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Unreal Tournament 2003 Tweak Guide - Advanced Tweaking (Part 3)

After the long wait and all the media hype, Unreal Tournament 2003 is finally here! But now that you've forked out the cash for the latest and greatest in gaming, how can you make sure to get the most out of your fragging experience? To find out, come join Koroush "PersianImmortal" Ghazi as he takes a hard look at not only the in-game settings, but also the secret settings that hide within the game's .ini files. Check out this comprehensive guide for yourself!

| Guides | Posted: Oct 24, 2002 4:00 am

Advanced Tweaking (Continued)

 

 

UT2003.ini (Continued)

 

[ALAudio.ALAudioSubsystem]

 

UseDefaultDriver=True

 

This option determines whether UT2003 uses the game's generic OpenAL sound driver, or an OpenAL driver specific to your sound card. If set to True, the game will use the default driver, however if you check in your Windows\System32 and/or Windows\System directory and find an OpenAL32.dll file, then setting this to False will use your sound card-specific driver. This may resolve any audio problems you are having, and it may improve or degrade performance. In my experience, I found my performance fell setting this to False.

 

CompatibilityMode=False

 

This option may help people who are having sound problems. Set to True and see if it helps, otherwise leave at the default False for best audio quality.

 

Channels=32

 

You can set the number of audio channels used for sound/music in UT2003 manually by editing this number. 32 Channels provides excellent quality audio, however a lower number of channels (such as 16) will improve your overall performance at the cost of audio quality.

 

AmbientVolume=0.300000

 

While you can adjust the Effects and Music volumes in-game, and should do so there, this setting allows you to change the ambient sound level (background noises aside from music or character voices/taunts). Higher values for this setting will increase the level of the ambient sounds in the game.

 

[D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice]

 

If you're using the default renderer (Direct3D and not OpenGL) then changing settings in this area will affect your graphics performance. If you're using OpenGL (See the [Engine.Engine] section above to find out how) then ignore this section as tweaks here have no effect on OpenGL.

 

UsePrecaching=True

 

This preloads graphics textures into memory before you actually see them to reduce in-game jerkiness when textures load "on the fly". If you have a newer video card with more video memory (64MB or more) then set this to True for smoother gameplay. Otherwise set to False for older video cards.

 

UseTripleBuffering=True

 

Set this option to True to reduce screen "tearing" (when VSync is off) and improve overall graphics performance. Using Triple Buffering may cause problems and glitches for those with less graphics memory (32MB or less), so turn off if you're experiencing problems and/or you have an older card.

 

UseHardwareTL=True

 

If your graphics card has onboard Transform and Lighting (T&L) set this to True. Most recent graphics cards do feature T&L, so unless you have an older card don't set this to False for best graphics performance.

 

UseHardwareVS=True

 

Similar to T&L above, this option makes use of the hardware Vertex Shader on modern graphics cards. The most recent graphics cards feature VS, such as the GeForce3 and GeForce4 Ti cards (but not the GeForce4MX). If you have an older card set this to False, otherwise leave at True for best graphics performance.

 

UseCubemaps=True

 

This is a trick used to make some reflective surfaces (like the water puddles in DM-Antalus for example) look like they're actually reflecting what's around them in 3D. Turning it off (set to False) can improve graphics performance without any noticeable drop in image quality. If you have a faster system, set it to True for best visual quality at the cost of minimal fps.

 

DesiredRefreshRate=60

 

If you have VSync enabled (See UseVsync setting below for more info) then your refresh rate will be limited to whatever this setting is. However, to reduce monitor flickering and eyestrain, you should set this value to the highest refresh rate supported by your monitor at the desired resolution. For example, your monitor may support a maximum refresh rate of 85Hz (85fps) at 1280x1024 resolution. This setting is at 60 by default, but you could set it to 85 to make full use of your monitor's capabilities and ease the strain on your eyes.

 

UseCompressedLightmaps=True

 

Using compressed lightmaps can improve your graphics performance quite noticeably, however the colors and shadows in the game (based on these "lightmaps") will not be quite as nice or crisp. If you have a fast system with 128MB of VRAM or more, set this option to False for best image quality and slightly quicker loading times, but at the cost of a few fps.

 

Use16bitTextures=False

 

UT2003 can be run in either 16-bit or 32-bit (See In-game Settings section). While you can determine this in the settings screens, if you choose to run at 16-bit, there's no point in 32-bit quality textures being loaded for each game. Set this option to True to use the lower quality 16-bit textures to match the 16-bit color depth you've chosen. This will improve fps at the cost of visual quality and color banding.

 

UseVSync=False

 

Without going into too much detail, Video Synchronization (VSync) is the synchronization of your graphics card and monitors' abilities to redraw the screen a number of times each second. This is measured in Hz (which is the same as frames per second), and your monitor will have a maximum rating in Hz for each resolution - e.g 1280x1024 at 85Hz. When set to False, your fps will improve slightly, however, you may see some image "tearing" as your monitor and graphics card go slightly out of synchronization when the refresh rate exceeds the monitor's abilities. Turn off VSync (set to False) for best graphics performance, however if the image tearing is annoying then set to True. Setting TripleBuffering to True (See TripleBuffering above) will help reduce any tearing.

 

LevelOfAnisotropy=1

 

This setting controls the amount of Anisotropic Filtering in UT2003. Basically Anisotropic Filtering improves texture and general image quality, however it comes at the cost of some performance, particularly on older (e.g. pre-GeForce4 and Radeon 9500) cards. Setting this to 0 will improve performance on most machines without a noticeable drop in image quality. Of course increasing the value will improve image quality at a variable rate of performance loss based on your hardware.

 

AvoidHitches=False

 

Setting this to True might help those with graphics cards which have 64MB of VRAM and who have chosen high detail settings. It significantly reduces the occurrence of substantial hitches, but can reduce average framerate, so leave this option at default unless you have problems.

 

DecompressTextures=False

 

Just as with compressed lightmaps, compressed textures reduce image quality slightly, however they improve graphics performance dramatically (especially with Precaching set to True) as more textures can be loaded into video memory when compressed. Set this option to True only if you have a very fast machine and a graphics card with 128MB of VRAM or more, and you want the absolute highest quality of textures showing. Setting this option to True will cripple most machines' performance.

 

OverrideDesktopRefreshRate=False

 

If set to true, this setting will allow you to exceed any refresh rate limitations your system may have for UT2003. If you already use a refresh rate fix, changing this setting will have no effect.

 

[OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice]

 

Tweaking the options here will only have an impact if you're using OpenGL rather than Direct3D (See [Engine.Engine] section above to see how). The settings here are essentially the same as those in the Direct3D section above, and setting them to True or False will have the same impact on performance. In general, using OpenGL may improve or decrease your overall graphics performance compared with Direct3D, but it also may help resolve problems you're having with Direct3D (and vice versa).

 

[xInterface.ExtendedConsole]

 

bSpeechMenuUseMouseWheel=True

 

By default, the speech menu can be scrolled through using the mouse wheel (if you have one). However setting this to False will turn off that feature, in case it annoys you.

 

bSpeechMenuUseLetters=False

 

By default the speech menu uses numbers to specify taunts/orders. For example, saying "Affirmative" using the Speech menu requires that you press the speech menu key (V by default), then 1, then 1. Setting this line to True will change the numerical menu items to letters, so that in the above example, you'd have to press V, then W, then W (by default) to say "Affirmative". You can change which keys are assigned to which items in this section as well. For example, LetterKeys[1]=IK_W shows that the "W" key is assigned in place of the "1" key when the letter menus option is enabled. Replace the "W" in the "IK_W" with another letter if you wish to change it.

 

[UnrealGame.UnrealMPGameInfo]

 

bPreloadAllSkins=False

 

This section and setting do not exist by default, so add the section title and setting to the end of your UT2003.ini file. This setting is False by default, but if set to True, all character skins and character models will be preloaded. This can resolve any stuttering or pauses during multiplayer matches when new players (with new skins/models) join. However only set this to true if you have a lot of system RAM (512 MB or more).

 

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