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Planetside 2 settings quick guide

2022-04-23

This one is the straight-to-the-point version. I’m trying to keep it concise, but it’s hard and I’m skipping a few things I’d rather not. If you want all the details, I’ve written them up over here.

I originally wrote this one for [AT7], a competitive combined-arms outfit on NC Miller.

Why?

Low latency is important because:

High framerates are important because:

Mouse tuning is important because:

Windows and graphics driver setup

If you have an Nvidia GPU, make sure that Windows is driving your display at its maximum refresh rate. For Windows 10, right click on your desktop and go to display settings, then advanced display settings, then display adapter properties, then the monitor tab, and then set the screen refresh rate to the highest option available.

Windows’ mouse sensitivity should be set to 6 of 11 and enhanced pointer precison (acceleration) should be disabled, so that one count from the mouse equals one count anywhere else. It’s better to tweak sensitivity by changing the mouse’s CPI (DPI) and in-game sensitivities. Not using acceleration anywhere ensures that games won’t pick it up from Windows and means you use 1:1 aiming in all contexts to be as used to it as possible.

Graphics drivers have to make a tradeoff between latency and stutter, which we can control with AMD’s Radeon Anti-Lag (RAL) and Nvidia’s Low Latency Mode (LLM). For fast-paced competitive gameplay, this should be biased as much for low latency as you’re comfortable with. Avoid LLM off in particular (LLM on and ultra are both alright, as are RAL off and on).

UserOptions.ini

The game’s config file (UserOptions.ini) allows some things that in-game settings don’t. It can always be found in the same folder as the game executable (there’s a button in the launcher to open this folder if you’re not sure where to find it). Making the file read-only is sometimes useful if you want to lock in certain settings that aren’t accessible in-game.

Below is a good starting point for high-level combined-arms gameplay. Replace the matching portion of your ini with it, then edit to taste (some things that don’t affect performance are included to make copying simple). In particular don’t forget to set resolution and volume.

[Display]
Mode=Fullscreen
FullscreenMode=Fullscreen
FullscreenRefresh=0
FullscreenWidth=1920
FullscreenHeight=1080
WindowedWidth=1920
WindowedHeight=1030
Maximized=0
RenderQuality=1.000000

[Rendering]
OverallQuality=-1
GraphicsQuality=1
TextureQuality=0
ShadowQuality=0
LightingQuality=1
EffectsQuality=1
TerrainQuality=1
FloraQuality=4
ColorBlindFilterType=0
ColorBlindFilterAmount=1.000000
ColorBlindFilterStrength=1.000000
ModelQuality=1
RenderDistance=225.000000
Gamma=0.500000
VerticalFOV=82
ParticleLOD=1
FogShadowsEnable=0
MotionBlur=0
VSync=0
AO=0
MaximumFPS=0
UseLod0a=0
BloomEnabled=0
InfantryRenderDistance=225.000000
GroundVehicleRenderDistance=6000.000000
AirVehicleRenderDistance=6000.000000
UseGlobalRenderDistance=0
UseAspectFOV=1
Smoothing=0
SmoothingMaxFramerate=192

[Controls]
CameraAutoAdjustment=1
ClickToMove=0
ClickToMoveRightButton=0

[Sound]
Master=0.250000
Music=0.000000
Game=1.000000
Dialog=0.700000
UI=1.000000
UseFloat32Output=0
ExclusiveMode=0
HitIndicator=1
LowAmmoIndicator=1
VehicleChatter=1
IdleMusic=1
UseHighQualityReverb=0
MaxVoices=128

[Terrain]
RenderFlora=Off

Additionally, find the [General] block and make sure these values are set in it:

MouseRawInput=1
MouseSmoothing=0
ReduceInputLag=1

Terrain glitch

If you run into a terrain glitch (you’ll know it if you see it), check this.

Visibility tweaks

Resolution (FullscreenWidth and FullscreenHeight) should almost always match your monitor’s native resolution. This avoids asking the driver or monitor to rescale the image (which often increases latency) and keeps the game’s UI looking crisp. It is the only way to change the game’s UI size though, so in some cases you may have to reduce it to make things readable.

You can use TintModeReticuleStyle and TintModeReticuleColor (both in the [UI] section of the ini, and absent in the in-game settings) to override the reticle color of all your sights and scopes. Many of the best have colors that aren’t very visible, and need this to fix them. To use it, set TintModeReticuleStyle to 1 and TintModeReticuleColor to a hex color code converted to decimal. For instance, #0000FF would be written in the ini as 255, and #00FFFF would be written as 65535. I use green (#00FF00, 65280).

Setting particles (ParticleLOD in the ini) lower reduces visual clutter, helping infantry play, but setting it higher renders tracers further away, helping vehicle play. Ultra (ParticleLOD=3) additionally renders particles at full resolution instead of half, and is therefore very GPU-heavy in some scenes. ParticleLOD=4 (which doesn’t have an in-game equivalent setting) both has less visual clutter and renders tracers at extreme range, but it’s still sometimes GPU-heavy like 3, and it’s visually a bit glitchy.

Performance tweaks

If you have only 8GB of main RAM or only 2GB of VRAM, reduce Texture Quality from ultra to high (0 to 1 in the ini). If you have less of either than that, reduce it all the way to low (3 in the ini).

Performance is subpar for almost everybody in big fights, but if it’s iffy even in a low-population warpgate with the above ini snippets, render quality is the main tool to fix that (it’s usually better to use this than resolution).

Render distances have a large impact on CPU-side performance at low values, and you can gain significant performance by setting the infantry and global values as low as you can tolerate them (many players go as low as 150). Infantry and global should always match each other to minimize opportunities for a terrain glitch, but unfortunately the glitch is possible as soon as you go below 448; see this for details.

Reducing render distances for ground vehicles (to 500-1500) and aircraft (to 1000-2000) can help too if you have trouble there. The gains available are smaller than for infantry, dropping to negligible if you have lots of CPU cores.

Mouse sensitivity

It’s mostly best to think about mouse sensitivities in terms of how many centimeters you have to move your mouse to do a 360 in-game (cm/360). Most excellent players use something in the 15 to 50 range for hipfire and 40 to 100 for ADS. Faster sensitivities than this (so sub-15 hipfire) cost a lot of aim precision and are tough on your wrist. If you’re used to something very fast, slowing down (20 cm/360 hipfire is a good starting point) and doing flicks with your whole arm rather than your wrist may feel awkward at first, but it’s generally worth spending some time getting used to.

It’s much more obvious when your sensitivity is too slow than too fast, so setting your sensitivities as slow as you can while keeping flicks comfortable is a good bet. Since flicks will always feel worse when you first slow down your sensitivity, a good way to tune according to this is to set your sensitivity very slow (say 35-40 cm/360 hipfire if you’re used to something on the fast side or 55+ if you’re used to something slower), and then gradually speed it back up over at least a few hours of gameplay until flicks feel right.

A particularly good ADS sensitivity is 1.35x (with a 1x sight) or 2x (with a 2x sight) your hipfire cm/360. This means when focusing on the center of your screen and making small movements, your hipfire and ADS sensitivities line up perfectly, so the muscle memory for tracking a moving target stays the same either way. There are good reasons to set your ADS sensitivity slower than that, but rarely faster.

Don’t mess with these constantly; don’t be afraid to mess with them if you need to, but try to find something that’s good for you and stick to it. It’ll take a few hours of gameplay to get used to even small changes properly (and this applies to field of view as well).

Calculating mouse sensitivities

Sensitivity calculators exist for PS2, but due to a collection of at least four bugs PS2 sensitivities are a bit inconsistent, so I don’t recommend taking a calculator’s word for it. It’s better to measure this physically.

To make tuning quick and easy across most games, what I do is set sensitivity so that one full sweep across my mousepad causes 1.25 hipfire rotations in-game, which with my 45 cm wide mousepad and 6 cm wide mouse means 39 cm of travel for 1.25 turns or 31.2 cm/360. This doesn’t have much granularity, but that’s usually fine.

0.625 turns per sweep (2x sight) for ADS is more awkward, but this can be covered by making two full sweeps for 1.25 turns. If you tune this for 2x the cm/360 with a 2x sight it will give aligned results when using 1x sights too (1x sights are awkward since they’re actually 1.35x).

Common mouse setup problems

There are rarely good reasons to set your mouse higher than 1600 CPI (DPI), and sensor performance tends to degrade in one way or another if you go much past that. If you end up over 1600 CPI, consider boosting your in-game sensitivity instead.

High in-game sensitivity results in steppy movement, as each count from the mouse moves the camera by a large angle, so if your in-game hipfire sensitivity ends up over about 0.2 to 0.25 consider boosting your mouse’s CPI instead.

Field of view

To go above 74, edit VerticalFOV in the ini and make sure wide view mode is on (UseAspectFOV=1 in the ini).

Being able to see more around you is a very noticeable advantage, but there are also concrete disadvantages to high FoVs: you lose detail at the center of your screen quicker than you gain more peripheral vision, and the increased distortion makes it tougher to develop and maintain good muscle memory for snap aiming.

Good players use anything from 60 to 100, as the ideal depends on many things and ends up barely distinguishable from personal preference, but 80-85 is a good place to start and the in-game maximum of 74 is distinctly on the low side.