List of tested and explained tweaks that really improves game expirience without screwing it. Bad tweaks and explaination why you should not use them are here as well.
List of Tweaks and Fixes
Bad Tweaks & Things You Should not Do
Some users has bad understanding of what they do when they tweak games, some of them are victims of placebo effect, others simply copy-pasting tweaks that works for one UE3 powered game and does not for another - in result internet full of fake and bad tweaks that does nothing in best case, screw graphics, performance and crashing game in worst case.
So, here the list bad tweaks you should not do apply to Fable Anniversary:
Editing INI files in game folder
As i can see on forums, everyone messing with INIs directly in game folder. This is bad idea in case of almost every UE3 game, UE3 usese these Default and Base INI files from game folder to generate user configs in
- %userprofile%\Documents\My Games\UnrealEngine3\
Is this particular case Fable Anniversary user inis are stored in:
- %userprofile%\Documents\My Games\UnrealEngine3\WellingtonGame\Config
And i suggest you do edit them and only them. In case if you screw them its easy to delete them and let game regenerate them from default files.
If there is something in INI that you can see in game folder but not in documets, simple copy such ini values and sections to ini in documetns and continue your edits there and only there.
Dont set MaxFilterBlurSampleCount=0
Some people suggest it to remove blur, it will simply crash the game with zero value, default was 16, setting anything between 1-16 has not visible impact on game. Leave it as is!
Dont set bAllowD3D9MSAA=True + MaxMultiSamples=2+
- It works, but causing ugly auras in some areas, mostly aura around object in front of post-processed surface such as sky with bloom, or some buildings with shadows casted on them.
- Also it makes Mini map and probably few more UI elements invisible.
- Try better AA methods from sections bellow and leave False and 1 settings.
Dont set CompositeDynamicLights=False
Usually its good idea to disable this, because it sort of "merge" few dynamic and static lights in one and making lighting less dynamic to put it simple, used widely on consoles to get better performance, on PC should be false forever, but some lazy devs never disable it and some other just screwing this feature. Fable has negative effect when this disabled - menu and game becames very dark and washed out, so better leave it as is, its screwed.
Do not do MaxLodSize and LodBias changes in texture section
Do not touch LOD settings in this game, its one of many UE3 powered games, where instead of using latest available LOD game will load no texture at at al, and at close distance you will get black triangles and squares instead of textures. In some games LodBias=-1000 or MaxLodSize=4096 allows to enable textures of higher resolution if there are cooked by UE, but this game has none of high res textures, and you already has maximum availalbe. Yep its quite a low res, just deal with it and dont touch this!
Any MipFade In\out and other mip streaming values should not be changed
- Not like other Unreal Engine 3 powered games, this has no streaming mip map issues. Changing such values will give no visible results, but can screw up performance. So just dont touch them.
- If you really feel that some textures switching to very low res MIP right in front of you, better use OnlyStreamInTextures=True. This will force textures to stream in once and stay that way no matter how far you go.
Enabling hardware PhysX accelartion with bDisablePhysXHardwareSupport = false is bad idea
- In many UE3 games if yuu have Nvidia card, you can gain some exra performance in physx heavy scenes with such value, but fable anniversary crashing or freezing often with this set to false So some gain of FPS does not cost a stability.
- If you are AMD user, dont even think about changing this value.
Do not rise or lower DetailMode=2
2 is maximum value according o unreal documentation. You will gain nothing by changing it to 3 or 5. 0 will reduce graphics quallity.
Dont rise any value that ends with BIAS
Most of values that ends by BIAS word, have to be set to 0 or -1 for maximum quallity Rising such values (with some exceptions) will only make graphics worse.
Dont set AllowD3D10, AllowD3D11 and AllowOpenGL to true or -d3911 and -OpenGL arguments
This game has screwed API selector and not fully implementd support for APIs other than D3D9, it would crash as soon as game starts with D3D11 and will not load at all with OpenGL rendered,
Dont touch values you dont know that exactly they do, especially if their names dont give you much of idea
Unreal Engine 3 and its INI values is a real mess. UDK and UE3 docs on offciail sites gives very brief description of what some values does, and their names could be counter intuitive and they could do not what you think they would. Even expirienced devs sometimes confused with UE3 settings. So before you do anything stupid or intutive google for name of cvar you want to change and add + UDK or + Unreal Developer to find some explaination of settings. Thank Darwin Epic cleaned this mess in UE4, but unfortunatelly FA still useses 3.5.
Dont trust most of UE powered tweak guids, there is a lot of misinformation that got copypasted from one site to another, a lot of settings dont work in some games, dont do any effect or does everything worse, but placebo effect helps people to believe these settings does something.
Dont download and apply ready to use complete INI's
Usually they are made by schoolboys \ kids seeking for attention, and they changing a lot of things that they never test and whenever they dont understand clearly what they doing, and im best cases they doing nothing or doint it all wrong in worse. Instead use Per-Value tweaking.
Dont tweak everything at once
If you want to see what effect this or that setting has, just start game after every litt change and see. If you will do like 3 or 10 tweaks at once, you will never get idea what exactly 1 particular value does and if it does anything, or what exactly screwed you game. So just change 1 value, start the game, see if something changed for worse of better or nothing changed at all. If nothing or worse, revert setting before going to tweak next one.
Dont rise value of MaxShadowDistanceScale and dont set it above medium in game
There is a separate section related to this....
*Input.ini is useless
Game has custom code for handling and storring bindings of controller, so you should not bother to touch this file, it probably could only help to set deadzone for sticks, but you cant rebind gamepad or keyboard from here (at least at the moment, i have to experiment more with this to make sure).
Dont just add random high values to vars
Whenever you edit something dont just rise anything to random high values, use -+1 or -+ 0.1 step and\or multiply and devide by 2 and see how that wors before tweaking any further.
INI Values Configurable from Game UI
Only 8 values from INI are changed from in-game Advanced Options. Keep in mind, that once you changed some of this in INI to values game cant recognise, it will consider value as low, and once you open and close Advance option screen, your castom value will be replaced with actual low value, so it strongly suggest to never open Advanced options from game again once you tweaked one of the values.
Represented by values:
Nothing to explain, but there is a little trick, if you will set 0 in both (which is default value and will stay that way until you change resolution from in-game UI), game will always use desktop resolution, which is comfortable in case if for some reason you changing desktop resolutions and want games to follow that, this is very helpful in case of In-home streaming or usage of something like Splashtop or Nvidia shield or running game in fullscreen windowed mode.
Represented by value:
Setting it to false will run game in windowed mode. for fullscreen windowed mode you will have to use extra tools such as "Windowed Borderless Gaming", but at the moment none of them works with fable anniversary, hope there would be some update to fix that.
Pressing Alt+Enter anytime would toggle this value, however selected resolution could be a little random.
Represented by value:
Selfdescriptive, is not it? Anyway, if you are Nvidia user, just set Adaptive V-sync globaly and forget about such setting in any game.
Geometry LOD distance
Represented by values:
- MaxDrawDistanceScale=1.000000 ; LOW
- MaxDrawDistanceScale=1.500000 ; MEDIUM
- MaxDrawDistanceScale=2.000000 ; HIGH
Setting it to 4 would not hit performance at all in case if you have Geforce GTX 680 or anything equal or better. You could try 8 as well.
Represented by values:
- MaxShadowDistanceScale=1.000000 ; LOW
- MaxShadowDistanceScale=1.500000 ; MEDIUM
- MaxShadowDistanceScale=2.000000 ; HIGH
Not that an interesting one, by logic of previous option you may think that its good idea to rise it up to 4 or 8, but suggest to never rise it and keep it low. Why? You will find out in more detailed section related to shadows and explaination why the look so low res and how to really fix that.
Landscape LOD Distance
Represented by values:
- MinTesselationLevel=1.000000 ; LOW
- MinTesselationLevel=2.000000 ; MEDIUM
- MinTesselationLevel=4.000000 ; HIGH
- MinTesselationLevel=8.000000 ; ULTRA
Represented by values:
- MaxAnisotropy=1.000000 ; LOW
- MaxAnisotropy=4.000000 ; MEDIUM
- MaxAnisotropy=8.000000 ; HIGH
Yep, no Ultra 16x here, which is quite odd, people playing at 16x like 10 years with no performace cost on PC, but consolis devs dont know such secrets of PC master race, lol. Anyway, set it to 16 no matter how slow your PC are. Even better thing would be force 16x AF globaly via driver settings.
Thats it! Not too much of settings here.
In place of devs I would add such options with patch ASAP:
- Bloom = on \ off
- DOF = on \ off
- Color grading = on \ off
- FXAA\ BLUR = on \ off
- Max shadow resolution = slider 512-16384 (not sure that this UE3 build supports 16384 but my card does, and im pretty sure that UE3 definetly supports 8192 and devs can change code that limits max size to 8192 and allow up to 32768, making it future proof)
- Shadow depth bias = 0.00 -1.00
- SSAO = on \ off (low\med\high sample resolution)
- MSAA \ SSAA = 1x-32x
- Texture resolution = 512 \ 1024 \ 2048 \ 4096 and more like this.
Unfortunately none of such options exist yet, so we have to deal with such things via pure INI tweaks.
INI Settings to Fix Broken Color Grading Gamma, Restore Original Vivid Colors & Remove Blury AA
This would be 1 fix everyone should apply.
Game usese very extreme settings for posr process anti aliasiang (probably FXAA), and lacking any settings to turn it off, worse part - it was combined with DOF and Bloom shader quite a lame way.
So instea of having 3 separate INI settings that would turn off one effect and would leave another, we have only that will turn them all off:
In WellingtonSystemSettings.ini press CTRL+F and search for
Change that to False and instead of blury and dark image you will have sharp and colorful picture, almost like original fable.
Some people think new colors kinda better and more "realistic", well there is some truth in this, but some people prefer to play it old looking way and such option to turn off color grading should exist in advanced screen.
Also the color grading shader itself has miscalculated gamma range, and in additio to effects that was intentended, there is also a clear bug that turns every point of screen that should be R 255 G 255 B 255 aka of White color into something more like R 225 G 225 B 255 which is Bright-Gray (just look at the clouds or sun on very 1st location, you will notticed that they are gray, but they should be white). Same happens with black color, which instead of being pure R 0 G 0 B 0 happens to be more like R 25 G 25 B 25 which is Dark-Gray.
Even if you like more dark and moody color gradin, playin like that with washed out and limited gamma kinda annoying and looks like you have some fat layer of dust on your screen (or using shutter-glasses 3D screen which is darker than usual), so until any patch will fix that broken gamma range, i suggest to not use this color grading, especially because it combined with very blury AA.
You can recreate same colors with SweetFX , but this will affect UI as well, or you can do that with Gedosato which allows to avoid applying post processing to UI, but at the moment this tool crashing game.
To compensate lack of AA after this tweak, you have to use Nvidia Inspector or Downsampling tricks and tools such as Gedosato, this is covered in details in another section.
Fixing the Shadow
I did not finish this guide back in time and now i forgot all the discoveries i made about shadow, maybe someday i ll return to game and update this guide, for now im just posting it as is to not waster some information that could be useful for some people.