Customizing (OpenXcom)

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OpenXcom Options screen

OpenXcom has a variety of game settings that can be customized through the Options screen in the Main Menu. These options are global and affect any old or new savegame, and take effect instantly after pressing OK.

  • Display Resolution: Resolution the game is rendered at. Note that the game always renders at 320x200 (original DOS resolution) and resizes to whatever you specify, so for a better picture use a resolution with the same ratio. 640x400 or 640x480 (if you like non-square pixels) are recommended. Use the arrows to scroll through the resolutions supported by your monitor, or click on the numbers to type in your own resolution. If you screw it up, use Restore Defaults or delete your options.cfg file (see below) to reset your settings.
  • Display Mode: Display the game in a window or covering the whole screen. Windowed mode is recommended as monitors usually don't properly support OpenXcom's lo-fi nature in fullscreen.
  • Music Volume: The volume of the background music (0 is mute, 1 is lowest, 4 is highest).
  • SFX Volume: The volume of the sound effects (0 is mute, 1 is lowest, 4 is highest).
  • Language: Change the language used to display all the game text.

Display Filter

By default OpenXcom just resizes the screen to fit the resolution, maintaining pixel accuracy as in the original game, but a variety of image scaling filters can be applied to change the image quality or apply smoothing and emulation effects:

  • Scale: Smooths out edges, making the game look less pixelated. This setting is only compatible with 320x200, 640x400 and 960x600 resolutions.
  • HQX: Similar to Scale, but more accurate and high-quality. This setting is only compatible with 320x200, 640x400 and 960x600 resolutions.
  • CRT (OpenGL): Mimics a CRT monitor by adding interlaced lines and simulating a rounded display.
  • CRT-interlaced (OpenGL): Mimics a CRT monitor by adding interlaced lines and simulating a rounded display.
  • CRT-simple (OpenGL): Mimics a CRT monitor by adding interlaced lines and simulating a rounded display.
  • Curvature (OpenGL): Simulates a rounded display.
  • dot_n_bloom (OpenGL) Applies both a dot grid effect and a bloom effect.
  • heavybloom (OpenGL): Applies a very heavy bloom effect.
  • HQ2X (OpenGL): A double-scale version of HQX, which smoothes pixel edges, but not quite to the extreme of HQX.
  • Openxcom (OpenGL): Smooths rough edges while maintaining a semi-pixellated feel similar to the original X-Com. (default)
  • Phosphor-simple (OpenGL) Applies a dot grid effect.
  • Pixellate (OpenGL): Default pixel-accurate behaviour, but using OpenGL.
  • SABR (OpenGL): Applies texel-based smoothing to the display.
  • Scale4xHQ (OpenGL): A quadruple-scale version of HQX, which results in a more subtle smoothing of pixel edges.
  • simplebloom (OpenGL): Applies a bloom effect.

Controls

In the Controls screen you can customize keyboard shortcuts for a variety of functions normally only accessible with the mouse. To change a control, left-click on it and press the new key. To erase a control, right-click it.

Besides the controls listed on the screen, there are also these hardcoded shortcuts:

  • ALT-ENTER – Toggles between windowed and fullscreen mode.
  • Right-Click - Automatically set the min/max on an increase/decrease arrow button.
  • Scroll Wheel - Scroll lists / Zoom globe / Change Battlescape view level.
  • Back/Forward Buttons - (if available) Switch between soldiers on the Battlescape.

Advanced Options

By default OpenXcom is set up for vanilla behavior, but provides a variety of options that allow players to change gameplay features. In the Advanced Options screen you can customize the most-popular options to your preference, and further options can be found in the Options File described below.

Custom Music

If you don't like or have trouble getting the original X-COM music to work, you can use your own. The game will look for the original gm.cat, delete (or rename to restore it later in case you change your mind) it before using custom music. The formats supported are MIDI, MP3, OGG, MOD and FLAC. Just put it in the SOUND subfolder of the Data folder with the same filenames as the original:

Original PlayStation Cydonia's Fall
GMDEFEND Briefing1 Defend Base
GMENBASE Briefing2 N/A
GMGEO1 Geoscape1 Geoscape (Part I)
GMGEO2 Geoscape2 Geoscape (Part II)
GMGEO3* Geoscape3 N/A
GMGEO4* Geoscape4 N/A
GMINTER Dogfight Interception
GMINTRO1 N/A Intro (Part I)
GMINTRO2 N/A Intro (Part II)
GMINTRO3 N/A Intro (Part III)
GMLOSE N/A Lose Game
GMMARS Debriefing Debriefing
GMNEWMAR Mission Accomplished Mars Briefing
GMSTORY Final Briefing The Story
GMTACTIC Battlescape1 Tactical Battle
GMTACTIC2* Battlescape2 N/A
GMWIN N/A Win Game

*not available in original

WARNING: There are some bugs with the audio playback on MP3, primarily on Unix-like systems. If you start experiencing crashes after using custom music, switch to a different music format.

Options File

OpenXcom stores its options in a options.cfg YAML file stored in the User folder, which can be easily edited with any text editor. You can also pass them as command line arguments in the form "-<option name> <option value>". These include the options shown in the Options screen as well as other advanced options.

WARNING: Invalid values can cause incorrect behaviour or game crashes. Options that accept true/false are marked by "When enabled", options that accept a range of numbers have this listed in brackets after their description, and options that accept a numeric flag have bullets to describe the functionality of each option.

Option Description Default
General
autosave When enabled, the game is autosaved.
  • 0 = disabled.
  • 1 = quick save and quick load buttons are enabled.
  • 2 = game automatically saves at 00:00 and all save and load buttons are disabled.
  • 3 = same as 2, as well as automatically saving on exit of the game.
0
captureMouse When enabled, the mouse cursor is locked to the window. false
changeValueByMouseWheel The amount to increase/decrease a value when scrolling the mouse wheel over increase/decrease buttons in lists. 0
cursorInBlackBandsInFullscreen

cursorInBlackBandsInWindow
cursorInBlackBandsInBorderlessWindow

false
true
false

debug When enabled, provides features to make it easier for developers/contributors to debug their work. false
debugUi When enabled, shows text borders in UI elements to make it easier for developers/translators to debug their work. false
dragScrollInvert Inverts the direction of drag-scrolling. When enabled, you must drag towards the target. When disabled, you drag away instead. false
FPS 15
fpsCounter When enabled, shows an FPS Counter on the top-left of the screen. false
language Filename of the language loaded at startup. en-US
keyboardMode Keyboard input mode.
  • 0 = Keyboard enabled.
  • 1 = Keyboard disabled, type in text boxes with the arrow keys (arcade style).
0
key* (...various options starting with this prefix) Stores the keyboard controls.
NewBattle_* (...various options starting with this prefix) Stores the last-used settings in the New Battle screen.
newSeedOnLoad When enabled, uses a new seed for the random number generator instead of the one saved to a save file. The game saves the seed of its random number generator to the save files, so normally a shot’s result is the same even if the saved game is reloaded. With a new seed the game re-randomises a shot’s chance of success. false
pauseMode Controls how the game behaves when it loses focus (eg. minimized or alt-tabbed).
  • 0,1 = Continue running normally on loss of focus.
  • 2 = Slow down the game on loss of focus.
  • 3 = Pause completely on loss of focus.
0
playIntro When enabled, plays the intro cinematic on startup. true
saveOrder Controls the order in which saved games are displayed in the save/load game menus.
  • 0 Ascending name order, i.e. A to Z.
  • 1 Descending name order, i.e. Z to A.
  • 2 Ascending date order, i.e. oldest saves first.
  • 3 Descending date order, i.e. newest saves first.
3
Display
allowResize When enabled and the game is in windowed mode, the game resolution can be dynamically resized by changing the window size. false
asyncBlit When enabled, the display surface uses asynchronous updates. This will usually slow down blitting on single CPU machines, but may provide a speed increase on SMP systems. true
baseXBattlescape

baseYBattlescape

320

200

baseXGeoscape

baseYGeoscape

320

200

baseXResolution

baseYResolution

The game's base resolution in pixels, you can think of it as the "viewport", so changing this would let you see more of the Geoscape/Battlescape at once.

WARNING: This feature is experimental and can cause UI and performance problems, as the game is not designed for flexible resolutions.

320

200

borderless When enabled, the game is displayed without a window frame when playing in windowed mode. false
displayWidth

displayHeight

Display resolution in pixels. The game will scale the base resolution to fit this value, so it should be greater than or equal to baseXResolution x baseYResolution. 640

400

fullscreen When enabled, the game will run in fullscreen mode as opposed to windowed mode.

NOTE: The display might become distorted or clipped in fullscreen if your device doesn't support the specified resolution.

false
keepAspectRatio When enabled, letterboxes the display to maintain the original aspect ratio. false
maxFrameSkip Specifies the maximum amount of frames the game can skip rendering. 0
windowedModePositionX

windowedModePositionY

When running in windowed mode, forces the game window to start in the specified position in pixels. Use -1 to have the OS decide the window position. -1

-1

useHQXFilter When enabled, applies a rendering filter that smoothes out diagonal edges, making the game look less pixelated. This setting is only compatible with 320x200, 640x400 and 960x600 resolutions, and useOpenGL must be disabled. false
useScaleFilter When enabled, passes the game through a software Scale2x filter. This option achieves similar results to useHQXFilter but with less overhead and slightly less quality. This setting is only compatible with 320x200, 640x400 and 960x600 resolutions, and useOpenGL must be disabled. false
useOpenGL When enabled, uses OpenGL hardware rendering and enables the following OpenGL options: false
checkOpenGLErrors When enabled, logs all errors returned by OpenGL. false
useOpenGLShader Selects which GLSL rendering filter to apply when the useOpenGL option is enabled. This option takes a path relative to the OpenXcom Data Folder as an argument. OpenXcom comes packaged with some filters in the data\Shaders folder which are described earlier in Display Filter. Shaders/Openxcom.OpenGL.shader
useOpenGLSmoothing When enabled, the game will use linear interpolation instead of nearest-neighbour pixel scaling when no shader is specified. true
vSyncForOpenGL When enabled, puts OpenGL into vertical synchronisation mode, ensuring the FPS do not exceed your monitor's refresh rate, preventing tearing and excessive hardware demand, but may cause slower animations. true
Sound
audioBitDepth Bit depth of the output audio. Only change this if you know what you're doing! 16
audioSampleRate Sample rate (in Hz) of the output audio. Only change this if you know what you're doing! 22050
musicVolume Background music volume (0-128). 128
soundVolume Sound FX volume (0-128). 128
mute When enabled, disables all audio output. Automatically enabled if no audio hardware is detected. false
Geoscape/Basescape
aggressiveRetaliation When enabled, aliens on any type of mission may detect your base if they are in very close range. false
alienContainmentLimitEnforced When enabled, enforces the limit of live aliens that can be held in each containment facility. false
allowAutoSellProduction When enabled, players can automatically sell manufactured items by right-clicking the Up Arrow on the Quantity in the manufacture screen. false
allowBuildingQueue When enabled, unfinished facilities act as links to the access lift when new facilities are placed, thereby allowing facilities to be "queued" waiting for neighboring facilities to finish. false
anytimePsiTraining When enabled, psi training can be performed at any time, instead of waiting for the end of the month. false
canManufactureMoreItemsPerHour When enabled, allows manufacturing projects to produce more than one item per hour, if the amount of engineers is very large (like in TFTD). false
canSellLiveAliens When enabled, captured aliens can be sold for cash in the same fashion as alien corpses. Recommended when alienContainmentLimitEnforced is enabled. false
canTransferCraftsWhileAirborne When enabled, crafts can be transferred between bases while they are OUT (as long as they have enough fuel). false
craftLaunchAlways When enabled, allow crafts to take off without being READY. false
customInitialBase When enabled, allows the player to customize the facility placement of the starting base.
dogfightSpeed 20
geoClockSpeed 80
globeAllRadarsOnBaseBuild When enabled, all radar ranges will be shown when hovering a valid base location while building a new base. true
globeDetail When enabled, country and city details are shown when zoomed in on the globe. true
globeFlightPaths When enabled, shows craft flight paths on the globe. true
globeRadarLines When enabled, the radar ranges of player bases on the globe are shown. true
globeScrollDragButton Scrolls the map when the specified mouse button is held down and dragged.
  • 0 None.
  • 1 Left mouse button.
  • 2 Middle mouse button.
  • 3 Right mouse button.
2
globeScrollSpeed The scrolling speed of the globe. 20
globeSeasons When enabled, the day/night cycle takes into account the Earth's axial tilt for a more realistic projection of the light. false
psiStrengthEval When enabled, evaluates the psionic strength of all soldiers after the appropriate research has been completed. false
spendResearchedItems When enabled, researching an item removes it from stores and disassembles it, like in XCom 2012, and researching a living alien returns a corpse to the stores. false
showFundsOnGeoscape When enabled, shows your available funds above the time/date on the Geoscape sidebar. false
Battlescape
allowPsionicCapture When enabled, mind-controlling all the remaining enemy units results in a victory, and they count as live captures. false
battleAlienSpeed Animation speed of alien / civilian units moving on the map. 30
battleAutoEnd When enabled, the turn is automatically ended when all friendly/enemy units are neutralized, therefore ending the mission. false
battleConfirmFireMode When enabled, a second click is required on the same tile to confirm fire orders. false
battleEdgeScroll Sets how to scroll the map.
  • 0 None.
  • 1 Trigger - scroll map when the left mouse button is held down on a screen edge.
  • 2 Auto - scroll map when the cursor is over a screen edge.
2
battleExplosionHeight A coefficient that controls how much vertical power explosions have.
  • 0 = Explosions are completely flat, as per the original game.
  • 1 = -30 damage units per level (this penalty is in addition to the horizontal penalty of -10 damage per tile).
  • 2 = -10 damage units per level.
  • 3 = -5 damage units per level.
0
battleFireSpeed Animation speed of bullets after being fired in pixels per frame. Game setting * 2. 6
battleHairBleach Changes soldier Battlescape sprites to match their inventory look. true
battleInstantGrenade When enabled, grenades are "hot". This means that when primed to 0 turns, they simply explode on impact, instead of waiting for the end of the turn. false
battleNotifyDeath When enabled, displays a text notification when a soldier dies. false
battleNewPreviewPath When enabled, your first left-click displays the path the selected unit will take, and your second click confirms the move order.
  • 0 No preview.
  • 1 Display path taken with colored arrows: green - can move and fire; yellow - can move; red - cannot move.
  • 2 Display the time units you will have remaining after moving to the destination.
  • 3 Display colored arrows and time units remaining.
0
battleSmoothCamera When enabled, the battlescape camera will remain centered on projectiles while in flight. false
battleUFOExtenderAccuracy When enabled, mimics UFO Extender's Range based accuracy, except using stats taken from the weapon itself rather than global config options. false
battleScrollSpeed Map scrolling speed. 8
battleScrollType Map scrolling mode.
  • 0 = Trigger Scroll: Hold down the LMB over the edges of the screen to scroll.
  • 1 = Auto Scroll: Hover your mouse over the edges of the screen to scroll.
  • 2 = Drag Scroll: Hold down MMB and drag to scroll. Recommended for playing windowed.
1
battleScrollDragButtion Controls which mouse button is held down in Drag Scrolling
  • 1 = Left Mouse Button.
  • 2 = Middle Mouse Button.
  • 3 = Right Mouse Button.
  • 6... = Other Mouse Buttons.
2
battleScrollDragInvert When enabled, Drag Scrolling moves the camera away from your mouse, rather than moving towards it. false
battleScrollDragTimeTolerance Amount of miliseconds the mouse needs to be pressed to trigger a Drag Scroll. 300
battleScrollDragPixelTolerance Amount of pixels the mouse needs to be moved after pressing to trigger a Drag Scroll. 10
battleTooltips When enabled, hovering the Battlescape buttons displays a tooltip. true
battleXcomSpeed Animation speed of X-COM units moving on the map. 30
disableAutoEquip When enabled, disables auto-equipping of new soldiers before battle. false
skipNextTurnScreen When enabled, the "Next Turn" screens during battle are advanced automatically after a short delay. false
showMoreStatsInInventoryView When enabled, the inventory screen displays extra stats in the top-right corner, such as the weight of equipment the soldier is currently wearing/carrying and their maximum weight before TU reduction sets in, their firing accuracy, reactions and psi stats. false
sneakyAI When enabled, AI avoids exposing themselves to player whenever possible. false
strafe When enabled, holding CTRL allows soldiers to strafe and run, and allows tanks to rotate their turret independently of the chassis. false
TFTDDamage When enabled, weapons will do between 50% and 150% of their rated damage as opposed to UFO:Enemy Unknown's 0% to 200%. false
traceAI Debug feature. When enabled, highlights the paths that enemy units took after their turn. false
weaponSelfDestruction When enabled, weapons dropped by aliens are destroyed unless they are captured alive (similar to the new X-COM). false

Debug mode

Debug mode is a special feature that makes it easier for developers/contributors to test out game features without needing to play a new game from scratch. After setting "debug: true" in the options.cfg file (see above), you can enable it by pressing Ctrl-D in-game to access a variety of features:

Geoscape: All research is unlocked, allowing you to easily test all features in the Geoscape without needing to manually unlock them yourself. This doesn't affect your saved game. Regional and Country borders will be displayed.

Battlescape: Whole map is revealed and opening the inventory screen resets TUs, allowing you to easily test out the map and any Battlescape features without being affected by game restrictions.