Crysis: Enable Very High (DX10) Settings in XP, New updated hack

This hack should work for Crysis Warhead Enthusiast Settings, because it is using the same cryengine 2!

Enable the “Very High” quality setting in Crysis and Crysis Warhead on your dx9 or dx10 compatible hardware without having Vista and DX10 (DirectX 10)!

After building a new PC-rig, I had to try it out with the best PC game on the market today. At least as far as near photorealisticgraphics goes, Crysis. Under Windows XP (DirectX9) you can’t select the “Very High” settings in the graphics menu. These are reserved for Vista (DX10). However I don’t know if this is because of a Vista marketing thing, but the Very High quality can easily be achieved under Windows XP (DX9) , replacing a few textfiles in the Crysis Folder. (CRYSISGameConfigCVarGroups)

ThisΒ  has been known for quite some time. What it does isthat it changes crysis “High” settings to have “Very High” quality. The old version of the hack just changed this. This meant that there was no way of selecting the old “High” setting, because “High” was now “Very High” and the step below was Medium.

My version of the hack changes the “Medium” setting to high quality, and the “Low” setting to medium quality.

You are right, then there is no way of achieving low quality anymore. But if you are interested in “Very High” settings, youare probably not going to want to run that on a machine that only can display low settings…

Here is some further technical explanation:

I did a remake of the Cvar files. Instead of just copying the high settings to [3] I also renamed old [3] to [2], old [2] to [1] and removed old [1]

This way what used to be:

High is Very High
(This is all the candy!)

Medium is High
(What used to be our highest setting is now activated when we choose medium)

Low is Medium
(It doesnt go any lower since there are only 3 steps in XP i had to get rid of low settings alltogether)

Before with the old cVars “hack” if I chose to lower some settings, I actually had to go two steps to medium (from very high) now since meduim corresponds to high it’s only one step in that sense. There will of course be no Low settings, since they are now like the old medium, but I think anyone who uses thisk hack does not need to have anything set at low

Before we had 4 2 1 now we have 4 3 2 Which makes more sense.

Just like the original hack, I didn’t touch the MotionBlur file which is set to 1 (Very High Would be 3)


It seems to work fine, these are screenshots taken at 1280*800 scaled to 50% and auto contrast corrected with Microsoft office image editor to sharpen them a bit.

This is Low (as standard Medium):

This is Medium (as standard High):

This is High (the tweaked mode Very High):

This means that if you install these cvars files, just go back to the menu and select “Medium” settings and everything will be just as it was previously on “High”, consequently setting something to “Low” will correspond to the old “Medium” setting.

I think you get the point

Here is the zip-file with the cvars

Unzip to the folder CRYSISGameConfigCVarGroups

“CRYSIS” represents the install folder for crysis. It might vary. Thx Jonno.

If you think this was helpful, consider buying me a cup of coffee:


Disclaimer: I’ve had one report of losing savegames after changing the cvars files. This makes no sense at all, because the two things don’t have anything remotely to do with eachother. Sometimes updating the game with a PATCH might make you appear you lost your savegames, just see that you load the game with the same profile as before and your savegames will be back. However this hack only changes some graphics card settings and should in no way make you lose your savegames. But of course, you should use common sense when editing gamefiles. If you don’t know what you’re doing don’t mess with it, and buy a console πŸ˜‰

If you want a free way to automatically backup your savegames try 2GB Free Online Backup – Mozy


44 thoughts on “Crysis: Enable Very High (DX10) Settings in XP, New updated hack

  1. hey i’m having a problem with your hack thing when i put this in the cvar groups thing like you said and start it up everything works except for the shaders which say custom when i try to switch them to high….do you have any ideas on what isn’t working?

  2. Hi!

    Yes, i just checked the same thing happens for me, however It’s working. There is probably some sort of check that triggers the custom if some value is not according to reference. The motion blur is still only as good as High, because that was the way it was in the original hack so I decided to let that be. This is probably why the game reacts, and tells us it’s “custom” and not high. It shouldnt matter performance and Image quality wise.

  3. This hack made my save game disappear and i had to start all over again. You should of told us to instal this before we start playing the game so we dont have to start over again! sheesh!

  4. Or you can just get a computer with new hardware and stop being cheap and get vista, Seriously I have vista and have not had 1 error the computer is brand new custom built, If your having problems then you have an old computer or bought it premade from dell or another company which is B A D

  5. Yep, well I’ve always built my own computers since the 1990’s and I really like XP, so this is a good way to go. DX10 is just a gimmick basically to help promote Vista. I’m not switching to vista until I really need to. My computer could run Vista, but usually games are slower in vista, it has a much higher system overhead, and what I’ve seen of the interface logic and usability I don’t like it :). And if you want cool fx on your computer, go for ubuntu and beryl πŸ˜‰ Which works with a 32mb opengl card and 450mhz cpu. Now that’s programming!

  6. NateMan, i have no idea why your savegames disappeared. This should not happen, It didn’t happen for me and as long as you dont mess with any other settings you should be fine. The only thing this hack does is change settings for the graphics card. Did you update crysis or something?

  7. thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!thank you!!

    this is the best mod ever!!

  8. azz πŸ™‚ thanx. Well it’s just a workaround for unnecessarily limiting image quality just to promote vista “you have to have vista to play at very high!” -Yeah right… πŸ˜‰

  9. GreaT jOB MATE!!!! your my new hero

    keep it up. always room for improvement and maybe add the way your meant to install them on the website, i was confused and had to go skimming my system files.


  10. YES…… PERFECT…. in xp 64bits the game run much but MUCH better than in vista…. and with this hack….. runs beautiful too, great work …. suck this microsoft vista…… i used to play crysis in vista in high settings with 4x antialising and vsync to get very god fps ….. in very high ..runs god but you can feel the lag now in xp 64bits runs in very high , 8x antialising vsync whit no lag at all…….. thanks so much

  11. Ok, Mr. Gnome, it works just fine.

    I didn’t have time to look for other methods and ways of enabling the very high graphics on XP, but I think yours is the easiest way of doing it.

    Do you think the same could be done to the CVAR files in the upcoming Crysis Warhead? And what about the well-known cheat lines, do you think they will stay the same?

    You can e-mail me if you like.

    Thank you for your help!

  12. Thanks Mr. Gnome,

    This hack is Fantastic, as it work on both full games (Crysis & Warhead).

    I have a 42″ TV that I use as a Monitor for my HTPC via DVI to HMDI cable, as my TV supports 1920×1080 resolution.

    I like to run my games at 1920×1080 resolution with my TV, and having bough previously an 8800GT 512mb VGA Card, it would only give a max resolution of 1280×720 in DX10, yet with slow fps.

    The only way I could play crysis at 1920×1080 resolution was to switch in to DX9, but then again, it would only give me HIGH setting and not VERY HIGH.

    I though that if I buy the new 260 GTX it would give a much better resolution selection in DX10, but boy was I wrong, it made a slight different in DX9 but in DX10 not much at all, yet would only give me a max it would only give a max resolution of 1280×720 in DX10.

    I figured that Highter resolutions only work with SLI options, and not single cards, because of my cousins machine.

    Your Hack solved my concern, as now I couldnt care less for DX10, it runs beautiful in DX9 at full 1920×1080 resolution.


    My System Spec:
    Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit SP1
    AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor
    8GB RAM at 800mhz
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260

  13. Disregard my previous comments, just read kwazy ivan’s comment.

    I’ll run this tonight. I have an AMD 64 X2 dual core 5400+ BE OC’d to 2.9ghz only (due to my power supply being limited to 500W) one eVGA 9800gtx and 4GB corsair RAMS at CAS 4-4-4-12. Let’s see if i can run this with your hack.

    Also, I’m running Crysis on High settings with 2X AA with no lag. (ok maybe once every 30 mins) running it at 1900×1200

    I’ll keep you guys posted.

  14. Every time I try this hack (this version of the cvars and others) Crysis crashes. It works at first but then if I minimize or change any settings, even non graphics related ones, crysis crashes to desktop and won’t start again. I have to reinstall. Returning the original cvars doesn’t work either.

    Any one have this problem or a fix? Thanks

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  16. Hi! Probably an extremely stupid question but im very new to all this and not completely sure how to work this download? Ive extracted all the files and placed them in my ‘Crysis’ folder?
    Is that utterly wrong, because it doesnt seem to work?

  17. Hi C!

    The files that need to be replaced are in the CRYSIS\Game\Config\CVarGroups folder. So extract them there and overwrite the files there. Before that make a copy of the cvargruops folder so you can restore the original files if needed.



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  20. I’m a little late to the party, but awesome hack, man! I’ve been wondering for a while why I couldn’t run the game on very high, especially considering I’m running dual GTX 285’s. With this hack, both Crysis and Warhead work on very high settings. Any word on whether Crysis 2 is gonna pull the same crap? And if it is, would you attempt to mod it? Or would you just suggest I move to Windows 7? Thanks again!

  21. Pingback: Was Crysis a masterpiece ahead of its time? | KitGuru

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