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Battlefield 2142 Tweak Guide

[Page 5] In-Game Settings



In this section I provide full descriptions for Battlefield 2142's in-game settings, and where possible I provide general recommendations. I note the general performance impact of each setting, although bear in mind that it is impossible for me to give exact performance impacts - it all depends on your specific hardware combination and your other game and system-wide settings.


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Player Accounts


Before you can access the in-game settings or play BF2142 you will need to create or login to an existing account first. An account is not the same as a soldier, read on to see the difference.


EA Account Login: The first screen you will see when you start BF2142 is the account login screen. Here you will have to enter a valid Account Name and its Password, then click the Login button to continue. If you wish these details to be kept in BF2142 and hence not have to enter them again each time you reach this screen, click the 'Remember Me' box so a bright 'X' appears. If you want to create a new EA Account, you will have to click the 'Create New Account' button and follow the instructions on the next screen to do so. If you have an existing account and can't remember its details completely, click the 'Retrieve Details' button and you will either have to enter the email address attached to the account, or the account name, and its details will be sent to the email address originally specified when the account was set up.


BF2 Players Note: If you have an existing Battlefield 2 account, you can get it transferred over to BF2142 by using the BF2142 Veteran's Program. This will help you maintain your account name and also provide you with an instant promotion and a new unlock.


Your online account is very important - do not provide its details to anyone else. Your online account and/or your CD/DVD key (the serial number you enter when installing BF2142) can be banned for cheating which prevents you from using your current copy of BF2142 to play online on certain servers.


Your Soldiers


Once you've logged in with an account, you can set up soldiers which are essentially different profiles. Each soldier can have his own name and settings, but they are all tied to the particular account you used to log in with above. When you click the 'Create New Soldier' button, you will be prompted to enter a name. This is the username which will appear when you play BF2142 online, so choose carefully, and note that the game will check to make sure the nick isn't taken by anyone else before allowing you to use it. If you want your soldier(s) to have a particular Clan tag, enter the tag in the 'Clan Tag' box at the top of the screen.


Each soldier you create will have his own in-game settings and control bindings, so you will have to customize all the settings for each soldier separately. Most of the advanced tweaks later in this guide however will apply to all soldiers since they change the way the game behaves. To learn more about this, and where these separate profiles are kept, see the Advanced Tweaking section. If at any time you choose to delete a soldier, highlight it and select 'Delete Soldier', but keep in mind that this also removes any history they had, such as weapons unlocks or awards. You can't transfer these to another soldier.


Once you're logged in and have setting up your soldier, to activate and use the soldier you will need to highlight a soldier and click the Select button, or double-click on the soldier's name. The next step is to then customize the in-game settings for the selected soldier.


Note: There is a simple method of bypassing all the steps above and automatically logging in to BF2142 each time you launch the game - check the last page of this guide for full details.



In-Game Settings


Once you've logged in with your selected BF2142 account and soldier, you will come to a main menu with an Overview of your soldier's progress towards the next rank and any recent Awards they've received. See the Troubleshooting Tips section if these aren't displaying correctly. You can select from a range of in-game settings by using the small box at the top left of the screen - I cover all the in-game settings and options in detail below:


BFHQ


This area contains a range of information useful to BF2142 players, particularly as they progress through the ranks.


Your Stats: This page has two tabs, Progress and Details. On the Progress page you can see a chart of your soldier's progress against various parameters. On the Details page, you can see an interesting range of details of your soldier's habits and performance. The scroll box at the top of this page allows you to see details about more specific aspects of your gameplay. You can also view your official stats online here - simply login and go to the Player Profile tab.


Unlocks: There are four tabs on this screen: Recon, Assault, Engineer and Support - corresponding to the four main classes you can play in the game. Under each tab are all the pieces of equipment the class can eventually use, and clicking on each item shows you more details about its capabilities. As you progress in rank, you will gain 'Unlocks' (just like in BF2) which can be used to add this equipment to your inventory when online. If you have any available unlocks, the number of these will be indicated at the bottom right of the screen. You can then unlock items highlighted in yellow (those in grey are ones you've already unlocked), and when in-game, to add them to your actual list of equipped items you can use, select the Customize tab in the class selection screen prior to spawning. Available items you've unlocked for that class can be added to your active kit at that point by dragging and dropping them from the right into an open slot on the left; they aren't automatically added to your kit (unless they're Player Ability unlocks). For more details of the 'unlock trees', see this page. Choose your unlocks wisely, as they can greatly impact on your gameplay experience.


Awards: This section lists all the various Pins, Ribbons, Badges and Medals you have received and may receive in the future - click on any one of them to see details of the requirements for obtaining it. To view more details of Awards and their requirements you can also check this page.


Leaderboard: Here you can see all the current players for Battlefield 2142 ranked by their overall score, or other parameters you can select in the drop box at the top left of the screen. You can also look up particular players using the Search Player facility. Double-click on a particular player to see more details about them. Your own character is shown at the bottom of the screen, so you don't need to search for it.


If you're familiar with America's Army or Battlefield 2 then you'll know all about the Tracker websites which track game statistics for registered users of these games. There's a site dedicated to tracking the stats for BF2142 called BF2142 Tracker, and just like its AA and BF2 counterpart this site allows you to view even more detailed player statistics, see other players' stats, etc. You will have to register with the site before they start tracking your stats, so if you want to use BF2142Tracker I recommend registering ASAP.



Multiplay


This area allows you to play BF2142 multiplayer with other people.


Online: This option brings you to the Internet Server Browser screen, where you can see all the available BF2142 servers and their status. There are three tabs you should note: Quick, Advanced and History. The Quick tab simply lists servers which the game determines are closest to you and which give the best Latency (Ping); this is not a full list of servers available to you to play BF2142. I strongly recommend using the Advanced tab instead to list servers, as it both provides a more complete list of servers, and it also gives actual numbers for your Latency, rather than just using green (good ping), orange (medium ping) or red (bad ping) bars.


Under the Advanced tab in Multiplay>Online, click the 'Refresh List' button to show the latest list of available servers. This may take some time, but you can see its progress in the top right corner of the screen where the current Server Count is shown. Once all the servers have been listed, click the small triangle next to the Latency column header to sort the servers by their Ping from lowest to highest. Ping or Latency measures in milliseconds the total time taken for information to be sent from your computer to the game server and back again. The lower this number, the less noticeable will be any 'lag' (delay) between your actions and their impact on the game world due to your Internet connection. Try to play on servers which have 100 or less Ping time (i.e. 1/10th of a second or less delay) for an optimal experience, and make sure you've selected the correct option in Connection Settings under the Options>Game section (See further below).


Filtering Servers: If you're looking for a server with a particular name, or a specific number of players or more, or a certain Ping or less for example, or you can enter these values in the white boxes at the top of each column and press Enter, and the server list will be updated based on the filter values you've entered. For example if you enter a value of 50 in the Ping filter box and press Enter, the list will be updated to only show those servers to which you're pinging 50 or less. Enter a value of 40 in the Players filter box for example, and all servers with 40 or more players will be shown. You can combine filter values as well, so entering the two values in the examples above would provide you with a list of servers with 40 or more players but which still have a ping of 50 or less.


You can also obviously use the specific filters at the bottom of the server browser screen to filter out servers which are empty, which are unranked, which have Friendly Fire On/Off and so forth - select as many of these options are you prefer by placing a 'X' next to them and then refresh the browser list.


History: If you want to see which servers you've played on before, click the History tab and these will be listed, including the time when you last played on them. This is handy for quickly finding a great server you may have played on recently but can't remember the name of.


Note that after you've selected the server you wish to join, loading time may be quite long if the game has to optimize your shaders. There is no way of avoiding this, and it shouldn't occur often unless you change your video settings or install new graphics drivers, but see the Troubleshooting Tips section for more details of the Shader Cache and why it needs to be optimized. Also note that at the end of the map load prior to a game starting, BF2142 has to verify the game files to ensure they are all unmodified and cheat free, and this too may take an additional few seconds. There is no way around this.


Local: If you wish to play BF2142 with other players connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) with you, select the Local option and if the LAN is configured correctly it will show up here. Of course you can create a LAN server yourself under the Create tab, configure the settings as appropriate and click Start Server, and other players on the Network should then be able to join the game on your machine.


Local mode doesn't allow you to play alone against bots like normal Singleplayer mode (which is what you should use - see below), however this actually makes it ideal for allowing you to wander the maps and practice a range of things without being attacked. Go to the Create tab under Local, set Maximum Players to 1, select the map(s) you wish to practice on then click Create Server. You will then join the map and be free to do whatever you wish.


Finally, if you're unfamiliar with the new Titan game mode, click the Titan Tips option to play the Titan tutorial movie. Make sure to watch this at least once as it's important to understand how Titan mode works.



Singleplay


The primary purpose of singleplayer mode in BF2142 is to practice for online mode. This is why the maps are limited to 16 player versions, and as yet I haven't found how to enable the larger maps with more bots in singleplayer mode. To start a game, you can select the particular maps you wish to practice on, add them to the playlist, choose how many times each map will run with the 'Rounds per Map' slider, and then select the Bot (computer-controlled player) Difficulty. The Start Playlist button will then launch the first map, and you can play through your chosen maps, practicing a range of things from tactics to correct vehicle usage. Note that raising the Bot Difficult slider can reduce performance on machines with slower CPUs, so don't set it too high.



Options


This section contains a range of important gameplay, audio and video-related settings which you should go through carefully. All the settings are covered below:


Game


General Settings


Opt Out of Voting: From time to time other players will initiate votes for various reasons, such as a mutiny against the current Commander or a map change. If you want to exclude yourself from having to constantly vote in these, select No here. Obviously this means you will have no input into decisions such as map changes, changes in Commander, etc. but it also means less distractions during the game.


Reverse Mousewheel Selection: If set to Yes, rolling the scroll wheel on your mouse upwards will mean that your selection action (e.g. selecting weapons) will scroll down an item, not up. Set to taste, has no performance impact.


Auto Reload Weapons: If set to Yes, whenever your weapon runs empty you will automatically reload another clip/grenade/missile. This is generally recommended, as otherwise you will manually have to press your Reload button and this can take an extra split second which may be critical. Note some weapons on vehicles have a fixed reload time, and automatically reload after that period regardless of this setting.


Ignore All Buddy Requests: If set to Yes, any time another player requests that he add you to his buddy list you will automatically ignore such requests and see no prompt to take action. If set to No, you will see all buddy requests and can choose what to do - set to suit your taste.


Connection Settings: Battlefield 2142 requires a broadband connection and cannot be played on a dialup modem. As such the options for connection speeds here are limited to 'Cable 256 kbps or Better', or 'T1 (LAN)'. Given that a T1 connection can undertake around 1.5mbps or higher, if you have a connection which can meet or exceed this data rate, select the T1 option. However for most people I recommend the Cable option, especially if you find you're experiencing consistent lag, 'warping' or constant disconnections. Importantly if you have an asychronous connection such as ADSL (i.e. different upload/download speeds), make sure to keep in mind your maximum upload speed when selecting an option here, not your download speed.


HUD Settings


Transparency: These four sliders - HUD (Heads Up Display), Minimap, Icons and Crosshair - allow you to select just how transparent these on-screen elements are. You can see the impact of your changes in the small sample screen provided above these settings, so set the transparencies to suit your taste as they have no significant performance impact.


Crosshair Color: The Red, Green and Blue sliders here can be used to set the color of your in-game weapons crosshair. Be sure to select a color which stands out against the variety of backgrounds used in the game.


Help Pop Ups: Whenever you do something for the first time in the game, the game attempts to help you with small popups and voiceovers which explain what to do. If these annoy you, set this option to No.


Static Map: When set to Yes, the small Minimap overview of your immediate area will remain static as you move around, regardless of which way you're facing. When set to No, the map rotates around your character's icon. Set to suit your taste.


Camera Shake: When set to Yes, your character's view will shake under certain circumstances such as when hit. Note that enabling camera shake can increase the chances of getting motion sickness, so if you suffer from this, or if you simply find it annoying, set this option to No.


Controls


This section contains the key/mouse/joystick mappings for all infantry and vehicle movements. Make absolutely certain you carefully go through the three tabs of the Controls section carefully. The 'Common Controls' section contains your main controls which apply in most circumstances, unless you're in a vehicle. Pay particular attention to the 'Mouse Settings' options under each control tab - adjusting these to the correct values is vital in particular for successfully making your character and vehicles responsive enough.


Mouse Settings: The 'Invert Mouse' option if ticked means that pushing your mouse forward will move the character's viewpoint downwards, pulling it back will move the view upwards. If unticked it is the opposite - set to suit your preferences. The Sensitivity setting controls how sensitive your in-game movements are to your mouse movements. The 'Yaw Factor' setting controls the degree to which vehicles roll left or right, while the 'Pitch Factor' controls the degree to which they tilt forward or back - the higher the factor, the more sensitive vehicles will be to such movements.


Note that if you have any problems using a particular control device such as a joystick or gamepad, make sure you have installed the device's drivers correctly, and also keep in mind that BF2142 doesn't support every gaming controller available. See the Advanced Tweaking section for more details of where you can manually edit the control configuration file to potentially overcome some of these problems.



The next page continues with BF2142's In-Game Settings options.