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Rift Tweak Guide and Optimization Tips

Squeeze more performance from Trion's MMO

Having recently purchased Trion’s new MMORPG Rift and having a first-hand experience at its horrible engine optimization, I figured it’d come in handy to collect in a singular source all of the relevant tweaks I’ve found on the forums and various websites. I cannot take credit for most of these findings and have linked back to their original authors where appropriate to do so.

As a disclaimer, I cannot vouch that these tweaks will work under all conditions, if at all but I do try to filter out the junk from the relevant stuff whenever possible.

Change number of active threads for multi-core processors

If you’re running a quad-core processor (or better), changing a value in Rift’s configuration file may improve performance. Open your Rift installation folder and find the rift.cfg file and change the following value:

MainThreadCPU = 0

Note that in some cases, this may prevent the game from starting with an error stating that the game’s files have been corrupt. Change the value back to “3″ should that be the case.

Status: Unconfirmed, likely to be viable only on AMD processors.
Thanks to Briley for the tip!

Switch to DirectX9 for added performance

In some configurations, your video card may perform better using DirectX9 rather than the game’s default DirectX11 renderer. You can force DX9 by using a trigger on your shortcut. Note that this will cause a slight drop in the visual quality of effects.

Simply add the -dx9 trigger to the end of your shortcut, outside the quotation marks as always.

"C:\Games\Rift\riftpatchlive.exe" -dx9

Status: Only in some configurations, notably lower-end video cards with DirectX11 support.
Thanks to Briley for the tip!

Use a customized Direct 3D DLL for added performance

Originally seen with the release of Fallout: New Vegas, this tweak requires you to generate a .DLL file and place it in your game’s directory where it will be called on launch, hopefully improving performance in some scenarios while gracefully reducing some of the game’s visual effects. Note that this method requires a 64-bit version of Windows and 64-bit Java.

  1. Download D3D9Gen b3 from New Vegas Nexus (requires registration), found in the “Files” tab.
  2. Extract the files to a location of your choosing.
  3. Run D3D9Gen.jar
  4. Select “Set video card by text” and hit the #1 detection button.
  5. Click on “Generate DLL”
  6. Move the d3d9.dll file to your game’s foot installation folder.
  7. Launch the game.

If successful, Rift will inform you that your video card drivers are out of date (which will not affect gameplay). If this causes any corruption or graphical issues, you can simply delete the file and re-launch the game with no harm done. Note that you’ll likely have to remove this file down the line following an engine update from Trion to resolve the root cause, as was seen in Fallout: New Vegas.

Status: Confirmed in most scenarios
Thanks to Desta for the tip!

Tweak particle settings

You can easily tweak the cut-off values for the game’s various particle effects by modifying the game’s configuration file. Simply update the values below in your Rift.cfg file, located in your game’s installation directory.

VfxCullDistance = 256
VFXLimit = 7500
LightingComplexity = 10.000000

Status: Confirmed

Thanks to Lemon_King for the tip!

Slow patch downloads? Change servers

Having a hard time downloading the Rift client or doing so at slow speeds? Change the active server by updating your hosts.

  1. Find your shortcut to Notepad, right-click and run as administrator.
  2. Click on File > Open and browse to the following directory: Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  3. Click on “Text Documents” at the bottom right and select “All files”
  4. Open “hosts”
  5. Add the following to the bottom:

The completed file should look like this, unless you’ve made other changes to it.

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
#          # source server
#              # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#       localhost
#	::1             localhost

Should you want to disable this temporarily for some reason, you can simply add a hash in front of the line (#) to comment it out.

Debunked Tweaks

Set your game client’s process priority to “Realtime”

This is an old myth and shouldn’t be done for several reasons. The system needs to process some information in the background whether you like it or not, especially when it comes to software sound. Setting the game to realtime basically tells Windows to ignore every other process if this particular one is consuming all of your CPU. Hence, the noise issue many people are getting. If you run the game in windowed mode, then Windows still needs to process what’s going on with your taskbar and explorer which can potentially causes system crashes.

Even so so, in most cases it will not improve performance in any form unless you’re running multiple, strenuous applications at the same time and need to set, as the name suggests, priority of one over the next when it comes to processing time. You’re better off killing other unneeded applications.

Disable Windows Aero and Desktop Composition

Windows will, by default, turn off desktop composition and its Aero features when running full-screen games. Unless you’re playing in a window, this is an exercise in redundancy when it comes to graphical performance. However, if you’re low on RAM, it couldn’t hurt to free up a few megabytes by disabling them. In most cases, this is unnecessary.

Find anything else?

Find a good tweak that should be added to the list? Leave a comment and I’ll add it in.


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