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Grand Theft Auto IV TweakGuide

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Ettans
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#1

Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:20 AM Edited by CharmingCharlie, 03 March 2009 - 12:45 PM.

Grand Theft Auto IV TweakGuide

written by Ettans for iv-scripting.pri.ee and gtaforums.com


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.

Upcoming updates:

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:

user posted image

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.

Comparison images:

FarClp: 3500.00
user posted image
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)
user posted image

FarClp: 750.00
user posted image

FarClp: 500.00
user posted image

In-game settings used:
user posted image
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.

Shadows: Enabled
user posted image

Shadows: Disabled
user posted image

Note: All images were taken at the same place, time and weather.

Download disable_shadows.zip


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:

misc.BloomIntensityClamp.HD
misc.BloomIntensityClamp.SD
misc.BloomIntensityClamp.SD.ps3


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
user posted image

Bloom Intensity: 0.00/Disabled
user posted image

Note: All images were taken at the same place, time and weather.

Download visualsettings.zip


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:

rain.NumberParticles.ps3
rain.NumberParticles


Here are the values I use myself:

rain.NumberParticles.ps3 256
rain.NumberParticles 1024



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:

-minspecaudio
-novblank
-safemode

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.

Credits:

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.

GoreMaster
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#2

Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:25 AM

This is what we need on this forum. A set of different tweaks that ppl can use. Good job my friend. icon14.gif

Now you should put the difference in Tweaked FPS and UnTweaked FPS of each thing as follow. Then put at the end the overall FPS gain with all the these tweaks combined and Uncombined.
icon14.gif
Maybe this well help all these nagging threads and crying threads to end.


One-time
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#3

Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

Interesting, I'll try the rain particles tweak. It's really pain to see a slideshow while raining in Liberty City.

Ettans
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#4

Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:12 AM

Thanks a lot GoreMaster, I'll run a few benchmarks later and update the TweakGuide with the results. smile.gif

GoreMaster
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#5

Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:28 AM

Not to jack the thread and to lead it to another one

But i think if you guys with this tweak and this one HERE should work together and make one big Ultimate Tweak Guide.

Pixelated
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#6

Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

I have played with the Particle HDR as well as the Bloom intensity and FarClip. Far Clip is by far the best of those three tweaks posted here because you can in turn set the in game draw distance to 0 yet still see buildings and objects in the distance if it's set above 2000.00. I have yet to find another tweak that helps as much, so far anyways. Eventually we'll have to run into something you would think.

Also you would think that disable shadows .lua script would have some performance benefits but it really doesn't. Too bad.

Ettans
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#7

Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:38 AM

True, I didn't really gain any FPS by disabling shadows, only made the game look horrible.

GoreMaster
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#8

Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Ettans @ Jan 13 2009, 03:38)
True, I didn't really gain any FPS by disabling shadows, only made the game look horrible.

I think the best thing to do is set the games shadow to 0 because you get the 90% of all shadows in game. The only ones that arent are the ones projected by lights Eg Headlights. SO you still get shadows for your char, peds, cars, buildings etc....

Ettans
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#9

Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:03 AM

Part 2 of the guide updated, concerning the FarClp 3500.00 issue, added a screenshot for it and also a download link for the modified timecyc.dat.

copperwire93
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#10

Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:09 AM

Thanks mate, for this useful info biggrin.gif

One-time
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#11

Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

Nice, my fps doesn't drop to 10 fps anymore while raining, and now instead I get a sh*tty rain. Oh well.

Ettans
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#12

Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:48 PM

I prefer performance over quality. tounge.gif

badguy
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#13

Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

Did the bloom intensity one give much fps difference?

Pixelated
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#14

Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (Ettans @ Jan 13 2009, 13:48)
I prefer performance over quality. tounge.gif

For me it has to be a balance of the two. Although GTA IV runs pretty good without any tweaks when I'm using medium textures I just can't stand poor textures. I'd rather play with high textures and a draw distance of 20 than medium textures and a draw distance of 60.

There's nothing like clear, sharp, perfect textures. I wish there was a way to improve the shadows without increasing the resolution. confused.gif

Ettans
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#15

Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE (badguy @ Jan 13 2009, 14:08)
Did the bloom intensity one give much fps difference?

Nothing major, just made the game a little smoother.

jaboyle
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#16

Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (GoreMaster @ Jan 13 2009, 08:25)
This is what we need on this forum. A set of different tweaks that ppl can use. Good job my friend. icon14.gif

Now you should put the difference in Tweaked FPS and UnTweaked FPS of each thing as follow. Then put at the end the overall FPS gain with all the these tweaks combined and Uncombined.
icon14.gif
Maybe this well help all these nagging threads and crying threads to end.

i second that cool.gif

Kakashi_sensei
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#17

Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:34 PM

Nice one dude smile.gif All you guys who write these tweak guides should write one solid one (that can get sticky'd) and keep updating it, because this forum seriously needs to have all the redundancy kept to a minimum...

comatosedragon
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#18

Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:16 PM

I just had a quick question - In using these tweaks (which sound quite promising); one must have a Moded GTAIV, right? My question is actualy this - Is a moded GTAIV going to prevent me from getting achievements (Windows Live)?

Pooscooper
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#19

Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:42 PM

QUOTE (Ettans @ Jan 13 2009, 14:22)
QUOTE (badguy @ Jan 13 2009, 14:08)
Did the bloom intensity one give much fps difference?

Nothing major, just made the game a little smoother.

HEY ETTANS, WHY DID CHANGING THE FARCLP FROM 1500 TO 3500 GIVE YOU MORE FPS?
SHOULDNT SETTING IT TO 500 GIVE THE GREATEST FPS INCREASE?

Ettans
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#20

Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:52 PM Edited by Ettans, 13 January 2009 - 06:54 PM.

Pooscooper: Thats what I thought at first too, until I tested 3500.00. I'm guessing it's got something to do with PreFetching. I'm not entirely sure.

comatosedragon: It works for me, so I don't see why it shouldn't for anyone else.

vanmies
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#21

Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:50 PM

great post, man

ViperInterface
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#22

Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:19 AM

Beautiful work man, This is the first tweak out of at least a dozen or so that has given me any significant performance increase. The game is still does not play perfect, and after about an hour of play the memory leak makes itself quite apparent, but it's a hell of a lot better than before. I can actually drive a car now without crashing every ten feet due to lag and low fps.

Ettans
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#23

Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:49 AM Edited by Ettans, 16 January 2009 - 03:40 PM.

Updated the first post. Added Part 6 & Part 7. If you have any suggestions/ideas for another part, please post here. smile.gif

Ettans
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#24

Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:55 PM

Sorry for the double-post. Just wanted to let you know I'm currently making benchmarks and will put detailed results in the guide tomorrow or a little later. smile.gif

Dreakon
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#25

Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE (Pooscooper @ Jan 13 2009, 13:42)
HEY ETTANS, WHY DID CHANGING THE FARCLP FROM 1500 TO 3500 GIVE YOU MORE FPS?
SHOULDNT SETTING IT TO 500 GIVE THE GREATEST FPS INCREASE?

I cant speak for him, but I'm guessing with the FarClp at 3500, he lowered the View Distance in-game to 0. This would give a performance increase since the FarClp does the same thing as the view distance, but gives less detail to things farther away. So basically, a higher value in FarClp does the same thing as the in-game View Distance, but runs faster.

That said, I imagine setting the FarClp to 3500 would only help people who have their View Distance in-game over like 10 or so. For people like me who already have it at 0 in-game won't benefit from a higher FarClp.

Could be wrong though.

Ettans
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#26

Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:15 PM

I play with FarClp 3500.00 and in-game view distance at 1 (lowest).

MrJones
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#27

Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:26 AM

Ettans: Like this well wrote guide of yours, and im hoping you come with more updates and interesting tweaks smile.gif Gonna try this FarClp myself, and come back with feedback about it.

Alex20
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#28

Posted 17 January 2009 - 05:14 AM

wait so changing farclip to 3500 is actually an fps increase compared to leaving it around 1k ? whatt ?

Ettans
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#29

Posted 17 January 2009 - 07:57 AM

Yes, it worked out that way for me and Anders.

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#30

Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:26 AM

This trick allows me to play at 1280x1024 when I could only play at 1024x768 before, not only that but I have dynamic shadows now (they didn't work before, no matter what the setting) mercie_blink.gif

All at *almost* the same FPS as before, I used to get mid-30's at 1024x768 and no dynamic shadows, now I get between 25 and 33fps at 1280x1024 + shadows at 16 tounge2.gif

I have no idea why this works but it does. It's not a magic cure-all for all problems and all systems, but it really does wonders!
Thanks!




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