It has been quite some time since our
last game guide so what better way to return to some of our
roots than with Doom 3, a highly resource intensive game
with a highly configurable game engine. Perhaps not as well
received as expected, Doom 3 has still gone on to massive
Our Doom 3 tweak guide will take you
through every option available in the game, the console,
config files, graphics, audio and input settings.
To begin with ensure
you have the latest patch for Doom 3 installed. This may fix
any problems you have been encountering, improve performance
and so on. Doom 3 features an Auto-Update option at the
Menu, so use it.
It is also important
to ensure you are using new
for your hardware and the latest
installed. As before, this will generally ensure optimal
performance and the least bugs possible.
Doom 3 is a very
resource intensive game. If you’re not particularly willing
to upgrade your hardware to improve performance, then some
of our previous
Tweak Guides will
aid you in getting the most out of what you’ve already got.
Finally, before using
any of the settings covered here be sure to enter the
Options menu, select System, select Scan
Hardware and Select Optimal Video Quality. This
sets up many of the necessary options you will need to run
the game correctly and it would be worth doing so again
should you change Graphics card also.
Like other id
Software games, Doom 3 offers multiple ways to enter
commands. Be it via the console, shortcut or .cfg
(Config) files. For sake of convenience the table
beneath shows how this can best be achieved using the
example of enabling the frame rate counter in the
game – in the guide this is referenced as com_showFPS “x”.
3\doom3.exe" +set com_showFPS 1
Doom 3 automatically
loads DoomConfig.cfg every time the game is loaded
(this is where it stores all settings). The values here are
prefixed with seta as this is the value to be loaded
every time Doom 3 is launched, e.g. seta com_showFPS “1”.
While values in this file can be adjusted using any text
editor, you can override them for a session by using other
.cfg files, which we recommend you do.
naming a new .cfg file as autoexec.cfg, this file
will load every time Doom 3 is launched. Should you wish you
may have several such additional .cfg files, e.g. sp.cfg and
mp.cfg could be used to contain your preferred settings for
single player and multiplayer. These can be loaded via the
console using the command exec sp.cfg and pressing
the Enter key. Alternatively you may want to create several
game shortcuts to do this, e.g. "C:\Doom 3\doom3.exe" +
set exec sp.cfg.
additional .cfg files use no prefix, e.g.
com_showFPS “1”. Should you no longer use the .cfg file
then the value in your DoomConfig.cfg will be used instead.
Creating your own
.cfg file is simple. Create a new file and rename it to
yourname.cfg. This can be opened with any text editor
(Word, Notepad, etc.) and options should be entered like
To enter commands
into the console you should merely reference the table
above. For quicker access to the console open your Doom 3
shortcut properties and add: +set com_allowConsole 1, e.g. "C:\Doom
3\doom3.exe" + set com_allowConsole 1.
This allows you to access the console by pressing the Tilde
‘~’ key (default is Ctrl+Alt+Tilde).
Doom 3 features
passable benchmarking features, although it’s restrictive
enough as to their relevance, or as
John Carmack put it recently
– “Timedemo doesn't do any game logic.
Demos are always recorded at exactly 30Hz.” That
and the frame rate is by default limited to 60Hz, as
such benchmarking will always yield better performance than
you will actually get in the game so bear that in mind.
Regardless of all
this, benchmarking is still the best way to tell how
effective your new customs settings are performance-wise,
e.g. the results beneath indicate I’ve been a bit
over-optimistic as regards using higher quality graphics
carried out by entering commands into the console, the use
of which was discussed in the previous section. Relevant
commands are as follows:
x specifies the name of the demo you wish to record,
e.g. recordDemo mybench will begin recording (At 30Hz
per second) a demo named mybench. It goes without saying
that for a benchmarking demo that you should try to record a
section with a good deal of enemies to fight or lots of
If you were expecting this command to do more than the
obvious then you were wrong, it just ceases recording the
demo you had initiated with recordDemo “x”.
x specifies the name of the demo you wish to
playback, e.g. playDemo mybench will load the mybench
This command ceases playback of the demo loaded with
This is used to benchmark the x demo, e.g.
timeDemo mybench. The results are displayed after the
demo is run, with the average frame rate being determined by
the number of frames in the demo divided by the seconds it
took to render them. It is worth noting that a timedemo
should be performed twice in order to get accurate
results, on the initial run data will most likely need to be
loaded – which will be cached for subsequent runs.
This operates exactly as timeDemo “x” previously,
albeit instead of displaying results when finished the game
quits. Not too sure what the point of this would be.
Now that you know how
to apply settings in the console and benchmark the game,
let’s go onto the options themselves, which I’ve broadly
categorized into Graphics, Audio and Input.