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2014 Mods for TF2

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  1. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR TF2
  2.  
  3. Customizing Team Fortress 2 is the act of exploiting the modular nature of Source Engine games to modify settings and game files in the Team Fortress 2 directory that could not be done in-game using the built in settings or developers console. Modifications to the HUD, game, and control settings can be made to customize the player's gaming experience.
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  5. *DISCLAIMER*: Modifying game files may leave Team Fortress 2 in a broken or otherwise unplayable state. Any mods you install may not work in sv_pure servers. Mods in the cfg folder and HUDs will work regardless of sv_pure.
  6.  
  7.  
  8. >FIRST THINGS FIRST
  9. If you've just downloaded this game, make sure you enable the console by going to Options > Keyboard > Advanced and checking "Enable developer console". This will allow you to change settings not otherwise available. By default, the key to open the console is the tilde ` key (in the top left corner). While you're there also check "Fast weapon switch".
  10.  
  11. 1. Open the console now and type (without quotations): "fov_desired 90". This allows you to see more on your screen.
  12. 2. Enter "cl_autoreload 1". This enables automatic reload, which has no real downside.
  13. 3. Enter "hud_combattext 1" and "tf_dingalingaling 1". This allows you to both see exactly how much damage you've done and hear when you've done damage.
  14. 4. Enter "tf_dingaling_pitchmaxdmg 70" "tf_dingaling_pitchmindmg 130". This will change the pitch of your hitsound depending on how much damage you've done. Low = more damage, high = less damage.
  15.  
  16. Go in to Options > Video > Advanced and change everything to as low as you can go/want. This is pretty self-explanatory and easy for most people. FPS configs do this automatically, so you can skip this if you want to go more in-depth.
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  18.  
  19. >FPS CONFIGS
  20. FPS configs execute console commands that change your TF2 graphics and network settings.
  21.  
  22. https://github.com/tf2configs/tf2configs/archive/2.016.zip - Final release of Chris' config, the most popular TF2 config. Install either highframes or maxframes. NOTE: Chris no longer updates his configs so a TF2 update in the future may break them.
  23.  
  24. To install, copypasta the contents into a file called "autoexec.cfg". This file does not exist by default, you will need to create it and save it in "Steam\SteamApps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\cfg\". autoexec is automatically executed whenever you start the game or join a server. Edit accordingly to your needs, and READ THE COMMENTS IN THE CONFIG, especially if you want sprays, ragdolls, shadows and so on.
  25.  
  26. There are other cfg's out there, try and see which one you prefer. Some people might recommend http://clugu.com/tf2mate/ Don't use it.
  27.  
  28.  
  29. >LAUNCH OPTIONS
  30. If you read the top of Chris' config, you'll notice he recommends custom launch options. Open this by right clicking on TF2 in your library > Properties > Set Launch Options. Almost 100% of the time this is what you'll want:
  31.  
  32. IMPORTANT: Remove -dxlevel 81 from the launch options after the first launch!
  33. Fullscreen: -dxlevel 81 -full -w WIDTH -h HEIGHT -console -novid -useforcedmparms -noforcemaccel -noforcemspd
  34. Windowed: -dxlevel 81 -sw -w WIDTH -h HEIGHT -console -noborder -novid -useforcedmparms -noforcemaccel -noforcemspd
  35.  
  36. If you want to know why, read this: http://etf2l.org/forum/customise/topic-16829/?recent=393545
  37.  
  38.  
  39. >CUSTOM HUDS
  40. While not a performance improvement, having a nice HUD with well placed elements will improve your gaming experience.
  41.  
  42. http://huds.tf/ - A large collection of huds. Some popular ones include eveHUD, PVHUD, and broeselhud. Also http://steamcommunity.com/id/ry4ntk/ makes a custom hud which is favoured by many tf2g, message him for more details. Google will produce even more, I am sure.
  43.  
  44.  
  45. >NOHATS
  46. http://teamfortress.tv/thread/16179/no-hats-mod - This mod replaces hat models with nothing, meaning your computer isn't rendering the hats (or unusual particles), which means better performance. You may experience longer loading times though.
  47.  
  48.  
  49. >OLDSCHOOL PACK
  50. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7666502/oldschool_pack_12.zip - A bunch of low poly models and textures for TF2. Lower polygon counts and lower texture resolutions means more VRAM for your video card to do other things, which is good.
  51.  
  52. USE THE PERFORMANCE ONE. You will experience no performance loss with the performance version, because it is compiled into a VPK and has only a small amount of files. This can give you anywhere from 5 to 15 more FPS, but may vary wildly depending on the machine. The readme.txt has its own FAQ that I wrote, and will not be covered here. Oldschool Pack usually isn't affected by most sv_pure servers because it has its own texture filenames and ends up evading being blocked by sv_pure. It should work fine for regular pub servers.
  53.  
  54.  
  55. >REDUCED PARTICLES
  56. http://www.mediafire.com/?rg743as57hnb1fh - This particle mod should make the particles more toaster-friendly without sacrificing visual clarity. Some of the particles tend to be blocked by a lot of sv_pure servers to prevent cheating, but it helps.
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  58.  
  59. >STEAM CLOUD
  60. If your settings are getting rolled back every time you start TF2, go into Advanced Multiplayer Options and disable "Synchronize with the Steam Cloud". Then go into your Steam library, right click Team Fortress 2 > Properties > Updates tab and uncheck "Enable Steam Butt synchronization for Team Fortress 2". Alternatively, you may also disable Steam Butt for all games in your Steam settings.
  61.  
  62. If it still happens, add "-autoconfig" to your TF2 launch options (see the above section "LAUNCH OPTIONS" if you don't know how). This will reset your config.cfg and other settings back to default, and you can start fresh without any bullshit. As a last resort, try deleting the userdata folder in your Steam folder (the one with Steam.exe) or just reinstall Steam. I've often found that the userdata folder contains sprays and config files for TF2 that I don't want.
  63.  
  64.  
  65. >EYECANDY
  66. These make your game look better at the price of FPS or performance. Most of them are tweaks of things Valve forgot to fix. All hail the useful members of the community. Don't install HD skins if you want performance. Most of these don't work in sv_pure 2 servers.
  67.  
  68. https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1URgEtYCsqdpFdbWPMNqNJIZngSbUUCCtSQ03AuHrcBE - large collections of fixes. I recommend actually checking what each of them does so you don't end up with a bunch of unwanted HD skins that hinder performance.
  69. http://tf2tip.maxofs2d.net/ - Improvement of textures. May have an impact on performance.
  70. http://gamebanana.com/tf2/skins/69848 - Enable water reflections.
  71. http://gamebanana.com/tf2/skins/92782 - Cinematic lightwarp, very pretty.
  72. More things can be found here: http://tf2.gamebanana.com/skins and here: http://tf2mods.net and here: http://mods.tf/
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  74.  
  75. *SKIP THE FOLLOWING 2 SECTIONS IF YOU DON'T WANT YOUR GAME TO LOOK LIKE MINECRAFT OR DON'T USE A LINUX DISTRO*
  76.  
  77. >TF2 MIPMAP HACK
  78. NVIDIA users can force their video card to render really shitty looking texture mipmap LODs outside of the default range. Note that you may need to use older versions of NVIDIA drivers to do the trick. NVIDIA 200 series drivers from March 2012 should work. You can get the NVIDIA Profile Tool from the official website: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2625
  79.  
  80. Start the profile tool and export the profiles. There should be a text file you can edit near the program. Find "Team Fortress 2" (CTRL+F for the slow) and add "Setting ID_0x00738e8f = 0x00000078 UserSpecified=true" in the TF2 profile. Save the file, and import the profile with the tool. No, this will not get you VAC banned. There is a possibility of being banned from ESEA if you are caught, however.
  81.  
  82. NVIDIA Inspector can accomplish the same thing, but you also need an old version of that program. You can find the old version of NVIDIA Inspector here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8776548/NvidiaInspector.rar
  83.  
  84. When you open NVIDIA Inspector, it will show your video card specs. There should be a box displaying your driver version, and next to that is a button with a wrench and a screwdriver. Click on that to edit some profiles. Type in the filter box "Team Fortress 2" to find the TF2 profile, and scroll down until you find something along the lines of LOD bias. Edit this value to 10.0 or 15.0, and click Apply. Congratulations, you are now playing TF2 on the Nintendo 64.
  85.  
  86. If you have a newer NVIDIA card that previously didn't exist on 200 series drivers, you can change the LOD bias on new 300 series NVIDIA drivers by looking around here: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=376933
  87.  
  88.  
  89. >LUNIX USERS
  90. The native Linux build of TF2 uses the same console commands, so FPS configurations are still functional. Linux TF2 uses OpenGL, but forcing DX8 or DX9 in the launch options does the same changes as on Windows. The Steam folder is usually in ".steam" or ".local/share/Steam" in your home folder; everything else is exactly like Windows. There is no reason to run TF2 in wine these days unless you need the SDK compiling tools (if you want to submit gold star workshop items). Linux TF2 comes with a native VPK executable out-of-the-box, so you can make VPK files without Wine.
  91.  
  92. If you still can't get any performance out of Linux, or Linux performs worse than Windows out of the box, try getting a proprietary graphics driver. >MUH FREEDOMS dictates that Linux distros shouldn't use proprietary software, and thus come with a shitty open source driver that barely works and can only do 2D stuff reasonably well. So you will need to download official NVIDIA drivers seperately. Now there's about 90 million distros so just google around for instructions on how to install a proprietary driver for your distro/graphics card. For Ubuntu-based distros, you can likely find the drivers in your package manager or driver manager.
  93.  
  94. Note: Linux users can't easily do the NVIDIA profile trick (if at all) as described in the above section, so you're screwed unless you can configure your OpenGL environment variables or change your driver settings manually. It may be possible to change this with the new Ubuntu NVIDIA 325.15 drivers with an application profile, but I am not sure. Google found literally nothing on this, so good luck.
  95.  
  96. Note #2: Occasionally Linux users will get huge performance drops when joining a server (only being able to reach 5 FPS while playing) even with an accelerated proprietary driver. This is caused by mods from what I've seen, and you'll likely have to reconnect to the server or restart the game. You may also encounter 0 FPS and stuttering when joining a server as well, which appears to be caused by the client downloading something in the background. Just wait for it, and eventually the game will be playable at full framerate again.
  97.  
  98.  
  99. >FAQ
  100. Q: Why don't my sprays work anymore?
  101. A: Probably because r_decals and/or mp_decals cvar is set too low. Decals include sprays, bullet holes, etc. which disappear once the limit is reached. Setting r_decals and/or mp_decals to 4096 should solve this. Make sure you have sprays enabled in your config, and in Advanced Multiplayer Options. By default, Chris' configs disable sprays. Uncomment the lines to re-enable them.
  102.  
  103. Q: I don't have an NVIDIA card. How do I change the LOD bias of my video card to get super ugly textures?
  104. A: For AMD users, ATI Tray Tools or RadeonPro let you change the LOD bias. If you have an HD4000 or older card, use ATI Tray Tools to change the LOD bias. If you have an HD5000 or newer, use RadeonPro to change the LOD bias. A LOD bias of 3 in RadeonPro is the same as a LOD bias of 15 in NVIDIA Inspector. You can see what it looks like here, left is NVIDIA, right is AMD: http://i.imgur.com/eBlWuFh.jpg
  105.  
  106. Q: How to block pinion ads?
  107. A: Valve and the community is constantly trying to fix this but pinion seems to always find a workaround. Enter "cl_disablehtmlmotd 1" in console and use google to find which method is currently working.
  108.  
  109.  
  110. >TIPS THAT DIDN'T FIT ANYWHERE ELSE
  111. - More mods in your custom folder means longer load times and possibly FPS loss. Therefore, keep them to a minimum and ALWAYS make VPK files, especially if you have a slow hard drive. If you use folders, the game will ask your hard drive for the custom files it needs when the game needs to render or load it, meaning framerate drops while playing. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS MAKE VPK FILES, I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH, DON'T BE LAZY.
  112. - mat_phong 0 removes phong shading which gives everything a matte (rather than shiny) texture. Some people find this aesthetically pleasing and it boosts performance somewhat.
  113. - mat_filterlightmaps 0 does not give you much performance, but gives a blocky Minecraft light effect. If you use this in a config, go to the console and set it to 1 and then back to 0 for it to work again.
  114. - Fullscreen mode usually gives you more FPS than windowed mode because windowed mode still has your desktop environment rendering behind the game.
  115. - Run TF2 in the lowest resolution possible. 640x480 is the lowest resolution TF2 can run in. You can make this even smaller with mat_viewportscale, but it gives little performance boost.
  116. - Using CCLeaner (or BitBleach equivalent on Linux) and keeping your OS optimized is also a good step into getting more frames. If you have 100 Chrome tabs running, all with Adobe Flash Player creating memory leaks, then you are going to get shit performance obviously.
  117. - Defragment your hard drives (if you use NTFS filesystem) and verify your game cache.
  118.  
  119.  
  120. >Who to contact if you have suggestions or questions
  121. steamcommunity.com/id/chubbymimiga/
  122. steamcommunity.com/id/not_a_bot/
  123. steamcommunity.com/id/30201102/
  124.  
  125. Updated 22/08/2014
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