I originally created this thread as a collection of tweaks for people to use to a) put a number of tweaks together to help those in need, b) show a more-optimized performance setup and an optimized quality setup than can be found in-game, and c) some useful tweaks that can help make the game a little more enjoyable for everyone. Well that was a month ago, I've learned alot, and I believe I should edit this first post to sort of consolidate what I can into it. The troubleshooting of issues in the last month have led to more solutions to numerous problems that have surfaced, so I will start this revised guide with those options.
Who is this thread for? Anyone who has problems running UT3. Anyone who wants to max out their performance _or_ graphics better than what they can do in-game. And anyone who wants to have a number of useful tweaks that eliminate some of the weird default settings of the game. I will also break this original post into two distinct ones, for easier reading, and to fit under the 20,000 character post limit.
But first, let's have a reality check.
Here are the minimum hardware requirements for running this game:
• 2.0+ GHz single core CPU
• 512 MB RAM
• Nvidia 6200+ or ATI Radeon 9600+ video card
If you have a system that barely meets these requirements, this game will be rough to play. In particular the video card is your weakest link.
Here are the recommended hardware requirements for running this game:
• 2.4+ GHz dual core CPU
• 1 GB RAM
• NVIDIA 7800+ or ATI x1800+ Video Card
Midway or Epic made a typo when they originally recommended an ATI X1300+ video card as one that is "recommended" to run this game. So disregard the "3" in that model number and pretend it's an "8" because a Radeon X1800 is roughly comparable with a GeForce 7800. The game is highly "GPU-dependant" which means it relies heavily on video cards to increase framerates. Also the game scales to multiple cores and CPU's by distributing threads between them.
Note: as of this writing I assume you have the UT3 1.1 Patch, and all my tweaks will assume you've gone through the in-game menu options first. For example you can make a ton of quality changes just through the Texture and World Detail sliders. Set them to 1/1 and you have a high performance build. Set them to 5/5 and you have a high quality build. What I suggest might help a little more to ensure you get a little better performance or retaining higher quality settings at all framerate levels. Those two extremes are closely reached through in-game setting changes.
The thing is, some changes you make in the configuration files of the game don't matter in some cases. In other situations you can make the graphics worse than they should be, because of how the game looks at how that changes where the Detail Sliders will end up. So I am taking a slightly different tack than the first offering of this guide.
There are 4 configuration files we will edit using a text editor like Notepad or Editpad. These can be found in My Documents\MyGames\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Config.
I have four goals:
1) To give known solutions to many of the most common issues people have complained about.
2) To show a high performance setup that allows players with older, lower-end video cards to play the game, and to help weed out technical issues by troubleshooting from a basic configuration.
3) To show a super high quality setup that allows players to play with the best possible graphics, regardless of framerates.
4) To fix a number of issues that many like myself do not like. This last section will have no real effect on graphics or performance, but might make the game more fun.
Another thing, nothing that I write here is above constructive criticism. If you have technical reason why anything I say is incorrect, please reply to this thread with any corrections.
--- SECTION I - TROUBLESHOOTING ---
Another thing, if you have an older Nvidia or ATI card, perhaps one that meets the minimum system requirements, but not the recommended ones, you might try one of these options, depending on your video chipset.
Edit your UTEngine.ini
For older NVIDIA cards:
For older ATI cards:
If you are experiencing lockups when playing cinematic videos in the single player campaign, and possibly other times. I believe this is set to default now with Patch 1.1.
If you are experiencing lockups or crashing, do the following:
1) Disable OpenAL in-game.
2) If you are unable to disable OpenAL that without the game locking up or crashing first, then disable sound by editing your UTEngine.ini, launch the game to disable it, then re-edit the UTEngine.ini to enable sound again. Look for the following lines:
3) Uninstall OpenAL in the Add/Remove Programs control panel.
If disabling or uninstalling OpenAL does not fix the problem, or the crashing occurs while there is no sound, then try options to resolve video card or CPU-based issues.
4) If any other ATI card users are having that problem Enable the Support DXT texture formats in the 3D main side menu and under More Settings.
If you experience a crash while trying to load VCTF or WAR maps, and you only have 1GB of RAM, try upgrading to 2GB of RAM or more and see if the problem occurs again. One users has reported a simple RAM upgrade fixed the crashing he had on this issue.
You can Ctrl-Alt-Del and see how much system RAM is being used by UT3 in the Task Manager. It should be between 250-450MB RAM depending on map size and what's going on in it. But if it's much higher than that, or there is an issue with the game crashing if you run out of available system RAM, then a RAM upgrade will alleviate this issue.
If you are experiencing hitching, do the following:
1) Disable SLI or Crossfire if you have it enabled. Supposedly "AFR2" is the recommended SLI method with UT3, if you choose to use it.
2) Set your Texture Detail slider to 2 in-game.
3) Verify that your PCI-E bus is set to 16x and not 1x. Xeonshock reported that fixed his problem with erratic framerate issues.
4) Ensure you have the latest non-beta video drivers from Nvidia or ATI.
5) Edit the UTEngine.ini:
6) Uninstall your current video drivers, and then use a program like Driver Sweeper to remove all traces of older drivers, and reinstall your existing drivers. I also recommend CCleaner to perform other registry fixes after you run Driver Sweeper. It's good for clearing temp files and cookies as well as performing good registry fixes.
7) Set processor affinity in Windows Vista for the game to one core.
8) Launch the game with the -onethread option in the shortcut.
"C:\Program Files\Unreal Tournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe" -onethread
9) If you're on a multi-core CPU and Window XP SP2, try downloading this Microsoft update because Windows XP was not originally designed to support performance states on multiprocessor configurations, changes are required to correctly realize this support on multiprocessor systems. Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes the required changes to the kernel power manager. These changes make sure that Windows XP correctly functions on multiprocessor systems with processor performance states. Basically it's a power management fix for ACPI which throttles down additional cores and/or CPU's when a game is being played.
If you are getting poor FPS in Vista, disable your power saving options in your control panel as a troubleshooting option, as well.
If none of your settings are saving, it could be the game isn't creating the My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3 folder. We've seen this occur if you move the My Documents folder off of C:.
A solution has been to add -nohomedir to your shortcut launching the game. This causes all configuration files to be kept local to where you installed the game, rather than the my documents folder.
If you are experiencing problems with the installation of the program go HERE
Common error messages are there. As well as a search field where you can type in the exact number of the error message given, and it will give you a corresponding fix for it. Examples are:
If you get a "d3dx10_35.dll" error you get after installing the game an attempting to launch the game for the first time, you need to delete all the dx dll files under the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Then you have to reinstall the latest version of DirectX.
If you are having Nvidia's nv4_disp problem:
A fix for the "snow" issue on low-end ATI cards!
1) Download the latest Catalyst drivers
2) Go here http://www.driverheaven.net/modtool/ and simply follow their instructions.
For anyone with a Nvidia 6800 Go video, or similar chipsets on a notebook:
Nvidia does not support the graphic chipsets of many notebooks, so Nvidia drivers are based on a system called Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) which means all drivers are using one driver. However for some reasons, they just remove the support for installing those drivers for some cards, and mostly laptop-based GO cards.
Download the newest Forceware here and click on "Moddet INF" too. After downloading, extract the new patch in a directory on ur HDD and move the "Moddet INF" to the folder where u have extracted the Patch. OVERWRITE the old INF. Then install the patch. Maybe u will get a error, accounting the patch cannot find a file. Skip that and it should work.
If anything, http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/ is a good notebook video driver site to visit.
http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_ca...xp/mobility-xp is a good site for ATI notebook users. It has the latest Catalyst drivers for many notebooks with ATI Radeon Mobility chipsets.
If the editor crashes when trying to launch it, disable Triple Buffering in your video card control panel, or RivaTuner for Nvidia cards, or ATI Tray Tool for ATI cards.
If audio tracks are not playing during the campaign videos, check to see if you have a codec like ffdshow that is running in the background, hijacking the audio playback. You can exclude the UT3.exe from ffdshow in it's options.
Also, if you have Xfire, disable it, as it can pre-empt the audio as well.
If you are only able to play locally, but not online, because the server browser does not show anyone at all, create a new account without any special characters in the login name, then try again. You must log in with a name that does not have any special characters.
If you are having problems staying online, disable your hardware firewall on your router, for troubleshooting purposes.
1) Double-click on your network connection icon in the taskbar, and click on the Support tab, you'll see the Default Gateway has a certain IP Address number.
2) Log into that IP address by typing it in your web browser. You may have to set a password if you've never logged into it before.
3) Look for the control panel for your hardware firewall. Disable it.
Again this is just for testing network connection issues, but if you have a really cheap router (like me) you pretty much just have the option to enable or disable it. But see if the problem persists afterwards.
4) If you have an ASUS motherboards, updating your integrated LAN hardware's drivers have solved this issue. Some users have actually had the game crash when they went online, but getting the latest LAN drivers solved that problem for them.
5) If it takes you more than 30 seconds to load a map, the default servers will timeout and believe your client dropped. Things that can improve loadtime are disabling custom characters in the settings menu, increasing the amount of RAM in the system, and upgrading to a fast CPU.
6) Using a key generated by a pirate key generator online will result in 'Connection Failed'.
7) Using a key that is already in use by other player will result in 'Connection Failed'.
If you are experiencing an Invalid CD Key error message in Vista, then create a new user profile as a Standard account. I suspect doing the same thing in XP will work, too.
More in the next post.