Jump to content

» «

[FAQ] How to use commandline switches

17 replies to this topic
  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 09 September 2010 - 09:17 PM Edited by mkey82, 16 August 2012 - 06:56 PM.

GTAIV/EFLC feature commandline switches which enable some system specific settings the game engine isn't capable of figuring out on its own. You have to do it manually and test things out, find what works best for your system. In many cases this produces good results so don't give up if you initially run into trouble.

More details about the commandline switches can be found in the FAQ, here. This list may be a bit old, there are some new switches added later on, the following should be valid for the latest game version (

user posted image

Thanks to smiler_16 for the screenshot... which is now offline, so here's the list
LaunchGTAIV.exe [options]
Where [options] are one or more of:

==== [ Global ] ====
-adapter: Use the specified screen adapter number <zero-based>
-disableimposters: Turn of the imposter rendering for vehicles
-noBlockOnLostFocus: Don't block the window update when it loses focus.

==== [AUDIO] ====
-fullspecaudio: Force high-end CPU audio footprint
-minspecaudio: Force low-end CPU audio footprint

==== [GLOBAL] ====
-benchmark: Determines if we run the benchmark immediately
-safemode: Sets graphics setting to lowest setting

==== [GRAPHICS] ====
-forcehighqualitymirrors: Enable 64 bit mirrors
-forcer2vb: force r2vb
-frameLimit: number of frames to limit game to
-framelockinwindow: Force framelock to work even in a window <works best with 60Hz monitor refresh>
-fullscreen: Force fullscreen mode
-gpucount: Lets you manually set the GPU count if query fails
-height:  Set height of main render window <default is 480>
-managed: Use D3D runtime managed resources
-nominimize: Disables the ability to restore the game from minimize and changing resolutions - Reduces System Memory Footprint
-norestrictions: Do not limit graphics settings
-noswapdelay: Disable sleep delay before Present <disable fix for hard Present stalls>
-novblank: Disable wait for vblank
-refreshrate: Set refresh rate of main render window
-stereo:  Set game to support stereo rendering mode
-unmanaged: Use application managed resources
-width:   Set width of main render window <default is 640>
-windowed: Force windowed mode

==== [INPUT] ====
-usedirectinput: Allow DirectInput alongside XInput support.

==== [MEMORY] ====
-availablevidmem: Percentage of available video memory
-memrestrict: Set the restriction the amount of available memory for managed resources
-no_3GB:  Disable 32bit OS with /3GB
-nomemrestrict: Do not restrict the amount of available memory for managed resources
-noprecache: Do not precache resources
-percentvidmem: Percentage of video memory to make available to GTA
-reserve: Amount of memory to set aside for other applications
-reservedApp: Amount of memory to leave available within application space

-autoconfig: Automatically adjust quality setting to maintain desired frame rate <15-120>
-detailquality: Set detail distance <0-99>
-renderquality: Set anisotropic filtering <0-4>
-shadowdensity: Set the number of lights that cast shadows
-shadowquality: Set the shadow quality <0-4>
-texturequality: Set texture quality <0-2>
-viewdistance: Set LOD view distance <0-99>

==== [TIME] ====
-notimefix: Disable Time Fix

In this topic I'll reflect on some stuff I find to be most important and where people usually make mistakes. The best method to use commandline options would be to write some switches inside a text file called "commandline.txt" and then place that file inside the game directory where the game executables are found.You may find that commandlines don't work for you, there are a few possible solutions.

  • the file needs to be named "commandline.txt", not "commandline.txt.txt" which could happen if you have hidden system extensions. Your best bet is to open up notepad, write your commandline switches inside and then save it as "commandline.txt" or just "commandline", it doesn't matter as notepad will append the ".txt" extension if you omit it.
  • sometimes it's best to delete the commadline file and create a new one.
  • if you have placed some switches into a shortcut to the launcher, you'll want to delete that one and a create a new shortcut.
  • in some rare cases the game refuses to use commandlines, what you can try is to delete the game settings, this may help but it's not guaranteed.
What can be achieved with switches?
  • you can cause massive game instability if you decide to force settings with "nomemrestrict" and "norestrictions". These two switches will allow you to max out the game on any hardware which usually will not end well. In some rare cases contrary to logic and common sense, it has been shown the game will act more stable if you use these commands but you shouldn't overdo with the settings.


    Generally, I don't recommend using these two switches at all.

  • you can reduce or eliminate the stuttering effect by using "memrestrict". This also fixes some crashes on older game versions usually due to memory leaks. Note that this switch shouldn't be mixed with ones mentioned above. There are a few ways to calculate the memrestrict value, but usually some tweaking is necessary to achieve best performance. The general way to go about is to use

    <total VRAM amount present in your system, that is VRAM on your GPU in MB>*1024*1024

    For a 1GB graphics card, you would get 1000*1024*1024=1048576000. Now, this would be a *top* borderline value and you'll want to reduce it a bit to make the game more stable. So basically you can reduce it in steps of about 5-10% until you notice some improvements. On higher end you'll get more stutter and less pop-up, while on lower end the game should be more stable but with more pop-up textures being visible. This is simply because you are limiting the memory amount the game has available so the textures will have to be reloaded more often. While they are loading there is a delay so they don't get drawn on time on the screen.
    This has also another side effect. Sometimes, because of less stuff being drawn, you may experience better performance but with textures and objects popping out all over the place. This is also true in some cases when too high settings are applied.

    -memrestrict 734003200

  • you can force a bit higher settings while balancing between extra niceness and pop-up and stuttering. This is best used on capable 512MB cards, where you would like to use the high resolution textures (which in many cases seem to give better performance then medium resolution ones and definitively look a lot better) but your VRAM just can't cut it. You can use "availablevidmem" to extend your VRAM amount and make the game use your system RAM as if it belonged to the graphics card. Of course this will be slower and the key is not to overdo it.

    Your best bet is to initially use something like "avaiablevidmem 2.0", then go into game configuration and choose all the settings you would love to use (while not overdoing it). Take note of the memory usage displayed on the bottom of the screen and divide this number by the actual amount of VRAM. Let's say you have a 512MB card and that your total settings amount to 725MB in game. Now you would divide 725/512=1.41. This means you should use 1.5 value so close the game and edit the commandlines file.

    -availablevidmem 1.5

    From my experience, you shouldn't go past 1.5 as the game becomes too unstable and you should ask yourself what exactly do you want your card to do. Obviously forcing too high settings isn't a good idea.
A few examples of BAD commandline usage
  • conflicting commands
    -memrestrict 734003200

  • conflicting and nonsense commands
    -availablevidmem 2.0
    -percentvidmem 100

  • conflicting and nonexistent commands
    -memrestrict 734003200
    -availablevidmem 1.7
  • LevelDockSix and eugene89 like this

  • neon_91


  • Members
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2010


Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:03 PM

you are my hero tnx

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:56 AM

You're welcome.

  • thestig93

    Wanted for Grand Theft Auto

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Jun 2008
  • Bulgaria


Posted 20 December 2010 - 12:07 AM

So, we have to choose, it's either texture pop or stutter.

I have an ati 4830 card, 4gigs of 800mhz ram,Q8200 and a 64bit os. I use 346 out of 498mb of available vram. In your opinion, how much shlould my memrestrict be if I wanna remove both stutter and texture pop.

I use theese settings:

1680x1050 60Hz
everything medium
AF 16x
detail and view distances are set to 23
vehicle density 16
Vsync On

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 20 December 2010 - 06:16 AM

Aim at 400MB, so it would be 400*1024*1024. But really you must test.

  • Exxon

    The Obvious Child

  • Members
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2010


Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:19 PM

i think i already know the answer, but what happens if i put -height 1200 & -width 1600 in the commandline while i have a screen of 1280x1024 ?

  • Exxon

    The Obvious Child

  • Members
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2010


Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:27 PM

never mind my previous reply, it'll be just 800x600 because, ofcourse, i can't do 1600x1200 wink.gif

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:28 PM

Well, either the game would refuse to start as the system would deny the unsupported resolution or the screen would just switch off or the game would fallback to the nearest supported resolution. I think the second option is most probable.

  • Gramps


  • GTA Mods Staff
  • Joined: 23 May 2008
  • New-Zealand
  • Helpfulness Award
    Contribution Award [Mods]


Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:13 AM

Thanks for the info. On my computer; I couldn't see the whole list of features. No idea why they didn't implement a scrollbox for the commandline.txt info.

I've seen a few people release there ENB series with this in there commandline
-reflectionresolution 2048
-shadowresolution 2048

These come from well-respected modders from the ENB Community. Can you explain what these do ? Or maybe they are for other versions than ?

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:13 AM Edited by mkey82, 01 April 2011 - 07:15 AM.


-fullspecaudio is on the list, it's the default setting, so afaik you don't need to use it. minspecaudio is for meant for low end machines
-dx10 is a load of bull
/high is a piece of sh*t as well, both pertain to a fairytale, don't know who started using them, but I guess people will make up what is lacking

Now, what puzzles me are reflectionresolution and shadowresolution, I always took these for granted, but only now I realize they are not documented so that leaves me... well, puzzled. Have you tried avoiding the use of those commands to see if they have any actual impact on the game quality/performance?

They are not mentioned in the vanilla readme neither, I doubt R* would remove options instead of adding them.


  • jesushumper


  • Members
  • Joined: 11 May 2005


Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:01 AM

2600k at 4.8ghz - HT off
8gb DDR3
2gb 6950 - unlocked shaders.

I've tried about 10 different settings for this command line thing, and my stuttering hasn't changed on bit.

Everythign maxed, but detail at 80, 6048x1200 resolution. I get 29-50fps constantly. But i still get the slow stutter... Oy.

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:48 AM

Try placing "-benchmark" in the commandline file to see if it's reading it properly.

  • David.

    Street Cat

  • Members
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2009
  • India


Posted 27 April 2011 - 04:44 PM

Nice FAQ, I think this should be stickied.

  • jesushumper


  • Members
  • Joined: 11 May 2005


Posted 27 April 2011 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE (mkey82 @ Apr 27 2011, 10:48)
Try placing "-benchmark" in the commandline file to see if it's reading it properly.

Yep, it's taking. Also tried using Xliveless.

Even tried lowering m texture quality and using even lower values, with no luck. Also tried higher values than the ones listed. confused.gif And lowering in-game options like draw distance and details, shadow, etc.

Back on the shelf it goes.

  • mkey82

    Keep riding hard, son

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008


Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:10 PM

memrestrict just doesn't have any effect in some cases, sorry man.

  • jesushumper


  • Members
  • Joined: 11 May 2005


Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:34 PM


well thanks, anyway.

  • Dexter00


  • Joined: 14 Apr 2013


Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:11 PM

PLZ HELP ME suicidal.gif


  • Dollarhide

    Original Pimp

  • Members
  • Joined: 25 Mar 2009


Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:56 PM

I'm really confused...


What the f*ck is swap delay? No sleep till present? What the f*ck does that mean in plain English? What is it that -noswapdelay actually does?!


Also, to -reservedApp shall I add amount of memory in the form of "3400 MB" or "2.5" or how?

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users