Soldier of Fortune tweak guide

Scalability settings

Select Options, then Scalability Settings. Much of the Graphical Scalability settings have been already set so (As shown in the previous section) scroll down to the Number Of Decals setting.

Number Of Decals. This slider controls the maximum amount of bullet holes/explosion scars in a level, where sliding this to the right position will increase the maximum number available & vice versa. Once this limit is reached the oldest decal will be removed, & so on. Moving to the left can improve game performance, although this is semi-determined by how bad your aim is (& that of the enemies). Given the little need to backtrack in most levels Id personally recommend setting this to the middle position only.

Effect Overdraw. Use the slider to adjust the amount of pixels rendered before culling out. The further you slide it to the Right the more detailed effects can be, e.g. Explosions, however performance can be lower as detail increases, particularly on low fill rate Graphics cards. If you have a card with a low fill rate (Voodoo 3 or earlier) then lower this setting.

Corpse Duration. Use this to set the number of, & how long enemy/NPC corpses remain visible. Options available are Low, High, Very High. Performance can be effected with Higher setting as, if there's a lot of activity going on in an area with corpses visible (Corpses require as much polygons & textures rendered as living models do).

Model Expressions. Use this to set the amount of facial expressions that can be used by enemy models. Options available are Very Few, Few, Normal, Plenty. Each setting will require increasingly greater texture memory. If you have a video card with a high amount of texture memory (16MB or more) you should be able to set this to Plenty without any performance loss.

Skin Variety. Use this to set the variety of skins available for enemy models. Options available are Very Few, Few, Normal, Plenty. If you have a video card with a high amount of texture memory (32MB+) you should be able to select Plenty without any performance loss, this will allow for a wide variety of enemy appearances, setting it lower will result in more clone like enemies.

Graphics Configuration settings

Open your Config file. Search for/ Add the following lines & edit the x value as appropriate;

gl_bitdepth "x". This setting sets the colour depth for Soldier of Fortune. Set x to 16 for best performance, but reduced visual quality (More apparent banding). Set x to 32 for best visual quality (Less apparent banding), although performance will be reduced 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.

gl_clear "x". A value of 0 for x enables the filling of cracks between textures, 1 makes these visible. 0 is slower performing than 1 although more pleasing visually.

gl_cull "x". Setting x to 1 enables the rendering of visible objects only. 0 renders all regardless which will reduce performance. I'd recommend setting this to 1.

gl_displayrefresh "x". x sets the refresh rate to be used in the game. It is recommended that you set this to the highest refresh rate that your monitor can handle at a given resolution. With vsync enabled this value also limits the highest frame rate you can achieve. You shouldnt set it any higher than the highest refresh rate your monitor can sustain at a given resolution.

gl_ext_multitexture "x". Set x to 1 to enable Multi-texturing support, this will improve performance on all modern Graphics Cards. You shouldnt need to set this to 0 for any reason.

gl_fogmode x. Not a tweak as such, although you should leave x set to 0 at all times. Any other value may cause image artefacts wherever fog is to be rendered.

gl_lightmap "x". A value of 1 for x will enable real-time lighting of levels. Setting this to 0 will enable vertex lighting, which is static lighting, this looks uglier although will improve performance a lot Useful perhaps if you are attempting to play on a very old system.

gl_ztrick "x". Setting x to 1 may improve performance, although it may cause flickering with distant objects. 0 will eliminate the flickering although is slightly slower.

gl_ext_swapinterval "x". Set x to 1 to allow the setting below gl_swapinterval - to be enabled/disabled. 0 disables changing the setting below.

gl_swapinterval "x". This is the Soldier of Fortune equivalent to vsync. Set x to 1 to enable vsync (Recommended Although frame rate will be limited to refresh rate). Only set it to 0 when you are benchmarking game performance. This (enabling it) will remove the tearing & controller lag that can occur when it is disabled, resulting in a better gaming experience.

r_fullbright x. Leave x set to 0. Other values, 1 - 4 (Of which 3 & 4 affect software renderer only - when gl_allow_software "1), will affect visuals adversely & you dont want that.

r_norefresh "x". not a tweak as such although setting x to 1 will freeze the screen. Leave it set to 0 at all times. This is included here more as a warning than anything else.

r_novis "x". The default value for x is 0. When set to 1 underwater items are rendered. Seeing as underwater items generally cannot be seen until you are underwater this is quite futile to enable & will affect performance adversely when near areas with non-transparent water.

ghl_mip x. A setting of 0 for x gives best image quality. Setting it higher (up to 4) may improve performance but reduce image quality. Id recommend leaving this at either 0 or 1.

ghl_precache_texture "x". Set x to 1 to enable the precaching of textures. This can improve performance, although will increase loading time. Setting x to 0 will reduce loading time of levels although performance may be reduced if textures are to be loaded during a level.

ghl_specular "x". A setting of 0 for x disables specular lighting, 1 enables it. Enabling it will allow for shiny models this will yield improved visuals, although performance may be lowered slightly.

ghl_shadows "x". A setting of 0 for x disables shadows. 1 enables simple circular shadows. 2 will enable volumetric shadows. Enabling shadows will reduce performance, particularly setting it to 2, leave it on 0. Depending on your CPU you may be able to enable shadows without too much of a performance drop.

ghl_player_shadow "x". A setting of 0 for x disables shadows for your Character model. 1 enables your shadow. Enabling shadows will reduce performance. I'd recommend setting this to 0 as you never will really be looking at/for your own shadow.

When shadows are enabled the following 3 settings are used. The default settings are fine so you shouldn't need to experiment with the values at all (These are included in case you accidentally change them & require the original values).

ghl_shadow_darkness ".75

ghl_shadow_tilt ".25"

ghl_shadow_dist "25"

ghl_light_method x. x sets the lighting method to be used in Soldier of Fortune. Where;

0. A single light source is used for the entire model. This will yield greatest performance but worst visual quality & is only recommended for those on below Minimum spec. machines.

1. This uses 4 lights sources interpolated over the entire model & enables the use of specular lighting on Models also. This will provide good quality lighting, & should be used with systems that have average CPUs (400 - 600Mhz) or slow Graphics Cards.

2. This uses 4 lights sources interpolated over the entire model, enables the use of specular lighting & dynamic lights on Models. This will provide great quality lighting, & should be used with systems that have above average CPUs (600 - 800Mhz).

3. This options uses the OpenGL T&L routine, which will yield highest quality lighting effects & possibly performance as well (On Hardware T&L supporting Graphics cards anyway, e.g. Geforce 2). This option may also be used on non-Hardware T&L Graphics cards as long as you have a sufficiently fast CPU. Certainly select this option if you have a Hardware T&L supporting Graphics Card.

ghl_gllight_max_lights"x". This sets the Maximum amount of Hardware light sources used during rendering (ghl_light_method 3). Those with first generation onboard Hardware T&L Graphics Cards are recommended to set this to 6 at most, while others may try 8. This setting is ignored this setting if you selected ghl_light_method 0/1/2 previously, i.e. Software lighting.

The next 3 settings are all used for Hardware lighting, leave these at their default values. They are included here so you won't mess with them accidentally.

ghl_gllight_attenuation "1"

ghl_gllight_directional "0"

ghl_gllight_local_viewer "1"

ghl_max_lights "x". x sets the maximum amount of Software light sources used in Soldier of Fortune. The default is 3. Higher values will result in improved lighting effects on Models, although performance will be reduced, particularly on slower CPUs. 6 is the maximum recommended value. This setting is ignored this setting if ghl_light_method 3 has been set, i.e. Hardware lighting.

ghl_fast_lights "x". Setting x to 1 may improve performance slightly. 0 will use full lighting effects/calculations for best image quality. Those of you with a Hardware T&L supporting Graphics Card or fast CPU should leave this set to 0 for best lighting quality in levels.

shownames "x". Set x to 1 to enable the name of a targeted person to appear. 0 will disable this. Id recommend enabling this as it can warn you of a player around corners, i.e. If facing the right way an opponents name may appear when they are not visible.

cl_gun x. Set x to 1 to enable your current weapon to be drawn on the screen. A setting of 0 will improve frame rate & visibility a little, but you wont see which weapon are using of course. Id recommend leaving this set to 1.

cl_showfps "x". A value of 1 for x enables the display of a counter showing your current frame rate in the top-left corner. 0 disables this. This is useful for testing the effects of changing Graphics settings & finding a good trade-off between performance & visual quality.

Make sure to take a look at the TNT\GeForce, Voodoo 3, Voodoo 4/5 or Kyro 1/2 Tweak guide for information on how to optimize the performance of those cards. That may help you improve image quality/performance even further than the config tweaks.


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