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BATTLETECH - Improving Performance Guide

Written by Turbo Rob   /   Mar 5, 2020    


This short guide that almost anyone can follow to improve performance.

A Simple Guide to Performance



The Two Biggest Performance Fixes



Full Screen Exclusive Mode

This one is absolutely easy and it improves performance drastically.

My preference is to run the game from the launcher located in the game directory (default: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\BATTLETECH). When you open it, go to the display tab and click the checkbox for Full Screen Exclusive Mode (when in full screen), hit save, and then hit play. Of course, in game make sure you do not have "windowed mode" checked under preferences (gear button at bottom left in the main menu).

If you prefer to run the game through steam, right click on your battle tech icon at the left hand side of your steam library, and hit properties. Then hit set launch options, and copy and paste the following in there:

  • -window-mode exclusive

Hit okay and good to go.

You should notice immediate and drastic improvements in performance. From various Reddit posts, I'm led to believe this is an issue with the game engine itself, Unity. This fix alone is great, however my video card was still pushing high temps and the fans were going crazy. I was worried this game was shortening the life of my card, so onto the next fix.

Limit the FPS

PCMasterRace subscribers probably got their pitchforks out, but trust me on this one. Before doing this, I'd have to restart the game anytime I used the Mech Bay to customize a Mech, or after a few missions. It seriously felt like it had a memory leak. Google searches seem to think there's an uncapped shader somewhere that's running at 300+ FPS that doesn't actually contribute to the visuals, but just cripples performance. I'm not a programmer, so not only do I not know what this means, but I have no idea if this is true or even plausible. Don't forget to let me know in the comments section below, and be sure to hit like and subscribe and the little bell /s

Now for how to do it, we need to use a third party program. MSI afterburner has RivaTuner Statistics Server built right into it, but I use it as a standalone. It's a lightweight program that will not take your resources.


Once you install it, it's as simple as going to the "Framerate Limit" field, hitting a number, and then hitting enter. I personally set it to 60, but feel free to experiment and see what works for you. If you need a short video tutorial, here's the one that helped me:



You may choose to limit FPS across all games (global setting), or create a profile for BattleTech specifically. So far this game is the only game I've ever needed to limit the FPS for.

Additional Small Improvements



Using full screen exclusive and limiting the FPS will make this game run way smoother than before, but if you're like me, you just can't stop making small adjustments. Here's a few other things I noticed that seem to help :

Enable Vsync

This appears to be on by default, but have a look.

Disclaimer: I still use a 60hz monitor, and I set my framerate limit to 60 as well. Many of you likely have a 120 or above monitor. Again, see what works for you. This seems to help me.

Disable Ambient Occlusion

You'll need to head to the advanced tab under graphics settings to find this. Uncheck the box and apply. I haven't noticed any difference visually, but I have noticed reduced temps on my graphics card by disabling this.

Limit the number of save games

When I first saw this suggested, I asked myself "what year was this game made again?". However, it seems to help. Use the in game load game button (I suggest you save your game first because it's extremely easy to accidentally hit load game), and hit the little X beside each old save game.

If you want to back up your save games, disable steam cloud for this game (right click on the BattleTech icon at the left hand side of steam library, properties, updates, uncheck "Enable Steam Cloud Synchronization"), and head over to :

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\[random number]\637090\remote\C0\SGS1

Copy your saves into a backup folder and good to go. Be advised disabling steam cloud means your saves won't appear on other machines.

Limit the number items you have sitting in storage.

Yeah, again I was thinking "...really?". Apparently another quirk of the Unity Engine is that it is really bad at handling lists, hence the save game suggestion previously. This one is as simple as selling your your components you won't ever be using. For example, in the late game, my Mechs will never be seen using standard medium lasers. My play style also means I don't need gryos that reduce stability damage, or leg mods that increase DFA damage (the ones that cost tonnage anyway).

On Modding



If you're going to be modding the game, here's some important information that I wish someone told me before I started.

GitHub

Modtek, which is the program used to inject mods, is found on a popular website GitHub. Additionally, many mods are updated here faster than on NexusMods. This website seems to be made for technically minded people with zero regard for the everyman.

Anyway, if you search ModTek on Google, the result you will get is actually the source code. When I first tried to mod battle tech, I was extremely frustrated as the instructions say to do a bunch of things, and then finally run the .exe file I downloaded. The sourcecode which I unknowingly downloaded doesn't contain the .exe.

If you go to GitHub, make sure you hit the TINY "releases" button. You'll be taken when you need to go in order to download the actual .zip file containing the mod.

Modtek

This is still the way to go I have found to load mods into the game. Many of the mods I use simply don't get recognized by the built in battle tech mod loader. They do show up inside the game's mod menu when using ModTek, though.

Actually Modding the Game

There's a sticky'd post in the modding section of the discussion, as well as i'm sure a number of guides already made. Additionally, Nexus mods usually has installation instructions on how to install their mod.

The short version essentially is create a mod folder in your battle tech directory, slap the mod folder in there, run the mod tek exe and you're done. There's a little bit more to it than, but honestly not much. Other guides will serve you better in this regard.

Conclusion



Hopefully you found all this information as helpful as I have. Following the instructions above, I have been able to get my frames to be consistently around 60 FPS, while my graphics card temps have gone from 70C / 158F to 45C / 113F.

Written by Turbo Rob.


Game:   BATTLETECH