UT2004 Tweak Guide

[Page 6] In-Game Settings (Pt. 2)


Music Volume, Effects Volume, Announcer Volume: These independently determine the volume of the background music, general effects like character voices, weapons fire and explosions, and the Announcer's voice volume respectively. Adjust to taste, no performance impact.

Audio Mode: The available options for this setting are covered below:

[Safe Mode] - This option is only provided for those having sound problems with other sound modes. If your sound problems are resolved by switching to Safe Mode, then chances are you need to update or reinstall your sound card driver, or address another general system issue (See the Essential Optimization section above, and my TweakGuides Tweaking Companion).

[3D Audio] - This is the most basic audio in UT2004, and uses your CPU to process the sound. It's actually quite acceptable, and does provide good 3D audio. If you have a sound card or decent onboard audio, you can use that instead to provide better quality audio. However software audio will provide the best framerate performance.

[H/W 3D Audio] - If you have a sound card, this option will make use of your sound card's hardware capabilities to extend the audio experience. It sounds better than Software 3D, but may reduce your FPS slightly due to extra processing.

[H/W 3D Audio + EAX] If you have a sound card capable of running Creative Lab's EAX 3.0 (Environmental Audio), such as the SoundBlaster Audigy series, then you can enable this option. EAX adds special effects to the sound and gives you advantages such as being able to determine with greater accuracy where people are (true positional), and being underwater or behind walls will sound more realistic (occlusion culling). However with this option enabled, you may notice a drop in FPS. Note that you may also have to update your sound card's drivers to get correct 3D audio with EAX on UT2004.

Play Voices: Here you can choose which type of character voices you hear. The options are All which plays everything, No Auto Taunts which only allows taunts which you or opponents manually select to be heard, No Taunts which blocks all taunting voices, and None which removes all character voices, including taunts and screams/grunts. Has no noticeable effect on performance.

Low Sound Detail: If ticked this changes the sampling rate of the sound, in effect lowering its quality. This might improve general performance, but it's not recommended for most people unless you are really struggling for extra FPS.

Mature Taunts: If ticked, will allow the more "mature" taunts to be heard in-game. If you are a parent and don't want your kids hearing "Holy Sh*t!" in the middle of a UT2004 match, untick this option, otherwise the taunts are not that shocking for most. Has no effect on performance.

System Driver: This option determines whether UT2004 uses the game's generic OpenAL sound driver, or an OpenAL driver specific to your sound card. If this setting is ticked, the game will use the default UT2004 driver (which seems counter-intuitive). However if you check in your \Windows\System32 directory and find an OPENAL32.DLL file, then unticking this option will use your sound card-specific driver. This may resolve any audio problems you are having, and it will improve your performance and audio quality. I recommend unticking this option if you have OPENAL32.DLL in your \Windows\System32\ directory.

Auto Taunt: Your character will automatically say a random taunt when he kills an opponent or with special moves/events. Usually this annoys other players after a while, so I recommend you leave it unticked. If you need to taunt, bind specific taunts to a key, or use the speech key. Has no effect on performance.

Reverse Stereo: Reverses the left and right audio channels. Leave unticked unless you really want your left speaker to put out sounds coming from your character's right and vice versa. Has no effect on performance.

Message Beep: If ticked, produces a small beep whenever a text message is sent by any players in the game. Has no effect on performance.

Announcements: The settings are None, Minimal and All. Some people may get annoyed with the somewhat obvious things the in-game announcer will say, so this setting allows you to determine the frequency of announcements. Minimal is recommended so you can hear the important announcements like time left in the match and whose flag has been captured. Remember that important announcements will also be shown as text on screen, so setting this option to None won't put you at a playing disadvantage. Has no effect on performance.

Status Announcer: Select which announcer type you want to provide you with Status updates. The choice is personal taste, and has no impact on performance.

Reward Announcer: Select which announcer type you want to announce the various rewards (such as "Monster Kill!"). The choice is personal taste, and has no impact on performance.

Text To Speech: The various options under this section relate to the new UT2004 ability to translate text message to synthesized audible speech (voiced by Stephen Hawking), as well as the built-in voice chat system. Note that you can adjust the voice used for Text-to-speech by going to your Windows Control Panel and choosing the Speech option. Disabling Text-to-speech can give a noticeable performance improvement.

[Enable in Game] Ticking this option enables the text-to-speech functionality during gameplay in UT2004. It will have some performance impact in that extra CPU processing is required, but it may not be significant depending on your CPU's speed. Unselect all the text-to-speech options if they're not to your taste and you want extra game performance.

[Enable in IRC] Enables the text-to-speech functionality in Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

[Team Messages Only] Ticking this option will force text-to-speech to only operate for messages sent by teammates in team-based game modes.

[Voice Chat] Ticking this option enables the ability to talk to other players online via a microphone. Enabling voice chat can have an impact on your ping, as voice data is transferred over your internet connection. Untick this option (and subsequent ones below) if you don't use voice chat to conserve bandwidth and maintain the lowest possible ping. See the Voice Chat Options below for more details.

[Voice Chat Options] Click the Configure button here, and on the next screen you can adjust various options:

  • Voice Chat Volume: Adjust the volume at which you hear other voices over the chat link. No performance impact.
  • Autojoin Public Channel: If selected, you will automatically join the Public channel each time you join a server, allowing you to chat to all players on the server. Untick this option if you don't use voice chat and want to conserve bandwidth and/or if you don't want to automatically join the Public channel.
  • Autojoin Local Channel: If selected (and enabled on the server) you will automatically join the Local channel each time you join a server. Every time you speak, the broadcast will come from your online character's current location. Those further away from you will hear you less clearly than those who are close. Untick this option if you don't use voice chat and want to conserve bandwidth and/or if you don't want to automatically join the Local channel.
  • Autojoin Team Channel: If selected, you will automatically join the Team channel each time you join a server with a team-based map. Any voice broadcasts you make on this channel will only be heard by team members, and not by the opposing team. Untick this option if you don't use voice chat and want to conserve bandwidth and/or if you don't want to automatically join the Team channel.
  • Auto Select Active Channel: If selected, you will automatically select the default channel on the server. If you want to specify a particular channel yourself, enter the name in the Default Channel Server box below this setting, or leave it blank to join the server's default channel. Once again, untick this setting if you don't use voice chat and want to conserve bandwidth and/or you don't want to set a particular channel.
  • Chat Password: Every time you join a server, a personal Chat Room is created for you, which others can join to privately chat. If you want to set a password on this channel, enter one in this box to prevent unwanted access.
  • Internet Quality: This setting determines the amount of bandwidth on your internet connection used to transmit and receive audio broadcasts. This in turn affects the voice audio quality. The Less Bandwidth setting uses less bandwidth, but this results in lower quality voice audio. The Better Quality setting sacrifices more bandwidth to give higher quality voice audio. Select Less Bandwidth if you have a slower internet connection such as 56K modem or 128kpbs DSL, or if you simply want to conserve bandwidth due to ping spikes/lag.
  • LAN Quality: Same as Internet Quality above, except affects voice audio when connected to other machines on a LAN configuration. Since most LAN connections are fast, Better Quality is the preferred setting here.
  • In-Game settings continue on the next page.