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Battlefield 1942 Tweak Guide - Essentials

Did Santa leave you a copy of Battlefield 1942 under the Christmas tree this year? If he was kind enough to do so, rip the plastic covers off and get down to business with Koroush "PersianImmortal" Ghazi's in-depth tweaking game to this WWII combat simulation!

| Guides | Posted: Dec 25, 2002 5:00 am

The Essentials

 

 

Each time I write a game guide I stress the same thing first up: Optimize your system. Yes, you've heard it all before. Yes, I sound like your mother. No, I'm not going to stop nagging you about it - just do it and you'll see what a difference it makes. I have seen so many people resolve what they think are unsolvable problems by doing the basics. And I don't just mean updating drivers (which of course you should do). I mean the whole deal...going through your settings and making sure they're all tweaked for maximum performance and stability.

 

How do you do that...how do you know your system is optimized in all aspects? Here's the starting point: my System Optimization Guide for Gamers. I specifically wrote the guide to cover everything from the basics to links for even the most advanced users. From downloading and flashing the right BIOS to a "clean install" of the drivers and stability testing an overclocked machine, to links to tweaking guides for each and every member of the Windows family, including my own one-stop WinXP Tweak Guide.

 

Read it, do it, come back when you're done.

 

Troubleshooting

 

Ok, you're pretty sure your system is completely optimized and yet you're still having problems in BF1942. It's understandable given the game is system intensive and has known issues with some configurations. The first thing to do is make sure you have the latest patch (see Patches section) and you've read the rest of this guide for recommended settings. If the answer to both of these is "I've done that and still no joy" then below are some common problems and solutions which may be useful to you.

 

General System Issues - I mention this again because BF1942's performance is highly influenced by the general system environment. In fact this is the number one cause of stuttering, slow framerates and long load times. Background programs - especially those hidden apps which load on startup - and virus scanners in particular often lead to stuttering every few seconds and pauses in the game. Disable virus scanners completely, along with as many startup programs/background programs/processes as you possibly can. Instructions on how to do this properly are in my WinXP Guide (even non-XP users should look at it, because the information is general enough to apply to other Windows OS).

 

Memory Issues - BF1942 is a memory hog in all respects, so for starters if you have 256MB of RAM or less then expect some performance issues regardless of tweaking unless you set everything quite low, especially sound. For those with 512MB of RAM, you have enough to run the game smoothly, but it's imperative that you optimize your file cache and virtual memory sizes. All of these are covered - surprise, surprise - in my WinXP Guide. Ideally 768MB of RAM or more will see BF1942 smooth out considerably, even without major tweaks.

 

Graphics Issues - For starters, you need to upgrade your drivers to the latest versions available, which is the latest Detonators from nVidia, and the latest Catalysts from ATi, as well as DirectX9.0b (see my System Optimization Guide for more details on how to install these). Older ATi graphics cards in particular are known to have some problems with BF1942 (especially Radeon 8500s), but much of this has been resolved with the latest BF1942 Patch and Catalyst 3.4 drivers onwards. However if you still suffer from some "stuttering" problems, then try going into Control Panel>Display>Settings>Advanced>Troubleshoot and setting the Hardware Acceleration slider back 1 notch from the far right. This may even improve general graphics performance outside of BF1942.

 

For others still having graphics problems such as hard to read/invisible text this can be resolved by firstly updating your drivers and then by turning off forced Anti-Aliasing (found under the Direct3D section of the Display Properties of your graphics card).

 

Remaining graphics problems are resolved using the settings described in this guide, in particular the use of 32-bit color depth to reduce flickering textures, and changes to sound settings (see below) to improve framerates. And of course, if you've installed a refresh rate fix (such as RefreshForce) - which you should under WinXP/2K - then you'll need to perform the first tweak under the Advanced Tweaking section below otherwise BF1942 won't start up at all.

 

Sound Issues - If you suffer from missing/crackling sound and/or poor framerates (despite graphics tweaking) then firstly update your sound card driver (see System Optimization Guide again). In particular if you have an Audigy 1 or Audigy 2, go to the Creative Site and download the latest drivers which improve sound quality as well as fps. Next, if you're still having problems, lower the audio quality as recommended in the In-Game settings section below. In particular turn Hardware Acceleration off to resolve missing sounds and improve overall performance. If necessary, lower the audio quality settings even more if framerates are still poor. If you are still having performance problems with sound at its lowest settings, go to Control Panel>Sounds and Audio Devices>Audio, and click on the Advanced button for your default Sound Playback device. Click on the Performance tab and set Hardware Acceleration slider to the far left. This last fix in particular may help those experiencing 'chipmunk' voice effects, especially with onboard audio.

 

If the above information - and the rest of this guide - has been no help to you and you still suffer problems, then try the following:

 

- Try the EA Games Support Site which has a surprisingly good user interface and allows you to quickly get to some regularly updated information on particular areas of difficulty.

 

- Try a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which covers similar information to this guide, such as Eric Haine's very useful BF1942 FAQ. Whatever you do though, don't tell me it's more useful than my guide or you'll hurt my feelings.

 

Editor Note: No PersianImmortal, we do not want that!

 

- Try getting onto a BF1942 forum, such as the BF1942Files Forums, or the forums on one of the sites listed in the Links section below, where you can discuss these problems with other users with similar configurations.

 

- Finally, and sadly, if you still have problems after all of this, then perhaps it's a hardware fault (see my System Optimization Guide for ways to diagnose this), or maybe you should consider upgrading a component or two. BF1942 is indicative of how much more resource-intensive the new batch of games will be, so perhaps your machine simply doesn't have the strength to run the game at full tilt, or something is damaged.

 

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