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TF2 launch options and configs - READ IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR FPS/STABILITY!


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#1 Daring

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:13 AM

First of all, credit goes to this guy for publicly posting many launch options and config options for Team Fortress 2. Instant FPS boost of 20 - 45 frames for me on my end, but be aware that YMMV. And no, these options won't do harm to your PC. I'm simply bringing the useful ones here for those not in the know.

Okay, so you want to improve your FPS or stability in TF2, ja? Then this is the thread for you! Don't be afraid to use these commands, but once again, be aware that they might not work out for you in the end.


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SECTION 1: LAUNCH OPTIONS

Now, launch options, which are added to the game by right clicking on it in your Steam library, then selecting Properties and then clicking "Set launch options..." are used to have Team Fortress 2 run on multiple processor cores, have a certain amount of RAM allocated to the engine (speaking of which, these commands are NOT specific to TF2 - they can be used with any Valve or Source engine game) or generally improve performance and stability. As an example, here are my launch options (DO NOT DIRECTLY COPY THESE INTO YOUR LAUNCH OPTIONS! THEY ARE MEANT FOR A HIGH-END PC!):

-threads 4 -novid -heapsize 4194304 -mat_dxlevel 98 -noforcemaccel -noforcemparms -noforcemspd


Now, let's get down to business.

-threads #
This forces the game to render on multiple cores. If you have a dual-core processor (e.g. Intel Core 2 Duo, any AMD processor with X2 in its name), use -threads 2. If you have a quad-core processor (e.g. Intel Core 2 Quad, Intel Core i7, any AMD processor with X4 in its name), use -threads 4 and so on and so forth, depending on the amount of cores in your processor. Likewise, if you are one of those people sticking to single-core processors (e.g. Intel Pentium 4, Core Solo/Core 2 Solo) then don't use this command.

-novid
Makes the Valve intro not play, resulting in the game loading faster.

-heapsize #

Specifies the heapsize (in kilobytes) the game will use.

Heapsize refers to the amount of RAM your system allocates for the game engine to use. The general rule of thumb is that you allocate 50% of your total RAM using -heapsize.
To make it simple use the following to figure out what number your heapsize should be:

1GB RAM: -heapsize 524288
512 megabytes = 524288 kilobytes

2GB RAM: -heapsize 1048576
1 gigabyte = 1048576 kilobytes

3GB RAM:-heapsize 1572864
1.5 gigabytes = 1572864 kilobytes

4GB RAM: -heapsize 2097152
2 gigabytes = 2097152 kilobytes

6GB RAM: -heapsize 3145728
3 gigabytes = 3145728 kilobytes

8GB RAM: -heapsize 4194304
4 gigabytes = 4194304 kilobytes

If you have any further questions regarding heapsize, RAM, or conversions between gigabytes and kilobytes, remember that search engines are your friend. Search for something like "GB to KB"


-console
Makes the game start up with the console enabled.


-dxlevel
Makes the game run with a specific version of DirectX, ranging from DirectX 7.0 to DirectX 9.8. This is useful if your GPU is faster with DirectX 8 rather than DirectX 9 (e.g. Intel GMAs, older GPUs.) For example, if you want DirectX 8 because your GPU doesn't work well with DirectX 9, use -dxlevel 8, or if you want DirectX 9.8 because your PC can handle it, use -dxlevel 98. For the basic DirectX 9, use -dxlevel 9. However, Valve recommends that you use the -mat_dxlevel command instead because -dxlevel can also reset numerous settings, such as resolution and graphical quality.


THE FOLLOWING COMMANDS MUST BE USED IN TANDEM OR THEY WON'T WORK!!!

-windowed
Makes the game run in a window. Must be used with the -h and -w commands.


-noborder
Makes the game run in a window, but it can look like it's running in full-screen. Must be used with the -h and -w commands.


-h
Sets the height of the window (e.g. -h 768)


-w
Sets the width of the window (e.g. -w 1366)

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SECTION 2: CONFIGS

Okay, onto configs! This is where it gets somewhat more confusing, except you don't have to include - before each command. As an example, here's my autoexec.cfg (again, DO NOT DIRECTLY COPY-PASTE THIS INTO YOUR OWN!):


host_thread_mode "1"
r_threaded_particles "1"
r_threaded_renderables "1"
snd_mix_async "1"

Configs are placed in C:\Program Files\Steam\Steamapps\<your username>\Team Fortress 2\tf\cfg for 32-bit systems and C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\<your username>\team fortress 2\tf\cfg for 64-bit systems and are typically saved as autoexec.cfg. They can be opened with a text editor (e.g. Notepad)

Misc. commands:
"exit"				   I wonder... maybe it closes the game?
"kill"				   You commit suicide
"explode"				You go boom
"hud_fastswitch"		 Turns on fast-switch (0 disables, 1 enables, 2 does the same as 0; makes the game console-style)
"showmapinfo"			Shows info about the map
"+showscores"			Shows the scoreboard
"impulse 201"			Uses your spray
"toggleconsole"		  Opens the console
"screenshot"			 Takes a screenshot (TGA)
"jpeg"				   Takes a screenshot (JPEG)
"fps_max"				Sets your maximum FPS
"mat_bumpmap"            Enables/disables bumpmapping
"mat_compressedtextures" Enables/disables texture compression
"mat_dxlevel"			Sets DirectX level
"mat_specular"		   Enables/Disables spectacular lighting
"cl_showfps"			 Shows fps, but not net graph statistics (upper left)
"jpeg_quality"			Changes the quality of jpeg screenshots (0 - 100, 90 = default.)

Multi-core rendering:
"mat_queue_mode -1"	  Auto-detects if you have multiple cores or not and enables multi-core rendering if you do, disables if you don't
"mat_queue_mode 0"	   Disables multi-core rendering
"mat_queue_mode 2"	   Enables multi-core rendering it even if you don't have multiple cores

Multi-core rendering assistance:
host_thread_mode "1"
r_threaded_particles "1"
r_threaded_renderables "1"
snd_mix_async "1"
Use these above commands with CAUTION. They work for me, but if your stability worsens or your PC overheats faster, REMOVE THEM!

Hope this thread helps in the long run, and you can thank me for posting these here later.


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#2 Katana

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:23 AM

Another launch option:
-window -noborder
This will make the game run in faux-fullscreen mode; it will appear to be a normal fullscreen game, but you can alt-tab in the blink of an eye. Might take a tiny bit of performance away.
A non-Valve source engine game actually uses this without telling you, since it's the sort of game you need to be consulting wikis and guides for quite often.

#3 Daring

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:59 AM

Already mentioned in the OP.


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#4 Tee Em

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:01 AM

Don't mess with -heapsize. As Chris (creator of high/maxframes) points out on his blog, this does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to increase performance. Source manages this automatically and Valve has truncated the heapsize option.

#5 Rainbro Dash

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:41 AM

Speaking of which, I currently use Chris Maxframes config. It helps, but not as much as I would like (my old computer here might just be a lost cause though.)

But for the sake of argument, how do these configs compare?
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#6 Tee Em

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:53 AM

Speaking of which, I currently use Chris Maxframes config. It helps, but not as much as I would like (my old computer here might just be a lost cause though.)

But for the sake of argument, how do these configs compare?


Highframes = good to mid-tier computer. I use it and I have a pretty great build, but I like the fact that it disables ragdolls and give me an excellent FPS. This config keeps the TF2 look in tact while granting extra performance.
Maxframes = crappy computer. I've seen comp players use this on good computers for the best FPS possible, but this config sacrifices the TF2 look for config.

#7 Rainbro Dash

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:02 AM

@ DashTM

What I meant to ask was, how do Chris's configs compare to the configs posted here in this thread?
Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. —Eleanor Roosevelt

#8 Tee Em

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:16 AM

@ DashTM

What I meant to ask was, how do Chris's configs compare to the configs posted here in this thread?


You don't need to use the config here if you use Chris's config.
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#9 woodledoodledoodledoodle

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:03 PM

You know for the borderless window you only need to put "-sw -noborder" right?

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#10 friagram

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 10:54 AM

most of these settings don't make a big difference. changing drivers will probably matter more, so make sure you try updating them. The latest current catalyst drivers (12.4) give me 40-60 fps on most maps on almost any setting because they messed something up, but if I go back to earlier versions or the 12.6 betas, i'm back to 300+
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