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TOXIKK Forum • View topic - Competitive Settings: General Guide

Competitive Settings: General Guide

Gamers help Gamers. Tips and Tricks. Official Guides etc.
Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:03 am

  • Hey all.

    I saw a request by ticklemyiguana to write a detailed guide regarding general information about competitive setting tweaks, and thought it was a pretty cool idea, so here's what I've gathered in my experience with similar games like Quake. I know many topics here can cause derision among gamers, so I'm going to try to be as neutral as possible with my semantics and choice of words.

    As always, please feel free to suggest changes as the guide is imperfect and incomplete.

    ========================================================================================================

    I. Video Settings
    1. How To Tweak Your Settings: Newbie Guide
    2. Visibility
    3. VSync
    4. Monitor

    II. Mouse Settings
    1. Sensitivity
    2. Acceleration
    3. Mouse and Mouse Pad

    III. Gameplay Settings
    1. Precision
    2. Key Bindings
    3. Double Press Dodge Time


    ========================================================================================================

    I. Video Settings
    1. How To Tweak Your Settings: Newbie Guide


    Fair warning to the nerds out there: This section is for people who don't understand how to modify values in text documents. If you know how to do this, skip to "2. Visibility".

    Open your file browser, and find the steam folder where you installed Toxikk.

    The file path is: (name of the hard drive you stored Toxikk on)/Steam Library/SteamApps/common/TOXIKK/UDKGame/config

    If you can't find it, go to Steam, right click on Toxikk in your game library and choose "Properties." Go to the "Local Files" tab and select "Browse Local Files." From here, double-click on UDKGame, then Config, then stop for a second.

    This folder has all the files you will use to change Toxikk's settings. Toxikk reads information from these files every time you start Toxikk. It's your job to supply the new information, which will be your new competitive settings.

    Now right click on "UDKSystemSettings" and make sure you open it using a plain-text editor. Make sure to save a copy of your original, un-edited document just in case your computer explodes. This means using notepad or notepad ++ (there are others, too). Look at the second line: "StaticDecals=True". This is exactly the kind of line you will want to edit. Setting the value to false is as simple as changing the line to read "StaticDecals=False". Easy, right? Make sure to save the document as you are editing and RESTART the game when you have finished saving your changes.

    Use control+F or the "find" function to search for a line of text.

    2. Visibility

    Video settings are pretty straightforward, although subject to opinion in some areas.

    Before I continue, if you have never calibrated your monitor or think your monitor calibration is off, the effectiveness of some of these settings will be limited. I advise you to calibrate your monitor if necessary.

    Here's a rough guide to monitor calibration: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... ur-display

    Now, one of your goals when using competitive settings is maximizing visibility. By visibility, I mean being able to easily distinguish your enemy from the environment. This explains a lot of settings, like disabling fog, lens flare, distortion, bloom and motion blur. These are all things which can impair your ability to see the enemy as clearly as possible.

    In UDKSystemSettings:

    StaticDecals=false
    DynamicDecals=false
    UnbatchedDecals=false
    MotionBlur=false
    DepthOfField=false
    AmbientOcclusion=False
    Bloom=false
    bAllowLightShafts=false
    Distortion=false
    FilteredDistortion=false
    SpeedTreeLeaves=false
    SpeedTreeFronds=false
    LensFlares=false
    FogVolumes=false
    MotionBlurPause=false
    AllowRadialBlur=false
    UseVsync=False

    The full config can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1315

    As a general rule of thumb, it is usually better to disable any unnecessary or noisy effects that developers add to make it more of a cinematic or graphically impressive experience.

    Topics such as decals, geometry detail, lighting settings and rendering settings are more of a matter of choice. Many players feel that reducing the detail of a map in certain ways makes the enemy stand out more from the map. Others prefer to keep the map detail closer default settings. It's up to you to find out what works best for you.

    My best advise would be to keep your environment on the brighter side. Fighting well-illuminated enemies will always be easier than fighting enemies indistinguishable from the shadows.

    For Field of View, I would suggest playing with values higher than the default. A high field of view essentially allows you to see more of your surroundings in the same amount of screen space, while a low field of view will essentially make your enemy appear larger on your screen, making it easier to hit him/her. In some games like Insurgency, FOV is often maxed out in order to more easily spot enemies camping corners. In games like Quake, I have found that many competitive players choose to leave their FOV alone. Find what feels most comfortable to you.

    3. VSync, Frame Rates and Refresh Rates

    Kind of a weird topic that I know very little about. I've always avoided it as have most gamers out of habit, but it is not without reason that VSync is usually turned off for competitive settings. In general, it's usually better to turn settings off rather than keep unnecessary settings. To put it in brute terms, VSync relates to your frame rate and your monitor's refresh rate. Its purpose is to reduce "tearing" which I'm not going to try to explain. You can look it up if you're interested.

    I've never found VSync to be terribly important to competitive gaming so I've never looked much into it, so if someone wants to chime in, they are welcome to.

    On the topic of frame rates and refresh rates, I know that some players have really strong feelings in this area, but it is an area about which I am admittedly blase. However, I welcome discussion of this topic.

    As a general guideline, I would strongly recommend that you look at your frame rate in-game to see where it averages and how stable it is. An easy way to see your frame rate is to open your steam overlay while in-game (tab+shift by default), choose "Settings", go to the "In-Game" tab and change "In-Game FPS Counter" from OFF to a corner name.

    Now, the exact number people recommend varies, but on average, it is suggested that you have 60 FPS, on average, AT A MINIMUM while you play the game. If you average below this number, or your number varies dramatically, then you should either upgrade your hardware/software or improve your PC and/or the game's performance by lowering game settings and/or fixing issues with your PC. Some people will recommend up to 120 FPS and higher, and while it is technically possible for the human eye to distinguish a difference of one frame at such high frame rates, most monitors are limited by their 60Hz refresh rate, meaning they cannot show you more than 60 frames per second anyway. If you have the money and want to get fancy, I suppose you could go get a 120Hz monitor or something crazy like that, but know the price tag will be hefty.

    As another rule of thumb, make sure your drivers are up to date and you are only running the game while you play and nothing else. Sometimes malware can affect your computer's performance, so you may want to run some anti-malware software. I recommend Malwarebytes and Avast. These things can all contribute to better performance.

    4. Monitor

    Very quickly I'll stress the importance of having quality, reliable hardware. The most important pieces of peripheral hardware for PC gaming are your mouse, mouse pad, keyboard, monitor and headphones. I'll cover the mouse later.

    [Side note: Make sure you use a wired, ethernet connection to your PC's network card instead of Wi-Fi. This will help greatly with networking consistency when playing online.]

    It goes without saying that having a good monitor will benefit you on a competitive level.

    Some general guidelines:

    Don't go too small and don't go too big. If you are sitting 2 or 3 feet away from your monitor, you will want a monitor roughly in the range of 23 - 29 inches. I would not go too far outside these ranges, as the game will be hard to see on the small end and will be too big to see everything without turning your head on the large end.

    I recommend 1920 x 1080 resolution or greater, if you prefer. This is, for some reason, the golden standard in gaming right now, though this is due to change in the next few years I'm sure. Most games are designed using this resolution ratio, so if you want greater resolution, I would recommend finding a resolution with the same ratio. Resolution, for those who don't know, refers to the amount of squares, or pixels, a computer can show on the screen. A higher resolution means more squares can be shown on the same sized screen, meaning it has the ability to show you greater detail.

    ========================================================================================================

    II. Mouse Settings
    1. Sensitivity


    Here's where the screaming probably begins for some players.

    When you consider your mouse sensitivity, you will want to think about it in relation to two areas: Movement and aim. An ideal mouse sensitivity will allow you to perform advanced movements like the wall dodge jump effortlessly and fluidly while also allowing you to be as accurate as possible with your weapons. Finding an appropriate balance will inevitably be different for everyone, as everyone has different sized mouse pads and different styles of using mice.

    So where do we start? First of all, it is most helpful to think about mouse sensitivity in terms of how far you must move your mouse horizontally to turn a full 360 degrees in-game. The benefit to this is that you can easily match sensitivities between different games, as finding your usual sensitivity is as easy as measuring your 360 degree turn and adjusting accordingly.

    General rules of thumb:

    Lower sensitivity (greater distance per 360) will benefit your aim. The reasoning for this is that with ultra high sensitivities, the minimum detectable amount of movement you can make with your mouse will move your cursor several pixels in a direction. This is very bad. You ideally want the ability to have pixel-perfect accuracy, which means being able to make adjustments one pixel at a time. In addition to this, lower sensitivity affords you more room for error when adjusting your aim, as you subsequently have a greater amount of mouse pad space between which clicking the mouse will result in a hit and not a miss.

    Higher sensitivity (less distance per 360) will help you execute advanced movements, aim from target to target faster, and to quickly confront a player who is shooting you from behind. The reasoning for this is while a low sensitivity player may need to sweep more than one mouse pad length to confront an enemy from behind, the high sensitivity player is able to do it easily and quickly without having to recenter the mouse, saving him/her time and subsequently opportunity to kill.

    Many players recommend that you be able to perform a full 360 within the width of your mouse pad. But there are many players still who play with lower sensitivities even than that. Neither approach is inherently wrong, as they have their benefits and disadvantages.

    How you set your sensitivity might also depend on the way you grip your mouse. If you like to keep the base of your palm resting on your mouse pad rather than elevated while playing, you may find it difficult to use low sensitivities because of the limited range of wrist rotation. If you are interested in learning more about mouse grip styles, search for terms like "Palm grip", "Claw grip" and "Fingertip grip," but bear in mind that interpretation of mouse grip styles varies. Just figure out the best grip for you.

    ~ Thanks to Equim for the contribution.

    I have found that it can be helpful to see a broad range of sensitivities which many professional FPS gamers are known to have used in the past, though there are certainly outliers.

    I have found this range to be roughly (depending on the game!), 5 inches (13 cm) to 27.5 inches (70 cm). The range is pretty large because I wanted to emphasize the fact that each FPS game has its own sensitivity balance, so that the average competitive sensitivity for say CS:GO is not the same as that of Quake, for instance.

    At the end of the day, mouse sensitivity is entirely your preference. If it works for you, use it. I would, however, highly recommend you spend at least a few hours (if you intend to become competitive) playing with your sensitivity in an offline setting to find your sweet spot.

    There are a few different strategies for doing this, and I'll mention a few.

    One is to find a very easy-to-identify line or point on the map at your character's eye level and practice quickly turning 90 degrees toward the object and stopping to fire at it. Look at where you're aiming and where you shot. If you are consistently turning more than 90 degrees to shoot, try lowering your sensitivity. If you are turning less than 90, raise it.

    A variation of this is to run down a hallway and quickly turn 90 degrees to the corner and shoot.

    Lastly, a logical method of trying out new sensitivities is to choose 4 or 5 equally spaced values inside the aforementioned range and finding the one you like best. Then find two more values halfway between the value before it and the one after it. Repeat until satisfied.

    It is also generally recommended that after spending a while finding your perfect sensitivity, don't change it again. This will help you get used to this sensitivity and form muscle memory in relation to that exact sensitivity.

    2. Acceleration

    Acceleration is definitely another controversial topic. Some players swear by it, but many don't use it.

    The principle of mouse acceleration is that, when active, the speed with which your cursor moves across the screen increases when you move your mouse faster. When acceleration isn't active, moving your mouse quickly and slowly the same distance on the mouse pad will move your cursor the same distance on screen.

    The reason many competitive players shun acceleration is because of the unwanted complexity. That is, not only do you have to focus on where you want to move your cursor, you also have to focus on how fast you are moving it, with great precision. If you move too fast, your cursor may completely miss the target. It is simply a different type of muscle memory, but one which many find to not be worth the benefits it provides.

    Some of those who use acceleration say they use it because it helps them maintain a low sensitivity while also being able to quickly turn a large distance if needed, which seems to me its primary benefit. I have never used acceleration though, so I don't have much to say on this topic. Please contribute if you would like.

    If you choose not to use acceleration, I recommend reading the first page of this article for some tweaks you can make to eliminate mouse acceleration and undesireable mouse scripting on your PC:

    http://www.fpsgeneral.com/news/fps-gene ... ive-gaming

    If someone would like to give me an accurate and detailed description of the mouse acceleration settings, that would be great.

    3. Mouse and Mouse Pad

    This isn't settings related, but I need to take a moment to stress the importance of using a good mouse and mouse pad in competitive gaming. Keyboards can be important, too, but in FPS games, your mouse is critical.

    When I first started PC gaming, I used a bunch of really, really cheap no name mice. I thought my aim was fine for a while until one day I decided to get a Logitech G500S, a great gaming mouse I still use. It's not the best and most expensive, but compared to my old cheap mice, my aim was night and day different. In Quake, I saw my LG accuracy jump from about 20 to 40 percent. Having a good, reputable mouse MATTERS. You simply are not going to do as much damage if you have a bad mouse. Just do your research, search for good FPS mice and look at reviews. Be smart and spend at least 30 or 40 dollars. Make sure to get a good mouse pad, too. The quality of your mouse pad can make a difference, too.

    Some general guidelines:

    Wired mice only. The reason for this is mostly consistency and reliability.

    Some people swear by optical, some laser. They both have their pros and cons, and you can look them up if you want. However, I have not found this to make more than a negligible difference in overall competitive performance so I would not stress too much over this. Just don't use trackball. Not very accurate.

    Mice with thumb buttons can be helpful. I use my thumb buttons religiously, but some might not prefer them. It's completely your choice, however.

    It is not necessary to find a mouse with high DPI settings - Using mice at such extreme DPIs is not very useful - especially not in the FPS realm.

    ========================================================================================================

    III. Gameplay Settings
    1. Precision


    The following settings benefit precision:

    In UDKGame:

    bNeverSwitchOnPickup=true
    Bob=0.000
    bWeaponBob=false
    bLandingShake=false

    In UDKSystemSettings:

    OneFrameThreadLag=False

    The full config can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1315

    These settings are fairly straightforward. The "bob" values and "landing shake" values make your camera move unnecessarily, while you walk and when you fall. It makes sense to eliminate unnecessary movement to prevent interference with your aim. Never Switch On Pickup makes it so you have to manually switch to the gun you just picked up to use it, rather than your weapon switching automatically. It is obviously better to choose which weapon you will use in a given situation, rather than being forced to use a weapon you just picked up.

    2. Key Bindings

    Key bindings are important to competitive settings.

    General guidelines:

    Map all of your actions to keys which are easily reachable with your left hand, meaning ones that immediately surround the WASD or ESDF keys.

    Get used to manually switching to weapons by pressing the weapon key bind, rather than using the mouse wheel. This allows you to switch to a desired weapon more quickly.

    I like using right click for jump, as do a lot of Quake and arena FPS players. I recommend trying it. It's not for everyone, but I loved it once I started using it.

    Bind your mouse thumb buttons if you can/want to.

    3. Double Press Dodge Time

    I know very little about how people use this setting. I use the default value of 20 or 25 (I can't remember) and it seems fine to me. Maybe someone knows more about this.

    ========================================================================================================

    Anyway, that's my guide. Hope you learned something, and thanks for reading! Please leave suggestions and I will address them as soon as possible.

    Thanks to stepotronic for originally posting the config settings.
    Last edited by footfist on Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:13 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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  • Jeez, wasn't expecting that much. It's very appreciated. I'm sure plenty of people will find it very handy. It did inspire me to lower my absurdly high (6000 DPI @ level 11 in game sensitivity) just a tad.
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    ticklemyiguana
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  • One thing that I would put in here about sensitivity is that it also depends on what kind of grip you have of your mouse.
    The most common grip is the "Palmgrip" basically you have your full palm against the back of the mouse. Which is where most of these lower DPI/sensitivity settings tend to work out best.
    However, if you are like me and use a fingertip grip where the base of your palm is resting against your mousemat/desk, you'll find it pretty hard to navigate with the lower DPI/Sensitivity settings, thus a higher one tends to be more preferable. (Some use a fingertip grip without resting the base of their palm against the desk/mousemat).

    Of course there are those who use a lower or higher one than the standard for both of these styles. I can't give any input on clawgrips but I think they are pretty similar to the palm one.
    You can of course retrain yourself to use a different type of grip but that does take time and practice.
    Streaming Toxikk and other stuff over at
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  • Good points and I'll add them when I get the chance.
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  • Updated. Thank you Equim.
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