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— by Love2Play
12/04/99: Quake 2 Tweaks
Yes! Finally, what you have all wanted to see.
How to make Quake 2 run better, faster, and smoother on the Internet.
First let us point out one VERY important point
to all of you mega-machine owners...yeah, you, the ones who constantly
say, "I have a P5-900 and 1200 MB of RAM and cable so Quake
2 should be fast on my machine." WRONG! Quake 2 was not made
for your machine, it was made for the Pentium 166. It was released
in 1997 for those who don't remember. And it certainly had no
clue what cable, DSL, or a GeForce card was. So, id had little
concern for the settings in the game config when they retailed
it. Your machine may be way cool to your friends, but it sucks
for Quake 2 unless you make a few adjustments. And yes, we know
other games work fine, like UT and Quake 3: Arena...that's because
they learned from Quake 2 about lag and fixed it for you ahead
of time. With that, let's dig in!
First order of business: what is it? The config.cfg
file is what holds the binds for weapons, movements, and the configuration
of your video card and modem speed for the game, as well as resolution
settings, mouse smoothing - anything you want to tell it to do.
However, the config.cfg file is a default file; in other words,
nothing will be modified other than default settings from the
game setup menu. If you try, it will not hold. How many of your
friends have told you, "bring down the console and type blah
blah" and when you went to play the next time, it was gone?
Right, only good for that ONE game. You cannot permanently change
the actual config.cfg. But, we are here to show you how to make
Make sure you can find it. Set up Windows Explorer
to show your files: Go to View>Folder Options>View tab.
Under "Files and Folders" check the box for "Show
all files" and uncheck "Hide file extensions for known
file types". Now you will see all files and extensions in
Go to your Quake2\baseq2 directory and find your
config.cfg file. Double click it and when asked what to open it
with, choose Notepad. If there is an icon other than the Windows
icon next to it, go to View>Folder Options>File Types tab
and scroll down and find the word config. Hilite the word config,
choose edit and change the file association by clicking on the
word open in the Actions area and choose Edit. There you
can choose the type of application to open config with. Choose
click the config.cfg file and it will open with Notepad (if you
got the first part right). The first thing you should look for
before attempting to edit your config is whether you are running
in openGL. Too many gamers are not actually running in openGL.
Look for the line in your config that reads set vid_ref "gl".
If this says "soft", you are not running in openGL.
Now that's ok if you don't have a 3D accelerator. But if you do,
there's no point in reading the rest of this article until you
are running in openGL. Refer back to our article on upgrading
and review the installation procedures.
you do not have a video card capable of openGL, you still need
some tweaks - but not any of the tweaks with the heading "gl_"
. Those are obviously for openGL. However, it doesn't mean you
can't benefit from setting other things.
you can stop here and go look up what every single one of those
lines means at the Quake2
Console Commands page, or you can keep reading, because we
are here to tweak for lag. The following is what you need to do
to play the game online in the first place. We won't be teaching
you the meaning behind bind 7 "use Rocket Launcher";
we hope you are smart enough to know it means that the number
7 will give you the Rocket Launcher. But if you're curious, step
on over there and check it out.
the changes in store
Now for making a new config - a custom config.
Of course everyone has their own opinion on what the easiest way
to do it is. And we all know that opinions are like "posterior
orifices" - everyone has one. We are choosing what we feel
is the most basic way to set up your Quake 2 config system. Something
almost everyone can understand. Well, okay, maybe not those still
using a Trident VGA card...
The following are changes to the config that are
RECOMMENDED. They are NOT the word of God. Not all settings work
for all computers. This is a guideline; you may have to play with
some choices to get what works best for you. We are here to tell
you what the choices are. And these are the simple ones for lag.
We will cover more advanced configs once everyone is familiar
with the basic config.
Open a new Notepad and prepare to type...
set rate "25000" is the default - example
number 1 that Quake 2 needs tweaking. This is the rate your modem
sends. It's way too high. With the rate set that high, your computer
will choke your modem trying to send all that info. Turn it down!
These are the standards
(as in recommended - you can change the numbers and try them)
for rate settings:
to add to notepad
one of those and type it in your open notepad.
the following lines below the rate setting:
mixahead - the default .2 is too high
the packets that send frames per second on your video card
- modems can't handle too many at once. You need to choose
a number that is best for you. 31 is typical.