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Tweaking Quake3 Arena



Open your "q3config" file inside /quake III arena/baseq3 directory. And search for the keywords listed below.

OR - Enter the game, bring down the console by hitting the tilde key (~), enter the keywords/commands below but DO NOT forget to type in "/seta" first before every keywords/command (w/o the quotation marks).

To perform timedemo: Launch Q3A, bring down the console, type in "/timedemo 1" (w/o the quotation marks). And launch demo001 or demo002. After the demo, bring down the console again, the 'avg fps' will be listed there.

**some commands (when performed INSIDE the game) will display a message telling you that the game needs to be restarted before the new settings will be applied. YOU DO NOT need to 'quit' the game. All you have to do is bring down the console, type in "/vid_restart" (w/o the quotation marks). It will reload/restart the game with the newly applied settings.

Average FPS Explanation:

The amount of avg. (average) fps (frames per second) that you should target depends on how fast your computer is, if you play only with bots or do you only play the game only when your online? ... etc.

It's always been mentioned on some other tweaking sites that 60-70fps is the amount of avg. fps that a typical user should have (unless of course if you have a fast computer) to be safe from dropping below 30fps.

Be informed that 'some' custom maps are not well balanced in terms of graphics flair and gameplay. Some map makers concentrates only on graphics quality and totally disregards gameplay. I know this wouldn't be a prob for high end computer owners but hey, why are you reading my tweaking guide if you already have 90 or more avg fps? :)

Avg. fps and Things to Consider:

55fps = this amount of avg. fps is enough for folks who does not play online (only plays with bots), and uses Q3's maps (not those downloadable custom maps). With this amount of fps, there is a very little chance of having 'frame skips' unless when you're inside a heavy fire fights with lots of explosions happening and/or when you're inside an open area of the map. But the frame skips you're going to experience is very much tolerable IMO.

60+fps = good for players who sometimes play online and/or playing the game using those custom maps. Still going to experience frame skips on 'very' heavy fire fights, but quite safe from experiencing skips on open areas of the map.

I am having this amount of fps (60.9 to be exact) with my current system specs (listed on the bottom part of this page) at 960x720x16 res.

70+fps = is the amount a hardcore online player should target. With this amount of fps, I'm quite sure that you wouldn't experience any skips even on heavy fire fights. But on heavily textured custom maps, you 'might' still experience some skips.

*Be reminded that the "cvar/commands" that applies to ur entire game is much, much more important than those commands that only kicks in on some parts of the game. To make this sound a little bit more clear, let me give u folks some examples.

The following are examples of "cvar/command" settings that applies through the entire game. Which MEANS that you will have better/higher fps through the entire game. This settings are the first things you should consider enabling or sacrificing, rather than those setting that only kicks in on some parts of the game:

-/cg_drawgun 0
-/cg_draw3dIcons 0

And the following are examples of "cvar/settings" that only gives you better fps when stuffs happens:

-/seta r_dynamiclight: only affects ur fps when u fire ur weapons, carry the flag etc.
-/seta cg_explosionduration: only increases/decreases ur fps when explosions starts to appear in yer screen.

Now do u get what I mean? :)

Before anything else, I juz wanna let you know that this is my fave FFA map! This map is entitled "Runtfest", and was created by "Xzed". This map is a whopping 10mb download!
Click on the pic to go to the author's website!



screenshot was taken with my system at 1024x768x16 res. with a TNT2 Ultra card. (a bit more pixelated/blurred-out than with the original screenshot b'coz of jpeg compression)

"Q3config" Tweaking:

r_swapInterval "1/0":
turns on/off 'v-sync'. I recommend setting this to "0" to achieve more fps. Only turn this on if you're experiencing graphics tearing.

r_intensity "default "1":
increases the colors sharpness. I recommend leaving this setting alone unless you want to sharpen the colors a bit. Must be 'manually' added to your config file.

r_finish "1/0":
turns on/off the 'sync every frame' option. If your experiencing lag with your mouse/keyboard, enabling this will fix that prob at the expense of some fps loss. Leave this at "0" if you don't have any device lags.

r_mapOverbrightbits "default 2":
this is an 'optional' command that is commonly mistaken as the 'overbrightbits'. This command must be applied 'manually', it will brighten up your environment and will give you a better view of the textures. (decimal values doesn't works with this setting)

cg_simpleItems "1/0":
enables/disables pick-up items/weapons to be drawn in 2D instead of those spinning 3D. It can really speed things up, but I will only recommend it if you have a really slow comp.

cg_gibs "1/0":
turns on/off the extra gibs (exploding pieces) when a player was killed with a viscious shot. I recommend setting this to "0" since this will greatly improve your frame rate, especially on a large scale battle.

cg_DrawAttacker "1/0":
turns on/off the 3d head that pops out at the top right corner of your screen everytime someone attacks you. I recommend turning this off ("0")since it's not really useful, unless you want to know who exactly is attacking you.

bot_nochat "1/0":
turns on/off the automated taunts that the bots come out with. I really don't think that any player will read taunts while playing, so I recommend setting this to "1". This command must be 'manually' added to your 'config' file.

com_blood "1/0":
turns on/off blood coming out of players that's being shot. I recommend leaving this setting at on ("1") unless you want to have a little fps gain and if you don't like violence :p

r_drawsun "1/0":
I'm really not sure what this setting does, but I think it has something to do with the shadows being drawn in contrast to where the sun if shining (well I could be wrong you know). I recommend leaving this setting to "0" since you will be often fighting in-doors.

cg_draw3dIcons "1/0":
turns on/off 3d icons on your HUD. There's a very little increase in fps when this setting is set at "0", so I recommend leaving this on unless you're really desperate in gaining some frames.

cg_DrawRewards "1/0":
turns on/off the announcer's reward speech (excellent, etc.). I recommend leaving this setting on ("1") since it won't hurt your fps cause it only kicks in when you're having multiple kills, etc.

cg_fov "default 90":
increases/decreases the fov (field of view). I recommend setting this at "100" (or 105) for the player to gain some advantage and see more inside the game. With that you will gain about 1fps, I know it's weird! But setting my fov higher gave me a fps gain. BUT on some systems, they lost some fps setting this one higher. Setting this higher than 100 will make the game look trippy/skewed.

cg_drawGun "1/0":
draws/removes the gun the player is holding. I recommend setting this to "0" since there is quite an improvement when this setting is turned off (more or less 3 fps). Not only will it increase your fps, but it will also give you a better view cause the gun won't be blocking your view no more.

cg_marks "1/0":
turns on/off the marks on walls that your bullets create when a player shoots at the scenery. I heavily recommend turning this off ("0") as this will greatly improve your frame rate (fps gain more or less 7 fps in timedemo001).

com_blindlyLoadDLLs "1":
will disable those annoying 'warning messages' when you have 'speed dlls' installed. (speed dll's boosts Q3's fps a bit. I have the speed dll version 1.17 inside my 'downloads' area).

cg_brassTime "default 1250/0":
extends/removes the shells ejected from your weapon. I recommend setting this to "0" (off) since it will give you some extra fps. Unless you want to see your empty shells ejecting from your weapon or scattered on the floor for no particular reason.

cg_shadows "1-3/0":
"1" will give you round shadows, "2-3" will give you more realistic shadows (I really don't know how to activate the "2" setting since it has something to do with "stencilbits", but I don't use stencilbits so maybe that's why I can't enable it). I recommend setting this to "0" since you really won't be able to admire those shadows while you're fraggin right? FPS gain, more or less 3 fps ("1"), setting this to "2"...forget about it! "3" about 8fps.

com_hunkmegs "default 54":
I only recommend changing this setting if you have 128mb or more RAM. Set this to 2/3 of your available RAM.

r_lodBias "default 0/1-2":
"0" will create the most rounded, smoother objects. Setting it higher will create a more blocky pick-up items/weapons. I recommend setting this at "0" as it doesn't affect your fps too much.

r_picmip "0-up":
"0" will give you the best texture and map quality. 128mb systems should feel free to use "0". Machines having lower amount of RAM must raise this number to have a more respectable amount of fps.

r_colorbits/texturebits "16/32":
sets your color depth to 16bit or 32bit. I recommend setting this to 16bit unless you have a fast computer and graphics card.

r_dynamicLight "1/0":
turns on/off the lights coming out of your weapons (rocket launcher for example). The frame lost by turning this on is quite big (more or less 7fps) so I recommend turning this off unless you want to have a more realistic feel of your weapons (flags also generate light).

r_vertexlight "1/0":
turning this on will create lighting in voxels instead of polygon. I recommend setting this off ("0") unless you have a really slow computer, because graphics will look extremely dull when this is set at "1". FPS gain 15 or more!

r_subDivisions "default 1-(not sure what the max value for this one)":
setting this to "1" will create a smoother arcs. Higher values will create blocky arcs but will increase fps significantly. I recommend setting this to "4".

r_lodCurveError "default 250/0-999":
set's how near/far before your 'r_subdivisions' will kick in. Setting this to 999 will make the arcs smooth even from a very far distance. Lower values will create blockier arcs from a further distance, but will automatically smoothen out as you go near it. (the max smoothness will depend on 'r_subdivision's values)

cg_draw2d "1/0":
turns on/off 2d items (this includes your HUD). You will gain some fps by turning this off ("0") but will lose those valuable information that is disabled in your HUD.

cg_drawAmmoWarning "1/0":
turns on/off the 'low ammo' warning message. I recommend setting this to "0".

r_ignoreFastpath "1/0":
I recommend setting this to "0", and gain 2fps by doing so.

r_vertexLight "1/0":
turns on/off vertex lighting. I highly recommend users who slightly exceeds the games minimum system requirements to enable this ("1") since there is a huge gain in fps when this setting is enabled (more or less 15fps). But others must disable this ("0") since the graphics will look dull without all those lighting effects on the map, players, etc.

r_gamma "0-3":
use to decrease or increase the amount of gamma inside the game. (decimal values works with this setting)

cg_crosshairSize "default 24":
adjust to suit your cursor size preference. Mine is set at 18, but of course it will also depend on what type of cursor you're using for the game.

r_ext_compress_textures "1/0":
turns on/off S3TC support. If you have a nvidia graphics card and experiencing some graphics problems (like ugly skies), set this to "0". Otherwise leave this setting on ("1") to have some speed gain.

r_textureMode "gl_linear_mipmap_linear OR _mipmap_nearest":
For geforce card owners, feel free to use "mipmap_linear" (or trilinear) b'coz geforce is fast enough to support it even at high res and depth bit. While TNT users are better off using "mipmap_nearest" (or bilinear) since TNT cards display blurry graphics when using the 'trilinear' option, not to mention it increases your frame rate. BUT it's still your choice, graphics quality solely depends on who looks at it (well sometimes).

cg_drawFPS "1/0":
turns on/off the frame rate display on the upper right corner of your screen while playing the game.

cg_drawIcons "1/0":
turns on/off the icons showing on your HUD. Gives a slight speed boost.

r_overbrightbits "1/0":
turns on/off the games over bright bits. I recommend leaving it on ("1") since turning this option off will make your game look like your playing the game without lightmap, well that is unless you already disabled lightmap! (default is "1")

"Tweak Q3A" Tweaking Guide:

Downloaded the "Tweak Q3A" file inside my Top 10 Downloads section? If so, this guide is definitely for you!

Please note that "pure server" must be set to "off" for this tweak to actually work.

cg_explosionDuration "0.1-1":
sets the amount of time of explosions. The smaller the value, the more fps ur going to gain. I recommend setting this to "0.2"

cg_rocketTrail "1/0":
turns on/off smoke trails that follows your rockets.

cg_centertime "0/1-3":
setting this to "0" (zero) will disable those messages that pops up inside the game. The "excellent", "you fragged...", etc. messages. 1 will enable those messages but minimizes the stuffs that pops up. 2-3 will display more messages that are not really useful. I recommend setting this to either 0 or 1.

cg_shotgunSmoke "1/0":
turns on/off the smoke that comes of your shotgun. I recommend setting this to "0" (zero).

cg_grenadeTrail "1/0":
turns on/off the smoke trails that follows your grenades when you fire your grenade launcher weapon. I also recommend setting this to "0" (zero).

cg_drawVictims "1/0" - cg_drawKillers "1/0":
well I dunno what this thing does. But if you do, please inform me about it so I can post it inside my website. don't worry, I'm going to give you all the credit!

Note: the file "Tweak Q3A" is REQUIRED for the lines stated above to actually work. You must download (it's inside my "top 10 downloads" section) and install it, so that the lines above will have an effect when u add/edit them.

Last updated: 102200


Im giving you guys my current system specs for comparison purposes. So if we have the same exact system and my tweaks didn't work for you, be really curious!

-Pentium 3 500mhz <Katmai Class> overclocked at 575mhz
-Asustek P3B-F mobo <100 fsb>
-128mb PC100 RAM
-Diamond Viper 770 TNT2 Ultra graphics accelerator <ver 6.34 (leaked) driver>
-Sound Blaster PCI 128
-Windows 98 <original release>
-DirectX 7.A


***Always remember that I will not be held responsible in any way if this tweaking guide will cause your game any problems. TWEAK AT YOUR OWN RISK!

**What do you think about my Q3A tweak guide? Please sign my guestbook before leaving, it's the least you can do to thank me, and the only way for me to know that someone did visit my site!

**Any comments, suggestion, corrections, and/or ADDITIONS will be accepted and greatly appreciated (don't worry, you will get all the credit for any additional tweaks that you're going to give me).

*Use my message board for any other comments, questions, and/or suggestions. Tnx!