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Tweaking Q3 Arena Engine

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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 "/" 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. Be reminded that you might need to perform the timedemo 2-3 times to identify the 'max' fps.

***This tweaking guide was based using Q3's version 1.17 patch

**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.
Note: there are still a couple of newer (and not so new) games that uses Q3 engine. U can use the tweaks available here (if the game permits it or if available) but the performance gain/decrease and stability may differ when compared to Q3.

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 on heavy firefights will be quite bad.

65+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.

75-80fps = 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
*a lower resolution and/or colorbit

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? :)

"Setup Menu" Tweaking:


Video Mode:
Select the video resolution that fits ur system. But if ur going to use 1024x768 res., I highly recommend using 960x720 instead and gain 5-6fps w/o any noticeable decrease in video quality!

Color Depth:
I recommend using 16bit unless u have a poweful system that can handle 32bit w/ no problems.

C'mon do u really wanna play in a window? ahehe!

Texture Quality:
TNT users - I recommend leaving this option at 16bit
GeForce users - I recommend setting this at 32bit b'coz the fps ur goin to lose here is very minimal (5-6fps). And if "texture compression" is enabled, ur only goin to lose 1fps!!!

Texture Filter:
Select the option w/c fits you. I use bilinear since I can't notice the diff. between trilinear and bilinear except the drastic decrease in fps. Either that or my eyes are starting to age.

=Game Options=

Ejecting Brass:
I recommend turning this option off. But if you decided to enable this option, I recommend that u edit "brasstime" inside ur .cfg file and give it a value of "400" w/c gives the ejecting brass juz enough time to sit on the floor/ground and sink immediately after that (also discussed below)

*Other options are discussed below

Left=Enabled - Right=Disabled

"Q3config" Tweaking:


bot_fastchat "0/1":
setting this to zero "0" will decrease the amount of time bots will chat.

setting this to zero "0" will either disable/decrease (I'm not sure) the amount of time bots will report during a CTF game.

increase/decrease the value to change how wide those circular objects between the rail segments should look like.

increase/decrease the value to change how wide the line segments should look like.

the length of the rail segment or the line between the circular objects on the rail trail. Adjust to suit ur taste.

s_mixahead "default 0.3":
setting this lower (0.2 or 0.1) will slightly increase ur fps depending on ur soundcard and or configuration. If sound stuttering occurs, set it back to the default (0.3) value.

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 work 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 2d 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 award icons above the "you killed...". I recommend turning this setting off ("0").

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 110 will make the game look trippy/skewed.

Left=110 - Right=90 (default)

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 timedemo01).

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":
"-2" 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. (resets back to "0" when u change ur res.)

Left=-2 - Right=2

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 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 "0.4"

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 downloads" section) and install it, so that the lines above will have an effect when u add/edit them.


Increasing/Decreasing "quad damage's" effect:
add this to ur .cfg file: seta g_quadfactor "x" (where x is the number of times the natural damage is to be multiplied)

Disable chats, and/or text's from popping (eg. bot reports/chat):
add this to ur .cfg file: seta cl_noprint "1"

Rocket jumping bots:
add this to ur .cfg file: seta bot_rocketjump "1" (for bots to use the rocket jumping trick)

More challenging bots:
add this to ur .cfg file: seta bot_challenge "1"

Disabling the 'force respawn':
add this inside ur .cfg file: seta g_forcerespawn "x" (where x stands for the value in seconds before u are forced to respawn. zero "0" disables it)

Weapon respawn duration:
add this to ur .cfg file: seta g_weaponrespawn "x" (where x is the value in seconds on when the weapon will respawn)

u may write this line: seta timedemo "1" inside ur .cfg so that everytime u run demos, it will automatically run as a timedemo.

Disabling the ID intro logo:
right click ur Quake3 Arena shortcut and select properties. Add a "+nosplash" (w/o quotation marks) line after the .exe. It should look sumthin like this:

\Quake III Arena\quake3.exe" +nosplash

Fixing that "ugly sky":
If you have a "HEX" editing program: open quake3.exe and search for this line "a1 83 00 00" and change it to "a3 83 00 00"

*If ur running quake ver 1.17 and do not have a hex editor, send me an email and I'll send u a "cracked" (means no cd) hex edited "quake3.exe"

Play CTF maps in FFA mode:
In ur console type: map "map filename" (w/o quotation marks"). Once inside the game, manually add bots.

Last Updated: 022301
=Closed to future updates=
Minor Update on: 011304


***If ur wondering if I'm going to have a Q3 Team Arena and/or 1.25 and above patch Tweaking guide/files soon, sorry, the answer is no. Both of them will kill ur framerate, that is why I don't recommend using both of them.

***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).

*Email me if u have any other comments, questions, and/or suggestions. Tnx!