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3D Spotlight : Tweaking : Quake 3 Arena tweak guide

Quake 3 Arena tweak guide
Last Updated on December 21, 2000 by Thomas McGuire

Config files

The tweaks here can be either changed in your q3config.cfg or you may make your own custom Config file for the game. If you want to make you own config file then simply create a New Text Document, enter in the settings & save the file as All files & name it autoexec.cfg. Save it in the baseq3 directory of where Quake 3 is installed.

To load your customconfig.cfg in Quake 3 (If you didnít name it autoexec.cfg), bring down the console & type /exec customconfig.cfg & hit the Enter key.

NOTE Ė If you choose to make the settings in your own custom config file then you can omit the seta (space) from each setting. In the q3config there will need to be a seta followed by a space. E.g. In your q3config.cfg a setting would appear as follows, seta r_texturemode "LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR", while in your own autoexec.cfg it would appear simply as r_texturemode "LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEARĒ.


Load the game, select Setup, System, then Graphics.

Graphics Settings. You can use this to select Pre-configured visual settings, e.g. Fastest. Donít bother; use Custom settings instead so you can set what you want.

GL Driver. This setting allows you to select the OpenGL driver that you are using for rendering. If you own a 3dfx Voodoo 2 or earlier select Voodoo as your GL driver, otherwise select Default.

GL Extensions. Set this to On for improve performance. Setting it to Off should definitely be seen as a last resort to try if you canít get the game to run. Performance will be significantly lower when set to Off as well.

Video Mode. Select a lower resolution (800*600 or 640*480) when playing online. Graphics may be slightly less appealing, but it will run better, which is more important.

Color Depth. Set this to 16bit when playing online to improve performance. In single player you can set it to 32-bit for improved visual quality (only if your card supports 32 bit colour).

Fullscreen. Set this to On. If youíre using 3d hardware then youíll want to run full-screen anyway, not windowed.

Lighting. Set this to Lightmap for better lighting effects. Set it to Vertex to improve performance at the cost of image quality. GeForce cards reportedly perform better when set to Lightmap.

Geometry Detail. Options available are High, Medium & Low. Each setting gives progressively less geometry detail in maps, resulting in better performance, but less curved architecture. Set it to High for best visual quality & Low for best performance.

Texture Detail. Use this slider to set the texture detail used in Quake 3. Slider this to the Right will increase texture detail & vice versa. The higher the setting the sharper textures in the game will appear, although performance will be lower. The lower the setting the more blurred textures will appear in the game, although performance will be improved.

You should only really set this to the far Right if your graphics cards has 32MB RAM or more.

Texture Quality. Set this to 32 bit for best image quality & 16 bit for improved performance. Again, your video card must support 32-bit rendering. Iíd highly recommend selecting 32-bit texture quality & using 16-bit colour depth for the best image quality/performance trade off.

Texture Filter. Trilinear will give the best image quality but take up a few MBís of your graphics card memory. Quake 3 uses a lot of textures; as such Iíd recommend you set this to Bilinear. This will free up some video memory for all these textures. If you are using a 32MB+ plus graphics card you might be able to set this to Trilinear & enjoy the better image quality. Although even then some maps use over 32MB of texture memory. See the r_textureMode "x" setting for more available settings.

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