The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Team Fortress 2 Graphics

This isn’t a weapons guide, but is nonetheless quite useful for some players, who may have noticed an interesting graphical issue in Team Fortress 2: the weapons do not glow when crit-boosted, and various liquid effects (like Jarate and bleed) obfuscate the screen. Furthermore, the character models appear to be fuzzier and shabbier, and Übercharge simply looks bad under these settings. A quick glance at the advanced video settings panel reveals that nothing is out of place…or is it?

On closer inspection, all the graphical settings are normal. However, there is one problem: the hardware and software settings have been set to DirectX 8.1 instead of the usual 9.0. Moreover, the settings for either of these have been greyed out, making it impossible to change. The resulting graphics are different because DirectX 8.1 and 9.0 use different shaders to render the models and effects, leading to the older, less detailed textures. This has no effect on gameplay, although as mentioned earlier, bleed and jarate cover the screen in a dark red and bright yellow, respectively, making it nigh-impossible to see properly.

In the eyes of intense TF2 players, anything that leads to a decrease in performance is unacceptable, especially if it means the difference between victory and failure. So…how does one fix this problem? The answer is quite simple: right-click on Team Fortress 2 in Steam, and choose “Properties”. Under the “General” tab, select “Set Launch Options”, and input the following:

-dxlevel 90 -windowed

The first command forces the game to render everything using DirectX 9.0, while the “-windowed” command is for people like me, who prefer to play in windowed mode. Those who prefer to play in full screen can omit this altogether.

  • Weapons are expected to glow when crit-boosted. It’s part of the game!

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