depending on your connection speed, try values between 3000 (3 kb per second) and 5000. As a rule of thumb, try and match your average download speed (in kb/s). For faster connections try higher values but remember that depending on the ping of the server you join, where it's located, who else is playing and how many others, you may still experience some lag regardless, particularly at the start of each round. Also remember that servers have a cap on this rate, so even if you set it very high it may still be limited by the maximum bandwidth the server is set to allocate to each player.
Note that this setting can be changed "on-the-fly" during online play using the Console command Netspeed (see Console Commands below).
UseTripleBuffering=False (set to True)
Triple buffering reduces screen "tearing" (when VSync is off) and improves performance. If you have an older graphics card and/or less than 32MB of video memory then you may experience glitches with this on.
DesiredRefreshRate=60 (set to actual refresh rate)
The Refresh Rate is how fast your monitor will redraw the screen at a certain resolution (referred to as a number value in Hz, eg. 85Hz at 1280x1024). The default is 60, but most monitors can exceed this, so change this number to the actual refresh rate your monitor supports at your chosen resolution.
UseCompressedLightmaps=True (set to False for higher image quality/lower performance)
Using Compressed Lightmaps will improve performance but reduce image quality slightly, particularly noticeable for colors and shadows. Set to False for a slight performance hit but better image quality.
UseVSync=False (Leave at False unless you see or don't like image "tearing")
VSync is the synchronization of your graphics card and monitors' abilities to redraw the screen a number of times each second. When set to False, your fps will improve slightly, however, you may see some image "tearing", in which case switch to True if you don't like the results.
Most of the other important performance-related settings are quite rightly able to be changed within the game using the built in settings menus, and aren't detailed here.