Battlefield 3 Tweak Guide – Graphics and Performance

When you have a machine that can run Battlefield 3 with everything maxed out, you surely have bragging rights but it isn’t the case, mostly. Since you are always left with having to squeeze all the juice from your rig to run the game like Battlefield 3 at optimum performance.

You can squeeze performance out of your system just by tweaking the graphics settings or in some cases, change few console variables. Before you scroll further, it’s recommended that you have a look at the specs recommended to run Battlefield 3.

Obviously, you can run the game at minimum requirements but for the full experience, the recommended system requirements should be met.

Battlefield 3 Graphics Tweaks

Battlefield 3 has in-game options to alter certain graphics related parameters that can affect your FPS and gameplay experience. If you don’t want to mess with those options then you should select auto and the game will automatically choose the best options for you depending upon your system’s specs.

Otherwise you can set these options ranging from Low (poor visuals) to Ultra (best visuals). Following are some screenshot comparisons that will elaborate the difference:


Check the shadow quality in all four images.

Battlefield 3
You will see a noticeable difference in the texture details.

Battlefield 3
Ultra Settings have HBAO enabled and the result is there. (Source of images)

All these options can affect (major or minor) your frame rates. So it’s better that you change these settings one by one and choose the ones that justify visual quality and performance.

It also depends on one’s preference as some like better visuals over performance while most of the PC gamers prefer smooth experience even if they have to compromise over graphics a bit.

If your frame rates are extremely low then you should first try to turn off V-sync (make sure it’s also set to off on your graphics card settings) and Antialiasing options.

Shadows and blur effects eat up some memory and if you set them to low, you will have a noticeable increase in FPS without loosing much of the eye candy. To be honest, if gameplay is what you desire then Battlefield 3 is even enjoyable at all settings set to low.

Battlefield 3 Connection Tweaks

If you are having connection problems or lag issues then there you can try the following alterations:

Make sure that your following ports are opened:

PC Ports:
TCP: 80, 443, 9988, 20000-20100, 22990, 17502, 42127
UDP: 3659, 14000-14016, 22990-23006, 25200-25300

PS3 Ports:
TCP: 80, 443, 9988, 10000-10100, 17502, 42127
UDP: 3659, 14000-14016

Xbox 360 Ports:
TCP: 53, 88, 3074
UDP: 53, 88, 3074

Also make sure that your firewall is not blocking the game.

If you are continuously being disconnected from the game then you should log into your router and Turn OFF UPNP.

Those who get stuck while joining the server should try the following tweak:

  • Navigate to — HKEY LOCAL MACHINE/SOFTWARE/WoW6432Node/EA Games
  • Change the GDFBinary; InstallDir paths to C:Program Files (x86)Origin GamesBattlefield 3
  • Launch the game and try reconnecting.

Battlefield 3 General Tweaks

render.drawfps 1
Enable frames per second counter at the top right screen of Battlefield 3. If you don’t like, you can remove it by replacing 1 with 0.

Battlefield 3 Gameplay Tweaks

How To Fix Contrast and Lightening ?
Open PROF_SAVE_profile in notepad++

\Documents\Battlefield 3\settings\PROF_SAVE_profile

You can change ‘GstRender.Contrast 0.500000′. Lower the setting to fix the contrast and bright lightning in the game.

Mouse Lag ? – Sluggish and Unresponsive Mouse

  1. Turn off Origin in the game to fix this – Settings > In Game > Enable Origin In Game. If your mouse is unresponsive though, you should:
  2. Go to: C:\Users\YOU\Documents\Battlefield 3\settings
  3. Open PROF_SAVE_profile with notepad++ (can download for free)
  4. Change the following variables:

GstInput.MouseSensitivity 0.050000

First variable dictates normal mouse sensitivity. The rest is:

  • GstInput.Scheme0Sensitivity 0.000000
  • GstInput.Scheme1Sensitivity 0.000000
  • GstInput.Scheme2Sensitivity 0.000000

How To Get FPS Counter In Left Corner ?
The text file that has some of your settings requires a HEX editor it is located in
Documents\Battlefield 3\Settings and is called ‘PROF_SAVE_body’.

Battlefield 3 FOV Tweak
If you have Battlefield games before, you should know Battlefield 3 uses vertical FOV. You can change FOV by editing the third line in the file ‘PROF_SAVE_body’. You would need Hex Editor to change the values. It has ‘70.000000’ value by default. Don’t know the value you need to set ? use FOV Calculator.

Blurry or Unresponsive Game
Disable Motion Blur.

If Players Look Floating in Tunnels and Dark Spaces
Enable HBAO in your graphics settings.

screenshot.render
Take the screenshot by typing this command in console.

Battlefield 3 Performance Tweaks

Stuttering Fix
Open your console in BF3 ” ~ ” key and Enter:

  • RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 1
  • RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 0

to fix the issue.

render.perfoverlayvisible 1
You can enable a performance chart at the bottom of your screen to monitor your GPU and Processor performance. It shows GPU performance as Green Line and Processor Performance as Yellow Line. This will allow you to snipe the problem, when you experience frequent low performance, lag, stuttering, and other performance related issues.

RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 1
By default triple buffering is enabled in Battlefield 3, so if after enabling V-sync, you experience input lag (slow responsiveness), you can disable triple buffering to reduce this lag. Replace 1 with 0 will disable triple buffering.

RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 0
This variable controls the number of frames prepared by CPU before the processing is transferred to GPU. You can try 0, 1, 2 or 3. If you have a powerful processor, you can try higher values to improve FPS but responsiveness will decrease. Lower values do the reverse. It is recommended that you set either 0 or 1 but the effect is subjected to your rig, so you may experience different results.

Use these tweaks at your own risk! If you are experiencing other performance issues, you can read our BF3 Troubleshooting Guide. If you have any other graphics, gameplay and performance tweaks, please share with us in comments!

By Ali Asif

Being the managing editor, Ali manages a lot of the editorial duties as well as publishing stories for you. A long-time gamer, his favorite game series is the Gears of War but when he's not gaming he likes to kick back with a few popular animes like Naruto.

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    • Lucas

      These tips look decent. Will try the stuttering fix later.