Tweaking for smoother gameplay (UT)

From UnrealAdminWiki

This page groups information about tweaking UT and your set up for a more pleasant experience online.


Basics for increasing your framerate on old PCs and gfx cards

  • In UT's Settings, set World Texture Detail to "Low".
  • Set GoreLevel to "Ultra-Low".
  • Turn off Decals.
  • If your framerate is still too low, turn off DynamicLighting. (Although the glow of the flag is useful in CTF, flak-spam with dynamic lighting can really harm framerate on old PCs.)
  • If your framerate is still too low, set Skin Detail to "Low".
  • Edit your UnrealTournament.ini to turn of Coronas.

Ginz's UT bible has some more tips, with detailed explanations:

There's now also ginz's UT bible part 2. It covers about every UT setting there is. It's made so that you can fine tune your UT to perfect quality or performance settings. So it's useful for UT players and movie makers

Windows, ATI and OpenGL

Renderer If you haven't done so already, update your OpenGL renderer with the latest one on this site :


Due to some changes in ATI's driver, you might notice that the game speeds up and slows down when you play offline. If this is the case, activate vsync in your driver settings and set your monitor to the highest refresh rate it can handle at a given resolution.

Textures and Mipmapping

If your card is more or less powerful it might also be necessary to set Texture preference and Mipmap detail to Quality or High Quality to bog the GPU down slightly so the game doesn't run too fast. If you don't have access to these settings, give ATI Tray Tools a try.

Refresh rate override

Windows 2000 and XP have a bug where full screen games run at 60Hz. To fix this, refresh rate override utilities were made (ATI Tray Tools has this option). If you have activated vsync, set the override to the same as your desktop refresh rate.

Triple buffering

Some sites advise activating this feature when you're using vsync to compensate for sharp drops in frame rate. It may cause stuttering though.


Netspeed is very important when playing online as it limits the maximum refresh rate you can run UT at. As a reference point, netspeed 5500 allows a 85Hz refresh at 1024x768 resolution. Make sure your netspeed is higher than what is necessary to run the refresh override you have set. If you don't, your in-game frames per second may yoyo very fast and cause stuttering or other weird effects. You can check this by entering timedemo 1 in the console.


If you're willing to sacrifice a little in-game quality, you can set FrameRateLimit in your preferences to a high value such as 999. This will instruct UT to drop any detail on some effects and may provide a performance boost.

LCD Monitor and OpenGL

Learned from experience: in order to run the game on LCD monitor without the "mouse lag" (dizzy mouse movement) try disabling Vsync & Triple buffering in your graphics card drivers for both ATI & nVidia.

along with this, if you use LCD monitor, use the default refresh rate (60 for most monitors).

Other less obvious problems

  • Bad PSU. If your system has trouble booting sometimes you might have a bad PSU (capacitors have started leaking or are corroded), which in turn can influence how your computer performs. This can cause player freezing (player hangs in the air), higher damage when falling (makes a double sound when hitting the ground), stuttering, lag and all sorts of weird stuff. Replace the PSU and get the old one fixed by someone competent with electronics.
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