Tribes Ascend Tweaks Guide – How To Edit Config File

Tribes Ascend is an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter currently in open beta. It retains everything we love about the Tribes franchise – Jet Packs and Skiing, and is set to launch on April 12.

If you have an average PC and want to squeeze a bit more performance from it or optimize the game to run smoothly, you should do the appropriate tweaks by editing Tribes: Ascend config file. Need help doing that? Well, continue reading below!

Tribes: Ascend Tweaks – Graphics and Performance

Note. Before editing your config file, take a back-up and save it. You may need it later to revert back the changes when things go north.

Tweak CVAR = Suggested Value (Range or Other Values)

Where To Find Configuration File
The configuration file is located in C:\Users\name\Documents\My Games\Tribes Ascend\TribesGame\Config\tribes.ini

Caution: Avoid changing the values of the following as they may result in crashes, low-stability and other performance issues.

  • LightEnvironmentShadows
  • DirectionalLightmaps
  • MaxMultisamples
  • SHSecondaryLighting
  • FloatingPointRenderTargets

Following are the tweaks you can do to optimize the graphics in the game:

Static Decals = False (True/False)
Static objects which don’t move on the map. Example: Graffiti, writing, existing bullet holes.

DynamicDecals = False (True/False)
These are the new sprites, made by people or the current animations. Example: Bullet Holes from your players.

DynamicShadows = True (True/False)
Disable for performance! Dynamic Shadows caused by the in-game players and vehicles.

LightEnivornmentShadows = True (True/False)
Don’t disable, it add lighting effects based on the position of your characters.

CompositeDynamicLights = True (True/False)
If true, you’ll enable a less accurate form of the dynamic lights.

DirectionalLightmaps = True (True/False)
DON’T DISABLE, it casts different shade effects on the environment.

MotionBlur = False (True/False)
Adds Blur when speeding or quick turns, etc.

DepthOfFeild = False (True/False)
It enables the simulation of how objects within your focus are sharper than those which are not.

AmbientOcclusion = False (True/False)
GPU and CPU consumptive! It enhances shadows in the game.

Bloom = False (True/False)
This makes your game a little more realistic by adding light highlights and image blooms to the world.

Distortion = False (True/False)
Adds distortion effects when something explodes or smokes.

DropParticleDistortion = True (True/False)
The particles based on World Information are dropped if this is allowed. The effects are reduced, and the performance is increased if this is on.

SpeedTreeLeaves = False (True/False)
If it is disabled, no leaves on the trees.

LensFlares = False (True/False)
It causes extra brightness when you’re seeing at something, which emits light, for realism such as sun.

UseVsync = False (True/False)
Disable for more performance, Vertical Synchronization keeps the frames per second with respect to your monitor’s refresh rate.

Fullscreen = True (True/False)
Fullscreen or windowed.

AllowD3D10 = False (True/False)
It is used to force the game to run in Direct X 10, but as we use 9. 0c leave it as false.

AllowD3D11 = False (True/False)
It is used to force the game to run in Direct X 11, but as we use 9. 0c leave it as false.

SkeletalMeshLodBias = 2 (0 to 4)
The in-game character quality. 0 is the highest and 4 is lowest.

ParticleLODBias = -1 (0 to 10 or -1)
-1 for max, it will set the particle detail.

ShadowFilterQualityBias = 2 (0 to 8 or -1)
If shadows are enabled, higher will increase its quality.

MaxAnisotropy = 4 (0 to 16)
The distant textures will get clearer by adding filtering to the game. 16 for max Anisotropic Filtering.

MaxMultisamples = 1 (Don’t Touch This Command)
Don’t Touch it.

EnableHighPolyChars = False (True/False)
If true, the polygon complexity of the characters is increased. False means off and better performance.

OnlyStreamInTextures = True (True/False)
If this is enabled, the textures are only streamed in and not out, which results in more performance but bad textures.

FogVolumes = False (True/False)
False for no smoke clouds, enable for a good realistic fog visual after an explosion.

Trilinear = True (True/False)
Enable for improved textures, disable for performance.

OneFrameThreadLag = True (True/False)
It will add Dynamic Light Buffer, true for quicker calculation and pre rendering frames.

DetailMode = 2 (0 to 4)
The quality on how quicker the quality and the quantity of textures such as blood and water should be updated. 0 For performance and 4 for quality.

MinShadowResolution = 32 (0 to 4096)
This is to set the richness of the shadows, higher the number is more the shadow density will be. It may result to glitches; it defines the minimum shadow texel size.

MaxShadowResolution = 512 (0 to 8192)
This is to set the richness of the shadows, higher the number is more the shadow density will be. It may result to glitches; it defines the maximum shadow texel size.

Resolution, set in game.

ResY = Your RESOLUTION (6)
Resolution, set in game.

Borderless = True (True/False)
This is to define whether the client loads in windowed or full screen.

MinLODSize = Variable (1 to 8192)
It has to be less than MaxLODsize, high value means less performance as this defines the minimum mip size in pixels that will render.

MaxLodSize = Variable (1 to 8192)
Maximum mip size in pixels that render, higher = lower performance.

LODBias = Variable (-100 to 100)
The number of mip levels to drop before it uploads the texture to screen.

MipFilter = Point
Let it be as POINT, it sets a mip map filter to use during the minification.

MipGenSettings = TMGS_SimpleAverage or TMGS_Sharpen_0 to 4
Set it as Simple Average or Sharpen 0 to 4 for mip-map texture details.

m_TrShadowLODGroup = 1 (0 to 4)
Lower for performance as it sets the amount of mip size in pixels to render the shadows.

m_TrTextureLODGroup = 1 (0 to 4)
Lower for performance as it sets the amount of mip size in pixels to render the textures..

bAllowLightShafts = False (True/False)
Enables the light shafts (god rays of the sun etc.).

bAllowWholeSceneDominantShadows = False (True/False)
It will allow the big things such as the mountains, buildings and trees to cast shadows. False = more performance.

UnbatchedDecals = True (True/False)
It adds static decals to the terrain, don’t disable as the clarity is increased.

DecalCullDistanceScale = 0.250000 (0.000000 to 1.000000)
The distance in which the decals start to appear, lower means they’ll disappear sooner.

DynamicLights = True (True/False)
Lighting which interacts with things like explosions. True means more clearness, false means more performance.

SHSecondaryLighting = True (True/False)
This will increase the brightness in the dark places by adding another light source, DON’T DISABLE.

MotionBlurPause = False (True/False)
The pause between the frames of motion blur, true = more performance if motion blur is enabled.

MotionBlurSKinning = 0 (0 or 1)
Blur effect on the high speed moving things, 0 for more performance and 1 for better visuals.

FilteredDistortion = False (True/False)
This will allow distortion to use bilinear filtering while sampling the scene color. False for more performance.

bAllowDownsampledTranslucency = False (True/False)
Adds render to increase FPS, although in Tribes Ascend there is an emitter which sometimes causes opposite.

FloatingPointRenderTargets = True (True/False)
DON’T DISABLE! A technology that provides different processing effects.

AllowRadialBlur = False (True/False)
Disable for more performance as it effect’s explosion related effects.

AllowSubsurfaceScattering = False (True/False)
Disable for performance, it’s the extra light which comes out by a candle and light sources.

MinPreShadowResolution = 8 (0 to 8192)
It has to be less than ShadowFadeRes, lower for better performance because it sets the minimum value of texels which are allowed to render shadow depths.

MaxWholeSceneDominantShadowResolutiion = 512 (0 to 8192)
It sets a number for the shadow depth buffers; a lower one means more performance. It has to be more than ShadowFadeResolution.

ShadowFadeResolution = 128 (0 to 8192)
Maximum number of texels for rendering shadows, 0 will mean that shadows never fade.

PlayerShadowFadeResolution = 64 (0 to 8192)
Same as before but it’s for the player shadows.

PreShadowFadeResolution = 32 (0 to 8192)
This will set a number of pre-drawing the shadow depth buffers. It cannot be less than MinPreShadowRes.

ShadowFadeExponent = 0.150000 (0.000000 to 1.000000)
It sets the value on how quickly a shadow should fade out. Lower means that the shadows will go faster.

SceneCaptureStreamingMultiplier = 1.000000 (0.000000 to 1.000000)
Similar to pre rendering, it will stream the near-by textures as there was a game camera.

ShadowTexelsPerPixel = 1.273240 (0.000000 to 2.000000)
Overall smoothness to the shadows, 0 means shadows disabled.

PreShadowResolutionFactor = 0.500000 (0.000000 to 1.000000)
Pre-renders the resolution of shadows which results in a better quality of shadow mapping.

bAllowBetterModulatedShadows = False (True/False)
Set it true if you have NVIDIA, disable if ATI as it helps to fix some bugs/glitches.

Know more tweaks? Share with us in the comments below!