Far Cry was the graphics benchmark back in the day. With a little bit of tweaking, it can still look amazing for a game that was made in 2004.
Our biggest ace in the hole here is FCAM, or the Far Cry Addon Mod. It updates textures, makes things a bit more stable, and allows you to skip cutscenes.
Download and install to your steam\steamapps\common\farcry\mods folder, creating it if it doesn’t exist.
This is all you’ll need — don’t bother with downloading the 64-bit Far Cry pack, the executable causes stability issues and all the texture/detail bonuses are included in FCAM anyway.
Known FCAM bugs
There are a few bugs I’ve run across through my FCAM plays, I’m unsure if these affected Far Cry as well:
- The OICW is often invisible the first time you equip it until you fire your first shot.
- On the Swamp level, Val occasionally can’t find her way to the buggy to drive after you get in. Reloading the game a few times should help.
- On the Factory level, the forklift can go through the ceiling of the elevator when the elevator goes down. Don’t worry, Val will still be able to retrieve it.
- Occasionally Val looks like she’s holding an invisible weapon. She’ll still shoot when she needs to.
- Long distance texture sharpness can’t be adjusted.
And this particular rock texture has some weird, offset overlay effect going on that messes with your eyes:
It looks like FCAM is no longer being updated, so we can only hope someone finds solutions to these issues. Or that the Far Cry 2010 mod gets finished by, er, 2020.
Configuring graphics for highest settings
Next we want to tweak the graphics a little beyond the easy settings the configuration tool allows. These settings worked exceptionally well on a GeForce GTX 670 4GB card, although there can be slowdown if too many rockets explode at once in the player’s field of view (only noticed this on one level).
Head to your steam\steamapps\common\farcry folder and run FarCryConfigurator.exe. There’s a good chance Auto Detect will completely mess things up, so let’s fix things.
Game options tab
Set Machine to Very High, check Enable Gore.
Video options tab
Here you’ll want to set Screen Resolution to whatever your monitor can support, Anti-aliasing to high, and make sure Full Screen and Vertical Sync are checked.
Video options (advanced) tab
Click the Very High button, then hit the Customize button. On the Texture Quality tab, ensure r_TexResolution, r_TexSkyResolution and r_TexBumpResolution are set to 0, the highest setting.
Head over to the Anisotropic Filtering Level tab and change the value of r_Texture_Anisotropic_Level to 16.
Click the right arrow button until you reach the Water Quality tab, and set r_Quality_Reflection to 1, so the water reflects everything. There’s obviously a lot of settings here that you may wish to play with; the tool does a decent job of explaining the settings, but if you need more the Far Cry Tweak Guide provides greater information.
Click OK, head to the Sound tab and make sure you’re set up correctly, then click OK again.
Grab this systemcfgoverride.cfg (right click, Save Link As), and put it in your steam\steamapps\common\farcry folder. This will tweak view distances, object pop-up issues, corpse remaining times and a few other options that should be nicely tuned to minimise glitching.
Now we want to tweak the developer mode a little to update some old commands and give you a little more freedom. Rename steam\steamapps\common\farcry\mods\FCAM\devmode.lua to something like steam\steamapps\common\farcry\mods\FCAM\devmode.lua.original, then save this file in its place.
Now when you run FCAM (steam\steamapps\common\farcry\mods\FCAM\FCAM.EXE, make sure you use Launch FCAM FarCry – Devmode to get access to all the extra options.
These in-game keys are mapped to the following:
.: Enable high detail polys at larger view distances (will have to be done with every level load)
F1: Switch between first and third person view.
F2: Skip to the next checkpoint.
F3: Toggle developer fly mode.
F4: Toggle developer fly mode no clipping.
F5: Quick Save.
F6: Quick Load (should work anywhere in the game, even during the intros).
F8: Toggle debug mode.
F9: Save position.
F10: Warp to saved position.
F11: Toggle AI info.
u: Give all weapons.
i: Give binoculars, flashlight and heat-vision goggles.
o: Give all ammo.
p: Give all grenades.
End: Rambo mode (Set health and armor to full, give all weapons, ammo, grenades and equipment).
Insert: Stealth mode (Enemies can’t see or hear you).
Backspace: God mode (Health will go down, but be restored when you “die”).
Home: Screenshot mode (HUD disappears).
The increase speed cheat in previous devmode.lua files doesn’t work with the Steam version of Far Cry.