FEAR Tweak Guide
[Page 4] Patches, Maps & Mods
In what is fast becoming a disturbing trend for modern games, FEAR had its first patch (Version 1.01) released online on the very same day the game was officially released in stores. So every retail box of FEAR on every store was out-of-date, right from the day it was released - simply because the game's publishers couldn't wait a few more weeks before releasing a finished product. Worse still, since the first patch was being developed at the same time as the game was being manufactured, it didn't incorporate any fixes based on initial user feedback.
Since then several more patches have been released, with the most recent patch for FEAR bringing it up to Version 1.08. The full version patch contains all the previous patch fixes, but weighs in at 588MB. There is an incremental version of this patch for those who already have the 1.07 patch installed and is only 44MB. The latest patch contains several multiplayer gameplay-related changes, as well as adding widescreen support to the game. Note that as of the 1.07 patch, the game executable has been split into FEAR.exe for the single player component, and FEARMP.exe which launches the multiplayer component, and that the FEAR MP component no longer has a disk check component (see NoCD section below). Note further that as of the 1.03 patch, support was added for PunkBuster anti-cheat software.
A lot of users reporting problems with FEAR patches, mainly because of the SecuROM copy protection system used for FEAR (see further below). If you don't play FEAR Multiplayer or don't actively install many FEAR mods, I recommend sticking with the original Version 1.01 patch as there are no real performance gains or fixes for single player from any of the newer patches. If you still have problems after installing the patch, please see the Troubleshooting Tips section of this guide for things you can try.
No-CD Patch/Disk Image
While I have ranted against secuROM and the many annoyances and problems it has caused FEAR users, for legal reasons I can't give you any details of where to find or how to install a No-CD patch or Fixed Image to circumvent the copy protection system. This is purely for legal reasons and not for moral reasons. Morally I would suggest that game companies are really pushing their luck by continuing to hammer legitimate users with idiotic copy protection systems which pirates already strip away from their games. Anyway the bottom line is please don't write to me asking me how to circumvent secuROM, as I just can't provide that information.
Update: As of FEAR 1.07, the Multiplayer component of the game no longer has a disk check if Multiplayer is launched directly from the desktop. That is, any shortcut which uses the FEARMP.exe file as a target will launch FEAR Multiplayer without the need for having the game CD in the drive.
FEAR is based on the JupiterEx game engine, and as such it is modifiable. To modify FEAR, you will need to download the FEAR SDK (Software Developer's Kit) which is 598MB. For more details of the SDK, and for help using it, see the FEAR Modding & Fan Content sub-forum on the Official FEAR Forums. If you want to download a mod, this FEAR Mod Database lists some good mods, as well as this Mod Compilation on the Official FEAR Forums. Let me know of your favorite FEAR mods and I'll post more details here as I sort out the most popular/useful ones.
If you want to look into the FEAR data archives - the .arch00 files in the base \Sierra\FEAR\ directory, you can use the Arche Noah FEAR archiving tool. This allows you to extract and view (and modify) the FEAR game files, however this is obviously done at your own risk. Remember, modified files can be flagged by PunkBuster as cheats in multiplayer.
Official Expansion Pack
FEAR will receive an official expansion pack called FEAR Extraction Point due out in late October 2006. This expansion pack is not free, and will take up the story from where FEAR ended. You can download a Demo of the expansion pack to try for yourself.
Importantly, the information in this guide applies equally to FEAR Extraction Point, however note that the FEAR Extraction Point settings.cfg file for advanced tweaking is actually found under the \Documents and Settings\All Users\[Shared] Documents\TimeGate Studios\FEARXP-SPDemo\ directory - see the Advanced Tweaking section for more details.
The next page looks at the In-Game Settings for FEAR and how they work.