The Smiling Nali's knowledge of Unreal is great, and he is here to share it with you. From beginner's tips to expert optimization, this section has everything you need to get the most from Unreal. Check out my tips & tweaks below.

Watch this page for future entries on how to get your game running as smooth as possible.

Tips & Tweak Links

Console commands.

Tim Sweeney's Tech Pages. For those who want more technical info.


Unreal will not work with the latest reference drivers from 3dfx

If you have a Voodoo 1 based card and have downloaded the latest reference drivers from 3dfx, you are most likely getting an error message that says:

"Assertion failed: CacheItems!=NULL [File:F:\Unreal\Core\Src\UnCache.cpp][Line: 414]"

To fix this problem, download the multitexturing patch from VoodooExterme at:

Although the multitexturing patch is an update for the Voodoo 2 based cards, it will still work with Voodoo 1 cards.

How Do I Change Resolutions On A Voodoo Rush Card?

If you've got a Voodoo Rush card in anything lower than a Pentium II, you'll probably want to play at 512x384 instead of 640x480. 512x384 looks almost as good as 640x480 but performs a lot better.

Right now when using Voodoo Rush Unreal aborts when you try to change resolutions. This is a problem that has been fixed but the fix has not been released yet. You can get Unreal to run at 512x384 by doing the following:

1. Unreal normally wants to come up in full screen mode. To change Unreal so that it comes up in Windowed mode you need to set StartUpFullScreen to FALSE in the Advanced Options menu under Display.

2. Now EXIT Unreal and restart it. You need to do this because the bug in our VoodooRush driver prevents you from restarting a 3DFX full screen session, if you try it crashes.

2. Select 512x384 resolution in the Audio/Video menu.

3. Press Alt-Enter to switch to full screen. From now on this should be your default resolution.

How Can I Make Unreal Run Even Faster?

Mark Rein, our Vice President, claims that he can tune any computer over the minimum spec (Pentium 166 with 32Mb of RAM), and some slightly under, to run Unreal very nicely so we asked him exactly how we goes about doing this. Here was his response:

Here's where to start:

1. Get rid of all the background things you have running - ALL OF THEM! Turn off screen savers, backgrounds, Active Desktop, unload ICQ, etc. These things suck the power out of your computer and compete with Unreal for your vital RAM. A lot of times people think Unreal is running slowly but what's really happening is that it's competing for RAM and Windows 95/NT's virtual memory system is the bottleneck.

2. Turn on low texture quality and low sound quality. You probably won't even notice the difference but the speed will improve.

3. Go into the Advanced Options menu and change the following:

Under Audio:

- set EffectsChannels to 8 instead of 16
- set LowSoundQuality to True
- set OutputRate to 11025hz
- set Use3DHardware False
- set UseFilter to False
- set UseReverb to False
- set UseSpatial to False
- set UseStereo to False
- set UseSurround to False

Note: There is a lot of overhead in processing 3D audio but it sounds so amazing that it's worth trying to keep it on. Make sure you have the latest drivers for your sound card if it offers 3D support.

Under Display

- set CurvedSurfaces to False
- set LowDetailTextures to True
- set ScreenFlashes to False

If you've got a 3DFX Voodoo, Voodoo Rush or Voodoo2 card: under Rendering and then under 3DFX Glide Support

- set Coronas False
- set DetailBias 0
- set DetailTextures False
- set FastUglyRefresh True
- set HighDetailActors False
- set RefreshRate 85hz (if your monitor supports this)
- set ScreenSmoothing False
- set ShinySurfaces False
- set VolumetricLighting False

If you're using Software Rendering here are the settings under Rendering, Software Rendering

- set Coronas False
- set DetailBias .25
- set FastTranslucency True
- set HighDetailActors False
- set HighResTextureSmoothing False
- set LowResTextureSmoothing False
- set ShinySurfaces False
- set VolumetricLighting False

Once you get Unreal running quickly you can try turning some of the details back up. The first thing I'd do is turn Stereo support back on and maybe turn the Output rate up to 22,025hz but only if you think the sound quality is too low. Most people don't really notice this and it's a big performance hit when you raise it. I'd try changing one setting at a time until you see performance start to slow down again. To me, all these setting at their lowest level still deliver an outstanding experience and I seldom bothing turning them up. The only think I like to change myself is the FastTranslucency for when I'm playing single player and want to be blown away by the beatiful environments - but be warned, turning this on takes a BIG performance hit.

Here are some additional notes regarding performance settings:

Unreal Performance Tips

Unreal requires ALL of your computers resources in order to run at it's best. People sometimes don't even realize all the programs they have competing for their computers RAM and CPU attention. I get a lot of emails on the subject of Unreal performance. I get just as many "Wow Unreal runs GREAT on my P166 with 32Mb of RAM" as I do "Wow, Unreal is really slow on my P2-300 with 128Mb of RAM!". What does this say? It says the guy with the P166 has a really clean system and isn't trying to run Unreal at 640x480 while the guy with the P2-300 probably has a lot of his RAM being taken up by things other than Unreal or might be trying to run Unreal at a resolution his video card has no business running games at. ANY P2 system should ROCK with Unreal or it's set up badly - period. Any MMX system should have no problem running Unreal and any P166 or up, if configured well, should be able to give you a very enjoyable Unreal experience.

So what are the big things that hurt Unreal's performance? The #1 problem: background processes. Things like Virus scanners, ICQ, and large high-res wallpapers all steal valuable resources. If you have icons in your system tray (lower right corner of your Windows task bar) right-click on them and figure out how to close down their programs. A lot of times when Unreal "hitches" it's due more to memory than anything else. When you get a "hitch" it's usually when Unreal is accessing your hard drive - it's trying to load content that didn't fit into memory. This is why it's SO important to keep as much memory free as possible and to be running background programs or big wallpapers that consume RAM.

Unreal also requires a considerable amount of Virtual Memory. You can check out your virtual memory settings through the System icon under the Windows control panel. Make sure you have at LEAST 100Mb of virtual memory. Permanent virtual memory usually runs a lot faster than letting Windows decide. Some users report that setting up a permanent swap file of 150Mb (i.e. minimum 150Mb, maximum 150Mb) on a freshly defragmented harddrive makes a big difference to their performance.

Once you've done these things there are also several settings in Unreal that can help speed things up a little and reduce the amount of RAM Unreal uses which generally helps speed things up quite a bit and reduce hitching. The first two major settings are right within the Unreal game menu itself. Under Audio/Video options there are two settings: Texture Detail and Sound Quality. Setting these items both to low will use less RAM than setting them to high and you probably won't be able to tell the difference. There are other settings in the Advanced Options menu including a setting under Audio that allows you to set the sound Output Rate down really low (11025hz). If you have a slower computer but you have a Monster Sound or other A3D card try turning off Use3dHardware to see if that makes a difference - although 3D sound is amazing on these cards it does then to take some CPU horsepower to pull it off. Under Rendering-> Software Rendering you might try turning HighDetailActors to false and Volumetric Lighting to False if you have a slower system.

A lot of people just don't realize how much is running in the background. If you bought a fancy name-brand computer from a big-name retail that came with a lot of pre-installed software the chances are pretty good there's a lot of software running every time you boot up Windows 95. If you take the time to get rid of it you will probably find your Unreal experience improves massively. Unreal is just the first of many games that will push your system to it's limit. By taking the time to learn how to make Unreal run better you will be more prepared for the future of PC gaming.

There are plenty of Unreal fan sites that offer "tweaking guides" and there is some good advice to be had from these sites. I highly recommend visiting some of these sites including and for further reading.

How To I Set Up Unreal To Play Over A Local Area Network?

Toby Meyer, a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer gave us these tips for setting up TCP/IP in Windows 95 to play Unreal on a LAN. All you have to do is go to networking, add in the TCP/IP protocal and then bind it to your Ethernet card. From there, the important settings are described below:

Default Gateway: This is the computer that packets are sent to if the destination address is not on the same network. (i.e. destined for the internet in most cases) The Gateway machine is basicly your connection to the internet, and it must be configured as a router, or actually be a router itself. This only needs to be filled in if you plan on having all the machines in the LAN on the internet, and if you own enough valid IP addresses to accomadate that. If you just want to set up a lan w/o internet access, (you can still use dial up on each machine) leave the default gateway blank.

Subnet Mask: This is what determines who is on your local subnet (network) and who is not. To fully describe this, I would have to write a short book. :) As long as you have 254 computers or less, just set the subnet mask to to avoid any problems.

IP Addresses: This really isn't that important, but the InterNIC has set aside certian blocks of addresses to use for "fake" IPs. I prefer setting all my machines up as 192.168.x.x. (where x and x can be any value from 1 to 254) Note however, that when using a subnet mask of, only the last octet of the IP address can differ. (I.E. and couldn't communicate, but and could) If for some odd reason you needed to have more than 254 machines on the same network, you could use a subnet mask value of, which would allow you to change the last two octets of your ip address, but I would reccomend against it, since communication would be too slow with that many hosts on one network. (I'll explain this if you like)

That's pretty much it. TCP/IP is a pretty difficult protocol to configure for people who don't work with it every day....hopefully these pointers should help.

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