Howto: Make Gears of War PC Suck Less

Gears of WarWell, another game was snatched from being released on PC and moved to Xbox exclusively (*cough* Halo). So once again, by when its ready to be ported back to PC, it has a host full of issues not found in the console version.

I am writing today to tell you all how to make the Gears of War: PC edition suck a little less. A few quick changes and you are on your way to an experience with a few less crashes!

To start with, install the game with the defaults. Once it is installed, navigate to “C:Program FilesMicrosoft GamesGears of WarWarGameMovies”. Inside this folder, delete or rename the following files:

  1. EpicLogo.bik
  2. MGSLogo.bik
  3. ESRB.bik

This allows you to start playing the game in about 10 seconds instead of watching the same intro movies that you can’t skip through over and over. This is made even worse by the fact that the game crashes a lot, so I have probably seen these clips no less than 40-50 times by now. I sure wouldn’t show my logo on a game that crashes faster than a Black Hawk over Somalia…

Next, lets fix the extremely choppy performance. These files are automatically created the first time you start the game. If you don’t have them, just fire the game up, then close it back down. Navigate to “C:Documents and Settings<your user>My DocumentsMy GamesGears of War for WindowsWarGameConfig”. Inside this folder, open the file “WarEngineUserSettings.ini” and look for the line “OnlyStreamInTextures=FALSE” and change it to “OnlyStreamInTextures=TRUE”.

What does this do you might ask. Well, unless you have 8GB of memory, and a nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 you probably can’t fit all those textures into memory. Its better to just stream them in as needed. This single change increased my frame rate from an unplayable 5-10 frames a second to well over 60 fps! It also gets rid of the repetitive quarter of a second freeze every few steps.

Also, don’t worry about the latest Gears of War patch the “Title Update”. I don’t know what the hell it DOES do, but it sure didn’t address many of the issues that people are having with this game.

After you institute these changes, go ahead and max out all of the video details in the game if you have a decent rig. (say if you can play Call of Duty: 4). Thats right – max it out. The performance problems you were having before have little to do with the details, and much to do with the resource management settings that were the factory defaults.



1 Comment

  1. Johnathon says:

    Howto: Make Gears of War PC suck less:

    1) Buy an Xbox 360
    2) Buy Gears of War
    3) Insert Gears of War disc into 360
    4) Profit

    Sorry, I thought of this response on my way in to work this morning and couldn’t resist. 🙂


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