America's Army tweak guide


Although first releases came with its hiccups, America's Army has mostly overcome its teething problems and is doing pretty well now. Based on the latest version of the Unreal Engine, this guide will take you through configuring the game for an optimum performance on your system, better network play and fixing other issues that might arise.

America's Army is a realistic computer game providing civilians with an inside perspective and a virtual role in the U.S. Army. America's Army players will experience soldiering in a state-of-the-art new manner.



Sometimes simple solutions work the best, so begin by downloading the latest drivers for your graphics card and soundcard. This may solve (most) input or audio problems you might be experiencing. You can find links to various manufacturers on our Drivers page. Now install the latest patch/release available at America's Army download site. This may fix other issues you could be having and generally includes other enhancements and updates to the game. Install the latest version of DirectX on your system. This can also fix problems with sound, graphics & input devices.

If you’re experiencing lockups & such after all that then they might be caused by overclocking, if so try lowering the Memory/Core speed of the overclocked device to see if it resolves the problem. If instability problems persist, be sure to check America’s Army Support page first.


Basic Graphics Setup

We will start off with the most basic settings for configuring your video settings, you might want to give this a quick look but if you are more into tweaking config files, etc., skip to the next section.

Load the game, click on Settings, and then select Video Settings.

Gamma. This slider is used to adjust the level of RGB colour intensity. Moving the slider to the right will increase the colour intensity though can reduce texture detail by brightening textures too much if moved slid too far right & vice versa.

Contrast. Use this slider to set the level of contrast in the game. Sliding the bar to the Right will increase the contrast level, though can also make the game appear more washed out if slid too far & vice versa.

Brightness. Use this slider to set the glare level in the game. Sliding the bar to the Right will increase the glare level, though can also make textures appear more washed out if slid too far & vice versa.

Game Resolution. Selecting a lower resolution can improve performance & maintain a stabler, higher frame rate. Higher resolutions look better (sharper & smaller jagged edges), they also tend to run slower. This all depends on how slow/fast your system (Particularly Graphics card) is of course.

Start Full Screen. Set this to your own preference, though preferably Ticked of course for best performance & largest viewing area.

Now press the Advanced button.

Reduce Mouse Lag. When Ticked this may eliminate lag from mouse input, although can lower the frame rate can lower as a result. If you aren’t experiencing such mouse lag then leave this Unticked to ensure optimal frame rate.

Use Precaching. When Ticked this enables loading textures into Video memory during level loading, which can increase level loading time, though should provide smoothest gameplay as no textures will need to be uploaded during gameplay. For Graphics cards with 64MB of video memory I’d recommend Ticking this option as such, though Unticked should prove best for Graphics cards with less video memory as textures need only be loaded when required to.

Use Trilinear. Trilinear texture filtering operates by taking 4 samples (texels) from 2 neighbouring Mipmaps, applies a bilinear filter to them & then interpolates the results. This results in improved image quality, with more seamless transitions between Mipmap levels & enhanced texture detail compared to bilinear filtering. Basically every modern Graphics cards that is supported by this game should be able to use trilinear with no little performance issues, & as such you shouldn’t need to Untick this option.

Use Triple Buffering. Triple buffering allocates a third frame buffer, which can improve performance by allowing the hardware to render at the same time that the 3D application performs other tasks. Ticking this is recommended as a result for optimal performance. That said if your Graphics card has 32MB or lower Video memory you’d be best leaving this Unticked to ensure best performance (As the game itself already uses a lot of textures).

Use Cubemaps. When Ticked this enables the use of Cubemaps in levels for simulated reflectivity on certain surfaces, e.g. mirrors. Those of you with Graphics card that do not support this feature should Untick this, though given the minimal use of cubemaps in the game you’ll likely not notice a difference either way.

Use Compressed Lightmaps. When Ticked this enables lightmaps to be compressed, which will increase level loading time, though can improve frame rate by reducing Video memory requirements for levels. If you have a Graphics card with 32MB or more Video memory you should Untick this option to ensure lightmap quality is at its greatest as you should have sufficient Video memory to use them uncompressed, which will also yield slightly faster level loading times.

No Client Side Effects. When Ticked this option disables certain non-gameplay critical effects, e.g. muzzle smoke. This should prove improved performance though shouldn’t be required unless you already have problems running the game acceptably, e.g. due to an outdated Graphics card. Leave this Unticked at all other times.

Texture Detail Level. This setting controls the resolution of textures used in the game, options available being Low & High. High enables the uses of sharper, more detailed textures & is recommended for those whose Graphics card has 64MB or more Video memory.


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