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Unreal Tournament 3 Tweak Guide

[Page 10] Neat Stuff & Conclusion

The guide is coming to a conclusion, but below are some important performance tips, tweaks and advice which should not be skipped.

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Skipping Introductory Movies

If you want to remove all the introductory movies which play before you reach the main menu, there are several ways you can do this. The quickest is to right-click on your UT3 launch icon, select Properties, and in the Target box, one space after the last character, add -nomoviestartup. It should look similar to this:

"C:\Program Files\Unreal Tournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe" -nomoviestartup

This is the easiest method, however it can also prevent single player cinematic cut-scene movies from playing. So there are other ways you can remove the startup movies which won't cause any issues - open your UTEngine.ini file, go to the [FullScreenMovie] section, and put a ; in front of all the lines starting with StartupMovies, so they look like this ;StartupMovies=. Alternatively, you can go to your \Program Files\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Movies directory and rename the relevant movie files, but this is not recommended.

Automatic Login

As of the 1.2 Patch (See page 4), UT3 now supports automatic login via two new command line switches you can add to the Target line of your UT3 launch icon:

-login=username -password=password

Since UT3 already has an 'Automatically Login' option which you can tick on the main login screen, that is the best way to automatically login. However the above command line method can be useful if launching UT3 from third party utilities for example.

Measuring FPS, Taking Screenshots & Videos, & Benchmarking

To measure your FPS in UT3, open the in-game command console (default is the TAB or ~ key) and type Stat FPS, and a framerate display will appear at the top right of the screen. If you wish to take screenshots at any time, you can press the F9 key which is bound to the screenshot commadn by default, or you can open the console and type shot. In either case, a screenshot will be saved in .BMP format under your \My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\ScreenShots directory. If you want to take nicer screenshots, you hide the HUD temporarily by using the Showhud console command, or alternatively use the Togglescreenshotmode console command to remove all on-screen text, the HUD and your own weapon. Finally, you can use FRAPS to record in-game movies in .AVI format, such as this one, and FRAPS also provides an FPS counter and screenshot facility as well if you need it.

If you also want a utility which automates the benchmarking of UT3, you can use the HOCBench UT3 Benchmark tool.

Basic Gameplay Tips

One of the biggest impediments to newer people enjoying the Unreal Tournament series is the fact that they die very quickly and can't seem to master the gameplay. I am by no means an expert player of UT, but having played for many years, I can provide the following basic tips for beginners - at least until I can find a good UT3 Gameplay/Strategy Guide to link to here. Keep these tips in mind when practicing in offline mode against bots, steadily increasing the bot difficulty as you become more capable:

  • Learn the Weapons - Read the in-game weapon descriptions as well as those in this Wikipedia Article to familiarize yourself with the primary, secondary and combination fire modes of all the weapons. Some combinations like the Shock Combo can be mastered to a very high level with a lot of practice. Always be prepared to switch to any weapon depending on the circumstance, e.g. when an opponent moves from long to short range, switch accordingly. Even the Impact Hammer can be devastating in the hands of an expert.
  • Learn the Maps - You need to learn the layout of every map, including all the nooks, crannies and shortcuts. Knowing where all the weapons, ammo pickups and powerups are is crucial.
  • Move erratically - The most common reason people are killed quickly is because of the predictability of their movements. Constantly move around, dodge, jump and weave; don't make it obvious where you're going to be in the next few seconds. This is a lot harder than it sounds and requires great skill.
  • Powerups - The best players seem to be almost unkillable because they know where all the powerups are, such as Shield Belts, Kegs of Health, Invisibility, Damage Amps and so forth. They are constantly at or near these powerups, aware of how often they spawn, ready to pounce on them. That's why they can often take amazing amounts of damage and survive, so learn where the powerups are on each map and use them to your advantage.
  • Weapon Pickups - Aside from needing to know where all the weapon pickups are on a map, be aware that other players also know, and often "camp" near these pickups, ready to blast people as they head towards them. Always keep an eye out for players hidden in elevated places, alcoves or corners near a weapon pickup.

  • Again, these are just the very basics, and as always the key to success is practice, so use offline mode to learn the maps, use bots to challenge and hone your strategies, but ultimately only a lot of playing against actual online human opponents can sharpen you up, and don't get discouraged if you keep dying.


    That brings the guide to a conclusion for now, and I hope it improves your UT3 experience. As always, if you find errors or important omissions in the guide, make sure to Email Me with the details so I can keep the guide as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Remember though that unfortunately I can't provide any tech/tweaking support, and I also don't provide permission for the guide to be reproduced or translated elsewhere for several reasons.

    Until next time, take care!