SWTOR Tweaks Guide – Graphics and Performance

By   /   Jan 13, 2012


There are two ways you can optimize SWTOR for performance; one is by tweaking the in-game settings and second (Advanced Tweaking) is by tweaking different variables in your client_settings.ini file. You can find that file in the location specified in the advanced tweaking section of this guide.

Following are the list of in-game options with the recommended settings that you can tweak in the graphics option menu of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Thanks @zenstrata

For more help on Star Wars: The Old Republic, read our SWTOR troubleshooting guide.

Resolutions
Game supports a range of resolutions, pick one that your monitor or LCD supports and stick with it. Higher the resolution, prettier the graphics, and more resources required to run the game.

Checkable Boxes: Off or On

  • Windowed Mode (Off)
  • Vertical Sync (Off)
  • Bloom (Off)
  • Conversation Depth Of Field (Off)
  • Blob Shadows (On)
  • Anti Aliasing (Off)

Note. Whatever changes you make here will directly affect the settings that follow. You want Bloom, Shadows, Vertical Sync and Anti-Aliasing then you will have to adjust Texture quality and other graphics setting appropriately so you can still run SWTOR at best performance. This is a trade-off you will have to make.

Drop Menus: Low, Med, High

  • Graphical Quality Preset (High)
  • Texture Quality (High)
  • Shader Complexity (High)
  • Dynamic Light Complexity (Medium)
  • Mesh Level of Detail (High)

Graphic Settings Sliders

  • Texture Antistropy (Max)
  • Clip Distance (Max)
  • Shadow Quality (Minimum)
  • Ground Clutter Density (Max)
  • Speed Tree Distance (Middle)

Recommended – Nvidia users can force tipple buffering and enable multi-tasking; it has helped several users. Setting in-game setting ‘Character Model’ to low will give you much-need performance boost and add to that, its effect on graphics is minimal. Don’t force V-Sync through Nvidia or ATI Catalyst control panel; it will make performance worse in most cases. Advanced Tweak – Keep ‘AntiAliasingLevel = 2’ – it is optimal level at which the game works (Not for ATI Users).

Advanced SWTOR Tweaks

Before you move on to this section, we recommend you try to adjust in-game graphics settings in such a way to optimize SWTOR graphics and performance. If that doesn’t cut it, move to this advanced section of SWTOR Tweaks.

Bioware highly recommends that you don’t make any changes to client_defaults.ini and client_settings.ini so be warned. To make these tweaks work, you will have to set your client_settings.ini to read-only and if they still don’t work, you may have to make the changes to ‘client_defaults.ini’. You may have to make the changes again after the patch if it over-writes the changes made to your CFG. It is recommended that you keep a back-up of the original file before you add/alter tweaks.

Where To Find SWTOR INI Settings File
You can find it in:

C:\Users\%username%\appdata\Local\SWTOR\swtor\settings\client_settings.ini

If you can’t find the client_settings.ini file on your operating system, you may have to do the following subjected to whatever OS you use.

For Windows XP
Click Start, then Run and type “shell:Local AppData” (without quotes) then browse to SWTOR \ swtor \ settings. You should find it.

For Windows Vista/ Windows 7
Click Start, type “%localappdata%\swtor\swtor\settings” (without quotes). You should be able to see it now (It’s a hidden file).

Before you begin editing your CFG or INI settings file, do make a back up of client_settings.ini in your

Windows Vista / 7

\Users\(user name)\AppData\Local\SWTOR\swtor\settings

Windows XP

\Documents and Settings\(user name)\Local Settings\Application Data\SWTOR\swtor\settings

You may see the following variables in this file (Values may be different based on your settings). You may not see all these variables but you can add them as explained later:

[Renderer]
Height = 1080
Width = 1920
WindowX = 0
WindowY = 0
DynamicLightsLimit = (#)
TextureAnisotropy = (#)
FarClipScale = (#)
PlantDensity = (#)
D3DFullScreen = true
NativeHeight = 1080
NativeWidth = 1920
AllowDepthOfField = true
doBlobShadows = false
SpeedTreeDistanceScale = (#)
EnableBloom = false
UseMinSpecShaders = false
TextureQuality = (#)
VerticalSyncState = false
AntiAliasingLevel = (#)
MeshLODQuality = (#)
enableadvenvirolighting = false
DebugAdvEnviroLighting = false

If you have an ATI Card and have added ‘AntiAliasingLevel = 2’ tweak, it may cause your game to close after the splash screen. To fix that, remove that tweak.

Now let’s talk about the impact each setting would have on the performance or graphics of Star Wars: The Old Republic before explaining which settings you should really consider tweaking. Note that this isn’t the only INI setting file in SWTOR and we will explain others later in this guide.

Go the next page for details on Advanced SWTOR Tweaks or check this page for General SWTOR Tweaks and sample config files.

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