- How To Build An Awesome Gaming PC For $666
- 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit (Part 1)
- 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit (Part 2)
- The Essential Crysis 1 Tuning Guide: Make the Original Faster and More Beautiful Than Ever!
- The Essential Crysis 2 Tuning Guide: Better Graphics, More FPS
- The Essential Skyrim Tuning Guide: 5 Best Steps to Increase Speed and Graphics
- The Essential Max Payne 3 Tuning Guide: Optimizing and Troubleshooting in 5 Steps!
- The Essential Diablo 3 Tuning Guide: Diabolical Tweaking for Best FPS!
- The Essential Grand Theft Auto IV Tuning Guide: Get the Latest Look and Resolve Choppy Performance Issues
Back in 2007, the original Crysis was such a blow in the face to everyone with a half-decent system. My then pretty good Core 2 Duo with 3 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and awesome GeForce 9800 GTX was suddenly only capable of producing a resolution of 1280×720 and medium-detail levels, and hit a mere 20-25 frames per second (FPS). That was depressing.
Last year, the game’s successor hit the market and immediately triumphed with a better engine; users with more than capable systems have been able to enjoy playing Crysis 2. Still, there’s a lot of room for improvement if you want to make the game look better and run more smoothly.
“Perfect Gamer” Series – Overview
• Part 1: How To Build An Awesome Gaming PC For $666
• Part 2: 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit, Part 1
• Part 3: 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit, Part 2
• Part 4: The Essential Crysis 1 Tuning Guide: Make the Original Faster and Beautiful Than Ever!
• Part 5: The Essential Crysis 2 Tuning Guide: Better Graphics, More FPS
• Part 6: The Essential Skyrim Tuning Guide: 5 Best Steps to Increase Speed and Graphics
• Part 7: The Essential Max Payne 3 Tuning Guide: Optimizing and Troubleshooting in 5 Steps!
• Part 8: The Essential Diablo 3 Tuning Guide: Diabolical Tweaking for Best FPS!
• Part 9: The Essential Grand Theft Auto IV Tuning Guide: Get the Latest Look and Resolve Choppy Performance Issues
In this part of our “Perfect Gamer” series, I’ll help you make sure you are using Crysis 2 to its fullest. This guide will feature both tips for optimizing performance and increasing visual quality. Before I get started, I suggest you install FRAPS, a tool that allows you to see both the current frame rate as well as run a benchmark (hit F12) to measure average FPS. This will give you a basis for deciding if the tweak you just performed had any sort of impact. Hope you enjoy this essential Crysis 2 tweaking guide!
1. Optimize Your PC and Windows
These days, gaming PCs aren’t well-optimized—there are too many applications (especially in the background) blocking memory, sucking up CPU cycles and thus decreasing FPS. Before you move forward in this guide, I recommend reading the second and third parts of our “Perfect Gamer” series and tweaking your system as appropriate. For instance, have you tried reducing the amount and load of installed applications with TuneUp Program Deactivator and/or gotten rid of any unnecessary start-up items? What about defragging or making sure the TRIM command is enabled if you have an SSD? Giving your PC and Windows a good cleaning is the first step towards achieving faster and better-performing games.
2. Update to Crysis 2 1.9 + DX11 Pack
Even the vanilla version of Crysis 2 looks absolutely gorgeous. However, the latest patch 1.9 in combination with the DX11 and HD Texture Pack make it look even more stunning. To get the best visual quality and highest performance, download all three patches.
- Download Crysis 2 Patch 1.9 (136 MB): Usually, when you launch Crysis 2 (through EA’s Origin, for example), you should see an update dialogue. If that’s not happening, get the patch from the link.
- Download Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade (545 MB): This adds full support and enhanced graphics for DirectX 11.
- Download High Resolution Texture Pack (1650 MB): This upgrades all textures in the game for better visual quality.
While it is by no means a revelation, the graphical fidelity will be increased if you look closer.
To view more examples, check out this fantastic comparison video. In our tests, performance didn’t decrease noticeably with the updates.
3. Tweak Your System.cfg for Improved Performance and Graphics
Crysis 2′s in-game graphics settings are somewhat limited. There is not a lot to set up except to go for the three pre-sets: “High”, “Very High” and “Extreme”. Unfortunately, you can’t change settings such as the FField of View” (FoV) and shadows. More advanced users should consider creating a file called “autoexec.cfg” to adjust individual settings.
1. Go to your Crysis 2 folder (“Programs\OriginGames\Crysis 2″), right-click, select “New/Text file” and name it “Autoexec”. Make sure that file name extensions are enabled. Rename the .txt extension to .cfg.
2. Open the “Autoexec.cfg”, and use one of the lines we detailed below to enhance performance and/or graphics. For example, to enhance “FoV”, just add the two lines:
- cl_fov <75>
- pl_movement.power_sprint_targetFov <75>
3. Save the file, and run the game!
Make sure to run tests before and after to see how you like the changes to the graphics and if there is an impact on performance. Note that some of these settings don’t work in the autoexec.cfg; if that’s the case, you have to add the parameter to the Crysis 2 shortcut. To do that, head over to the Crysis 2 folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Crysis 2\bin32) and create a new shortcut to “Crysis2.exe”. Next, add the parameter in question to the shortcut, and you’ll be free to use all of the following commands.
The next couple of settings are merely gaming-related and have no effect on graphics.
If some of these settings don’t work, you may have to enter them into a “game.cfg”, which you’ll find under “C:\User\YOUR_USERNAME\Saved Games\Crysis 2″. But since the game will try to overwrite this file, make it “Read only” (File Properties).
4. Double FPS to Get a Sharper Look
Crysis 2 can sometimes appear blurry. While that may be part of the original art style, some gamers have complained about it. Thanks to some experimenting with the configuration files, I was able to make the game look sharper and run faster. These are the settings I used.
Click to enlarge each picture. Above the scene looks a bit blurry, while below, it looks sharper and more visceral. Look at the character’s face to compare.
Again, click to enlarge each picture. The image above is the Crysis 2 at high resolution without our custom variables. The image below looks sharper, although it lost a bit of atmosphere due to reduced lighting.
Look at the trees in the image above and buildings in the image below. They are a bit blurry in the original, whereas they are a lot sharper in the modified version of Crysis 2.
If you don’t like the jagged look, you could play with the r_UseEdgeAA = 0 and r_PostMSAA = 0 settings (set them both to 1 or higher) and activate edge smoothing.
So, how did this affect performance? Incredibly! I saw more than 50% improvements.
5. Install the Blackfire + MaLDoHD 3.0 Mod for Enhanced Visuals
If all of the above mentioned visual tweaks weren’t enough for you, combining the Blackfire 2 Mod and MalDoHD 3.0 texture pack (mirror here) is the way to go. Download and install both mods, and add the “-mod blackfiremod2” command line to your Crysis shortcut.
Note: Blackfire 2 Mod will overwrite your autoexec.cfg, so be sure to make a backup. You can easily edit Blackfire 2 Mod’s autoexec to your liking.
This is how Crysis 2 looked before I applied the mod.
This is how it looked afterwards.
German-speaking community Computerbase has some similar before/after screenshots that you should also check out. It’s breathtaking.
Did you see any improvements to Crysis 2′s performance or visual quality? Have some hints of your own? Let us know!