This article discusses how to optimize a client to get the most out of it.
Clients that run older video cards or systems may experience problems due to low frame rate. Low frame rate ( less then 40fps ) can cause "fake" lag on the client and affect network performance. This in turn can and will affect gameplay.
Many of the graphics settings do affect frame rate. Users should attempt to change these settings in order to increase the frame rate. It should note that performance may degrade if some options are turned "down". One example of this is the texture filtering method. On any system with modern hardware ( from the last 8 years ) it should be set to LinearMipmapLinear as this is what most hardware is optimized for. This is mostly apparent on Apple's OSX operating system.
Other settings such as lighting, shadows, and smoothing can assist in increasing frame-rate. As a last resort the overall resolution of the client can be lowered.
It should be noted that BZFlag may not run on all hardware configurations. Some extremely low quality levels may not offer a playable experience on all maps, most notably those that use meshes.
Time of Day
For instances of maps that are run at "night" it is possible to change the local time of day so that it is easier for a user to see opposing tanks. the - and = keys by default allow a user to change the local time of day. This change does not affect the server.
Some servers can enable options that override this ability and force a client to use the server's time of day.
Many players find it easier to concentrate on the radar when playing rather then the 3d view. Some users will attempt to make the radar as large as possible in order to see the most amount of detail in the game world. The overhead view of the radar affords the player a look at the entire game world in 360 degrees of detail.Radar Shot Length and Radar Shot Size may be adjusted to make bullets more visible on the radar, and therefore easier to dodge. The Enhanced radar option may be enabled to make buildings fade when on a different plane than the tank.
It should be noted that there are cases where the radar may be misleading. Instances where objects are hidden from radar by the map maker, or cases where players or shots may be above or below the player's tank. Server owners also have the option of turning off the radar for specific games.
The use of the radar zoom is also advantageous with players that tend to stay in one spot, also known as "campers". By using the radar zoom keys (4 and 5 by default) a player can quickly line up a long range shot (such as one provided by the Laser Flag) and dispatch the opponent. Often these players have difficulty in reacting to such a long range shot, and fail to doge it.
When using a large radar size, it is often helpful to make the radar as transparent as possible.
Players that wish to have the maximum possible view in the 3d view often turn off the Display Treads option. Players also tend to turn the Track Marks option up as high as possible in order to better see cloaked tanks.
The Lock On feature is one of the most important features to use when a player has the Guided Missie Flag (GM). This alows the shot to seek out the target with out the shooter doing exact aiming. The same can be said for the Look feature, as it will identify the closest tank to a player. This is an extreme advantage in detecting cloaked tanks as they will be identified by name even if they can not be seen.
BZFlag uses 3D positional audio so it is also advantageous to listen for sounds around a player. All tanks, including stealth and cloaked tanks make sounds when driving and jumping. Attentive players often use the clues to assist in locating hidden enemies.
Note that the sounds that come with BZFlag are found in a Data folder and are easily modifiable. Some players may increase the volume of certain quiet sounds and/or completely replace them with easily recognized sounds in order to get a better advantage in hearing hidden tanks.
A player's teammates are also excellent sources of information about a potential enemy's position. The Team-message function (by default "m" can send a message to just your teammates, as opposed to everyone on the server. Players well versed in BZFlag Jargon can quickly locate stealth and cloaked tanks as a team.