Bad Company 2 Ultimate Performance Tweak Guide v1.0

#1PsythikPosted 3/11/2010 5:30:11 PM
There are quite a few performance guides out there (such as this one: http://gamers-underground.com/action-fps/32463-bad-company-2-tweaks.html), but personally I feel they're all incomplete and not very well written. So here's my version (targeted towards both noobs and more knowledgeable folks):

1.1 :: Settings.ini
First off, you may or may not know that the most important settings when it comes to performance aren't even in-game. They are under settings.ini. Open the file in a text editor (such as Notepad) and tweak away! settings.ini is located here:

In Win7/Vista: C:\Users\[you]\Documents\BFBC2\settings.ini
In XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[you]\My Documents\BFBC2\settings.ini

After you make your changes to the file & save, you will need to mark it as read-only to keep the game from changing your settings back.

If you are not very good at computers (or uncomfortable with editing .ini files), Liseda from the EA forums has made a simple tool that can change most (but not all) of the same settings for you. Get it here:
http://ohlawl.com/liseda.html


2.1 :: Settings that make the biggest performance impact
Anti-Aliasing (MSAA)
The higher you set this, the less "jaggies" you will see. Using AA takes a massive chunk out of your FPS however.
Best Performance: 0 (1x)
Best Quality: 3 (4x) and above

Bloom
Effect that attempts to mimic the way the human eye sees a bright object right after looking at a darker one. Makes sunsets look gorgeous in this game at the cost of FPS.
Best Performance: false (off)
Best Quality: true (on)

DirectX Mode (DxVersion)
Changes what version of DirectX to run the game in. The game looks "prettier" in DX10 (better water, dust, etc.), but the effect is subtle so you might want to turn it off. This setting will only affect users running Vista/Win7 with a DX10 capable GPU.
Best Performance: 9
Default: auto
(Note: You may experience graphical glitches running in DX9 mode, such as flickering textures and not being able to see out of the mounted turret window. AA doesn't work in DX9 mode either.)

Horizontal Based Ambient Occlusion (HSAO)
Advanced form of shadows that add depth to objects, but can negatively impact performance. Here are some comparison screenshots (from the beta but it still applies):
ON: http://img222.yfrog.com/img222/8094/hbao10.png
OFF: http://img21.yfrog.com/img21/4914/hbao9.png

ON: http://img268.yfrog.com/img268/9527/hbao14.png
OFF: http://img96.yfrog.com/img96/425/hbao13.png

ON: http://imgur.com/avj2B.jpg
OFF: http://imgur.com/7y9Gu.jpg
Best Performance: false (off)
Best Quality: true (on)

Shadows
Best Performance: medium or low
Best Quality: high

Undergrowth
Quality of the grass that is "painted" on the ground. There's a lot of this, so turning it down helps.
Best Performance: medium or low
Best Quality: high

VSync
Syncs the games FPS to the refresh rate of your monitor to eliminate "tearing" (noticeable on fast movement). Only turn this on if you can maintain 60+FPS constantly. Otherwise it'll negatively impact performance.
Available settings: on, off
#2Psythik(Topic Creator)Posted 3/11/2010 5:31:32 PM
2.2 :: Settings that make less of a performance impact
Most of these settings make almost no difference in performance, so you might as well leave them on high.

Anisotropic Filtering (Aniso)
Quality of textures at a distance. In all my years of gaming I've never noticed a performance impact from using this, so it's safe to just leave this maxed-out.

Detail
Available settings: low, medium, high

Effects
Quality of effects like explosions and whatnot.
Available settings: low, medium, high

Overgrowth
Amount of grass and weeds that stick out of the ground.
Available settings: low, medium, high

Soldiers
Level of detail on humans.
Available settings: low, medium, high

StaticObjects
Quality of various objects (barrels, rocks, signs, etc.)
Available settings: low, medium, high

Terrain
Quality of general terrain (not including grass; see Overgrowth & Undergrowth)
Available settings: low, medium, high

Textures
Quality of general textures (walls, fences, poles, etc.)
Available settings: low, medium, high

Vehicles
Level of detail on all vehicles.
Available settings: low, medium, high

Water
There's not a whole lot of water in this game so you might as well turn it down.
Best Performance: medium or low
Best Quality: high


2.3 :: Other settings
Field of View (Fov)
See: http://badcompanytwo.com/news-tidbits/bc2-field-of-view-guide/

RenderAheadLimit
There is a bit of controversy as to what this setting actually does. From what I've found, either it's viewing distance of objects, or how much the CPU is allowed to get "ahead" of the GPU. Personally I would just leave this setting alone, as setting it to the wrong thing can cause crashes.
Best Performance: Your results may vary
Default: 2

Sound Quality
Only set this to high if you have a high-end CPU that can handle it. On my 3.6GHz Core 2 Duo, high caused the game to eat CPU, and the sound to crackle in the menus, as well as randomly freeze. Most people should leave this on low. Medium works great for me.
Best Performance: low
Default: low

SpeakerCount
This is completely different from the sound settings available in game. Use the following guide to determine which number to pick:
5.1, 6.1, & 7.1 systems: 6
4.0 & 4.1 systems: 4
2.0 stereo & 2.1 systems: 2
Default: 0 (auto detect?)


3.1 :: Miscellaneous
If your mouse suddenly stops working
If you bought the game from Steam, bring up the overlay and close it (Shift+Tab)
For other versions, Alt+Tab or Alt+Esc works too

If you screw something up
You can get the original settings.ini file here:
http://www.badcompanytwo.com/wordpress/wp-content/downloads/settings.zip

For a small FPS boost with ATI cards:
Open the Catalyst Control Center. Click Graphics (top left) > 3D > All > Set Catalyst A.I. to Advanced. This may cause problems for other games though, so don't forget about it!

Always keep your graphics drivers up-to-date! ATI and nVidia are constantly making improvements to game performance, so keep them updated!


4.1 :: Coming in v2.0
Comparison screenshots of every setting (this might take some time), and a few other things here and there.
#3Metal_SatchPosted 3/11/2010 5:54:04 PM
Beast.

thanks
---
DS Friend codes
GTA CTW: 3781-5066-6312
#4davelizmayaPosted 3/11/2010 6:22:42 PM

thanks for taking the time. found it very useful.;)

#5MajikHaatPosted 3/11/2010 6:31:35 PM
Thanks for the info, bro.
#6TheLiquidSexPosted 3/11/2010 6:32:45 PM
Deserves sticky, but I'm only level 30.
---
"yea, it's beyond sutpid" ~ x Row x
#7MOSSBERG_E-RockPosted 3/11/2010 6:40:35 PM
sticky.
---
Official Topic Killer of Gfaqs
#8thaandieselPosted 3/11/2010 7:25:36 PM
thankyou!
#9WakainPosted 3/11/2010 7:26:08 PM
I will bump this forever. Sticky.
---
Smoke weed.
#10PrimeSignPosted 3/11/2010 7:27:04 PM
Very helpful, thanks, sticky requested.