Battlefield 2 Tweak Guide
[Page 9] Neat Stuff & Conclusion
The guide is fast coming to a close. The following are some tips and tricks I've found which you may find handy.
Disabling the Intro Movies
The introductory movies to BF2, although fun to watch the first couple of times, fast become quite annoying, adding to the startup times for the game, as well as the memory usage (the main movie is 135MB in size). To disable them permanently, I don't recommend deleting the movie files - this may cause problems with verification of client information on certain servers and/or with Punkbuster.
Instead, simply rename the relevant files in your \Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\Movies\ directory to something else (e.g. rename the Intro.bik to Intro.backup). The files to rename are: Dice.bik, EA.bik, Intro.bik, Legal.bik and Welcome.bik. This will mean the intro movies are all skipped as BF2 starts to load. If you find the movies playing in the background of the Login screen and Settings screens annoying, you can also rename the menu.bik and menu_loggedin.bik to something else as well.
If you've also renamed/removed the menu.bik and menu_loggedin.bik movies, and don't want a dull grey background in the in-game menus, then download this small BF2_Menu_Logo.zip file (201KB), extract the contents and copy them to your \Movies directory. These small files show the BF2 logo in the background, and look much nicer. Thanks to EdisLeado for preparing these files.
Removing all the original movies from the game can save over 250MB of data being loaded up during the start of the game and being placed into memory - this will help smooth your gameplay particularly for those with less RAM. If for any reason you experience any problems with the game after renaming the movies, simply rename them back to their original names.
Update: Instead of the above, the quick way to disable the intro movies is to simply use the +restart command line command in your BF2 startup icon:
E.g.: "C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2\BF2.exe" +restart
See the Advanced Tweaking section for more details on how to use command line options.
If you want to automatically be logged in each time you launch Battlefield 2, edit your BF2 Command Line as follows (See the Advanced Tweaking section for how to edit the Command Line):
"\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2\BF2.exe" +playerName your playername +playerPassword your password
E.g.: "C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2\BF2.exe" +playerName DogMaN +playerPassword Banana1
Basically by using the +playerName and +playerPassword parameters in your command line - along with any other entries you want to put in there - you will automatically be logged in as soon as you start the game, skipping the requirement to click Login on the login screen.
Update: Dennis has emailed me and pointed out that for this to work, the playerName and playerPassword commands are case-sensitive. That is, you must enter them exactly as shown, for example +playerName, not +playername. Furthermore your username and password are case sensitive as well, and must be entered precisely as you have them shown on the login screen. This method works with all versions of BF2, including the 1.12 patch onwards.
Battlefield 2 and Multi-Core CPUs
Battlefield 2 is not designed to take full advantage of multi-core (Dual, Quad, etc.) CPUs. At the same time however, it has no known compatibility issues with multi-core CPUs either. If you are having issues with BF2, it has nothing to do with the number of cores on your CPU - refer to page 3 for more troubleshooting tips you can try instead.
Increasing Singleplayer Bots
To increase the number of bots used in singleplayer mode, go to your \Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\AI directory and open the file aidefault.ai with Notepad or Wordpad (make sure to create a backup copy of it first). Read the instructions in the file which basically involves placing the word REM in front of each of the first 5 lines starting with 'aiSettings.set', then removing the REM's in front of the next 4 lines starting with 'aiSettings.set'. Change the number at the end of the aiSettings.setMaxNBots 32 line to determine the number of bots to use (e.g. aiSettings.setMaxNBots 64 for 64 bots). Note that more bots can really stress your system and hence destabilize it, causing a crash back to desktop - particularly for those with older CPUs. For example, 64 bots on most older systems will cause a crash.
Unlocking All Weapons
A lot of people have emailed me asking for this tweak, and the easiest way I know to do it is to use this Weapons Unlocker add-on. Note, as of Version 1.02, this method no longer works, and I don't know any other way of unlocking the weapons in SP at the moment.
Update: Try the methods here or here - they should work for the latest version, though I haven't tested them. Trying to connect to a multiplayer server with any weapons unlock cheat can see your CD Key banned, so please be careful.
Update 2: As of the 1.4 Patch weapons unlocking is allowed now on unranked servers.
Playing 32 & 64 Player Maps in Singleplayer
Currently there is no way I know to make this tweak work properly. Several astute readers have written in to tell me it is unlikely this sort of tweak will ever work, given that the bots in the game need scripted pathways and the game developers did not invest this time into creating such scripts for the larger maps. Even if you manage to unlock to the larger maps, the bots will ignore the new sections of the map as they are not scripted for those areas. So I would suggest we are stuck with the smaller maps in singleplayer, and check the In-Game Settings section for other ways to play the large maps.
Update: There is now a BF2 64-Player Maps Mod you can try to allow you to use the larger maps in single player. You can also try checking Battlefield SinglePlayer site for more custom offline maps and mods.
Measuring Framerate, Taking Screenshots & Recording Demo Movies
You can use the renderer.drawFps 1 command in BF2 to show your current frames per second (see Console Commands section above). However there is a utility which allows you to do this and much more: FRAPS. This free utility will display a very accurate framerate counter in the corner of the screen. However Fraps also has other handy functions, such as the ability to take screenshots in various formats and even record demo movies which you can play back in a media player outside of BF2. Give it a try as it is a great utility to have on your PC.
The concludes this guide, and in some ways I find it unfortunate that I couldn't find more things to tweak in BF2. It is the pattern with most games from EA Games that there is little genuine 'tweakability' allowable, and when combined with the Punkbuster anti-cheat system, experimenting with various tweaks can see you get banned from playing the game online. Therefore the tweaks and tips in this guide are the major ones I have found through testing and research, and most importantly they should all be perfectly safe to use.
If you discover more tweaks then please Email Me. However note that I can't provide tech support or tweaking advice of any kind, so please do not email me for these purposes, as I simply won't reply. Thanks in particular to all the readers who wrote to me after the release of my BF2 Demo Tweak Guide, especially Mark Laflamme and Devin Cobaugh. Of course, just like all my other tweak guides this guide will be updated and maintained, so make sure to check back regularly.
Until next time, take care!