MWLL Performance Guide
While MWLL is built off of a relatively dated engine, intense teamfights ingame can even bog down modern computers, if unoptimized. However, with the gamut of customization options available, its no difficult task getting your game running just the way you want.
Here we go over some of the options available to you in meeting your performance needs. There are plenty of stories circulating the community about how users managed to get surprising FPS on hardware old enough to be your grandpa. If you're willing to make compromises to visual effects, you'd be hard pressed to find a machine that won't play at 30+ frames on minimum settings.
It is advised that on your first launch, that you reduce the ingame sound to a minimum and bring it up to a comfortable level afterwards, MWLL is notorious for having an uncomfortably high default volume. Performance wise, there is functionally no gains to be made by playing with settings in the Sound menu. Similarly, Contrast, Gamma and Brightness in the following Graphics menu seem to have little effect.
The quickest way to reclaim FPS is to reduce your ingame resolution. After finding your monitors native resolution, try to reduce your resolution to some lower setting of the same ratio. Anecdotally, some users find a performance spike selecting a resolution thats a half multiple of their native resolution (for example; 1920 x 1080 -> 960 x 540). The FPS gains made by lowering your resolution will only be more pronounced if your machine lacks a discrete graphics card.
While some players enjoy pumping their graphics to the max, others find the reduced resolution gives the game a retro, nostalgic feel, similar to older Mechwarrior titles.
Anti-Aliasing is a setting to make straight lines appear more crisp when at an angle ingame. Leaving Anti-Aliasing disabled will net you some FPS, while enabling it will make the game look less pixelated. The effect can be seen most clearly at an extremely reduced resolution.
Obviously, the first place to start will be the ingame settings menu. This option requires a little bit of trial and error, but should be sufficient for most users.
Some settings hold more 'weight' against your computers performance. While each system will vary depending on Graphics card and CPU, reducing the following settings will increase your FPS, in general.
- POSTPROCESSING QUALITY
- VOLUMETRIC EFFECTS QUALITY
- PARTICLES QUALITY
- SHADERS QUALITY
- WATER QUALITY
If you've already reduced each setting to Low you're still struggling to get the FPS you want during intense teamfights, or if you're interested in a more fine tuned approach to meeting your performance goals, while choosing which visual features to sacrifice, you'll need to utilize the user.cfg.
User.cfg is a file that provides instructions to the game on how to run, such as the resolution of the game window, properties of various game graphical settings, CPU threading and so on. Many tweaks can be made to this file to either cut out unnecessary features for extra performance or to provide the best visuals possible within Cryengine 2.
A couple of different user.cfg files are available for you to download below:
- Use this low-spec/performance tailored (via Discord) file if you are running an older PC or have otherwise under powered hardware, such as Intel HD integrated graphics or older-generation/mobile CPUs commonly found on laptops. (There are two bugs within this file that need fixing before use: the line e_particles_quality = 9 needs to be deleted, or ingame projectiles will become invisible- and the line d3d9_forcesoftware = 1 needs to be deleted, or the ingame Console and Cbill Transfer Menu will be unusable due to invisible text.)
- This high visuals (via Discord) file, contained within a .zip, is intended for more powerful machines running stronger CPUs and discrete, non-mobile GPUs from within the last five years. Note that using this file will not allow you to modify graphics settings while in-game, or it will undo the changes.
In order to utilize them, first navigate to My Documents\My Games\Crysis Wars\MWLL\Client folder. Next, create a backup of your existing user.cfg file. Then, open the original user.cfg in Notepad or any other text editor and copy-paste all of the lines you want to use from the files in the links above into user.cfg, making sure to overwrite the existing text. Save the changes. Run the launcher and start the game.
Alternatively, you can right-click the links above and select "Save As...". Navigate to the MWLL folder as above and overwrite the old user.cfg file after backing it up.
You can fine tune the User.cfg file to match exactly what you need by modifying some known variables. There are more variables available that have their effects not yet documented in the Program Files\Crysis Wars\Game\Config|CVarGroups directory of your computer. You can experiment and test these changes in real time by inputting the commands ingame by typing them directly into the Console, (accessed by pressing the ~ key) and checking how it affects your FPS (You can make your FPS visible ingame by typing r_DisplayInfo = 1 into the console, and then r_DisplayInfo = 0 to hide it again.)
If you want to try customizing the settings yourself, you can edit the user.cfg file directly with any text editors, such as Notepad. One area that it is recommended to adjust yourself are the resolution settings. Enter your new resolution in a new line, if it isn't there already, using r_width and r_height, e.g. for 1680x1050, use r_width = 1680 and r_height = 1050.
Shader Cache cleanup
If you normally have adequate performance, but lose it seemingly out of the blue: use the Clear Shaders option from the MWLL Launcher. MWLL Shaders have a gamut of interesting bugs tied to them, from hidden performance sinks to rainbow clouds and pink hovercraft dust- but it's easily fixed in the click of a button.
If you are still having trouble getting the performance you're looking for, consider joining the MWLL Discord and inquiring in the #tech_support channel for more assistance.