Unreal Tournament is already over a decade old, but regardless of that, still popular. It has tons of community created content that has greatly helped extending it’s lifecycle. While gameplay has lasted, visuals may have not so well. Fear not, UT community has some really talented individuals, who have provided us new feature rich video renderers that will provide additional visual effects, stability, operating system compatibility and pefrormance. And what’s most important, all tweaks provided in this guide are 100% online compatible so you can jump straight into action without worrying about package mismatch errors etc.
Things you will need:
- Unreal Tournament game discs (CD1 and CD2)
- Some technical knowledge
- A bit of time and patience
Unreal Tournament works perfectly on modern hardware and OS (operating system) environments if configured properly. I have tested UT on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 platforms (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions) and they all performed equally fine.
Important Things to Know
Here are some important things to acknowledge, before you continue:
- UT has been tested and works fine with modern Windows operating systems (and of course these include Windows 7 and Windows 8 ).
- In some unfortunate cases (that more likely applies for systems with AMD CPUs and laptop computers) you need to disable AMD Cool'n'Quiet or Intel SpeedStep features from system BIOS to maintain smooth gameplay (where game does not exceed normal framerates so it will run at hectic and inconstant speeds). It happens because the nature of first UT engine was coded. Back in 1999 all home PC-s were single-core systems and didn't automatically adjust CPU clock speeds. UT1 engine has no idea about multi-core CPUs, therefore the occasional gameplay speed issues.
- This guide will cover clean installing UT using original game CD1 and CD2. Today you can also buy UT from various digital channels (including Good Old Games and Steam), but since I do not have these versions available, I cannot comment how much and in which way they are different from retail versions.
- Definitely do NOT use S3TC textures for mapping. Only use standard CD1 textures for mapping. If you deal with level creation, it is recommanded that you keep two separate UT folders – one for playing and another one for mapping.
- As a precaution I would not recommand downloading any non-official, pre-configured or so called „optimized“ UT versions from the internet, because you can never be sure what do you actually get and what kind of settings are applied to that package (in worst case scenario it may contain malware).
- You can download this pre-configured INI file that already has all the settings applied, but to make it work, you'll still need to download updated OpenGL renderer.
Installing and Patching UT
Unreal Tournament comes in two discs. First one contains UT game itself, second one contains higher resolution S3TC textures (GOTY version has also ChaosUT and Rocket Arena mods included although they are outdated and you can download updated versions from the internet).
Install Unreal Tournament game itself from CD1.
Right after your UT install is complete, be sure to patch your game. The amount of patches you need to install depends on what version of UT you have. If you got original 1999 release, then you need to download and install the following:
UT patch version 436. This is the latest official patch for clients. There is also patch 451, but it is for servers and not for clients playing online.
http://files.filefront.com/UT+436+No+De ... einfo.html
UT Bonus Pack 1
http://www.ut-files.com/index.php?dir=P ... uspack.zip
UT Bonus Pack 2
http://files.filefront.com/UTBonusPack2 ... einfo.html
UT Bonus Pack 3
http://files.filefront.com/UT+Windows+B ... einfo.html
UT Bonus Pack 4
http://files.filefront.com/Unreal+Tourn ... einfo.html
If you got UT Game of the Year Edition, then you just need to download Bonus Pack 4, because bonus packs 1-3 are already included. Some older GOTY versions are version 432. In this case you need also patch 436.
Installing Higher Resolution S3TC Textures
In this section we are going to install higher resolution S3TC textures from CD2, but before you do that be sure to back up your current City.utx, ShaneSky.utx and SkyBox.utx files from your UnrealTournament\Texures folder, because they're improperly masked and you get some malformed skyboxes. Put those three files into some temporary folder until you need them.
Right after you have installed S3TC texures from CD2 go to your UnrealTournament\Texures folder and take out the following files and put them besides other previously backed up files - Female1Skins.utx, Female2Skins.utx, Male1Skins.utx, Male2Skins.utx, Male3Skins.utx and SkTrooperSkins.utx.
The reason you'll do that is because sometimes you get „sliding zombie players“ effect in some improperly configured servers which is visually really annoying bug.
Now download S3TC_Fix.zip, extract it to UnrealTournament\Texures folder and run S3Fix.exe (Depending on your UT install location, for example Program Files folder, you might need to run this utility as administrator (right click and select „Run as administrator“ option). This utility will correct that „sliding zombie players“ bug by patching some textures.
After the process is complete (Command Prompt window closes after patching is finished), be sure to take all your previously backed up files and move them into Textures folder answering „Yes“ to overwrite existing ones.
System Updates and New OpenGL Renderer
Be sure to have up-to-date video card drivers for latest performance enhancements and bug fixes.
For AMD (ATI) drivers, go to:
and for NVIDIA drivers, go to:
I’ts also a good practice to have latest DirectX runtime libraries installed. You can get the installer from
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download ... aspx?id=35
After that download updated video renderer for UT that has capability to add extra visual details and graphical options, that including S3TC textures support. I particularly recommand Chris Dohnal’s OpenGL renderer. There are also other renderers like Direct3D8 and Direct3D9, but at this point OpenGL is most feature rich and configurable.
You can get OpenGL version 3.7 from official homepage or right here as attached file.
After that, extract its contents to UnrealTournament\System and overwrite existing one.
Now it is time to start up UT and configure it to use just installed OpenGL renderer. If you have already passed first run configuration screen, you can change video renderer by going Options -> Preferences -> Video and click on Change button.
On First-Time Configuration screen, select OpenGL. If you cannot see this option, make sure you have Show all devices radio button selected.
You can always later change the renderer from the in-game the Options menu. Now click Next -> Run to start the game.
If the game starts up it means, that new OpenGL video renderer works fine. Exit the game and lets begin with advanced visual and audio settings configuration.
Advanced Engine and OpenGL Settings
UT stores most of its user configurable settings in two files:
Both of them are located in UnrealTournament\System folder.
Open UnrealTournament.ini in Notepad or other similar text editing application.
IMPORTANT: Pay close attention to backslash marks (//) and the text following after that. These marks are only comments. Do not add them into your UnrealTournament.ini file!
First lets increase system cache for UT. Go to [Engine.GameEngine] and change CacheSizeMegs default value from 4 to 16 so it will look like this:[Engine.GameEngine]
Next go to [WinDrv.WindowsClient] section and make it look like this:[WinDrv.WindowsClient]
FullscreenViewportX=1920 // Set YOUR horizontal screen resolution!
FullscreenViewportY=1200 // Set YOUR vertical screen resolution!
Brightness=0.400000 // Set brightness level (you can also set this option in-game)
Now lets configure some audio settings for higher quality and fidelity sound. Go to [Galaxy.GalaxyAudioSubsystem] where you can set all Galaxy audio renderer settings.[Galaxy.GalaxyAudioSubsystem]
UseSurround=True //Will make UT sound better even with 2.0 stereo configurations.
Latency=45 // Default value 40 will occasionally cause sound stutter and crackling, increase value if problem persists.
OutputRate=44100Hz // Increase sample rate for improved sound quality.
EffectsChannels=32 // Change from default 16 channels for richer audio effects.
A note about alternative audio renderers
There are other community made audio renderers available like OpenAL and FMod. While in theory they should provide more accurate audio effects and settings, I personally cannot recommand them at this point. I have tested all of them and each one has some „quirks“ like too loud announcer voice or muffled weapon sounds etc. There may be possibility of some sort of hardware/software conflict, but various systems have resulted me recurring issues. None of these quirks have came up with Galaxy audio renderer so I’ve decided to concentrate on that as most „safe“ solution. You are free to try those alternative renderers and see if they provide better results for you.
Now the most important part – OpenGL graphical settings that are located under [OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice]. If you cannot find [OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice] section in your UnrealTournament.ini then add it yourself, because UT have not created it yet automatically.
More detailed descriptions for each setting are in next reply.[OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice]
NumAASamples=4 // Level of anti-aliasing, valid values are 0, 2, 4 and 8.
UseAA=True //Enable anti-aliasing.
FrameRateLimit=62 // Do not go over 100 or you’ll get some inconstant game speeds.
SwapInterval=0 // 0 means Vsync off, 1 means Vsync on (will cause mouse imput lag).
RefreshRate=75 // Set maximum refresh rate your display supports.
MaxAnisotropy=16 // Level of anisotrophic filtering.
UseS3TC=True // Enable higher resolution S3TC textures.
LODBias=-1.000000 // Use negative values to sharpen textures, positive to blur them.
Description=ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series // Add your GPU description if you want to.
Field of View Bug
Since most of today’s computer displays are widescreen, FOV (Field of View) value becomes an issue with older game titles like UT. Some players prefer higher FOV while others like the default setting, but there is another minor bug associated with UT.
Default FOV for UT is 90 degrees. With widescreen displays this can cause one minor issue that might not be right noticeable. I’m specifically talking about player weapon model you’ll see when you play. If you’re running default FOV 90 and using widescreen display and resolution, weapon model becomes slightly cut off from the edge of display. While this may seem as minor thing for some people, I find it to be somewhat immersion breaking. To demonstrate this issue, I have taken two comparing screenshots, first one has default FOV value 90 while second has FOV value 100. Resolution was set to 1280x800.
As you can see, Enforcer model or more specifically player’s hand holding the Enforcer is not visible because of too narrow FOV value (default 90) when using widescreen resolution. To correct this, open User.ini and find [Engine.PlayerPawn] section.[Engine.PlayerPawn]
Setting FOV is really a personal preference so you are free to experiment with different values to find something, that really suits your needs.
Optional Direct3D9 Settings
For those who prefer Direct3D9 renderer.
Following sample configuration is based on Direct3D9 1.3 renderer![D3D9Drv.D3D9RenderDevice]
Description=My Video Card Description
That is all for now. I'll fix typos and add/change content periodically if I find any improvements. Feel free to add additional comments and suggestions how these settings worked out for you.