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General technical troubleshooting tips /crash/errors/lag/fps

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  • General technical troubleshooting tips /crash/errors/lag/fps

    getting tired of typing hehe, posting here for future cut/paste. will grow it over time.

    I do this on win7 machines at work to speed up low-end laptops. you'll gain about .3-.6 in your windows 7 performance score.

    1. change color scheme to “basic” or a specific color: find out here:

    2. turn off transparency:

    3. change display to 16bit (gain .3+ in system score)

    4. turn off aero service

    5. turn off extra display features (system)

    6. change AV software from high-cpu/memory intense apps to more efficient free software. currently microsoft security essentials is rated the highest and is free. vista=win7 for version compatability:

    7. as always update your machine at, your manufacturer's site. basically get all your drivers.

    8. get latest vid card drivers:


    9. play at 1024x768 with no anti-aliasing and no AF. turn off vsync on low end machines.

    10. upgrade your vid card lol

    **if internet / ping issues ***

    1. what type of ISP do you have? are you in USA? most likely the servers are. try finding a dedicated server or hosting your own.

    2. is anyone p2ping (file sharing) on your network? if so have them stop, this greatly hurts your performance with ping rates.

    3. try upgrading your network card drivers.
    -visit your pc manufacturer's website or or find the NIC model and get the drivers from the vendor.

    4. try tweaking your connection:

    5. flush your dns, reset you tcp/winsock table.
    this can very depending on your o/s :


    6. do you have spyware? this can eat up network bandwidth if a virus/spyware is sending crap to a host.
    -try cleaning up your pc with malwarebytes from

    7. have any errors/issues? try searching on, i tend to archive via "delicious" every support issue i come accross as a NOC tech.

    8. add the game to your firewall exception list

    9. if wireless, try adjusting your antennas and make sure you have excellent signal strength.

    *****motherboard and intel vid card/mb chipsets ********you can get the latest drivers here:

    search for the graphics card motherboard chipset for your o/s. if you have a intel chipset (motherboard) get this update as well, can give you various driver improvements.

    if your not sure your make/model of your motherboard, identify the make and chipset model with cpu-z:

    i then go to intel or the motherboard maker's website for the latest drivers (or find the driver type, and get the drivers from another vendor that are even newer). for instance, your motherboard maker may have a driver from 2008, but VIA might have a driver from 2010 (Intel, Nvidia, ATI etc)

    ***more compilation***

    1. have latest sound and video drivers?
    2. have latest motherboard chipset drivers
    3. firewall exception in windows for steam and aswarm
    4. clean install? (uninstall > ccleaner > reboot > install)
    5. add the game to your antivirus allow list... or use microsoft security essentials (search esentials on since its compatible with alien swarm without adding an exception.
    6. scan with malwarebytes, best antimalware software just do it!
    7. in an elevated command prompt (right click run as admin)...
    sfc /scannow
    -this verifies windows cache files
    8. have all your windows updates?
    9. do you have a crash report/error? if so post here!
    10. try lowering your resolution to 1024x768, and adjust your quality settings to medium or low. turn off antialiasing and AF
    11. adjust all nvidia/ati options in display panel (outside of the game, in windows) to low or medium.
    12. scan your pc with hijackthis, pm me your log i will research it for you.

    low end computers/crashing issues, modify dx, resolution etc. i'd try 640x480 or 1024x768:
    Launch options:
    -dxlevel 90 -w 480 -h640

    Paste these options into a file. Save it as autoexec.cfg in C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\alien swarm\swarm\cfg
    //Alien Swarm
    //Integrated graphics card config.
    // Vastly improves performance of Alien Swarm on integrated graphics cards
    // Unfortunately, that's not saying much. Expect 20 FPS, tops. Maybe 5 FPS in areas
    // with lots of fog.
    cl_showfps 2 //0 off, 1 fps, 2 smoothed fps.
    asw_spinning_stim_cam 0 //disables "picture in picture"
    ai_expression_optimization 1 //People don't make faces when you aren't looking at them.
    mat_disable_ps_patch 1
    mat_vignette_enable 1
    r_dopixelvisibility 0
    r_drawbatchdecals 0
    r_drawdetailprops 0
    r_fastzreject -1
    mat_disable_bloom 1 //Disables bloom
    mat_hdr_level 0 //Disables HDR
    mat_grain_enable 0 //Disable film grain
    mat_grain_scale_override 1 //Disables film grain. Again.
    mat_aaquality 0
    mat_antialias 0
    mat_bloom 0
    mat_bloomscale 0
    mat_disable_bloom 1
    mat_disable_fancy_blending 1
    mat_forceaniso 0
    r_modellodscale 0.10 //reduce quality of models
    r_lod 8 //Level of detail. -8 is best, 8 is worst.
    mat_max_worldmesh_vertices 0
    r_maxdlights 0 //maximum dynamic lights
    r_dynamic 0 //No dynamic lighting
    r_shadows 0 //No dynamic shadows
    r_lightinterp 0
    mat_filterlightmaps 0
    mat_softwarelighting 1 //1 uses CPU over gfx card.
    mat_disable_lightwarp 1
    r_shadowrendertotexture 0
    mat_compressedtextures 1 //Integrated cards are too slow for uncompressed textures
    mat_specular 0 //Reduce shiny
    mat_showlowresimage 0 //very low quality textures.
    mat_mipmaptextures 0 //makes textures look even worse. Character selection screen unusable.
    mat_fastnobump 1
    mat_picmip 4 //texture detail setting
    mat_parallaxmap 0
    r_water_drawreflection 0 //Disables some water effects
    r_waterdrawrefraction 0 //Ditto
    //datacachesize 128
    //Disabling fog/particles
    fod_enable 0 //cheat. This would really help with performance
    r_drawflecks 0
    r_drawrain 0
    r_drawparticles 0 //cheat This would really help with performance
    r_particle_timescale 0 //Particles aren't animated
    r_particle_sim_spike_threshold_ms 0
    r_decals 5 //number of visible blood, bullet holes, etc.
    r_3dsky 0 //We never see the sky
    g_ragdoll_maxcount 0
    ragdoll_sleepaftertime 0
    cl_disable_ragdolls 1 //cheat
    cl_ragdoll_collide 0
    //Glibs from boxes and such
    props_break_max_pieces 0
    prop_active_gib_max_fade_time 0
    prop_active_gib_limit 0
    r_threaded_particles 1 //I've got a core 2 duo. Disable this stuff on a netbook.
    r_threaded_renderables 1 
    snd_mix_async 1
    mat_queue_mode 2

    ***** collection of fixes***
    Originally Posted by WillsShadowruby
    It's a problem w/ permissions go to steam, steamapps, common, alien swarm. right click on swarm.exe click on properties make sure that it isn't read only then go to security and edit give it full control and hit apply this should fix it

    general crashing: (grabbed from aliennetwork)
    Open Steam > Games> View Games> Right Click on Alien Swarm on the list> Properties> Local Files Tab> Verify Integrity of Game Cache.

    router crashing/timeouts: thanks! moosenukes
    -update firmware on router
    -adjust router settings

    c++ 2008 runtime files for c++ crashes:

    black screen/black loading screen/no display:
    todd bear:
    "tried making the game run in windowed and it worked library>leftclick AS then properties>setlaunchoptions and type"-windowed" after that i got in the game and tried going options and vido then fullsqreen that worked, then went out to steam and took away launch options and now it opens perfectly everytime, hope this helps."

    'i fixed my problem, it seems that zonealarm firewall and some steam games dont get along so well, ive changed to comodo firewall and everything works fine now. hope this helps some of you."

    general links/tips/troubleshooting:
    Last edited by jerger; 15th Aug 2010, 01:11 PM.

  • #2
    nice and welcome
    also known as mega ,On the internet, everyone can hear you scream - it's just that no-one cares.except moses{also been known to use rapidfire}was also here before fuzzy and moses


    • #3
      thanks! i'm collecting my "helped a user" replies here. i'll try to be specific as questions arise

      user had low ened vid card (onboard) and may have network/nic issues:

      bunch o tips here:


      if xp, use tcp optimizer.
      if vista/win7, use their patch:

      1. update your video card drivers (in first link, or google for them. )

      2. update your NIC drivers

      3. reboot

      4. run a tcp patch or the optimizer from speedguide

      5. change your desktop to 16bit. try the tweaked autoconfig file as posted in the 1st link above

      6. if you need more tweak tips use the 5 second news link.

      7. turn off all p2p/file sharing while gaming. monitor network use as well, this is a primary cause of lag.

      8. if wireless, try wired or if win7 the tweaks from here:

      9. c++ 2008 runtime files for c++ crashes:
      Last edited by jerger; 14th Aug 2010, 11:36 PM.