Tweaks/Fixes/Console FAQ by Apocolypse

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 11/26/03 | Printable Version

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                  Game Tweaks, Fixes, and Console FAQ

Written by: Apocolypse
ASCII Art Title: CC

Version: 1.3

			  Table of Contents

I. Intro
	a) What are Game Tweaks?
	b) How do I use them?
	c) Other Questions

II. Pixel Shaders
	a) -useff
	b) -use11
	c) -use20

III. Screen Shots
	a) -screenshot
	b) Where Halo Stores the Pictures
	c) How Halo Stores the Pictures
	d) Converting the Pictures

IV. The Console
	a) -console
	b) How to Activate
	c) The Commands
	d) Map Names

V. Other Commands
	a) -?
	b) -window
	c) -safemode
	d) -timedemo

VI. Version History

VII. Contact Information and Legal Information

			     I. INTRO

I'll start it off by explaining some of the common questions that many have
about these game tweaks.

a) What are Game Tweaks?

Game Tweaks are things you can add to the end of the target in your Halo PC
shortcut file. They can improve the games functionality and the speed at which
the game runs.

b) How do I use them?

First, find or create a shortcut to Halo.exe in your Halo PC directory. Next,
right-click the shortcut, and left-click properties. In the target text box,
there should be the directory pointing to Halo.exe. At the end of the target,
outside the quotes, add the tweak you want to activate. Make it look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo\halo.exe" -console -screenshot -use11
These tweaks will only become active if you use the shortcut you modified to run
Halo PC. NoWayHoser's note: Also, make sure you add the <space> before the

c) Other Questions

Q: Can I add more then one tweak to one shortcut?
A: Yes, you can. Just add them one after the other. Make it look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo\halo.exe" -console -screenshot -use11

Q: Do these work for the demo or the beta?
A: I am not sure as I do not have any of these. If you have either of these,
please test the tweaks listed out and email me the results. See the contact

Q: Do pixel shader version changing tweaks work for both ATI and nVidia cards?
A: It should work for both.

Q: Are there cheats I can use with the console?
A: No, they were writen into the game, but disabled by Gearbox before release.

Q: What are the other files in the "MAPS" folder?
A: There are all the multiplayer maps (Outlined in section IV.d), the User
Interface file (, the textures file ( and the single player
maps, which are as follows:
Pillar of Autumn:
Truth and Reconciliation:
Silent Cartographer:
Assault on the Control Room:
Guilty Spark:
Two Betrayals:
The Maw:

		          II. PIXEL SHADERS

Pixel shader versions are the most commonly used tweaks to improve gameplay.
They can drastically increase performance in FPS, but not without a price. All
of these will be explained below.

a) -useff

First off, to enable this, make your target look like this: "C:\Program
Files\Microsoft Games\Halo\halo.exe" -useff
What this tweak does is disable all the pixel shading in the game by making
your graphics card work like a fixed function card. This will make everything
look very bland, but run very fast. The biggest thing is the shields with this
tweak on look like a solid green wall around the Master Chief. Also, MC's visor
will be solid black and his single player colors will be distorted. The game
will run very fast if you have a decent computer.

b) -use11

Make your target look like this: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft
Games\Halo\halo.exe" -use11
Pixel shader v1.1 is a very minor step down from 2.0 and a drastic step up from
shutting it off completely. The game will look nearly as good as with v2.0 and
will run a whole lot better. If you are still getting some slow downs when
using this tweak, try turning off reflections and shadows.

c) -use20

This is the default pixel shader version and you do not need to change anything
in the target to make the game use this.
This is where the FPS slow downs hits. They are practicly unavoidable with this
version enabled, especially in Covenant buildings where there is a ton of bump
mapping, which causes the FPS to drop. Even with a great computer, you will get
a horrible frame rate.

		         III. SCREEN SHOTS

a) -screenshots

Put this in your target and hit the print screen key to save a screen shot.
Make your target look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo\halo.exe" -screenshot

b) Where Halo Stores the Pictures

They will be in a folder called "screenshots" in your Halo directory. Screen
shots are saved as .tga files, which most people can not open. I will explain
how to convert .tga files to .jpg files in section III.a.

c) How Halo Stores the Pictures

You can take as many screen shots as you want, but once you switch levels, it
will start overwriting the .tga files. So if you enter a game, press "Prt Scrn"
9 times, 9 files will be created titled 0screenshot00.tga through
8screenshot00.tga. If you leave that game and press "Prt Scrn" again,
0screenshot00.tga will be overwriten.

d) Converting the Pictures

The .tga files are picture files sometimes used by programmers, but not your
average Halo PC gamer. You need a program to convert them to .jpg files. I
recommend ReaJpeg. Their site is at Download
and install the file and now you can convert them to .jpg's.


a) -console

Make your target look like this: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft
Games\Halo\halo.exe" -console

b) How to Activate

Simply press the "`" key ("~") in game to activate it. Press the "Tab" key to
view the list of commands.

c) The Commands

Okay, this is the list of commands that comes up when you press the "Tab" key,
their proper usage, and their function.

Proper Use: cls
Function: Clears the console output screen.

Proper Use: mouse_acceleration <true or flase>
Function: Turns on or off the mouse acceleration.

Proper Use: sv_kick <player number>
Function: Gives an unwanted player in your server the boot. They can rejoin.

Proper Use: sv_mapcycle
Function: Displays the maps in the current map cycle.

Proper Use: sv_mapcycle_timeout <time in seconds>
Function: Determine the amount of time the Post Carnage Report screen is up in
between maps.

Proper Use: sv_players
Function: Displays a list of the players in the game, their player number, and
their team.

Proper Use: sv_unban <player name>
Function: Unbans a currently banned player.

Proper Use: connect <ip:port>
Function: Attempts to connect you to a server using the IP and port you

Proper Use: quit
Function: Quits you out of the server you are in.

Proper Use: sv_ban <player name or index>
Function: Bans a player from your server, they may not return unless unbanned.

Proper Use: sv_map <name of map and the game type. If it is a custom game type,
you must put it in quotes.>
Function: Starts a game on that map with that game type.

Proper Use: sv_mapcycle_add <name of map and the game type. If it is a custom
game type, you must put it in quotes.>
Function: Adds a map to the map cycle.

Proper Use: sv_maxplayers <number of maximum players>
Function: Sets the maximum player limit (Default is 16).

Proper Use: sv_public <true or false>
Function: Determines if the game will be listed on the GameSpy game list.

Proper Use: disconnect
Function: Disconnect from a server

Proper Use: rasterize_fps <true or flase>
Function: Turns on/off a frame rate display. Includes FPS, average FPS, minimum
FPS, maximum FPS, and droped percent.

Proper Use: sv_banlist
Function: Displays a list of all the currently banned players.

Proper Use: sv_map_next
Function: Ends the current game and moves on to the next one in the map cycle.

Proper Use: sv_mapcycle_begin
Function: Begins the map cycle.

Proper Use: sv_name <name>
Function: Changes the server name (Default is Halo).

Proper Use: sv_rcon_password <password>
Function: Sets an rcon password. If you want to remove the password and disable
rcon, enter a null string ("").

Proper Use: help <console command>
Function: Tells you about a console command.

Proper Use: rcon <password, command, argument>
Function: If rcon is enabled, will allow remote users with the password to
enter server server commands.

Proper Use: sv_end_game
Function: Ends the game.

Proper Use: sv_map_restart
Function: Restarts the map with the same game settings.

Proper Use: sv_mapcycle_del <map index>
Function: Deletes a map from the map cycle.

Proper Use: sv_password <password>
Function: Gives the game a password.

Proper Use: sv_status <true or false>
Function: If true, it will continually display the status of the game in the

Proper Use: should_play_multiplayer_hit_sound <true or false>
Function: Turns on or off that sound when you hit people.

NOTE: <true> and <1> are interchangeable, as are <flase> and <0>.

d) Map Names

These are the names of the maps you need to use with the map cycle commands
(alphabetical order):

Battle Creek: beavercreek
Blood Gulch: bloodgulch
Boarding Action: boardingaction
Derelict: carousel
Chill Out: chillout
Damnation: damnation
Danger Canyon: dangercanyon
Gephyrophobia: gephyrophobia
Hang 'em High: hangemhigh
Ice Fields: icefiends
Infinity: infinity
Longest: longest
Prisoner: prisoner
Chiron TL34: putput
Rat Race: ratrace
Sidewinder: sidewinder
Timberland: timberland
Wizard: wizard


a) -?

This will display a list of all the tweaks in the game.

b) -window

This will force Halo to run in a window.

c) -safemode

This will force Halo to run with as little extras as it can. Good for

d) -timedemo

This will run 4 movies and print out a report about the FPS and such in your
Halo PC directory.


1.0b- Initial release
1.1- Added/fixed some console command date, added this section, tried to make
section separation more apparent.
1.2- More about console commands, added the ASCII art title, added the little
"=" section dividers, fixed section III.c.
1.3- Fixed my framerate slow down/lag confussion, pointed out by Jay
"ShadowySonic." Also did some polishing in various sections.


Copyright 2003 Jason "Apocolypse/Melp" F.R.. This may be not be reproduced
under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed
on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written
permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public
display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. As of now, the
only site that has permission to place this guide on their site is

ASCII Art Legal & Contact:
This Heading is Copyright 2003 CC. You may not plagiarize this heading in  any
way but you may use this heading as long as you ask for permission (though you
might want to remove 'Game Tweaks and Fixes FAQ' sub heading), but doing
anything illegal, stealing, using it without  permission, changing it and
saying that you made it, etc, will resultin a warning from me, and for you to
politely ask for permission to use it or for you to change it, or for you to
take it down.


First, I would like to thank Microsoft, Bungie, GearBox and Mr. Gates. No
matter how much we may bash you guys, everyone loves you and knows life would
be nothing without all the hard work you guys put into great products like
these. I used the Readme.txt file included with the Halo PC disc for
information in parts V.a, V.b, V.c, and IV.c.should_play_multiplayer_hit_sound.
A site was used for console commands information. The
Halo.exe file was used to find a list of console commands and for testing of
each  "tweak." Lastly, I would like to thank all the great people on the
GameFAQ's boards for teaching me all of the information above. NoWayHoser for
his two cents,  GC Penguin for pointing out a great site on some console
commands, and Ben Roth from the HBO fourm for pointing out the proper use of
the rasterize_fps console command, both Louis Wu and BOLL from the HBO fourm
for help with the mouse_acceleration console command, and ShadowySonic for his
emails about my lag/slow down mixup. Thanks a ton to CC for the awsome ASCII
art title, thanks to NoWayHoser for his ASCII also. None of the information in
this guide was copied and pasted directly from anywhere. Any information that
is not credited here came from my own head.

Contact Information:

If you find anything in this guide that is inconsistent, any spelling or
grammar errors, or any incorrect information, please send it to me. If you feel
you should have been credited for information, please email me saying so and I
will fix it. Also send me anything about console commands in Halo PC that I
don't have listed or is incorrect. Other things to contact me about: Seeing if
these tweaks work with the demo or the beta, seeing what console commands work
with only the dedicated server patch, and information that will change with the
release of v1.3 of Halo. My email is and my AIM is XxMELPxX. In
the subject of the emails, please start it with "YOUR FAQ:" in all caps so as
to catch my eye and make me stop holding down the delete key long enough to
read it strewn amidst all my spam.