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Battlefield 2142 Tweak Guide

[Page 9] Neat Stuff & Conclusion



The guide is fast coming to a close. The following are some tips and tricks I've found which you may find very handy, so don't skip this page.



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Disabling the Intro Movies


The introductory movies to BF2142 add to the startup time for the game, as well as the memory usage. To disable them permanently, you can't use the +restart command line command, as this no longer works. I also don't recommend deleting the movie files - this may cause problems with verification of client information on certain servers and/or with Punkbuster. So the simplest method to skip the startup movies is to go to your \Program Files\Electronic Arts\Battlefield 2142\mods\bf2142\Movies directory and rename all the .bik files to something else (e.g. rename EA.bik to EA._bik). This will prevent these movie files from loading at startup and take you straight to the main login screen. Alternatively, you can create a new folder in the same directory (with any name you wish) and move all the movies there to achieve the same effect.


Note that renaming or moving the Titan tutorial movie titan_tutorial.bik will cause problems if you try to view the Titan Tutorial by clicking the 'Titan Tips' option under Multiplay, so I don't recommend renaming this file - you can leave it as is, as it does not add to the startup time in the full version of the game.



Setting A Custom Resolution


Since the lack of a range of resolutions is one of the most common complaints about BF2142, I'll spell out the solution again here. It involves using the +szx and +szy command line options (covered in the Advanced Tweaking section). For example to set a resolution of 1280x1024, go to your BF2142 launch icon, right-click on it and select Properties. Then in the Target box put a single blank space after the last character and insert +szx 1280 +szy 1024, substituting any other number for the 1280 width and 1024 height respectively to suit your needs. The end result should look something like this:


"C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Battlefield 2142\BF2142.exe" +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 +szx 1280 +szy 1024


Now each time you launch the game it will run in the custom resolution specified, however note firstly that you must make sure your monitor can support this resolution, and secondly the Display Mode setting under the in-game Video Settings will not show the correct new resolution, not that this is a problem. Unlike Battlefield 2, editing the Video.con file does not work in properly setting a custom resolution, so this is the recommended method for doing so.



Automatic Login


Automatic Login allows you to automatically login to your EA Account and the particular Soldier you want to use each time you start the game. This is relatively straightforward to do, and again involves editing your BF2142 command line options. To do this go to your BF2142 launch icon, right-click on it and select Properties. Then in the Target box put a single blank space after the last character and insert +eaAccountName [Accountname] +eaAccountPassword [Password] +soldierName [soldiername].


As an example of this, suppose my EA Account name which I use to login to BF2142 is KillMachine, and the password for this account is 123abc, and further that the soldier I use to play online has the name Overman. This means I'd have to alter my command line to look something like this (note the added items in italics):


"C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Battlefield 2142\BF2142.exe" +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 +szx 1280 +szy 1024 +eaAccountName KillMachine +eaAccountPassword 123abc +soldierName Overman


Importantly you must use all the right cases for each command and parameter. In the example above, if I had used +eaaccountname killmachine for example, it would not work, it has to have correct capitalizations in each command and parameter used.


Now whenever you double-click your BF2142 launch icon, after a brief pause you should come to main BF2142 screen ready to start playing, having skipped the login and soldier selection screens. If you wish to alter your login or soldier details at any time, either remove these parameters from your command line, or simply click the small '\' button at the top right of the BF2142 menu screen to log out of your current account and go back to the account login screen.


Finally, if you see a long black screen at startup and the main BF2142 screen does not appear even after a few minutes, this is either because you've lost your connection to the Internet or the EA Master Server is having problems logging you in. You may have to physically restart your PC by pressing the reset button.



Measuring Framerate, Taking Screenshots & Recording Demo Movies


You can use the renderer.drawFps 1 command in BF2142 to show your current frames per second (see Advanced Tweaking section). However there is a utility which allows you to do this and much more: FRAPS. This free utility will display a very accurate framerate counter in the corner of the screen. However Fraps also has other handy functions, such as the ability to take screenshots in various formats and even record demo movies in AVI format which you can play back in a media player outside of BF2142. Give it a try as it is a great utility to have on your PC.



Unlocking Weapons in Singleplayer, Co-Op & LAN Modes


If you want to practice using various unlocked weapons in singleplayer mode, more details are here, or you can use this Unlock Mod. Remember, you can only unlock weapons in this way for single player, co-op and LAN mode - attempting to do so for regular multiplayer will simply see you booted from servers for modified files.



Gameplay Tips


You may have noticed there are a range of useful gameplay tips which appear on the loading screen when BF2142 is loading up a map. All 105 of These have been rounded up and put here, and are worth giving a quick read through.



Battlefield 2142 & Resource Usage


Just like Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142 is not designed to take full advantage of multi-core CPUs as confirmed by this article. This doesn't mean that the CPU is not important to BF2142, nor that you may not be able to get a performance boost if you upgrade to a more recent dual or multi-core CPU, as these often have more efficient memory architectures. It's simply worth noting that the game doesn't appear to use more than one core at any time, and thus is not optimized (multi-threaded) for dual cores.


Furthermore, just like BF2, BF2142 also requires more than 1GB of RAM - ideally 2GB - to run smoothly. The game process can take up to 900MB or more of RAM by itself when running, so although those of you with less RAM can optimize your systems to reduce unnecessary resource usage (See pages 2 and 3), unfortunately 1GB or less of RAM will result in an increase in stuttering and loading pauses throughout the game. Increasing RAM reduces this, although note that more RAM does not equal more FPS, just smoother FPS.



Conclusion


This brings the guide to a conclusion, and obviously given BF2142 is based on almost exactly the same engine as BF2, it has made my job a lot easier. However preparing this guide was still very tedious due to retesting a wide range of variables and also because the BF2142 demo I originally used did not have a singleplayer mode, making image comparisons very time-consuming to do. I had to change each setting, join an online game, find the right position to take the screenshot, exit the server, change the setting, and repeat - about 50 times or so! Out of respect for the time I put into my guides, please keep in mind that I do not give permission for anyone to reproduce my guides (in full or in part) anywhere else for any reason - they're always available completely free and constantly updated right here on TweakGuides. If you want to know why I'm so "greedy" please read this.


I've now taken the time to update this guide for the full retail version of the game. If you discover more tweaks or want to provide feedback on the guide at any time then please Email Me. I'm always interested in user feedback which can help me refine my guides, as this makes them more useful to everyone. However please remember that I can't provide tech support, and that I don't have any secret tips or tweaks hiding up my sleeve - if I know about it and it has any real impact, it's in my guides.



Until next time, take care!