Far Cry Tweak Guide
[Page 7] Advanced Tweaking
So far we've seen that the Far Cry in-game settings do allow for a fair amount of customization. In fact for most purposes they should be sufficient. But of course, given TweakGuides.com also caters to the hardcore tweakers out there, it's highly unlikely we were going to leave the tinkering at just the in-game settings. Below are several ways in which you can further increase performance and/or improve visual quality beyond the bounds of the in-game settings.
There are two major ways to further tweak the game's settings. The first one is by using the Far Cry Configuration Tool. The second one is to manually edit the .cfg files, which allows for a wider range of tweaking but is less user friendly than the Configuration Tool. The Configuration Tool tweaks are covered on the next two pages, with the .cfg file tweaks on the following pages.
Note that before we get into any tweaking with either method, I strongly recommend you copy your System.cfg and Game.cfg files and put these copies somewhere safe as a backup.
Far Cry Configuration Tool
You can launch the Far Cry Configuration Tool by clicking its icon, or if you can't find the icon, go to your \Program Files\UBISOFT\Crytek\Far Cry\Bin32\ directory and launch (double click on) the FarCryConfigurator.exe file. All of the settings under the Tool's main tabs have already been covered in the In-Game Settings section above, so they won't be covered again here. Changing them is exactly the same as changing them in Far Cry.
But wait...there is one particular section of interest to us. Go to the Video Options (Advanced) tab, and click on the Customize button on the bottom right. This will open up a new dialog box which contains tabs addressing all of the game's Advanced Video functions, such as Environment Quality, Lighting Quality etc. However unlike the descriptions given in the In-Game Settings section, here you can actually alter the individual components of these settings, and not just use presets like Low, Medium and High. For example if you just want to disable Motion Blur but keep the rest of your Special Effects Quality settings equivalent to High or Very High, you can do so here. Very handy for fine tuning the game.
These settings are covered below, but not in great detail due mainly to space considerations and my less than perfect knowledge of the intricacies of every setting. Indicative performance impacts are given, but you are encouraged to experiment, as the performance and visual impact depends a lot on your particular hardware and other settings as much as anything else. Note that editing these values using the Config Tool will make the appropriate changes in the corresponding entry in your main System.cfg file (see below).
They can also be changed in the game's console, or by manually editing the .cfg files (see below and also the Console Commands Section).
r_TexResolution [0,1,2] - 0=Full texture resolution, 1=Half resolution, 2=Quarter resolution. The lower the texture resolution, the blockier all textures will appear. Setting to 1 or 2 may increase FPS and reduce overall RAM usage, but will decrease visual quality.
r_TexSkyResolution [0,1,2] - 0=Full resolution, 1=Half resolution, 2=Quarter resolution. Affects the resolution of the sky textures the same way TexResolution (see above) affects other textures. Setting to 1 or 2 may increase FPS and reduce overall RAM usage, but will decrease visual quality.
r_TexBumpResolution [0,1,2] - 0=Full resolution, 1=Half resolution, 2=Quarter resolution. Affects the crispness and clarity of bump-mapped (raised) surfaces. Setting to 1 or 2 will increase FPS, but will decrease visual quality.
e_detail_texture_quality [0,1] - 0=Use 1 texture for entire level, 1=Use multiple texture for levels. If detail textures are enabled (see below), setting this to 0 will use the same texture for every surface in a level which has detail textures which can reduce RAM usage but reduce image quality/realism. Setting to 1 will use more appropriate textures for each different surface, but will increase RAM usage.
r_DetailTextures [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Detail Textures provide more detail to certain textures when examined closer up, such as pitting on metals or the bark on trees. If enabled can increase RAM usage and reduce FPS, but improves visual quality.
r_DetailNumLayers [0,1,2] - 0, 1 or 2 detail layers used per surface. On many textures which use extra layers to show detailed effects (such as gloss), this setting determines how rich such detailing will be. 0=no detail layers, 1 and 2 increase the layers. Reducing detail layers can improve FPS and reduce RAM usage at the cost of visual quality.
r_DetailDistance [0-16] - 0=Per-pixel blending of detail layers occurs at any distance, values up to 16=Per-pixel blending occurs at the set distance from character and beyond. Unclear of the impacts of this setting, I couldn't tell the difference when testing.
Texture Filter Quality
d3d9_TextureFilter [BILINEAR, TRILINEAR] - BILINEAR sets filtering to Bilinear, TRILINEAR sets filtering to Trilinear, as described in the In-Game settings section.
GL_TextureFilter [GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST, GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR] - If you are using the OpenGL renderer (See System.cfg in Advanced Tweaking Section) then GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST=Bilinear Filtering, and GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR=Trilinear Filtering under OpenGL. Similar performance impacts as described above.
Anisotropic Filtering Level
r_Texture_Anisotropic_Level [1-16] - The value set here will determine the Anisotropic Filtering level. In-game this is limited to 4 (4x). Here you can set it all the way up to 16x. Higher levels of AF will successively reduce FPS but improve texture clarity. Cannot be set to 0, 1x is minimum possible.
e_particles_max_count [0-infinity] - This number determines the maximum number of particles shown at any one time on screen by particle effects like smoke, steam, explosions. The lower the setting (0=Particle Effects Off), the less rich the effects will be, especially if there are more than one, but the higher your FPS in areas with such effects.
e_particles_lod [0.5-1.0] - 0.5=Lowest level of detail for particle effects, 1.0=Highest level of detail. At the lowest Level of Detail (LOD) FPS in areas with particle effects is much higher, but quality of effects much lower than at highest LOD.
Special Effects Quality
r_MotionBlur [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Motion Blur occurs when drowning, falling from heights or being flashbanged. Turning it off will disable all such effects but improve FPS in such instances.
r_Glare [0-infinity] - 0=Off, Higher values=On. Usually a value of 1 is sufficient to turn on Glare, any higher seems to make no difference. Glare is the effect surrounding lights. Turning off Glare can improve FPS around visible lights.
r_GlareQuality [0,1,2] - 0=Low quality, 1=Medium quality, 2=High quality Glare. If Glare is enabled this setting controls its quality. Lower values may increase FPS, but reduce image quality.
r_Flares [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Controls whether the Sun has a "lens flare" effect. May improve FPS outdoors if turned off.
r_checkSunVis [0,1,2,3] - Various methods of drawing the Sun in the sky. Image quality differences between the methods don't seem very noticeable. The performance impact of method 2 and 3 will be higher than 0 or 1, but FPS difference is minimal. Doesn't affect shadows.
r_Coronas [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Coronas are the halos of light around light sources. Turning coronas off will improve FPS in areas with lighting, but at the cost of unrealistic lighting sources.
r_CoronaFade [0.0-1.0] - Time taken for a Corona to fade from sight when its source disappears from view. The higher the value, the longer the time taken. May improve FPS if reduced at the cost of some realism.
r_HeatHaze [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Heat Haze is the distorting haze immediately surrounding areas giving off large amounts of heat. Turning this effect off can improve FPS in such areas at the cost of visual quality/realism.
r_ScopeLens_fx [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. When the Sniper Rifle is being carried, if you look at its lens you will see it actually shows a small distorted image of what is currently in front of the lens. Turning this effect off may improve FPS slightly at the cost of realism.
r_ProcFlares [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. I am unsure as to what Procedural Flares are and the impact of this setting.
r_CryvisionType [0,1,2] - 0=High quality, 1=Medium quality, 2=Low quality. This setting determines the type of image displayed when CryVision is used. The lower the quality, the poorer the image, although it is hard to tell the difference between High and Low quality. FPS impact may be noticeable on older machines.
r_DisableSfx [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. This is a confusing setting. Setting it to On is meant to disable all special effects. However it only disables a few of them like Motion Blur and not others - not sure why. Can improve FPS if enabled.
r_Beams [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. I am unsure as to what Procedural Beams are and the impact of this setting.
es_EnableCloth [0,1] - 0=Off, 1=On. Determines whether cloth items are physically tangible or not. For example if set to Off, you can walk right through a hanging fishing net and it won't move. If set to On, walking into the net makes it move. Disabling physical cloth can improve FPS slightly in such areas.
The details of the Far Cry Configuration Tool settings are continued on the next page