Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter Tweak Guide
[Page 5] In-Game Settings
In this section I provide full descriptions for Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter's in-game settings, and where possible recommendations are provided. I cover the general performance impact of each setting, although bear in mind that it is impossible for me to give exact performance impacts - it all depends on your specific hardware combination and your other game and system-wide settings. For more details of precise performance impacts on various hardware, see articles such as this GRAW Performance Analysis.
The GRAW Campaign is the single player (offline) portion of the game. Clicking the Campaign button takes you to a screen where you can select 'New Campaign' to start the singleplayer campaign from the very beginning; Select 'Continue' to pick up where you left off in your current campaign; Select 'Play Mission' to start a particular mission from the Campaign; or choose 'Load Game' to load up any one of the many autosave check points up and including the latest save from your current campaign. Note that game progress in GRAW is always saved automatically at particular points - there is no known way to manually save.
Multiplayer is the online mode for GRAW, allowing you to play with other players over a network connection. To play with friends over a LAN connection, use the Local tab to join a LAN game if one is available. Most commonly though, you will want to play against opponents online over the Internet, so select the Internet tab. To play online though, you will need to have a Gamespy Account, and the quickest way to do that is to click the 'GameSpy Nickname' button. Enter your Nickname and Password for an existing Gamespy account, and if this doesn't work, or if you don't have a Gamespy account, then click the 'Create Account' button and fill in your details. Note that some people are having problems with this aspect of the game, so see the Troubleshooting Tips section for some possible solutions.
Once logged into your Gamespy account, to get a list of currently available online servers which you can potentially join, click the 'Update Server List' option at the top of the screen and wait for the list to populate. You can then join a server if it has an empty slot. Importantly, for minimal "lag" between your actions and their impact on the game when online, first set your 'Network Upload Speed' in bottom right hard corner of the Internet tab of GRAW Multiplayer to accurately match your Internet connection's upload speed. The default requirement is 512Kbits/s, however if you have a slower connection you can lower this down to 128Kbits/s, though note that some effects will be missing from online gameplay for you. Once you've done this, select a server which has the lowest Ping - preferably less than 100ms. Your Ping is the time in milliseconds (1000ms = 1 second) taken for a command or action you issue to travel to the server and then for the server to send back the impact of that command to your PC. The higher the ping, the higher the "lag" you experience. Servers which are physically closer to your location will have the best chance of the lowest consistent ping.
Furthermore, on many servers you may experience something called 'Packet Loss'. Packet loss is, as the name describes, lost data packets on the way to/from a server. This can result in odd online gameplay, like grenades suddenly disappearing, your character continually warping around, or being stuck in one place. In this case try another server, and if you get the same problem on all servers, it is your Internet connection which may be at fault - contact your ISP.
Finally, if you want to host an Internet game for others to join, click the 'Create Online Server' button at the bottom of the Internet tab in GRAW Multiplayer. Note that there are no dedicated server files for GRAW; a dedicated server is when a PC runs GRAW with minimal resource usage and noone actually playing from the host machine to provide the most optimal performance and minimal ping spikes. So instead if you are hosting a game on your machine, make sure you have plenty of upload bandwidth and don't try to host too many players, especially if players notice a lot of lag when playing on your server. See page 4 of the guide for more details of an upcoming patch which will add more Multiplayer modes to GRAW.
The game options can all be accessed via the main menu screen under their relevant sections. Each is covered below in more detail:
3D Mouse Sensitivity: This setting controls the sensitivity of your mouse while actually playing the game in 3D mode. It does not affect mouse sensitivity in 2D menus and interfaces (see below). The more to the right the slider is moved, the more sensitive your mouse will be to movements. Has no impact on performance so set to suit your taste.
Mouse Pointer Sensitivity: This setting controls the sensitivity of your mouse only while in the game menu screens and other 2D interface screens. The more to the right the slider is moved, the more sensitive your mouse will be to movements while moving around 2D screens. Has no impact on 3D mouse sensitivity or performance so set to suit your taste.
Invert Mouse: This controls whether moving the mouse forward will make your character look down (ticked) or up (unticked). Set to suit your taste, has no impact on performance.
In general if you are experiencing mouse lag issues, that is if your mouse appears to be unresponsive or lags when moving, then you will need to either decrease your Video Settings (particularly Texture Quality - see below), and/or implement the 'Max Frames to Render Ahead' tweak (See Neat Stuff & Conclusion section). For more details, including discussion of keyboard lag, see the Troubleshooting Tips section.
Single Player Difficulty: The options here are Easy, Normal and Hard, and determine how challenging your enemies will be while playing through the single player Campaign. Aside from altering the accuracy of your enemy and some of their tactics, I haven't found any noticeable performance impact from changing this setting so set it to suit your abilities.
Auto Reload: If ticked, as soon as your character runs out of bullets, he will automatically reload a new magazine of ammunition if available. Has no impact on performance, and there should be no reason to untick this, except perhaps to enhance realism.
Zoom Toggle: If ticked, when you select zoom mode on applicable weapons, you stay zoomed until you again click the zoom button. If unticked, you will only stay zoomed as long as you hold down the zoom button. Set to suit your taste, has no impact on performance.
Target Markers: If ticked, all identified enemies will be flagged as red diamonds on your screen, even if they're not currently visible. Enabling this is up to you, as for some people it can reduce realism, for others it's a great tactical tool. Has no impact on performance so set accordingly.
Voice Quotes: This option controls the voice snippets you hear from teammates responding to your commands for example. Unticking this option should remove the voice quotes, but it doesn't appear to make any difference, even after a restart.
This section has five separate sub-areas for assigning the specific control key/mouse buttons you want to use for particular actions in the game: Movement, Tactics, Combat, Multi (Multiplayer), and Misc. Make sure to click through each of these tabs and take the time to assign keys as necessary. None will have any impact on framerates, so set them as desired.
The next page continues the In-Game Setting descriptions.