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 Combat Arms Graphics Settings

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IGN : Daraku9
Posts : 595
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Join date : 2010-05-14
Location : Northern California

PostSubject: Combat Arms Graphics Settings   December 13th 2010, 5:45 am

Before I get into any detail it should be stated that there is no universal perfect graphics setting and any perfect setting that you come up with is specific to your hardware and may not be the best for most other people. In other words I can't tell you exactly what settings to make for your computer but I can give you guidelines on which settings to use and which would be the best ones to set in certain situations. The settings that you come up with should also have some leniency in case someone uses a lag hack or a spec uses a flamethrower or any other lag causing weapon. The tips here will mostly be for those who have average or top of the line computers since people who have lower end computers will probably have to turn all of the settings on some of the lowest settings.

For benchmarking your fps download fraps here (Tyleh posted a full version earlier but I don't seem to have it anymore) so you can see how certain changes have an effect on your FPS:

My (current but constantly changing because I'm slightly fickle when it comes to) graphics settings are below:

Graphics Settings:

The settings below are the settings that I used to test each of the graphics settings. Those are the standard settings that I used and all the variables remained at those values except for the option that I was testing. I might redo a few of them since my ACOG scope was in the way or I couldn't take a picture of a grenade explosion at the perfect time although it shouldn't be much of a problem. The pictures for cartridges and flash were taken when I had ATI Tray tools on. As a control I decided to turn them off for the rest of the settings although there shouldn't be a difference in the ones that were already taken. In case you get mixed up which picture is displaying which option the setting description it first followed by the image and finally followed by the caption that correlates to the image.

Resolution: This option changes the resolution CA is played on. This is one of the most crucial ones and I suggest you pick the maximum setting if possible because it increases the quality of the graphics greatly and playing at another setting will generally distort the ratios of your screen and make it harder to play (I haven't tested it but you might even see less of the sides of your screen if you are playing on lower settings). Having a setting other than the maximum may also distort your crosshairs.

Color Quality: An option that lets you choose to run CA on 16 bit colors or 32 bit. Setting it to 16 bit increases FPS by a large margin for people with lower end computers but may make things a little disorienting if playing on a higher end computer.

Gamma: This setting changes how bright the game is. It is suggested that the level remains at 20 since 20 will allow you to see infected clearly in CF yet won't be blinding if your playing in a snow map or a map with light, vibrant colors.

Anti-aliasing: This is a computer process that removes jagged lines in the game scenery. A high Anti-aliasing level can reduce your fps by a large margin but it may make it easier to see people who's heads are just barely poking behind cover if they are a distance from you. In this sense Anti-aliasing is less useful in CQC maps and can be turned to 0X if it causes you lag. In general this is a great way to increase the game quality if your computer can handle it.

0X Anti-aliasing.

2X Anti-aliasing.

x4 Anti-aliasing. Since the marginal quality gained isn't as apparent in X8 but with the same reduction in FPS I tend to use this one.


Quality Settings: This is a quick generic setting for graphics. Unless you decide that the medium setting is perfect or if your computer is bad and you want to choose all the lowest settings you should always choose custom (the high setting is useful if your always playing CA at at least 120 fps but there are a few settings that are a bit distracting so even if you can easily run the highest setting you should never use the high quality setting).

View Empty Cartridges: This allows you to see the empty shells that fly out of your gun when you shoot. I suggest you turn this one off because I find the shells to be a little distracting. The only reason why you would want to have this setting on is if the shells don't bother you and you want to make the game seem a little more realistic although turning this setting on will slightly lower your fps when spraying than if you had it off.

Not much to see. The gun fires normally but shells are not expelled.

Shells fire out the right side at a fast rate. I find this highly distracting but its a nice aesthetic option.

View Flare: This allows you to see the light flashes from the muzzle on the environment. This is particularly useful when tracking where shots are coming from but aparently this can cause some people to lag so if your computer can take it leave it on.

No flare. I obviously took off the S3 suppressor.

Flare is on but I couldn't get it to show even after making sure all the other settings were off and ATI Tray tools disabled. You should be well aware of what it looks like if you play Cabin Fever and the idiot next to you doesn't have an S3 suppressor and is flashing his gun right in front of your face. Edit: It seems that you need to have FX level on medium to see flare.

Shadow Effect: This is a dumb setting that Nexon won't let you change because they haven't implemented a system for showing your shadow yet. If you look around you can see that shadows are static and in some maps such as sector 25 and rattlesnake you can see that the shadows of boxes won't refresh even after the box has been destroyed.

No image for this since you can't change the option anyway.

Anisotropic Filtering: This option increases the quality of an image that is at an angle from the camera (mostly this seems to apply to the ground you are standing although a noticeable difference can be seen on other objects). This can cause a lot of lag but is an aesthetic option that can greatly increase the quality of objects at a distance.

Anisotropic Filtering off.

Anisotropic Filtering on. As you can see there is nearly no improvement in image quality (mostly my fault since I was unable to find a good example in game). A much better example of what it is supposed to look like:

Trilinear Filtering: This setting helps blend the transitions between mip maps. This is also more of an aesthetic change but it causes slightly less lag than Anisotropic filtering so if you want a little bit more quality that doesn't cause as much lag you can pick this option.

Trilinear Filtering off.

Trilinear Filtering on. As you can see the biggest difference of the two is that I decided to pull out mines in the second picture since my ACOG was in the way. Again I couldn't find a good example for some reason but this one is much better:
(links cut to pieces since otherwise it would stretch out the screen. If you Can't figure out how to work them then just do a Google image search.)

Environmental Mapping: This is a setting that effects the environmental quality (this setting is not well defined but it is likely to be the background image such as the sky and maybe the quality of vegetation that you can walk through like leaves and grass). I would leave this off since it isn't going to make the game look much better and it isn't going to help/hinder you from seeing other people any faster.

Environmental mapping off.

Environmental mapping on (highest). I couldn't see any difference even when looking at the sky. I accidentally took the photo at a different angle but the posters to the right seem to be in much higher quality (although proximity and angle have a huge effect on the quality of images).

Character Detail: This is another dumb setting that can't be turned on low that effects the quality of mip map images on your character and those of other people in a room.

No picture since you can't change the setting.

Shader: This increases rendering. This doesn't really do anything except enable bloom effect and allows you to change the FX level to high and medium but prevents you from using the low setting.

No picture since this setting mostly enables you to use the other two settings.

Bloom Effect: Bloom effect gives an artificial sense of reflected light. This is one of the worst settings in my opinion since it makes things a little harder to see and can make players seem to blend in more with their surroundings at a far distance. This is the primary reason why I think it is a bad idea to use the default high quality setting.

Bloom Effect off.

Bloom Effect on. This is about how CA should look like if you try to play right after you wake up in the morning. I don't really see a reason why anyone would want to play with this setting on unless your playing in a fogless map and don't mind the performance loss.

FX Level: This setting effects the quality of explosions and other effects such as splashing when you shoot water. It is best to set this as low as possible because explosions from grenades have an image distorting effect when on higher settings that may make it harder for you to see beyond the explosion as well as the poofs of dust from gunfire hitting the ground.

This is the FX on low. This is the best setting in my opinion since it is the least distracting. If you like the cool effects then you can put it on a higher setting if you like.

This is the FX level on medium. There isn't much of a difference between medium and low except the explosion looks a little less fiery (the picture was taken a fraction of a second after the one on low so it looks less fiery). Edit: obviously this picture is the same as the last one and I will be fixing it soon.

This is with the FX level on high. As you can see with the leg posts of the platform it does indeed distort images around it and makes it hard to see.

Blood Effect: This setting allows you to see blood. If your account says you are under 18 then you can not change this setting. I highly recommended that you enable this option if you can because it gives you visual feedback as to weather you hit someone or not and can help you count your shots to tell how much damage you have done to an enemy.

Blood off.

Blood on. This is much better in my opinion since it shows you that you hit them.

Mouse Settings:

Mice work in DPI which means Dots Per Inch. This is basically some arbitrary measurement of precision that means that in one inch there are a certain number of measurements (SteelSeries calls it CPI (Counts Per Inch) since they consider it to be a better phrase for the term). The DPI of most mice is 800 and can't be changed. You can find the DPI of your mouse by looking it up online (if the company that made your mouse doesn't seem to have put it on a website to brag about how precise it is then it is probably 800). Gaming mice can change their DPI only if it is built into the hardware. A high DPI makes your mouse super sensitive and allows you to shoot at enemies precisely when using scopes but doesn't do much for the average spray and pray noob. The best settings for mouse sensitivity are 6 for the built in windows setting and around 10 for CA. If you put it any higher your mouse will artificially add in DPI by adding in extra dots every certain number of dots which makes you loose your precision. If your DPI is terrible then set your windows mouse setting to 6 and only change your CA setting since the CA setting can be changed on the fly in game.

The mouse settings page for windows at the 6th setting. If you can't find figure out how to change these settings then you are either running on Linux or you should consider taking a basic computer usage course before attempting to play Combat Arms.

Mice holding is very specific to the person and mouse. There are 3 main ways of holding your mouse. The palm grip (where every part of your hand is touching the mouse, claw grip (where your fingertips and the bottom of your palm are touching your mouse and the fingertip grip where only your fingers touch the mouse. They have a lot of benefits but I find that the grip depends on how large the mouse is. I use the fingertip grip on my small logitech laser mouse while using a palm/claw hybrid when using the Razer Deathadder. For more information on grips check out this page: http://www2.razerzone.com/MouseGuide/html/palmgrip.php

Audio Setting:

Audio settings are much more simple (assuming you don't know how acoustics work and want to tinker around with your audio drivers). Audio is essential in game because it helps you find out when someone is nearby and if someone is going rambo in your base. You can choose any volume setting you please that is loud enough for you to hear footsteps. Personally I find the best setting for audio is the default (although you might want to disable the environmental sounds to make it easier for you to hear the more important things) except I find that anything between 50 and 75 is best for both Voice chat settings since it is loud enough for you to hear people. In the windows settings it is usually best to crank up decibel boost to the max since otherwise it could be hard for people to hear you. People always miss this step which makes their $120 microphone headset combo completely useless for voice communications. There are a bunch of other useful settings you can use that may come custom into your audio software or microphone but make sure that people can hear you by using the build in tester in the audio settings page in game.

It will probably be a tad bit harder to find this setting for most people but if you can't find it then I suggest you Google it since it may be in a different place depending on your audio drivers.

Aside from links to other pages (and some information checks thanks to Wikipedia) everything here was my work and should not be posted without my permission (Although I would be happy for you to post a link to this page everywhere).


Last edited by Daraku9 on February 20th 2011, 5:23 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added more content)
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IGN : Daraku9
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PostSubject: Re: Combat Arms Graphics Settings   December 14th 2010, 8:46 pm

I might want to change a few of the images at some time but otherwise the guide is done.

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IGN : CA: proplayer14 || Vindictus: Faledron
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PostSubject: Re: Combat Arms Graphics Settings   December 15th 2010, 10:50 pm

WOW! this is a really great guide Daraku great job. Thanks this helped me a bit too, I might get back into playing CA again. It just depends on my Wireless Internet connection.

My computer is not the problem it is my freaking Internet connection
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