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Unreal Tournament 2003 Tweak Guide

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!

@TweakTown
Published Wed, Oct 23 2002 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:04 PM CST
Manufacturer: none

UT2003 Tweak Guide - Introduction


Introduction



Unreal Tournament 2003...the next generation in first person shooters has arrived. If you've ever played Unreal or Unreal Tournament, you'll know the quality of Unreal Engine-based games. With UT2003 the incredible game engine developed by Epic Games is combined with the innovative gameplay and fast-paced action designed by Digital Extremes. And for a touch of nostalgia, the whole kit and kaboodle is distributed by Atari. This is one game dripping with atmosphere and charged with adrenalin, and it deserves nothing less than a tweak guide from TweakTown to do it real justice!

The original Unreal Tournament released in 1999 was the game which introduced me to online gaming, and more importantly, to the joyous world of tweaking. In my quest to get UT to look and sound as good as possible on my humble rig and to help me get those extra frags online, I dug deep into the .ini files and in-game settings, not to mention the Windows registry and much more. I made many a blunder along the way, but I got there in the end.

Luckily UT 2003 is a lot like the original UT in that the tweaking potential is there if you're willing to look. In an effort to minimize the time you spend mucking around with settings and maximize your gaming time, I've done the work for you. Aside from in-game and .ini tweaks, to round the guide out I've also included links to the No-CD patch, all the console commands, special moves and taunt keybinds.

And so I present you with this guide. Follow it and your UT2003 experience shall be ever-so-sweet.



Note: The guide has been updated for the latest Official UT2003 Patch (version 2225). Make sure to check back regularly for updates and remember the tweaks and settings in this guide refer to the latest official version of UT2003, so if there are any differences between this guide and your UT2003, it's likely you have a different version


UT2003 Tweak Guide - The Essentials


The Essentials

Before undertaking any of the tweaks in this guide, it's important that your system is up to date and optimized. The biggest gains come from having a fast, stable machine with the latest drivers and the best settings. A lot of problems which you may experience with UT2003 (and other games) will also be solved by doing the following.





Note: The following system optimization information and links may be out of date. For the latest version of this information see my System Optimization Guide which is always kept up to date.


Operating System

I highly recommend that if you run Windows XP (Home or Pro), without further ado you jump over to my comprehensive WinXP Tweak Guide and follow it from start to finish. Windows 98/ME users should hit Google and hunt around as unfortunately I don't have a specific guide to refer you to. There are many, many Win98/ME guides around, so take your pick.

BIOS Settings

Make sure you have the right BIOS settings. The most reliable BIOS guide available is Rojak Pot's Definitive BIOS Guide. Note that you can download the whole guide in PDF format if needed. If in doubt, don't mess around with the BIOS, as a bad setting there will cause a lot of grief. Set everything to their defaults unless you know better.

Device Drivers

The latest device drivers are very important. In particular I'm referring to graphics card, motherboard, and sound card drivers, as well as the latest DirectX. I provide links to commonly used hardware below, but if I haven't covered your specific configuration, in the first instance check your manufacturer's website, and if you have no joy there, try Google.

The good folks at Epic/DE have given you a head start with regards to drivers. Pop disk 3 of UT2003 into your CDROM drive and you'll find they've included DirectX8.1 (only necessary for non-WinXP users), and under the D:\Extras\Drivers directory of the CD, the latest Official nVidia Detonators for GeForce cards and recent ATi Catalyst drivers for Radeon cards.

To obtain the very latest graphics card drivers, check the following driver download pages for nVidia and ATi. I strongly recommend the latest drivers, even if you have an older card, because these drivers usually have bug fixes and stability and compatibility improvements if not a performance boost also. The game designers agree with me by saying that you should "...ensure that you are running the latest drivers for your graphics card as Unreal Tournament 2003 stresses the hardware and drivers to a greater extent than most available games and we rely on a number of bug fixes hardware vendors incorporated into their latest drivers." Note however that the 40.41 Detonators are problematic with UT2003. Either use the 30.82 provided on UT2003 disc 3, or better yet try the new 40.72 official drivers. For ATi cards, the designers recommend the 7.76 drivers (Catalyst 2.3) and newer because of specific bug fixes for UT2003.

To obtain the latest drivers for your motherboard, for Intel-based chipset motherboards check the Intel Support Site. For VIA-based chipset motherboards check the VIA Support Site. The VIA 4-in-1s in particular can be a bit confusing, so check our handy VIA Driver Guide/FAQ for all your VIA needs. For nVidia-based chipset motherboards (the nForce), refer to the nVidia drivers page link provided above. Also, make sure to check your motherboard manufacturer's website for any recent BIOS updates and install them as instructed. These may help a great deal, especially if you have an older motherboard with newer components or vice versa.

For sound card drivers, once again the latest is always the best, if only because you can be assured that you have the latest bug fixes and game compatibility incorporated into the drivers. For Creative SoundBlaster sound cards (including the Audigy), check the SoundBlaster Support Site. If you run an Audigy in particular, the game designers highly recommend that you upgrade to the recently released Audigy drivers to get "acceptable 3D sound performance". Apparently older drivers will cause problems. For Turtle Beach sound cards, check the Turtle Beach Support Site.

Updating other device drivers, such as optical mouse drivers and the like is recommended, but if you're running WinXP you'll find there is basic support for most any current peripheral.

Overclocking

Overclocking is of critical relevance to UT2003. If your system is overclocked, even by a small amount, then please be aware that UT2003 (just like the original UT) is very sensitive to it. If you're experiencing bluescreens (BSODs), crashes to desktop, sudden reboots or frozen screens, then I guarantee that in the majority of cases it is due to a system component being overclocked too far. Even if your system is rock steady in every other game/application, UT2003 puts a lot of pressure on the system and this will eventually show in the form of a crash. The solution is to reduce your overclock, or even go back to default. As painful as this might be, it will resolve many problems. A PC which crashes during the middle of a game is a lot more annoying than one running slightly slower than you'd like.

Ok, that's the basics. Thanks for bearing with me so far, but it's important to note that if you've followed the above advice, then you are likely to have a problem-free experience with UT2003 as well as most every other game. Now it's time to get down to some UT2003-specific tweaking.

UT2003 Tweak Guide - Installation and Patches


Installation Problems

It can be disheartening if you can't even get UT2003 to install and run properly in the first instance. In very rare cases, this can actually be because of a faulty CD, or perhaps your CD/DVD ROM is not working properly. Test your disk on another machine or drive if possible. However in most cases, it is due to hardware overclocking or software problems, and the following tips should ensure you have a good clean install of UT2003:

- Don't install UT2003 while your PC is dangerously overclocked. If your machine has to be overclocked, set it to an overclock you know is completely stable and in particular make sure your CPU is not at its absolute limits. Data corruption can often occur from CPU/RAM that is pushed too far and this can ruin your installation.

- Uninstall the UT2003 Demo if you have it installed. Do this through Control Panel>Add/Remove programs. Then manually go into Windows Explorer and delete the UT2003 Demo directory and all its contents.

- Disable any antivirus programs you have running in the background, such as Norton Antivirus. These are notorious for causing install problems. If in doubt, check my WinXP Guide for details on how to disable programs that load at startup like Nortons. In general, the fewer programs that are running in the background while installing (and playing) UT2003, the better.

- If things get so messy that you need to reinstall UT2003, uninstall it through Control Panel>Add/Remove programs first. Then manually delete the program directory. Then use Regcleaner (download link and instructions in my WinXP Guide) to completely clean out your registry. Then reboot and reinstall.

Once you've installed UT2003, I recommend you run defrag. This may or may not take a long time to complete, but it's very necessary if you want smooth gameplay. Again, see my WinXP guide for more details.





UT2003 Official Patch, Bonus Packs and No-CD Patches

Official Patches

The good people at Epic/DE have released the latest Official Patch for UT2003 which will help resolve a number of problems some people are having, and adds several features along the way. The latest official patch is Version 2225 (13MB), and can be downloaded from the Official UT2003 Website, from Epic Games, or from one of the sites I link to on the last page of this guide. The patch has a great many bug fixes, updates and changes (detailed here), and it's highly recommended you install it. You don't need to install any previous patches before installing this patch - it will bring any version of UT2003 up to the latest version 2225. To install the patch correctly, follow these simple steps:

1. Back up your UT2003.ini and User.ini files. You may need to refer back to these for any settings you might lose upon patching to the new version. The latest patch should not overwrite your old settings.

2. If you're using a No-CD patched version of UT2003.exe, delete it as it won't work with the new patch version. Attempting to install a patch over a No-CD patched version of UT will probably result in an error and/or unsuccessful patching. Replace the No-CD version of UT2003.exe with your original UT2003.exe (See No-CD Patches section below).

3. Now simply run the patch .exe file and your UT2003 will be updated to the latest version.

More patches may be released, and rest assured I'll update this guide each time that happens. The original Unreal Tournament received several patches and bonus map packs which enhanced the UT experience a great deal. While there have been some beta patches leaked, I always recommend installing official patches only, as beta patches can be unstable and are unsupported by Epic/DE.

Official Bonus Packs

Two totally free free Official Bonus Packs for UT2003 have been released. The first is from Digital Extremes and contains 6 new maps: 3 Deathmatch, 2 CTF and 1 Bombing Run map. Download it from here. It weighs in at 72MB, and you'll need to have the 2166 patch or above installed to use this bonus pack. I highly recommend you install the 2225 patch as it resolves some .ut2mod installation problems as well.

To install the pack, if you download the UMOD version (which is recommended) all you need to do is extract the .ut2mod file from the downloaded .zip file and double-click on it. It will automatically install in the right directories. If you run a dedicated server, download the ZIP version of the file, and once downloaded extract the contents of the .zip file into your UT2003 directory, making sure the "Use Folder Names" option is ticked in Winzip before extracting.

A second, much larger (149MB) free Official Bonus Pack has been releasd by Epic and contains new maps, new gameplay modes, voices...the works! You can download it from here. Thanks to Digital Extremes and Epic for looking after UT2003 fans like this!

No-CD Patches

Note: As of version 2225, UT2003 no longer has CD protection. That is, you won't need a No-CD crack, as the official patch removes the CD check.

UT2003 is a great game and well worth the money you're asked to put down on it. The game comes with a CD-Key protection system which goes some way to making sure that people who don't pay, don't play. However the one thing that bothers me, and I know I'm not alone, is the need to keep the UT2003 CD in the CDROM drive while playing. While TweakTown certainly does not encourage people to pirate games, we do believe in making life easier for the average gamer.

In that spirit, point your browser to GameCopyWorld and make your way to the UT2003 Section (this direct link to the UT2003 section may not always work, in which case try this one or go through the main site entrance). Find a UT2003 No-CD patched .exe file and download it to an empty directory. To install the No-CD patch correctly, follow these steps:

1. Extract UT2003.exe from the archive you've downloaded using WinZip, WinRar or WinAce

2. Go to the directory where you installed UT2003, and look under the System subdirectory (typically C:\UT2003\System\).

3. Rename the existing UT2003.exe file to something else (e.g UT2003.Real_exe). Don't delete or overwrite it, you'll need to keep it for future upgrades through patches.

4. Copy the No-CD patched UT2003.exe file into the same directory as the existing (but renamed) UT2003.exe.

5. If there are any .reg files or otherwise as part of the No-CD package, don't use them as they're designed for stripped-down pirated versions of UT2003. Only follow steps 1-4 above and everything should work.

Now remove your original CD from the drive and put it safely away. The next time you run UT2003, it won't check the CD drive and you'll load up much faster.

Some things to note are that each No-CD patch will only work with the version indicated. For example, a version 2186 No-CD patch won't work with version 2199 (4th Official Patch) of UT2003. As patches are released for the game, you'll need to delete the existing No-CD patched UT2003.exe file. Then rename the original UT2003.exe back to UT2003.exe. Download and apply the patch as usual, then check back at Gamecopyworld to get the latest No-CD fixed .exe file to match your new program version and go through steps 1-4 above again. Attempting to apply a patch over the No-CD version of UT2003.exe may result in errors and will usually fail.

Also note that the US and Australian versions of UT2003 are the same, and US No-CD patches will work with the Australian release as long as the version number is the same.





UT2003 Tweak Guide - In-Game Settings (Part 1)


In-Game Settings

Most of the important settings can be easily changed within the actual in-game settings screens. To access this area, start up UT2003 and click on the Settings option. You can also access settings during a game by pressing ESC and clicking on the Settings button. There are 11 settings screens. Each screen and its associated settings are covered in detail below:




Video

Resolution - This setting determines how many pixels (the individual dots which make up a computer image) are displayed on the screen. A resolution of 800x600 implies 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high on your monitor. Obviously the higher the resolution (the more pixels), the more detailed and clearer the game image, but it takes more graphics card and CPU power and hence you will see less frames per second (fps). The highest resolution available in this list of resolutions is limited to what your graphics card and monitor are actually capable of rendering (drawing on screen). The resolution alone will have the biggest impact on your framerate, along with the texture settings below.

Color Depth - This determines how many different colors can be displayed on screen. The two options are 16-bit and 32-bit, with 32-bit only shown if your graphics card supports it. 32-bit color looks the nicest, with 16-bit color showing more color "banding" - that is, the gradation between colors is more apparent. 32-bit color also resolves a lot of problems with flickering and missing textures, especially in OpenGL mode. However 32-bit color requires a bit more power than 16-bit, so if you need more fps, switch to 16-bit.

Full Screen - Tick this option to run UT2003 in full screen mode, for the least likelihood of errors or crashes. If unticked, UT2003 will run in a window on your Windows desktop and this may cause problems.

Gamma, Brightness, Contrast - While I could get technical here, for most people there is no real difference between Gamma, Brightness and Contrast. In effect these three settings affect how bright (washed out) or dark your image looks. Set these to taste. I recommend setting the Contrast to 1.00 first. This ensures the crispest image on your monitor. Set the Gamma to 1.00 also to begin with. Next change the brightness until the picture appears to have natural lighting and text is clear. Then go back and tweak the Gamma and finally, if necessary the contrast until your screen is not too washed out and not too dark. It really depends on your monitor's brightness/contrast settings as well. For reference, I have a Brightness of 70 and Contrast of 100 on my monitor, and a Gamma of 1.00, Brightness of 0.77, and Contrast of 1.00.


Details

Texture Detail - This determines how sharp or blurry the in-game textures (the images that form the surface of every object around characters) will look. The options range from Lowest to Highest. The higher the setting, the slower your fps. Settings of High and above ideally require a graphics card with 64MB of VRAM (Video RAM) or more or you'll notice a lot of stuttering as textures are loaded back and forth if your VRAM is less.

World Detail - Options range from Normal to Highest, and in turn determine how many objects from your surrounding are displayed. The higher the setting the richer the landscape, but the higher the computing power required (and hence the lower your fps) especially on levels where you can see further and/or there are more objects to see. If you have an older graphics card in particular, lower this setting to improve your fps.

Character Detail - Similar to the Texture Detail setting above, from Lowest to Highest this determines how blurry or sharp the textures on all the characters look. The higher the setting (and the more characters on the screen) the lower your fps. As with the Texture Detail and World Detail settings, choose High or greater only if you have a graphics card with 64MB of VRAM or more.

Physics Detail - Changes the level of detail for the simulation of physics in the UT2003 gaming world. The higher the setting the more CPU effort required to crunch the numbers to show more realistic effects ranging from the basic "ragdoll" effects through to effects such as water ripples. The settings are Low, Normal and High, and I would recommend that the slower your CPU (i.e the closer to the 1GHz recommended spec), the lower your Physics setting, as this setting can really affect your fps.

Character Shadows - Ticking this option allows each character to cast a shadow on the surroundings. This adds to the realism but also affects your fps. Turning it off will remove the shadows but improve fps.

Dynamic Lighting - Ticking this option allows the various lights in the game to react realistically with objects, shining at different angles off weapons, characters and walls based on the light's position. This makes for great effects but can decrease your framerate, so untick it if you need more fps.

Detail Textures - Adds a level of detail or "grain" to the textures which makes them look much crisper when examined close up. However this can reduce your fps, so untick for more fps if necessary.

Projectors - Projectors covers a range of images projected onto textures, such as shadows from characters and objects (like tree shadows) and decals (see below). The noticeable effects of unticking this option include removal of such shadows and decals, even if the Character Shadow and Decal options are ticked. Only untick Projectors if you really need a few extra fps.

Decals - Decals are the dynamic marks left on surfaces by weapons fire, explosions and the like. Tick this option to improve the realism of the game, but untick to gain more fps, especially on levels where there are lots of players firing lots of weapons.

Coronas - A corona is the glare given off from light sources, such as lamps and shock-combo explosions. Unticking this option will give you slightly more fps, especially if you also have Dynamic Lighting ticked.

Decal Stay - This setting, if the Decal option is ticked (and Projectors is also ticked), will determine how long decals (scorch marks and the like) will remain on surfaces. The three settings are Low, Normal and High, and unless you are a stickler for detail, Normal should be just fine. Setting it to High may negatively impact your fps slightly, especially with lots of players and weapons fire on screen.

Foliage - As the setting name suggests, ticking this option enables grass and other decorative foliage. Unticking it will improve your fps slightly on levels like DM-Antalus, but then again it makes the ground look very bare.

Trilinear - This makes the graphics and colors seem smoother and cleaner, but can reduce performance quite noticeable if you have an older (GeForce2) video card. Most newer systems should notice little if any performance drop from having this enabled. I've noticed that some systems will not start UT2003 or crash to desktop quickly with this setting enabled and everything set on the highest available. Untick it in that case, or lower some of your other settings slightly.

Use Blob Shadows - This makes the shadows (if Projectors is ticked) much less complex and hence easier for your system to draw. Tick this option to reduce shadow quality but gain a few fps on older machines.





UT2003 Tweak Guide - In-Game Settings (Part 2)


In-Game Settings (Continued)




Audio

Music Volume, Announcer Volume, Effects Volume - These independently affect the volume of the background music, the in-game announcer's voice, and general effects like character voices, weapons fire and explosions respectively. Adjust to taste.

Audio Mode - The available options are covered below:

Software 3D Audio - This is the most basic audio in UT2003, and uses your CPU to process the sound. It's actually quite acceptable, and does provide good 3D audio. If you have a sound card or decent onboard audio, you can use that instead to provide better quality audio. However software audio will provide the best framerate performance.

Hardware 3D Audio - If you have a sound card, this option will make use of your sound card's hardware capabilities to extend the audio experience. It sounds better than Software 3D, but will reduce your fps slightly.

Hardware 3D Audio + EAX - Creative Labs, the inventors of EAX (Environmental Audio) have informed me that this option will only work correctly if you have a sound card which supports EAX 3.0. This means only Creative SoundBlaster Audigy and Audigy2 cards. For all other cards it won't do any harm, but you won't get any EAX and it is effectively like selecting Hardware Audio (See above). EAX adds special effects to the sound and gives you advantages such as being able to determine with greater accuracy where people are (true positional), and being underwater or behind walls will sound more realistic (occlusion culling). However with this option enabled, you may notice a slight drop in fps. Note also that you will have to update your drivers (See Device Drivers section above) for the Audigy to get proper 3D sound without problems.

Safe Mode - This option is only provided for those having sound problems with other sound modes. If your sound problems are resolved by switching to Safe Mode, then chances are you need to update your sound card driver, or in the case of some VIA chipsets, install the VIA Latency Patch (See Device Drivers above) to reduce crackling for example.

Note: If you're experiencing new sound problems after installation of the 2186 patch, go to your UT2003\System directory, find the file DefOpenAL32.dll, back it up by renaming it to DefOpenAL32.Real_dll and replace it with this one from the 2166 patch. This should resolve problems for those who had no sound problems prior to the current patch.

Reverse Stereo - Reverses the left and right audio channels. Leave unticked unless you really want your left speaker to put out sounds coming from your character's right and vice versa. Has no effect on performance.

Auto Taunt - Your character will automatically say a random taunt when he kills an opponent or with special moves/events. Usually this annoys other players after a while, so I recommend you leave it unticked. If you need to taunt, bind specific taunts to a key (See In-game settings or User.ini sections below), or use the speech key (default is V). Has no effect on performance.

Low Sound Detail - If ticked this changes the sampling rate of the sound, in effect lowering its quality. This might improve fps, but mainly on older systems and especially older sound cards, although it's not recommended for most people.

Message Beep - If ticked, produces a small beep whenever a text message is sent by any players in the game. Has no effect on performance.

Mature Taunts - If ticked, will allow the more "mature" taunts to be heard in-game. If you are a parent and don't want your kids hearing "Holy Sh*t!" in the middle of a UT2003 match, untick this option, otherwise the taunts are not that shocking for most. Has no effect on performance.

Play Voices - Here you can choose which type of character voices you hear. The options are All which plays everything, No Auto Taunts which only allows taunts which you or opponents manually select to be heard, No Taunts which blocks all taunt voices, and None which removes all character voices, including taunts and screams/grunts.

Announcements - The settings are None, Minimal and All. Some people may get annoyed with the somewhat obvious things the in-game announcer will say, so choose the types of things to block out. Minimal is recommended so you can hear the important announcements like time left in the match and whose flag has been captured. Remember that important announcements will also be shown as text on screen, so setting this option to None won't put you at a disadvantage.

Announcer Voice - Select which announcer you want here. If you haven't installed the Epic Bonus Pack (not the Digital Extremes Bonus Pack) the only choice you'll have is Default. If you have a choice, selecting a different announcer will change the voice used to announce in-game messages, and only then if the Announcements setting above is not set to None.


Player

Name - Select your character name, limited to 16 characters in the box.

Preferred Team - For team games like Team DM or CTF and on evenly balanced servers, this will determine whether you start on blue or red.

Weapon - Select whether your weapon is visible or not in first person view (i.e only to you). Your weapon will be visible to others regardless of this setting. You can also select whether your weapon is held in your Left or Right hand. This makes no difference to your accuracy, only the appearance.

Default FOV - This setting changes your Field Of View, that is how much of your surroundings you can see at once. The default is 85, however you can increase this value, with higher values giving you more of a "fish eye" view of the world. Changing this setting is more for the hardcore players who want the advantage of seeing more of their surroundings and hence reacting faster to people approaching from their sides. This setting can also be changed in-game using the FOV console command (See Console Command section).

Character Skin - You can select your character appearance at the bottom of the screen. None of the characters are faster or more agile than each other, these are simply different "skins" which will represent what you look like to others, and the voice and taunts available to you when you play online. Choose one which reflects your online personality and playing style.



UT2003 Tweak Guide - In-Game Settings (Part 3)


In-Game Settings (Continued)

Network

Connection - Choose the type of internet connection you have available on your machine. Your connection will determine how "laggy" your online experience will be. When you see a list of servers, a setting called Ping will be displayed in the server details. The lower this number, the less delay in milliseconds (ms) there will be between any action you perform in UT2003 (such as firing a gun) and the actual impact it has on the online world. For example, with a ping of 500, it would take 250ms (or a quarter of a second) for a bullet I fire from my gun to actually register as a hit on the target, and another 250ms for me to see that hit. In that time the target may well have moved three inches to the left on the screen. This is known as lag, and is a part of all online action games to some extent.

To fine-tune your network connection speed in UT2003 see the UT2003.ini section below. Optimal connection speed helps reduce lag, particularly for slower connections such as Modems.

UT2003 Global Stats - Just like a real sporting tournament, UT2003 provides a means of recording your game statistics such as overall online ranking, kills, deaths, time spent playing etc. To make sure that only you can record this information for your character, the game has username and password fields which you must fill out to protect your stats. If you tick the Track Stats option, every time you play a game on a server with statistics enabled, relevant statistics will be recorded, and can be viewed by clicking the View Stats button. Note also that some servers require that this option be ticked before you can join, so if you can't seem to connect to a particular server, tick this option and try again.


Controls

This section is fairly self-explanatory. Click on the key assignments you want to change in the Key1 column and type in the new key you wish to use. I cover binding taunts to a key in the Speech and User.ini sections below.





Input

Mouse Sensitivity (In Game) - The higher the number, the more sensitive your character movements will be to mouse movements. This setting only applies to the actual game movements and not moving the mouse around the user interface. There is no "correct" setting...it all depends on your mouse, the surface it's on, your general Windows mouse speed and your preference.

Mouse Sensitivity (Menus) - Just like the above option, the higher the number, the more quickly your cursor will move in response to a mouse movement in the user interface (menus, settings screens, etc.).

Mouse Smoothing Strength - This setting lets you change the extent to which mouse smoothing occurs on your movements (If Mouse Smoothing is ticked). I experimented with various values but didn't notice any difference on my optical mouse. If you are experiencing problems with your mouse smoothness, try varying values up to 1.00.

Mouse Accel. Threshold - This value affects the acceleration of your mouse and can increase or decrease mouse precision. The higher the setting, the more movement of the mouse is needed before mouse acceleration kicks in. That means the higher the value, the more accuracy you'll have with the crosshairs, but your mouse will feel slightly slower for smaller movements.

Dodge Double-Click Time - With dodging enabled (See in-game settings, Game) this setting controls the length of time in seconds during which a double-click of a keyboard movement key is registered as a dodge. That is, with dodging enabled, and at the default setting, if you press A (default move left key) twice within 0.30 seconds then it will register a dodge to the left. Higher values mean more time during which two presses of a key will register as a dodge.

Auto Slope - Ticking this option means that whenever your character runs up (or down) a sloped surface, the view will automatically tilt to be level with the surface.

Invert Mouse - Ticking this setting will mean that pushing your mouse forward will make you look down, and pulling your mouse backward will make your character's view tilt upward.

Mouse Smoothing - As the name implies, ticking this setting will mean your mouse movements will result in a smoother movement of your view on screen. Ticking this option will not affect your framerate (whereas Reduce Mouse Lag will), so tick it unless it gives you problems.

Reduce Mouse Lag - If you have issues with your mouse "lagging" on screen, then ticking this option will help resolve them. Unfortunately it will also reduce your performance to some extent, so if you have no mouse lag problems leave it unticked for a slight increase in fps.

Enable Joystick - Fairly obviously, if you have a joystick connected and wish to use it with UT2003, you'll need to tick this option, otherwise leave it unticked if you're using the default mouse and keyboard configuration.

TouchSense Force Feedback - If your mouse supports Force Feedback then you can tick any or all of the four feedback areas to give you more of a "connected feel" to your environment. Using this option shouldn't affect framerate noticeably, and of course if your hardware doesn't support this feature, untick these options.


Weapons

Weapon Priority - Lists the available weapons in UT2003 in order of priority, from highest priority through to lowest. The priority list only has an effect on gameplay if you have Switch On Pickup ticked (See below). You can change the weapon priority order by clicking on a weapon name, and selecting either the Raise Priority or Lower Priority button to shift it one space up or down on the list. Rearrange the list until you have your favorite weapons near the top and the weaker/less preferred weapons at the bottom. Clicking the Default button will set the priority list back to the default priorities when you first ran the game. When you click on each weapon you also get the same weapon description as is in the manual displayed in the box on the right of screen.

Switch On Pickup - With this setting ticked, as you pick up different weapons during a game, if your current weapon has a lower priority (based on the Weapon Priority list - see above) then it will be replaced by the higher priority weapon as your active weapon. After a while you may decide it is simply easier to switch off this option and manually select the best weapon based on the circumstances.

Swap Fire Mode - Highlighting a weapon in the weapons list and ticking this option will swap that weapon's Primary and Secondary firing modes. For example, if you highlight the shock rifle and tick this option, left-clicking your mouse will shoot an energy ball, right-clicking it will shoot the beam (the opposite of the shock default).


HUD

The HUD is the Heads Up Display, the display around the edges of your screen which show your health, ammunition etc.

Hide HUD - Ticking this option completely removes the HUD. The information displayed on the HUD is very important and at least some of it is best left showing. Use the options below to select which parts you wish to show.

Show Weapon Info - Ticking this will show the current weapon you've equipped and how much ammo it has (bottom right of screen).

Show Personal Info - Ticking this will show your current health (bottom left).

Show Score - Ticking this will show your ranking in the current game (top left).

Show Weapon Bar - Ticking this will show the weapon bar at the bottom of the screen.

Show Portraits - Ticking this will allow the brief display a small portrait of any character who says something important (like an order) during the game in the mid-left of the screen.

Show Enemy Names - This option is ticked by default, so that putting your crosshair on an enemy will show their name beneath the crosshair. Unticking the option removes this name display.

Max Chat Count - The number you enter in this box determines how many in-game chat messages will be displayed at one time on the screen (maximum 8).

Chat Font Size - The number in this box will determine the size of the font (how big the text will be) for in-game chat messages (maximum 8).

Message Font Size - Similar to Chat Font Size, this number will determine how big the in-game messages (other than chat) will be (maximum 4).

HUD Scaling - Determines how big the HUD items are on the screen, starting at 100% (default size) to a minimum of 50% of default size.

HUD Opacity - Determines how "see-thru" the HUD items are, with 0 being invisible.


Game

Screen Flashes - Ticking this option allows your screen to briefly flash as you take damage from weapons. It can be a useful reminder of the "pain" your character is experiencing, but may bother some people. Has no effect on fps, so set to taste.

Weapon Bob - Ticking this option makes your movements seem a bit more realistic - the weapon you're holding will bob up and down slightly as you run. You may want to untick it to maintain a smoother view, again with no impact on fps either way.

Reduce Gore - As the name implies, cuts down on the blood and guts (and partial body pieces!) flying around during a game. Turning gore off is against the UT spirit of unbridled carnage, but ticking this option may improve fps slightly so on older systems the sacrifice might be worth it.

Dodging - Ticking this option will allow you to perform the special dodge moves (See the Special Moves section below). If you double tap a movement key quickly your character performs a rapid "dodge" in that direction. The only reason you may want to untick this option (as it has no effect on fps) is that some people accidentally cause a dodge while rapidly moving around and find it annoying or off-putting.

Auto Aim - This option will help you aim at targets (other characters) better, but if ticked will only work in the offline Single Player matches. It has no effect on fps and will not work in online games.

No Console Death Messages - As the name implies, turns off the reporting of characters' deaths in the console area. Has no impact on performance.

Crosshair - Select a crosshair shape/size from the drop down list provided. You can also alter the color of the crosshair using the red, green and blue sliders, as well as the opacity (how see-thru the crosshair is). These options have no impact on fps and are for taste purposes only. Quite obviously it is recommended you don't hide the crosshair (opacity of 0) for greatest accuracy.


Speech

This screen allows you to assign taunts to specific keys, so you won't have to press several keys to access individual taunts. This can also be done through the User.ini file (See User.ini section), but doing it here is much more convenient and is recommended.


That covers the in-game settings available to everyone and anyone who plays UT2003. The next section covers more advanced tweaking as we get down and dirty in the .ini files.


UT2003 Tweak Guide - Advanced Tweaking


Advanced Tweaking

While the in-game settings for UT2003 cover most of your customisation needs, this wouldn't be a TweakTown tweak guide if it didn't go a lot further than that. As most people know, games based on the Unreal Engine can be tweaked by editing the game settings in the initialisation (.ini) files. UT2003 follows that tradition by having a lot of tweakability - if you know where to look in the ini file and what each tweak actually does.

In this section of the guide we examine the two main .ini files which hold all the major UT2003 settings. These files are UT2003.ini and User.ini. They both sit in the System folder under the main UT2003 directory (typically C:\UT2003\System\). Now before you do anything with these files, firstly make all the changes you want using the in-game settings. The changes you make there will be recorded in both of these files. Next, make a copy of each file, rename them and put them somewhere safe. If you accidentally delete important settings, or forget what the default settings were or otherwise ruin the settings, you can simply copy the old ones back over the changed ones and start again.

Note that the default UT2003.ini settings - the settings which ship with UT2003 the first time it's run - are in a file called Default.ini in the same directory as the other two .ini files. I mention this in case you're already having problems with the UT2003.ini file before backing it up or if you just want to know what the absolute default settings are. Don't delete, rename, move or change the Default.ini file at any point.

Now, having safely backed up these files, you can open them up using Notepad or any other text editor and begin the tweaking journey. I won't cover any settings which are changed using the in-game settings screens. You should stick to changing them within the game. I'll only cover the tweaks which are accessible through the .ini files, and which can't be changed using the in-game options.




User.ini

[DefaultPlayer]

Name=

This setting holds your online character's name. Whether you use the in-game settings or enter a name here, you're limited to 16 characters maximum being displayed on a server. The only point of entering/changing it here rather than in-game is that you can paste in special characters here if you so like.


[Engine Input]

All the key commands assigned under the Controls screen in the in-game settings are recorded here, as well as all the taunts you assign to keys under the Speech screen. You should change most key commands in-game, including the assigning of taunts. However you can assign special key commands in the User.ini file, such as in the example below. To edit a key function, find the key entry you want to change (e.g. the E= line for the "E" key on your keyboard) and insert/edit the code following it to change its function. For example, to assign two weapons to one key, where pressing the same key will switch between the two weapons, use the following command (example shows the command bound to the "E" key):

E=pipedswitchweapon 5 | pipedswitchweapon 7

This now allows you to switch back and forth between the Link Gun and the Flack Cannon by pressing E. Note the character after the 5 above is the "pipe" symbol, and is usually inserted by pressing the SHIFT key and the \ key.

There are other commands you can assign to keys, and a range of taunts. For most of these, you should use the in-game settings menus, but for the sake of completeness, I've included a full list of taunt codes below. Once again, to assign a taunt to a particular key, you'll need to find the key you wish to assign the taunt to and paste the code from the list below in front of the key command (e.g F=speech taunt 22). As you can see from the list below, the same code number may say something different depending on the gender and type of character you have. Here are the taunt codes:


Acknowledge:
speech ack 0 = "Affirmative"
speech ack 1 = "Got it!"
speech ack 2 = "I'm on it!"
speech ack 3 = "Roger"

Friendly Fire:
speech friendlyfire 0 = "I'm On Your Team!"
speech friendlyfire 1 = "I'm On Your Team, Idiot!"
speech friendlyfire 2 = "Same Team!"

Orders:
speech order 0 = "Defend The Base"
speech order 1 = "Hold This Position"
speech order 2 = "Attack"
speech order 3 = "Cover Me"
speech order 4 = "Search and Destroy"

Other:
speech other 0 = "Base is undefended!"
speech other 1 = "Somebody get our flag back!"
speech other 2 = "I've got the flag"
speech other 3 = "I've got your back"
speech other 4 = "I'm hit!"
speech other 5 = "Man down!"
speech other 6 = "I'm all alone here"
speech other 7 = "Negative!"
speech other 8 = "I've got our flag"
speech other 9 = "I'm in position %l"
speech other 10 = "I'm going in!"
speech other 11 = "Area is secure"
speech other 12 = "Enemy flag carrier is %l"
speech other 13 = "I need some backup"
speech other 14 = "Incoming!"
speech other 15 = "Enemy ball carrier is %l"
speech other 16 = "Alpha secure!"
speech other 17 = "Bravo secure!"
speech other 18 = "Attack Alpha"
speech other 19 = "Attack Bravo"
speech other 20 = "The base is under attack %l"
speech other 21 = "We're being overrun %l!"
speech other 22 = "Under heavy attack %l"
speech other 23 = "Defend point Alpha"
speech other 24 = "Defend point Bravo"
speech other 25 = "Get The Ball"
speech other 26 = "I'm on defense"
speech other 27 = "I'm on offense"
speech other 28 = "Take point Alpha"
speech other 29 = "Take point Bravo"
speech other 30 = "Medic"
speech other 31 = "Nice"
speech other 32 = "I can't feel my legs"
speech other 33 = "Nice Shot"

Generic Taunts:
speech taunt 0 ="And Stay Down"
speech taunt 1 ="Anyone Else Want Some?"
speech taunt 2 ="Boom!"
speech taunt 3 ="BURN Baby"
speech taunt 4 ="Die Bitch"
speech taunt 5 ="Eat THAT"
speech taunt 6 ="You Fight Like Nali"
speech taunt 7 ="Is That Your Best?"
speech taunt 8 ="Kiss My Ass"
speech taunt 9 ="Loser"
speech taunt 10 ="MY House"
speech taunt 11 ="Next!"
speech taunt 12 ="Oh YEAH!"
speech taunt 13 ="Ownage"
speech taunt 14 ="Seeya"
speech taunt 15 ="That HAD To Hurt"
speech taunt 16 ="Useless"
speech taunt 17 ="You Play Like A Girl"
speech taunt 18 ="You Be Dead"
speech taunt 19 ="You Like That?"
speech taunt 20 ="You Whore"

Alien Female Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Blow me"
speech taunt 22 = "Camper!"
speech taunt 23 = "Douche bag!"
speech taunt 24 = "Spammer!"
speech taunt 25 = "Sucker"
speech taunt 26 = "Talk to the hand"
speech taunt 27 = "You dick!"

Alien Male Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Blow me"
speech taunt 22 = "Camper!"
speech taunt 23 = "Douche bag!"
speech taunt 24 = "Spammer!"
speech taunt 25 = "Sucker"
speech taunt 26 = "Talk to the hand"
speech taunt 27 = "You dick!"

Juggernaut Female Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Life Is Pain, Get Over It"
speech taunt 22 = "Right Between The Eyes"
speech taunt 23 = "Tag 'Em And Bag 'Em"
speech taunt 24 = "That Was Nasty"
speech taunt 25 = "You Bleed Better Than You Shoot"
speech taunt 26 = "You Suck"
speech taunt 27 = "Lick me"
speech other 32 = "I Can't Feel My Legs"
speech other 33 = "Nice Shot"

Juggernaut Male Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Life Is Pain, Get Over It"
speech taunt 22 = "Right Between The Eyes"
speech taunt 23 = "Tag 'Em And Bag 'Em"
speech taunt 24 = "That Was Nasty"
speech taunt 25 = "You Bleed Better Than You Shoot"
speech taunt 26 = "You Suck"
speech other 32 = "I Can't Feel My Legs"
speech other 33 = "Nice Shot"

Mercenary Female Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Duck Faster Next Time"
speech taunt 22 = "Hold Still Dammit"
speech taunt 23 = "Holy Shit"
speech taunt 24 = "Just Hold Still And I'll Make It Quick"
speech taunt 25 = "Kill Em All"
speech taunt 26 = "Nailed Him"
speech taunt 27 = "Not Even Close"
speech taunt 28 = "Step Aside"
speech taunt 29 = "Suck On This"
speech taunt 30 = "Try Turning The Safety Off"
speech other 32 = "Not Bad"

Mercenary Male Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Duck Faster Next Time"
speech taunt 22 = "Hold Still Dammit"
speech taunt 23 = "Holy Shit"
speech taunt 24 = "Just Hold Still And I'll Make It Quick"
speech taunt 25 = "Kill Em All"
speech taunt 26 = "Nailed Him"
speech taunt 27 = "Not Even Close"
speech taunt 28 = "Step Aside"
speech taunt 29 = "Suck On This"
speech taunt 30 = "Try Turning The Safety Off"
speech taunt 31 = "You Die Too Easily"
speech other 32 = "Not Bad"

Night Female Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Fresh Meat"
speech taunt 22 = "I Must Break You"
speech taunt 23 = "I'll Swallow Your Soul"
speech taunt 24 = "Lost Is Your Soul"
speech taunt 25 = "Meet Your Executioner"
speech taunt 26 = "My Name Is Death"
speech taunt 27 = "No Tears Please.."
speech taunt 28 = "Pain Will Purify You"

Night Male Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Fresh Meat"
speech taunt 22 = "I Must Break You"
speech taunt 23 = "I'll Swallow Your Soul"
speech taunt 24 = "Lost Is Your Soul"
speech taunt 25 = "Meet Your Executioner"
speech taunt 26 = "My Name Is Death"
speech taunt 27 = "No Tears Please..."
speech taunt 28 = "Pain Will Purify You"

Robot Voice:
speech taunt 21 = "Die Human"
speech taunt 22 = "Faster Stronger Better"
speech taunt 23 = "Fear Me"
speech taunt 24 = "Flesh Is A Design Flaw"
speech taunt 25 = "My Victory Your Death"
speech taunt 26 = "Not Unacceptable"
speech taunt 27 = "Rogue Process Terminated"
speech taunt 28 = "Witness My Perfection"
speech taunt 29 = "You Die Too Easily"
speech taunt 30 = "You Make Easy Prey"
speech taunt 31 = "Your Programming Is Inferior"
speech other 32 = "Rerouting Critical Systems"
speech other 33 = "You Adapt Well"


UT2003 Tweak Guide - Advanced Tweaking (Part 2)


Advanced Tweaking (Continued)




User.ini (Continued)

[Engine.PlayerInput]

MouseSamplingTime=+0.008333

This setting effects how fast/slowly your mouse moves by taking samples at more/less frequent intervals (in seconds). As this number increases from the default the slower your mouse will seem as samples of your mouse movement are taken less often. Experiment with this setting if the default sampling time doesn't seem to help your mouse speed.


[UnrealGame.UnrealPawn]

bPlayOwnFootSteps=True

If weapon bob is set to false, setting this option to False will also turn off the sound of your own footsteps.


[UnrealGame.UnrealPlayer]

CustomizedAnnouncerPack=

This setting allows you to use a custom Announcer sound pack. To do so, make a new announcer voice pack (with the same sound names as the original AnnounceMain.uax), named Newpackname.uax and put it in your UT2003\Sounds directory. Then enter set the above entry to =Newpackname (without the .uax).


[UnrealGame.TeamVoicePack]

bShowMessageText=false

This setting allows you to select whether you want the text of non-taunt voice messages to be shown on screen. Setting this entry to false will turn off such message text. Both the section title and entry don't exist in User.ini by default, and will need to be added to allow this setting to work.


That covers most of the major User.ini tweaks. While looking around the file you'll notice a lot of commands that can be adjusted in-game. Again, I would recommend that you change these in-game where possible to minimise the possibility of errors and hence problems down the track. Next up, we look at the UT2003.ini file.




UT2003.ini

[URL]

LocalMap=NvidiaLogo.ut2

If you don't like the nVidia Logo showing up as you load UT2003, you can replace it with a variety of different logos. You can preview a range of them here. Download the file you want, unzip it and place the .ut2 file in your Maps folder (typically C:\UT2003\Maps\) then edit the above setting to replace NvidiaLogo.ut2 with the exact filename of the new logo you'd like to use.


[Engine.Engine]

RenderDevice=D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice

By default, UT2003 will run using the Direct3D API. This is fine for most people, however, you may be able to resolve some problems on particular hardware/software combinations - and maybe get more frames per second - by running UT2003 in OpenGL, another API. To do that, place a ; in front of this line in the .ini file. Then, go down a few lines to:

;RenderDevice=OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice

And simply remove the ; in front of this line. Next time you start UT2003, even though it may not look very different, it will be running in OpenGL. See which you prefer for stability, looks and performance.


[Engine.GameEngine]

CacheSizeMegs=32

This value represents the amount of System RAM set aside for holding UT2003 game information. The more of the game is held in RAM, the smoother your fps due to fewer loading pauses while playing. The Cache size can safely be increased to 64 for all systems. As a general rule, subtract around 200MB from your total RAM (for system usage) and set this cache to the remainder. E.g. for 512MB of RAM set the cache to =300. If you experience any problems lower the Cache size. And once again note that this tweak will not dramatically increase fps - it is designed to reduce loading pauses in-game.

UseSound=True

If you're desperate to improve your framerate, and you don't mind going without any sound whatsoever, change this setting to =False and you might help your struggling system improve. Of course it's not recommended for all but the most ancient machines.


[WinDrv.WindowsClient]

Brightness=0.770000
Contrast=1.000000
Gamma=1.010000

Although they can all be adjusted in-game (and should be), you can fine tune these setting here.

MinDesiredFrameRate=35.000000

UT2003 will attempt to maintain a framerate approximately equalling this number as a minimum. That is, if your system starts to drop its fps below this number, perhaps due to the level of detail on the screen or complexity of textures, UT2003 will do what it can to reduce the less noticeable eye-candy to improve fps again. The higher this number, the more UT2003 will dynamically adjust details and complexity to maintain at least the framerate you indicate in this setting. If you don't want the game to do that (perhaps you have a fast machine), and want the eye-candy to stay at its absolute best, lower this number.

TextureDetailInterface=Normal
TextureDetailTerrain=UltraHigh
TextureDetailWeaponSkin=UltraHigh
TextureDetailPlayerSkin=UltraHigh
TextureDetailWorld=UltraHigh
TextureDetailRenderMap=UltraHigh
TextureDetailLightmap=UltraHigh

These settings control the level of detail in the textures, and can be altered through the in-game settings to a certain extent. However, as you can see by the titles, they are quite specific. For example, you can change the Weapon textures separately here, or the Lightmap detail level. As with the recommendations in the in-game settings section, don't set these detail levels to High or UltraHigh unless you have a very powerful CPU/Graphics Card. Even then, the higher the texture detail for each of these, the lower your fps will be.

MouseYMultiplier=0.000000
MouseXMultiplier=0.000000

These settings control how "magnified" your mouse movements are. The MouseYMultiplier setting controls your mouse's up and down movements, the MouseXMultiplier setting controls the left and right ones. The larger the number you enter for these, the more exaggerated will be the translation of your physical mouse movements into in-game and in-menu movements on screen. Only change these settings if you cannot improve your mouse responsiveness with the in-game mouse settings.


[Engine.Player]

ConfiguredInternetSpeed=10000

Although you can choose broadly what your internet connection speed is in the Network section of the in-game settings, this setting allows you to control more accurately the netspeed (or bit rate) of your connection. For example, a setting of 5000 translates roughly into a 5kb per second rate. For 56K modemers, a setting around 2800 is best. For Cable/ADSL, the default 10000 will be just fine, and for T1/LAN play, 20000 is best.

The best way to tweak this setting however is by using the STAT NET and NETSPEED Console commands together during an online game on your favorite server. See the Console Commands section for more information.


UT2003 Tweak Guide - Advanced Tweaking (Part 3)


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).


UT2003 Tweak Guide - Console Commands & Special Moves


Console Commands

To bring up the UT2003 console, press the ~ (tilde) key. To close the console press the ~ key again. You can type a range of commands in the console to perform tweaks, change settings or look at information. I have included a full list of console commands below, with a brief description of what each does. Note that many of these commands can be changed using the in-game settings screens and also in the .ini files.

Note that as of patch version 2166 Demo recording/playback has been enabled in UT2003, using the console commands shown below. Older versions do not allow demos.





Player / Bot Commands

ADDBOTS [number] - Adds the specified number of bots
BEHINDVIEW 1 - Changes to third person view
BEHINDVIEW 0 - Changes to first person view
DISCONNECT - Disconnect from current server
EXIT - Quits the game
KILLBOTS - Gets rid of all bots
OPEN [IP address] - Connect to a specific server IP
OPEN [mapname] - Opens specified map
QUIT - Quits the game
RECONNECT - Reconnect to the current server
SWITCHLEVEL [mapname] - Switches to the specified level
SWITCHTEAM - Switch your player's team
SUICIDE - Kills yourself
TEAMSAY [text] - Displays your message in team chat
PLAYERSONLY - Freezes \ pauses the bots
SAY [text] - Displays your message in global chat
SETNAME [playername] - Changes your player name


Statistics

MEMSTAT - Displays Windows memory usage
STAT ALL - Shows all stats
STAT AUDIO - Shows audio stats
STAT FPS - Displays your frames per second
STAT GAME - Displays game stats
STAT HARDWARE - Shows hardware stats
STAT NET - Shows network game play stats
STAT NONE - Turns off all stats
STAT RENDER - Displays rendering statistics


Demo Commands

DEMOPLAY [demoname] - Plays the specified demo
DEMOREC [demoname] - Records a demo using the demoname you type
STOPDEMO - Stop recording a demo


Admin Commands

ADMIN SWITCHLEVEL [mapname?game=gametype?mutator=mutator] - Changes the current level to the specified level, game type and mutators
ADMIN [command] - Performs the specified command
ADMINLOGIN [password] - Logs the admininstrator onto the server using the specified password
ADMINLOGOUT - Logs the administrator off the server
ADMIN SET UWeb.Webserver bEnabled True - Enables the remote admin webserver (after level change)
ADMIN SET UWeb.Webserver bEnabled False - Disables the remote admin webserver (after level change)
KICK [playername] - Kicks the specified player from the server
KICKBAN [playername] - Kicks and bans the specified player from the server using their IP address. To unban the player, edit the server.ini or use the web admin interface


Other Commands

BRIGHTNESS [number] - Changes the brightness level to the specified number
CDTRACK [number] - Plays the specified CD track number
CONFIGHASH - Displays configuration info
CONTRAST [number] - Changes the contrast level to the specified number
DEBUG CRASH - Test crashes the game with an error
DEBUG EATMEM - Tests memory allocation until full
DEBUG GPF - Test crashes the game with a general protection fault error
DEBUG RECURSE - Test crashes the game by infinite recursion
DUMPCACHE - Displays the memory gcache contents
EXEC [filename] - Executes a file in the UT2003 /system/ directory by default
FLUSH - Flushes all caches and relights
FOV [number] - Changes the field of view to the specified number
GAMMA [number] - Changes the gamma level to the specified number
GETCOLORDEPTHS - Displays the maximum color depth supported by your hardware
GETCURRENTCOLORDEPTHS - Displays your current color depth
GETCURRENTRES - Displays your current resolution
GETCURRENTTICKRATE - Displays your current tick rate
GETMAXTICKRATE - Displays the maximum allowed tick rate
MUSICORDER [number] - Change to a certain track in the song (0=ambient, 1=action, 2=suspense)
NETSPEED [number] - Sets the net speed, default is 10000
OBJ CLASSES - Displays a list of object classes
OBJ GARBAGE - Collects and purges objects no longer in use
OBJ HASH - Displays object hashing statistics
OBJ LINKERS - Displays a list of active linkers
PAUSESOUNDS - Pauses all sounds
PREFERENCES - Opens advanced settings
RELAUNCH - Relaunches the engine
REPORT - Copies a report of the current game to clipboard
SET [class variable value] - Sets a specified class and specified variable with the specified value
SETSENSITIVITY [number] - Sets the mouse sensitivity to the specified number
SETRES [WxHxD] - Sets your screen resolution to the specified width, height, and color depth
SLOMO 1 - Sets the speed of the game back to normal real time speed
SLOMO 2 - Sets speed to double. Increase number to go faster
SLOMO .5 - Sets speed to half. Decrease number to go slower
SOCKETS - Displays a list of sockets in use
TOGGLEFULLSCREEN - Toggles fullscreen mode
TYPE [text] - Displays the specified text on the console
UNPAUSESOUNDS - Un-pauses all sounds





Adrenalin and Special Moves

UT2003 introduces a range of special moves which can be performed by your character under certain circumstances. Some require that you have 100 Adrenalin. Others, like the Dodging moves require that you have the Dodge setting ticked (See In-game Settings section). A list is provided below:

Adrenalin

You can get Adrenalin by picking up the red and white pills scattered throughout the levels, or by achieving kills. Once your Adrenalin reaches 100, you will be allowed to perform one of the following special moves, the effects of which will only last for a while:

Speed - forward, forward, forward, forward
Regen - back, back, back, back
Invisibility - right, right, left, left
Berserk - forward, forward, back, back

Special Moves

These can be performed at any time, but require a fair bit of practice and skill to master. Remember, you need to activate the Dodge setting to use the dodge moves.

Double Jump - Jump and then press jump again in the arc of the jump.
Dodge - Tap Left, right, forward or back twice.
Dodge Jump - Perform a dodge, and jump just before you lose your air.
Wall Jump - Run alongside a wall, dodge (double tap) into it and as you're about to hit it, quickly dodge away from it.
Goo Jump - Shoot some goo from the Biorifle, get a shield up using the shield gun, jump just when goo explodes (You can also use the shield gun to bounce energy weapons, break your fall and of course block normal weapons.)
Lift Jump - Jump while on a lift to get an extra boost.
Death from Above - If you jump from a great height and land on someone you'll cause them damage.


UT2003 Tweak Guide - Benchmarking & Conclusion


Benchmarking UT2003

Because UT2003 is such a cutting-edge graphics and CPU-intensive game, it has a built-in benchmarking tool to measure how fast your system can run it. You can access this benchmarking tool by going into your System directory (typically C:\UT2003\System\) and running the file Benchmark.exe (just double-click on it).

Once running, the benchmark will first ask you to choose from a set of resolutions. Once you select a resolution, this will begin a series of predetermined sequences and after a while you will receive a score. Note this score down, along with the resolution. You can use this score to compare your computer's performance in UT2003 with others in online forums and the like. It will help you determine things such as whether your system is generally well-optimised - if someone else has the same type of hardware setup but gets a higher score on the same resolution for example. It can also help you decide which types of hardware are best to upgrade to given their performance under UT2003.

In any case, the in-game and .ini settings you've changed won't affect this benchmark one way or the other. It will run with pre-determined settings, so that any comparisons you make with others (at similar resolutions) will not be skewed because of setting differences, only general hardware and non-UT2003 software differences.





Conclusion

Well, that concludes this guide for the moment. I'm sure there are many, many more tweaks, tips and options that will come to light as people explore this fantastic game in more detail and as new patches are released. It's important to note that this guide is only the beginning of your UT2003 tweaking experience. Check back here very often as I will continue to add to the guide constantly.

I hope you've gained some benefit from reading the guide and that it increases your enjoyment of what is already an outstanding game. If you have any feedback on this guide (and believe me I read all feedback), or if you just want to chat about the game, email me or better yet, step into our Gaming Forums. And if you see me online (my nick is PersianImmortal), say "Hi"!



Credits and Links

In my research for tweaking and general UT2003 information, I used the following sites for which I would like to give thanks and credit. I would also urge you to visit these sites for more UT2003-related stuff such as free user-made maps and the latest updates on this great game:

PlanetUnreal
OzUnreal
BeyondUnreal
UT2003HQ
3DGPU

And don't forget to check this guide regularly for updates on UT2003 patches, tweaks and utilities!




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