Far Cry Tweak Guide
[Page 6] In-Game Settings (Pt.2)
Sound FX Volume, Music Volume: The Special FX Volume slider controls the volume of the special effects in the game, such as gunfire and voices. The Music Volume slider controls the level of the music played in the game's initial menu screen, as well as the in-game music. The level of music/sound effects has no impact on performance, except if the sliders are taken all the way to the left (i.e. 0), whereby some people may notice a slight overall performance improvement, especially those with onboard audio or older sound cards, less RAM and/or a slower CPU.
Speaker Setup: Select the type of speaker configuration you have from the choice of Monoaural, Stereo, Headphones, Quadrophonic, Surround, Dolby 5.1. Settings with multiple channels like Quadrophonic, or Dolby 5.1 may experience a reduction in performance due to extra processing requirements depending on their sound hardware and CPU. Unless you have a high quality sound card and a multi-speaker setup, Stereo sound should suit most people both in terms of performance and audio quality, especially with EAX enabled (see below).
Doppler Effect: When enabled this setting attempts to emulate the Doppler audio effect, which is where the source of a sound rapidly moving past the listener changes pitch. Examples include bullets wizzing by you, or choppers as they pass overhead. It's a nifty trick, but obviously requires a bit more processing when such sources exist (usually during combat) and hence can reduce performance in these situations, although by how much depends on your sound hardware. Unselect this option if you want a performance boost without a noticeable drop in sound quality.
Hardware Mixing: If enabled, this uses your audio hardware, such as a PCI sound card, to process sounds and music. This can greatly improve audio quality, but may reduce FPS slightly. If you have a good quality sound card then I recommend selecting this option for optimal sound quality and minimal performance loss. Remember to update to the latest driver for your sound card otherwise you will experience audio problems. If you do experience such problems with this option, unselect EAX if enabled and see the Troubleshooting section, then the Compatible Mode setting below.
Enable EAX 2.0: Creative Lab's Environmental Audio (EAX) is a true 3D audio system which allows for greater depth and reality in sound. It is only possible on sound cards supporting EAX 2.0 and above, such as the SoundBlaster Audigy range of soundcards. This setting will only be available if Hardware Mixing is also selected, and due to the extra sound processing involved, can reduce overall performance. It may cause problems on some systems, so disable it if it does, and again see the Essential Optimization and Troubleshooting sections as well as Compatible Mode below. In my opinion if your sound card is capable of EAX, it is worth enabling due to the noticeably better 3D sound positioning.
Compatible Mode: If you get sound clicks or sound glitches during gameplay, make sure you install or even reinstall the latest drivers for your sound card (See Essential Optimization section for details), and if necessary reinstall DirectX9.0b after that. If that doesn't help, unselect EAX, then go to Start>Control Panel>Sounds & Audio Devices>Audio>Sound Playback>Advanced>Performance and lower the Hardware Acceleration slider one or two notches. Also make sure Sample Conversion quality is set to Best. If none of these work, enable Compatible Mode to see if that helps resolve problems. Compatible Mode should resolve most sound problems, but it does this by bypassing your sound card's drivers, meaning lesser audio quality and performance.
Enable Music: If selected this allows in-game music to play in the background. If such music annoys you, or if your system is low on RAM (i.e. less than 512MB) then select this option for a slight reduction in loading times and less loading pauses in-game.
Music Quality: This setting determines the audio quality of the music. The highest rate (High) gives a 44,100Hz sampling rate, with lower settings reducing audio quality (lower sampling rates) for less RAM usage and hence less loading times, less in-game loading pauses and a minor boost in FPS on some machines. I recommend Medium or High as the performance impact is minor, although if you're genuinely struggling or have problems with the music, setting it to Low will not reduce audio quality dramatically.
Key Bindings: The key bindings for the various in-game controls are here, and can be set according to your individual taste. For more details on key bindings, see the Game.cfg portion of the Advanced Tweaking section. Key bindings have no impact on performance.
Mouse Smoothing: If enabled (i.e set to Fast or Default), mouse smoothing will attempt to reduce any jerkiness in mouse movements. The Fast setting is a bit "crisper" than the Default setting, however setting this option to None gives the best mouse performance if you're experiencing any mouse lag. Enabling mouse smoothing can result in an increase in mouse lag. The performance difference between the three modes appears negligible if not non-existent.
Mouse Sensitivity: The further to the right the slider is set, the more sensitive your mouse will be to movements. This setting is the most important for improving mouse response due to mouse lag. I personally have the slider to the far right, and it has helped remove any traces of mouse lag on my system. However note that if your FPS falls low enough (i.e below ~ 15FPS) then you will experience mouse lag regardless. The best thing to do in that case would be to lower other settings (especially resolution) until you raise your framerate, and that will help reduce mouse lag during graphical slowdowns. This setting has no impact on FPS.
Mouse Acceleration: If the box next to this option is selected, mouse acceleration will be enabled, with the amount of acceleration determined by how far the slider is taken to the right. Mouse acceleration means the quicker you move your mouse, the greater the distance it will move. A small amount of acceleration can help improve a sluggish mouse (along with your Mouse Sensitivity setting), however it can also make it difficult to aim accurately. I personally recommend disabling mouse acceleration for optimal in-game performance. This setting has no impact on FPS.
Invert Mouse: If this box is selected, moving your mouse forward will make your character look down, and pulling the mouse back will make him look up. Set to personal taste, has no impact on FPS or mouse lag issues.
Well that brings us to the end of the in-game settings. However that doesn't end the ways in which we can tweak Far Cry. The next section looks at some additional places we can turn to for further customization of the game.