Medal of Honor: Allied Assault tweak guide

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (MOH: AA from now on) is a well received World War II first person shooter game. If you have played the game before then you know its beautiful graphics can bring even the fastest systems to crawl at some point, specially during some of its rather large scale battles. This guide will take you through configuring the multitude of options available for the game and other useful information, such as getting 3D audio support in the Game.

 

Troubleshooting

Begin by downloading the latest patch for MOH: AA; this may resolve many of the bugs or other problems you may have encountered. You can find the latest patches for the Game at Electronic Arts.

Now download the latest Drivers for your Graphics card & Soundcard. This may solve (most) Input or Audio problems you might be having. There are links to various manufacturers on the Drivers page.

Install DirectX 8.1 on your system if you havenít done so yet. This may also fix problems with Sound & Input devices.

If you experience any lockups & such they might be caused by overclocking, if so try lowering the Memory/Core speed of the overclocked device.

Still having problem? Check EA technical support.

 

Config File

Settings used in the Game are stored in the unnamedsoldier.cfg file, located in the main\configs directory of where MOH: AA is installed, e.g. D:\MOHAA\main\configs. Later on in the Guide Iíll cover some setting which will required modifying this file. To do so simply open it with Notepad or (preferably) Wordpad.

 

Graphics

Load MOH: AA select Options then the Video button.

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. 1024 x 768 would be ideal in MOH: AA for most users.

Color Depth. Set this to 16 bit for best performance, but reduced visual quality (More apparent color banding). Select 32 bit for best visual quality (Less apparent banding), although performance will be reduced Ė especially on older Graphics cards. Using a 32-bit colour depth will also reduce rendering errors as it uses a higher Z-Buffer precision for performing depth calculations & those with Kyro 1/2 Graphics cards should leave this set to 32 bit given the negligible performance difference as compared with other Graphics cards. Setting this to Default will use the regular Windows desktop colour depth, just select an option instead.

Texture Detail. This setting controls the resolution of textures used in the Game. Setting this to High will enable the use of sharper, more detailed textures, although performance can be lowered (Especially on low Video memory Graphics Cards). The Lower the setting the more blurred level textures will appear. If you intend to use High resolution textures be sure you have AGP Texturing enabled in the BIOS &/or a Graphics Card with 32MB or more of Video memory.

Texture Color Depth. This setting controls the quality of textures used in MOH: AA. 32 bit will provide best quality for textures used in the game, although this will also consume an even greater amount of video memory, as a result you shouldn't select this option unless you have a Graphics card with 32MB video memory or greater (Or supports AGP Texturing). Using 16 bit will provide the best texture quality/performance trade off & will also consume less Video memory as a result.

Texture Filter. 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. Most modern Graphics cards should be able to use Trilinear with little performance problems, except for those (still, unfortunately) with 3dfx Graphics cards which should set this to Bilinear for best performance (As they cannot simultaneously perform Multi-texturing & Trilinear filtering).

Wall Decals. Ticking this option will enable the rendering of decals on walls caused by weapon fire & such. This can enhance the realism of the Game a good deal, though on older Graphics cards the frame rate may well be adversely affected during fights with a lot of weapons being fired (& more importantly missing their targets) & should be Unticked with such Graphics cards, e.g. TNT2. This doesnít affect the Static decals option however.

Weather Effects. Ticking this option will enable the rendering of optional weather effects in levels, e.g. rain & snow. These effects add a decent bit of atmosphere to levels which use them & as such Iíd recommend leaving this enabled, though on more fill rate limited Graphics card you might get a small frame rate improvement by Unticking this option.

Brightness. Use this slider to set the game brightness (glare) level. Sliding the bar to the Right will increase the brightness level & vice versa. The further this is to the Right the more washed out textures may appear. Adjust this to suit your own needs.

Texture Compression. Tick this setting to enable the use of texture compression in MOH: AA, which allows the use of higher resolution compressed textures in the game. It is highly recommended that you do this on Graphics cards which support S3TC in OpenGL, e.g. NVIDIA GeForce 1- 4 or Kyro 1/2. This can also improve performance, though level loading times will be increased as textures must be compressed while loading a level. Untick this on Graphics cards which donít support S3TC in OpenGL for both fastest level loading times & it may also avoid visual corruption.

Select Options then the Advanced button.

View Model. This option determines what models of yourself are to be rendered in the game. Options available being None, Gun Only & Full. Full will enable the rendering of your current weapon & arm, this is the slowest option though shouldnít cause any frame rate problems on any relatively new Graphics cards. Gun Only will disable the rendering of your arm, which should provide a slight frame rate improvement with older Graphics cards while still making it easy to know what weapon you are currently using.  Only those with very old Graphics cards (Or CPUs) should you consider setting this to None, which will provide fastest performance though makes it harder to determine the weapon youíre using, or changing to.

Shadows. This setting defines the LOD (Level Of Detail) used for shadows cast by Models, if any. Options available are None, Simple & Complex of which selecting None will provide best performance. Simple will enable the rendering of basic, circular shadows beneath a model which shouldnít cause a noticeable effect of Game frame rate on all but older Graphics cards. Selecting Complex will enable the rendering of more detailed & realistic shadows though Iíd not really recommend selecting this unless you have a Graphics card with a T&L unit &/or the Games frame rate is already running smoothly.

Terrain Detail. This setting controls how detailed the scenery is in the game. Selecting a higher detail option will allow the use of increasingly more complex meshes for the landscape, which will yield a more realistic appearing terrain, but this will require increasingly higher amount of polygons rendered as a result. Using a lower detailed option will use less complex meshes for scenery, which will give less detailed scenery shapes, although this can improve performance Ė especially if your Graphics card can't handle rendering a high amount of polygons. This will have a greater effect in more outdoor levels though.

Model Detail. This option controls the LOD used for models in the Game, e.g. Soldiers. Selecting a higher detail option will allow the use of increasingly more complex meshes for these models, which will yield a more detailed appearing model, but this will require increasingly higher amount of polygons rendered as a result. Using a lower detailed option will use less complex meshes for these models, which will yield less detailed models being displayed, although this can improve performance Ė especially if your Graphics card can't handle rendering a high amount of polygons. The effect of this will probably be most noticed in the Omaha Landing or such large scale battles. The screenshots further beneath illustrate this setting in action at both Highest & Lowest.

Effects Detail. This option sets the LOD used for various effects that are rendered in the Game. Those of you with older Graphics cards &/or CPU should use a lower setting for this option though those with newer Graphics cards should be able to use a higher value with little adverse effect to the frame rate, though in large battles it might be wise to lower setting to a less detailed one to keep the frame rate smooth.

Curve Detail. This option determines how rounded the curves of certain objects/models are (Or arenít), e.g. Some tables & curvature of a road. This is a fairly cosmetic option so if your frame rate isnít too good you wonít lose much visual quality by setting this to Lowest or Low, those with newer Graphics cards &/or fast CPUs should be able to set this to High without any adverse affects. The screenshots further beneath illustrate the effect of this setting at the Lowest & High options.

Subtitles. Adjust this to your own gameplay preference.

Console. Tick this setting to enable the use of the console in the Game, which can be used to enter & use console commands during the Game, some which may not otherwise be available. Unticking this will disable the use of the console.

Static Decals. Tick this option to enable the rendering of pre-determined decals in the Game, i.e. those put there during the creation of the Map. This can enhance the realism of the Game a good amount, though on older Graphics cards the frame rate may well be adversely affected by these. Unticking this option will disable the rendering of these (This doesnít affect the Wall decals option) & is recommended for those with older Graphics cards or low frame rates.

Real Dynamic Lighting. When Unticked the Game will use a fast-mode approach to dynamic lighting, & is recommended for those with slower CPUs. Those on faster systems (800Mhz +) should Tick this option to enable the use of a more complex dynamic lighting mode which will result in a more realistic application of lighting in a level.

Full Entity Lighting. This option controls the lighting method used on models. When Unticked a single light source is used for lighting the entire model, which will provide best performance in the game, particularly in scenes where many models are visible. When Ticked lighting is applied to a model in a more realistic way, which will improve visual realism, though can reduce the frame rate a good deal on slower systems. Those with fairly fast CPUs (800Mhz +) should be able to Tick this setting with little adverse effect except possibly in larger battles.

Volumetric Smoke. Iím not too sure about what the option does as everytime I restart the Game I find it Unticked. That said, this didnít seem to have any noticeable effect on smoke effects when playing the Game, e.g. smoke after blasts from grenades. Answers on a postcard if you have any idea where/how this is used.

Weapons Bar. Adjust this to your own gameplay preference.

Crosshair. Adjust this to your own gameplay preference.

The images beneath illustrate the difference between Terrain Detail, Model Detail & Curve Detail or their respective lowest setting versus their respective highest setting. Worth paying attention to the facial detail of other soldiers & the curvature of the road, though the Terrain Detail setting in this particular scene has little effect as nothing affected by this is visible (Except perhaps a slight bit of the stoned ground up to the closest soldier).

Low Detail

High Detail

Be sure to take a look at the GeForce, Voodoo3, Voodoo4/5 or Kyro 1/2 Tweak guide for information on how to optimize the performance/visual quality of those cards. These can help you improve image quality/performance even further than in-game tweaks can.

Audio

Select Options then the Audio button.

Master Volume. Use this to set the effects/speech volume level in MOH: AA. Adjust the slider bar for volume as required, slide the bar Right to increase the volume & vice versa.

Music Volume. Use this to set the volume level for music in MOH: AA. Adjust the slider bar for volume as required, slide the bar Right to increase music volume & vice versa. NOTE Ė Muting the Music will not affect performance beneficially. Iíd recommend leaving it audible given itís rather good & sets the right mood usually.

Speaker Setup. From the menu here select the appropriate type of Speakers which your Soundcard is connected to, though it is worth noting that most Soundcards will ignore such in-game options & rather only use the one specified in their own Mixer.

Sound Quality. This option determines the sampling rate to be used for audio playback, with Low being 11 kHz, Medium being 22 kHz & High being 44kHz. High would be the best option to select if you have a relatively new Soundcard, e.g. SoundBlaster Live! or Santa Cruz & would provide best audio quality. With older generation Soundcards (Or more likely onboard Audio) you should find Medium to give acceptable playback quality without affecting performance too noticeably. Those with an ISA Soundcard would perhaps be about the only ones Iíd recommend setting this to Low.

As has been discussed on the 3D SoundSurge Forums adding 3D audio support into MOH: AA is an easy enough task. The simplest way to do this is as follows;

Download & install the Miles Sound System Demo from RAD Game Tools, noting the directory where it installed. Go to the redist/win32 directory of where you installed the Miles Sound System Demo, e.g. C:\Program Files\Miles6dm\redist\win32, & copy the *.m3d files located there (You can ignore the Mssfast.m3d file if you wish however). Paste these files into the snddrivers directory of where MOH: AA is installed, e.g. D:\MOHAA\snddrivers.

Now open your Config file & Add/Edit the seta s_milesdrivers ďxĒ line. Where x is to be replaced by one of the following options:

  • Aureal A3D 2.0 (TM)

  • Aureal A3D Interactive (TM)

  • Creative Labs EAX 2 (TM)

  • Creative Labs EAX (TM)

  • DirectSound3D Hardware Support

  • Dolby Surround

  • Miles Fast 2D Positional Audio

The option you should select here should be determined by you based on the Soundcard you have installed. Selecting DirectSound3D Hardware Support or Aureal A3D Interactive (TM) will enable basic 3D positional audio support in Game. Those (still) with Aureal Vortex 2 based Soundcards should select Aureal A3D 2.0 (TM) for most realistic 3D audio positioning. Users of EAX supporting Soundcards, e.g. Santa Cruz or Audigy, should try selecting Creative Labs EAX 2 (TM) or Creative Labs EAX (TM), though reportedly MOH: AA doesnít use any of the EAX presets so you may find no playback difference over that of DirectSound3D Hardware Support. Dolby Surround should only be selected if your Soundcard is connected to such a receiver. Miles Fast 2D Positional Audio will provide basic stereo output & also best performance (This is used by default).

You can learn how to further improve your Audio experience in MOH: AA by taking a look at the Soundcard/Speaker Tweak guide. Thisíll take you through positioning your Speakers & configuring Soundcard specific tips for other popular Soundcards such as the SoundBlaster Audigy, Philips PSC70x & Turtle Beach Santa Cruz.

 

Controls

Select Options then the Controls button.

Keyboard. Adjust the Keyboard control bindings here yourself as you see fit.

Mouse Speed. Moving this slider to the Right can improve mouse responsiveness along the X & Y-axis (Horizontal & vertical) although may make more accurate movement awkward due to the extra responsiveness. Iíd recommend leaving this set to the default position unless you find your Mouse fairly slow reacting to your input.

Invert Mouse. Tick this setting to invert the Y-axis of your mouse. This means pulling back (towards you) on the mouse will result in looking up & vice versa.

Smooth Mouse. Ticking this option will enable the use of mouse filtering, which averages out mouse movement, which should result in smoother movement of the Mouse. Iíd recommend leaving this Ticked.

Always Run. Configure this setting to your own gameplay preference.

If you are using a Mouse (Which you should be) you can find out how to further tweak that device in our Mouse Tweak guide.

 

Conclusion

Your Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault gaming experience should now be greatly improved with better visuals, audio & hopefully minimal performance loss. This guide will be updated whenever new patches become available with further information & expanded sections. If you have any Questions/Comments/Suggestions about this Guide be sure to check out our Gaming Forum, or Email me.


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