Last updated: 14.01.2009
(13.01.2009) Update: New information in Part 2 concerning FarClp @ 3500.00
(14.01.2009) Update: Fixed some spelling mistakes, updated Part 2 and added Part 6 & Part 7.
Currently none planned, if you have any suggestions/ideas, please post them here.
Part 1: Patching the files
First thing you should do, is download the GTA IV Magic Patcher by aru, in order to edit the files. Now, once you've downloaded and extracted it, open it and you'll see this:
If you haven't already patched your files, click on Validate Files, once done, click on Apply Patch. Now you can edit your GTA IV files and you'll also have backups of every file, with .magic as their file extension. You can revert the files anytime, by clicking on Verify and then Recover. You can now close the program.
Part 2: Changing the view-distance
That was quite easy, wasn't it? Browse to your Grand Theft Auto IV\pc\data folder and open the file named timecyc.dat. I suggest you use Notepad++ for the editing, since it'll look very messy in the default Notepad. Once you have the file open, look for the field called "FarClp", this controls the distance from which buildings, trees etc. are drawn at. The smaller the value, the shorter the view-distance. The default value is 1500.00, which is very big and quite pointless. To change the view-distance, simply change the value to a smaller/higher number, I use 3500.00 personally, since it actually gave me +5 FPS in total, unlike the value of 500.00, which only gave me about +1 FPS in total. If you're either too lazy to change it or whatever your reason is, I've attached the edited file at the bottom of this thread.
Note: This value worked out the best for me and Anders, we got about +5 FPS in total,I'm not entirely sure, but I think it's got something to do with PreFetch.
FarClp: 1500.00 (Default value)
In-game settings used:
Note: All images were taken at the same place, time and weather, on-top of the GetALife building.
Download timecyc.dat (FarClp 3500.00)
Download timecyc.dat (FarClp 750.00)
Download timecyc.dat (FarClp 500.00)
Note: Extract it using WinRar or any similar program and place the file in your Grand Theft Auto IV\pc\data folder.
Part 3: Disabling shadows
Disabling the shadows doesn't have any significant impact on the games performance, but it might be useful for you if you're really struggling with the FPS. In order to disable the shadows, you should first download Alice by Alexander Blade. Extract the file and place the Alice folder in your main Grand Theft Auto IV folder. To disable the shadows, you can either make the script yourself, or download the one I made, using Alexander Blade's example script(s). To re-enable the shadows, simply delete the disable_shadows.lua in your Grand Theft Auto IV\Alice folder.
Note: All images were taken at the same place, time and weather.
Part 4: Lowering bloom intensity
Currently there's no way to completely disable the bloom in Grand Theft Auto IV, but you can lower it's intensity. To do this, browse to your Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder and open the file called visualSettings.dat. Open the file and find the following names:
Simply change their values to 0.00. If you don't want to edit the values yourself, download the visualSettings.zip at the bottom of this part and extract it to your Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder.
Bloom intensity: Default
Bloom Intensity: 0.00/Disabled
Note: All images were taken at the same place, time and weather.
Part 5 (Optional): Lowering the amount of rain particles
A lot of people are having trouble playing Grand Theft Auto IV with it's rainy weather, this is caused by the amount of it's particles (mostly). I can't guarantee that this will give you any performance boost, but It did make my gameplay smoother. To change the amount of rain particles, browse to your Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder and open the file called visualsettings.dat. Find the following fields there:
Here are the values I use myself:
Part 6 (Optional): Changing pedestrian LOD (Level of detail)
I didn't notice any improvements in performance with this tweak/change, but it's worth a try. Browse to your Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder and open the file named visualsettings.dat. Now, find the following fields:
ped.lod.distance.high - Default value: 15.00
pedincar.lod.distance.high - Default value: 7.00
The first field, ped.lod.distance.high controls the distance from which the High LOD (Level of detail) is applied to the pedestrians walking around. The second field, pedincar.lod.distance.high controls the distance from which the High LOD (Level of detail) is applied to the pedestrians inside a vehicle. Simply change them to something lower, this MIGHT help a bit, if there's a lot of pedestrians walking around you.
Part 7: The infamous commandline.txt
There are a lot of rumours concerning the commandline.txt. Some say you can tweak your game to excellent performance with that, some say the opposite. Tweaking is not about making your game perform excellently, but to improve it's quality and/or performance. So, lets get to the business now. Open your Grand Theft Auto IV folder and make a new .txt file, named it to commandline.txt. We'll be using this file to force different parameters. Open the file and put the following inside it:
Save and close the file. You're probably wondering what they mean? The -minspecaudio forces minimum quality audio. The -novblank removed VSync (Virtual sync). Virtual Sync forces your maximum framerate to the value of your refresh rate. So, if your refresh rate is 75 and you have VSync enabled, your FPS (Frames per second) will be limited to ~75. Now, the final one, -safemode forces the minimum possible graphics settings for your game. I doubt this really helps, but it's worth a try. I didn't notice any difference.
So, that concludes my Grand Theft Auto IV TweakGuide. Thanks a lot for reading, hopefully this tweak will help some people. If you want to post this on your forums/website, please don't copy & paste, but put a link to either the thread in gtaforums.com or the one at iv-scripting.pri.ee.
aru (Making the GTA IV Magic Patcher)
Anders (Telling me about the rain particles, FarClp 3500.00 & pedestrian LOD)
Rockstar (For making this game) - Sorry about the earlier comment.
Alexander Blade (For making "Alice" and his example scripts)
If you find any mistakes in the TweakGuide, please let me know so I can fix them.