The Haus

Unreal Tournament 2004 Tips

Originally Posted: March 30, 2004

Last Updated: April 8, 2004

by A.T. Hun

I'm not going to claim that any of this information is of my own creation. I've gleaned these tips and tricks for UT2K4 from various forums, websites, and mailing lists. I just put them all here so I can find them easily. For the following tips, your .ini files can be found in the System subdirectory wherever you installed UT2K4 in Windows or in your ~/.ut2004/System directory in Linux.

Unlock the Extra Models

There are three models--Malcolm, Xan Kriegor, and the Skaarj ClanLord--that can be unlocked somehow by playing the single-player portion of the game. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any clear way to unlock them. Some have speculated that there is a bug. Whatever the case, you can edit your User.ini file to make these models available (Please note: some consider this to be cheating; if that bothers you, move on to the next tip). Look for a line that says:


That line should appear if you've played online. If it isn't there, just add it under the section [GUI2K4.UT2k4MainPage]. Change the line so it reads:


Vehicle Tips

Those wacky folks at Epic included secondary horn sounds for all of the vehicles in the game. To use those horns, open up your User.ini and add this line under [Engine.Input]:

Key=playvehiclehorn 1

Replace Key with whatever key you want to bind it to. I used "H", so mine says H=playvehiclehorn 1. Whenever you hit this key in a Manta, it will play "La Cucharacha." A Scorpion will play "Dixie."

To change seats on a vehicle that can carry more than one passenger, hit one of the number keys. For example "1" in a Goliath will make you the main gunner/driver. "2" will make you the minigunner. On a Leviathan it will go up to 5 (1 for the driver/missile launcher and 2-5 for the four plasma turrets). Bots will automatically trade places with you. You'll have to convince a human player to move first.

Skaarj Taunt Animations

The Skaarj model has a number of taunt animations that are unique to that model. You can access them through the taunt animation menu under the speech menu in-game. It's much easier to bind them to a key. Sadly, there's no way to do it inside the game. You'll have to do a little .ini editing. Just add a line to your User.ini with this in it:

Key=Taunt Taunt_Name

Replace Key with whatever key you want to bind it to. Replace Taunt_Name with the taunt name from the chart below.

Hair flipgesture_taunt02

Slash is my personal favorite. Special thanks go out to Mr Evil and Discord on the Atari UT2K4 forums for the information.

Extra Loading Screen

There is an extra screen, featuring Xan Kriegor, that can be displayed when loading a map. To add it to the rotation, open up your User.ini and look for this section:


I made the line we need to change in bold. Change it so it reads:


Eventually (the game chooses one of the four backgrounds at random), you will see a background with a somewhat dark and menacing Xan Kriegor.

Speeding up Map Loading

If you find that maps seem to take forever to load, check to make sure that the game isn't preloading all of the player skins. Click on "Settings" then click the "Game" button at the top of the page. Uncheck the box marked "Preload all player skins" on the bottom right of the screen. Enabling that is not worth the memory it consumes nor is it worth the extra time it takes to load each level.

Speeding up AS-Mothership

Note: this tip may be specific to the Linux version and/or the OpenGL renderer. I was having major framerate issues with the AS-Mothership map with the Linux version of UT2K4 with my Athlon XP 1800+, 512M RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForceFX 5700 Ultra. No amount of in-game tweaking seemed to do any good. Ryan "icculus" Gordon (who did the Linux port for Epic) suggested opening up my UT2004.ini and changing VARSize=32 to VARSize=64 to see if that would help. That made a dramatic change. VARSize controls how much static geometry in megabytes can be cached in AGP memory.

Dedicated Server Help

The Unreal Admin page has an excellent section on running UT2K4 servers and a FAQ for those hard-to-figure-out commands. If those two resources don't answer your question, check their forums.