Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Tweak Guide

[Page 5] In-Game Settings

This section contains full descriptions, and where possible recommendations, for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars' in-game settings. You can use these to get a good balance between image quality and performance, or to provide you with a gameplay advantage. However I can't give you specific instructions on what to turn on and what to turn off, nor can I specify the exact performance impact - it all depends on your particular hardware combination, and more importantly your personal taste for the trade-off between performance, image quality and gameplay.

To access the in-game settings, start ET:QW and under the Main Menu first click the Options link, and from there you access a range of settings which are explained in detail below:

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Game Settings

You can alter a range of general game settings here, and all of them depend on your personal preference, as they have negligible performance impact.


Player Name: Set your unique in-game player name, up to 20 characters maximum. You can also assign different colors to any portion(s) of the name by right-clicking in front of the portion you wish to color and select from the color list which pops up.

Clan Tag: Add a clan tag either before or after your player name. Once again you can assign colors to the text here by right-clicking in front of the relevant portion and picking a color.

Rotate command map around player: If ticked, the Command Map which is shown at the top right corner of the screen will rotate according to the direction you're facing.

Bob and roll when moving: If ticked, your view will bob and roll around as you move to increase realism. However this may be annoying and can reduce the steadiness of your aim, so you can disable it for a gameplay advantage.

Show cockpits in vehicles: If ticked, the full cockpit will be shown when you're inside a vehicle for greater realism. If unticked then depending on the vehicle the cockpit won't be shown, which means you can see much more of your surroundings, which can provide a gameplay advantage.

Lock camera view behind vehicles: When inside a vehicle you can switch between internal and external vehicle view (default is Home key). In external view if this option is ticked the camera will be stuck in a fixed position directly behind and just above the vehicle. If unticked you can rotate the camera around the vehicle.

Remember vehicle camera settings: If this option is ticked, if you switch between interior and exterior view for a vehicle or vice versa, the game will remember to use that same view the next time you use the vehicle.

Auto switch when out of ammo: If ticked, when you run out of ammo, pressing the fire button will mean you will automatically be switched to the next available weapon which has ammunition. This is usually recommended, especially in conjunction with the setting below.

Ignore explosive weapons when auto switching: If you've enabled the auto switch setting above, then you may be accidentally auto switched to an explosive weapon which might kill you and your teammates if the enemy is close. Ticking this option prevents that from occurring, but it doesn't prevent you from manually switching to an explosive weapon.

Update: The following options were added to this section as of the 1.4 Patch:

Draw advanced HUD: If ticked, this option streamlines your HUD slightly to reduce the space used by death messages, and moves or removes some of the text and popup indicators. If you've played ET:QW for a while you might prefer this option.

Show respawn text on screen while unconscious: If ticked, whenever you die you will see the generic text telling you how to respawn shown in the center of the screen. If unticked this text is not shown, and this might be preferable for more advanced players.

Always draw fireteam list: If ticked you will always see a Fireteam list on the HUD; if unticked this is removed.

Show complaint popup after you are team-killed: If ticked, whenever you are team killed this option automatically shows the popup which provides you with the option to complain; if unticked the popup is not shown.


Hit Feedback: When you're hit by weapons fire you can select how that is represented on screen, either as No Feedback at all; an audible Beep and a brief Flash; just a Beep; or just a Flash.

Crosshair Style & Color: Under the Crosshair area of the HUD settings you can alter opacities (see below), and importantly you can alter the appearance and color of your crosshair. Scroll through the list of crosshair styles and colors shown and choose one that suits you best. In general the default 'dot' crosshair in a prominent color like white, red or green is recommended, but it is up to you.

Opacity: There are a range of opacity settings in the HUD section, and these relate to how transparent you wish to make your Crosshair and various HUD elements. The further to the right the slider is for each element, the more visible it will be. If the slider is moved all the way to the left, that HUD element will effectively be removed from the screen. Given how busy the ET:QW HUD usually is, I recommend starting an offline game and adjusting the opacities until you're happy with the amount of information in the HUD. Remember to also check the HUD Commands under the Advanced Tweaking section for more details of ways you can customize your HUD and display elements.

Show mission waypoints on the HUD: If ticked, this option displays your current mission objective in a white square, with the distance to the objective and underneath it the name of the objective. This helps you get your bearings and quickly find the objective, but if you find it annoying you can remove this.

Update: The following options were added to this section as of the 1.5 Patch:

APT Warning: This option allows you to enable or disable or modify the prominent warning shown on the screen when within range of an Anti Personnel Turret (APT). Aside from simply turning this option On or Off, you can choose to have just a text warning (HUD Notification Only) or just hear a warning beep (Warning Beep Only).

Show mine trigger warning: This option allows you to enable or disable the display of mine trigger warnings.


Context Menu Style: Here you can select whether to make the context menu options - that is the menu of common options which appear when you press the V key by default - appear as a radial menu around your crosshair, or shown at the right side of the screen. Note that this setting only refers to the main context menu, not additional menus such as the full communications menu you can access by pressing the middle mouse button by default.

Mouse: This option lets you determine how the mouse is used when context menus are open - this is not to be confused with general mouse usage in ET:QW, to which these settings don't apply. As an example, when you press the middle mouse button you can bring up the communications menu. When this option is set to 'No Input', the mouse can't be used to scroll through or select comms items (default is the scroll wheel); when it's set to 'Mouse + Locked View' you can use the mouse to select comms items but you cannot use the mouse to move your view at the same time - it will remain locked until a selection is made; the default of 'Mouse + View Movement' lets you use the mouse to select comms and you can also change your view at the same time. Finally you can set the sensitivity of the mouse when using context menus using the Sensitivity slider here.

Shortcuts: When you open a context menu, such as the main context menu (default is V key), you can choose to either use a number or a letter shortcut to make a selection instead of using the mouse.

Tooltips: Tooltips are the small pieces of information you will see at the top center of the screen. These usually appear when you switch to a new weapon or use a new vehicle for example. You can set whether or not sounds accompany tooltips, and how long tooltips remain visible using the slider. You can disable tooltips altogether by moving the slider to the far left. Note that if you reenable tooltips and want to see all of them again, click 'Reset Tooltips'.

Advanced Flight Controls: If enabled, this option allows greater control over airborne vehicles, but also increases the risk of destabilizing the vehicle and crashing. In essence when this option is not selected, a form of automatic vehicle stability control is used to help control the vehicle. So if you're new to vehicles you might want to leave this option off, but once you've had some practice you can tick this option to let you have full maneouverability in airborne vehicles and thus be able to perform more skillful moves.

Once you've adjusted these settings, it's important to note that there are several other option screens which are accessible by clicking the Controls or Settings links at the top of the screen.


Under this section you can alter all the key/mouse bindings for your various controls, from Movement to Weapons, to Vehicles and Misc. categories. None of them have an impact on performance so go through this list carefully and alter the settings as you wish. If you want to undertake more complex keybinds however, see the Advanced Tweaking Section.

Toggle Sprinting/Boosting: If ticked, when you press the sprint key while running (boost key when in a vehicle), the sprint/boost will remain in effect until you press the same key again.

Invert: These three options allow you to choose whether to invert the mouse or not. Ticking the 'Invert Mouse' option for example means that pushing your mouse forward will make the character look down, and pulling the mouse backward will make him look up.

Mouse Sensitivity: This slider controls the overall mouse sensitivity in the game. Note that if you are having problems with a sluggish or 'laggy' mouse response, you should first make sure Vertical Sync is disabled, then check your framerates using the com_showFPS 1 command, and if it's dipping below 20FPS you need to alter your settings to raise the FPS, as low framerates result in mouse lag. You can also look at the conclusion of this guide to lock or unlock the 30FPS framerate cap the game has, if you feel that is contributing to mouse lag or control jerkiness. Finally check the Control Commands under the Advanced Tweaking section for more mouse tweaking options.

Update: As of the 1.2 Patch, ET:QW now uses the RAW Input API, which supports a wider range of peripheral inputs. If you find that you don't like this input method for some reason, experiment by disabling the m_rawInput variable in the Advanced Tweaking section.

Update: As of the 1.5 Patch, you can now set mouse sensitivities on an individual vehicle basis. That is, each vehicle can have a different mouse sensitivity to suit your tastes. To set these, you will need to use the following new command variables (see the Advanced Tweaking section). Note that Pitch is vertical sensitivity, Yaw is horizontal sensitivity:

Bumblebee: m_bumblebeePitchScale, m_bumblebeeYawScale

Titan, Cyclops and Desecrator: m_heavyVehiclePitchScale, m_heavyVehicleYawScale

Anansi and Tormentor: m_helicopterPitchScale, m_helicopterYawScale

Trojan, Armadillo, Hog and Husky: m_lightVehiclePitchScale, m_lightVehicleYawScale

Infantry and Icarus: m_playerPitchScale, m_playerYawScale


This section contains the main graphics and audio settings, and almost all the settings here have an impact on performance.


Volume, Music Volume: These sliders control the overall volume and the music volume in the game and have no performance impact, so can be adjusted to taste.

Use Compressed Sounds: When ticked, the game uses compression to reduce the amount of system memory that sounds take up. This can help if you're low on RAM. Sound compression can result in some loss in audio quality, though in practice I could not notice the difference. If you want the absolute best quality audio untick this option, but for the most part leaving it ticked is optimal.

Speaker Setup: Select the correct speaker mode to match your current configuration. If you're having problems and audio glitches, first check the s_numberOfSpeakers setting under the Advanced Tweaking section, and if all else fails select the '2 Speakers/Headphone' mode. If you've changed your sound device recently or are having problems, click the 'Redetect Audio Devices' button.

Note that by default ET:QW uses the DirectSound audio API, which should be fine for all Windows XP users, but means that Windows Vista users running Creative sound cards will need to use the Creative ALchemy patch to enable full hardware accelerated audio features on their system. There is an option to enable OpenAL mode in ET:QW using the s_driver and s_libOpenAL commands, covered under the Advanced Tweaking section. This method can be buggy, but is worth a try.

Brightness, Gamma: These sliders control the overall brightness of the image. Adjust to suit your taste, as they have no performance impact.

Fullscreen: If ticked the game runs in fullscreen mode, if unticked the game runs in windowed mode. For optimal performance and stability, fullscreen mode is recommended to prevent any issues with Windows Memory Management. Note that in fullscreen mode you cannot ALT+TAB out of the game, and in windowed mode there are glitches with the brightness slider.

Aspect Ratio: This setting determines the ratio of width to height of the onscreen image. Most display devices are 4:3 aspect ratio, which is the traditional TV/monitor aspect ratio. However newer Widescreen HDTV's and LCD monitors have a 5:4, 16:9 or even 16:10 aspect ratio. If you run a normal display device, 4:3 is the correct aspect ratio choice. However if you run a widescreen device, or are outputting to an HDTV such as a plasma display panel, select 16:9 to reduce/remove the black bars around the image or any odd stretching. If this doesn't work and you need to set a custom aspect ratio refer to the r_aspectRatio and g_fov commands in the Advanced Tweaking section.

Resolution: This setting determines the Resolution of the game image, shown in pixels wide by pixels high, at a particular aspect ratio. The higher the resolution, the more pixels shown and the more detailed and clearer the game image, but it takes more graphics card power and hence you will see less frames per second (FPS). The highest resolution available in this list of resolutions is limited to what your graphics card and monitor are actually capable of rendering, as well as your chosen aspect ratio. The resolution has an important impact on your peformance. If nothing else helps you improve your FPS you will have to reduce the resolution. To set a custom resolution see the r_mode command in the Advanced Tweaking section.

Quality: This setting is just an overall indication of the level of specific settings under the Advanced section. You can click the 'Auto Detect' button so that the game can attempt to detect your hardware and set the quality level automatically. However it is strongly recommended that you configure the advanced settings individually as detailed on the next page rather than using a particular preset quality level which is usually not optimal.


As of the 1.2 Patch, ET:QW now has in-game Voice Over IP (VOIP) support, meaning you can simply connect a microphone to your system and be able to communicate with other players from within the game. The settings here are relatively self-explanatory, however if you're not interested in using VOIP, I recommend unticking all the 'Receive...' boxes.

The next page continues the in-game settings by looking at the advanced video settings in detail.