Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Game Discussions > # - C > Alice: Madness Returns

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-30-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595
Lightbulb Ultimate Tweak Guide

First and foremost for new users: yes the so called DLC comes with the game, but you need to change a line in one .ini file to enable it. More on this thread.

So, tweaks to make the game run better if you don't own the latest ubber CPU/GPU (and please, ATI users stop complaining, if you read PhysX on ANY game, it means it runs better on an nVidia)

Most of these are STABLE (at least didn't crash or anything with me) unless otherwise stated. Also, needless to say, I recommend you backup all your .ini files before going too far.

Items on RED were extensively tested and didn't result on a single FPS improvement, which makes me believe they are totally ignored by Alice:MR. I leave them here just for reference though.

IMPORTANT: ATI/RADEON USERS with CPU core speeds below 3Ghz should FIRST reduce PhysX to MEDIUM. ATI cards do not support PhysX and said effects are thus run by the CPU. Try PhysX on low or medium and check for improvements BEFORE going into these tweaks.

IMPORTANT: If your nVidia card is not that new and your CPU is good (EACH CORE speed is ABOVE 2.9Ghz), try setting PhysX to CPU mode on nVidia Control Panel and test the game. You might get better FPS with the PhysX on CPU than an old GPU. My GT9600 lost for my Core 2 Duo 2.93, for instance!

ANOTHER NOTE: The game uses native 16:9 resolution, which means that on 16:10 monitor you WILL have a letterbox effect (black horizontal bars on top/bottom)

All changes are in the My Games\Alice Madness Returns\AliceGame\Config\




Defines main memory allocated to PhysX, the more, the faster textures and data are stored and used by PhysX enfine. If you are using PhysX might consider increasing this. Suggested increase: 64 for 8x or 9x series, 128 for 512Mb recent videocards, 256 for 1Gb+ recent video cards. Important: Old 8x or 9x series nVidia might not handle larger values than 64. If you get artifacts and crashes after increasing this value, tone it down.

NOTE: if you increase this more than your GPU can handle, it might actually drop FPS compared to the default value. The trick is to find the biggest value where you get an FPS increase. Same with the option bellow.


Defines cache for current PhysX effects. If you are using PhysX, you might consider increasing this. Suggested increase: to 16 on all accounts.


Smooths (tries to prevent sudden changes) the FPS, and also caps it by MaxSmoothedFrameRate. I strongly suggest you leave this ON as this will keep the FPS smooth (I noticed this holds true even on low-end machines if you decrease MinSmoothedFrameRate) - meaning, will try not to sudden-change FPS when things go wrong. The side-effect might be input lag. You might want to set this to false to check the real FPS you can get. Suggestion: keep true but change the other variables as suggested bellow:


Defines the minimum FPS the engine will try to keep changes smooth. Suggested value: decrease to a little more the minimum FPS you observe while playing. I get 14 FPS on PhysX intense sequences, so I set this to 16. This will make FPS changes less noticeable, while keeping some room for very-low FPS to release the smooth engine.


The maximum (and thus cap) FPS. Suggested value: your display device refresh rate (usually between 60 to 85). If your GPU can't handle that high FPS, I suggest leaving at 31.



When the APEX module of PhysX is used (this module allows the 'destruction' of objects without prior coding by the developers, used mostly on the Giant Alice sequences), how many pieces it can be destroyed into. The less, the faster. 150 is too much (you won't count 150 pieces will you?), so suggested value is to decrease to 50.


Same as above, but if PhysX is set to HIGH. Still suggest 50.


Bloom is a special effect on lightning (more lightning, dependent on where you are facing. It will usually make things less bright when you are facing away from the light source). This setting tells the engine to use high quality (therefore a little slower) bloom. Set this to False if you don't care to a minimum decrease in lightning quality (might get more realistic!) to a minimum FPS increase. OR ...


Set this to False to disable Bloom lightning altogether. NOTE: NOT VERIFIED AS STABLE.


This is the engine Vsync setting. If you don't know what VSync is, keep it true. If you know, then you know if you want it on or off. Note: kind of pointless to change this and keep bSmoothFrameRate on.


Defines the Anisotropy filter quality. This is applied to far-away textures to reduce blurring. Usually it's not that visually bad, and 16x is too much for too little improvement and some FPS drop. Suggested value: 4 if you have a high-end GPU, 2 otherwise.


Defined multisample on transparent anti-alias texture. Also somewhat little visual effect, can get you an extra FPS. Suggested value: 2



Tells PhysX how many dynamic particles can exist at any given time. Decrease this if you are using PhysX and want some extra FPS on PhysX intense sequences. Suggested value: 500 for little to no change and some improvement on FPS


When something is destroyed, how long the small debris will stay on screen. If they last less, you will have less chunks without having to drop the MaxDynamicChunkCount. Suggested value: 30



Set this to True to unlock Weapons and dress DLC (equipment)



The engine loads textures in the background. However, sometimes there is simply too much to load and the game might stutter or simply freeze for a second. If you are experiencing either, try to increase this value. As a matter of fact, increase it anyway. Suggested value: 560 on high-end GPU, 280 on others. Defragmenting your drive might also help with stuttering/small freezes.




Everytime something happens on PhysX, the engine will do multiple steps to guarantee realism. Needless to say, the more steps, more GPU used. For some reasons Alice uses 10 steps while UE default is 5, so I suggest to decrease this to 5 on any system to minimal change. If you are on a low-end GPU, decrease this even further. I suggest not getting lower than 3 though.



Decals are blood stains, explosion or bullet holes/dirt, etc... which are painted on top of the texture. I seriously doubt you will get 100 blood stains, and this game features no bullet holes. Anyway, decrease this to get a small FPS increase on intense battles. Suggested value: 50




If the aiming with ranged weapons was not bad enough, this setting totally mess with all mouse input. You WANT this to be false at all times.

-- that's it --

Just to mention again as this is a common low-FPS issue with this game: If you are an ATI user, avoid using PhysX on HIGH unless your CPU core power is above 2.9Ghz. Might as well set this to low and try the game for a while, then medium and see if it can handle.

Last edited by Caiobrz: 10-20-2011 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Tip on switching old nVidia PhysX to CPU / notice on PhysXGpuHeapSize crashing the GPU / Letterbox display note / misc
Caiobrz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2011
Reputation: 8
Posts: 186
Great thread, very useful, will save the newcomers a lot of time and effort.
AeddGynvael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595
Well I tried to improve performance on my game but I just found out that Alice ignores several .INI entries, namely:


And the following are really used so seldom that don't affect FPS in 99% of the game:


Looks like tweaking for PhysX is non-existent after all =\

Ok, even greater news: I found out that if I use CPU instead of GPU to run PhysX, my FPS goes UP. My CPU is better than my GPU so it makes sense.

1680x1050 everything on max, including on nVidia Panel, PhysX Medium, on "The Crockery" (Chapter 1 - 3rd part when you meet madcaps, very PhysX intense). Fraps benchmark of 1 second:

min 15, max 39, average 20 (did some 5 runs and same results)

Then I switched PhysX to CPU on nVidia Control Panel and did it again:

min 20, max 41, average 27 (2 runs, this was the worse!)

Also tried to fire the Pepper Cannon away and noticed better FPS. All effects still there.

Conclusion: If you have a good CPU and your GPU can't handle the PhysX, tell your drivers to switch PhysX to CPU!

My system: Core 2 Duo @ 2.93 (not even that good) 4Gb, 9600 GT (old)

So basically anyone with a CPU better than mine should be able to run PhysX on medium regardless of GPU.

Last edited by Caiobrz: 07-02-2011 at 10:56 PM.
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2009
Reputation: 195
Posts: 1,398
Nice guide OP + rep
Verwandlung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595

Also just adding I tested forcing PhysX to CPU on another computer with old nVidia GPU and I had an increase on FPS with PhysX on medium!
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2011
Reputation: 0
Posts: 19
thanks for this still got some jitters but its plays alot better though
pdar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595
Added note on the fact that the game fails to detect widescreen capability and will force a letterbox if WINDOWS resolution is not 16:9. So if you want to get rid of the letterboxing (black bars on top/bottom of the image) and you have a widescreen display, set WINDOWS resolution to some 16:9 (can be smaller than the game) before running it. Yeah, lame -_-
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2011, 08:25 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2011
Reputation: 8
Posts: 186
A heads-up:
I just got a GTX 560 Ti yesterday and I've been testing games all day today.
Of course, the game runs perfectly smooth without any tweaks.
For some reason, increasing physXGpuHeapSize and PhysXMeshCacheSize LOWERED my framerate.
I've got no idea why.

Last edited by AeddGynvael: 07-15-2011 at 08:32 PM.
AeddGynvael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595
if you over-increase these values, the burden will shift for GPU/CPU bus as it starts trading too much information. You must find a balance. I think the default values are on the low side, but too high might also be bad (even crash the game)

Added a note on those values on the OP to warn people about the possibility as you observed.

Last edited by Caiobrz: 07-15-2011 at 09:09 PM.
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 02:47 AM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2011
Reputation: 48
Posts: 406
I just max everything and it runs great. The debris thing might be worth looking into. I get some slowdown when 100s of particulate objects are being created on screen.
PrivateCowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
Join Date: Nov 2008
Reputation: 0
Posts: 34
Great thread I would like to say for starters. Much appreciated for all the tips. I seem however to have a problem where some settings I edit in the ini remain while others revert back to default.

My main problem why I want to edit the ini in the first place is that I get MAJOR stutter (like avg 35-40 - framelimit is removed and stayed removed - then down to 1 or 2 fps for nearly a sec then back to 35-40 for near a sec etc. whenever I look around) and that is at 1024x768, with all settings avail in options disabled and the same happens at 1280x1024 (native) with all but PhysX enabled. Same thing happens when I run anywhere as well. good, bad, good, bad etc.

What I have tried:
X Using the default settings - as upon install - same issues except maxing at 30 fps.
X Disabling crossfire - Pretty much no difference in issues.
X Turning everything down graphically that is available ingame before and after suggested tweaks in this guide - same issues only game looks REALLY ugly. After quitting the game again most of the settings have reset in the ini back to their default values undoing near all ini edits.
X To try solve the resetting settings I tried editting the default setup in the game folder which doesn't get reset upon entering the game but the ini in "my games" does.

Settings that don't get reset are the max and min smoothedframerate values and that seems like it.

My machine is
i5 3.10Ghz 4CPU
6Gb Ram
Win 7 x64
2 xfired AMD/ATI 5750 HD
ASUS P8P67-M Mobo

Finally Caiobrz: Do you know how one would run PhysX off the CPU as you have done on AMD/ATI?

Anyways great job again with the whole guide and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
suicidalcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 04:27 PM   #12
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595

The ini's are reset to the default ones if they are corrupt (example: some setting is wrong, some random character loose etc). Maybe you mistyped something thus trigerring the game to load the defaults.

As for AMD/ATI, PhysX ALWAYS run on CPU mode.

Finally for the stuterring at random places when you move, I have no idea, might be related to the streaming engine of Unreal engine, which would translate to either some incompatibility with the drivers/card, or even fragmented harddrive. ALAS No idea.
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2011, 06:31 AM   #13
Join Date: Nov 2008
Reputation: 0
Posts: 34
Caiobrz: I would like to say you deserve a damn salary from EA for the support and this guide you've given the community.

Thought I would give an update which may seem rather peculiar. I did a test by installing the game on my other machine (Intel dual core 2.8Ghz, ATI/AMD 4870HD 256mb, 4GB RAM) and for reasons unbeknownst to me, it runs like butter. Not a hitch. The first thing I was thinking is if it maybe is trying to run in dx10 or 11 which may murder the fps. I know "AllowD3D10=False" exists in the config but what of dx11? Any thoughts?

Also thanks for the info Caiobrz about PhysX running on cpu for ati/amd - I was under the misconception it was just poorly processed by the gfx card given the different manufacturers.

I uploaded a vid of the stutteriness if you are interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrk_8ZIgKl0 Anyways I have a solution to get the game to work though not ideal. If anyone does have an idea why my main machine runs it so stuttery please do let me know.

On a final note if it helps to know, my friend lent me Bulletstorm to test if its linked to the unreal engine and it runs fine around 35-40 avg fps on my machine with most setting (apart from AA) maxed at 1280x1024.
suicidalcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2011, 07:28 AM   #14
Join Date: Sep 2009
Reputation: 63
Posts: 595
Very weird stuttering, it's too much to be coincidental, but judging by the fact that it seems to happen only when you input something, there might be something peculiar on how the game handles input. I think I read another thread on that but I'm not sure. I would put my bets on something related to input device and drivers. Are you running on mouse/keyboard or controller? Also, in my notebook which has an onboard ATI, I found some catalist processes were causing input stuterring - like, if I was to type a text, it would "stutter" as if the CPU was not being able to handle how fast I type (as if). I tried different CCC versions to no avail until I found out that simply not loading any of the catalist programs/services fixed it (alas, only leaving the driver)

As for AllowD3D10=False, it's an old entry. UnrealEngine is now DX9 or DX11 ONLY. It runs on DX9 if you have XP and Vista (though with some improved DX11 capabilities), and full DX11 on Windows 7. Support for DX10 was dropped so Epic wouldn't need to maintain 3 DX API's, such is true that if you set this to True, the game won't even load (crash)

BTW My machine is a dual core 2.93Ghz with an old GT9600 and runs the game smoothly on 1680x1050 all maxed, PhysX on medium (on CPU wince the GPU is too old to handle it even though it supports PhysX)
Caiobrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2011, 08:50 AM   #15
Join Date: Nov 2008
Reputation: 0
Posts: 34
I'm running with the traditional keyboard and mouse. I would try uninstall the Catalyst control center etc but unfortunately even if it does improve things, I need CCC for work purposes (seems to greatly improves render speeds [architecture]).

Perhaps it is running in dx11 then. The ATI 4870 card is not DX11 compatible and so despite being win7 will have to be running dx9 while the ATI 5750 card is dx11 compatible (although not functional as horrendous performance ensues when on dx11). Had similar issues with Crysis which were resolved by forcing dx9 by adding -dx9 to shortcut. Have tried the same (as well as -d3d9) with Alice to no avail. Is there possibly a different command to force dx9?

At the end of the day I am able to run the game, though with a bit of hassle, but it still runs. Thanks for the help Caiobrz. I really appreciate the help and if I knew how/was able I would give + rep.
suicidalcat is offline   Reply With Quote

Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Game Discussions > # - C > Alice: Madness Returns

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site Content Copyright Valve Corporation 1998-2015, All Rights Reserved.