FFXI Graphics  

Original guide written by Pergatory of Asura.

Welcome to the wide world of graphics in FFXI. Now, You are probably wondering why this information will help you as a player, and why we feel the need to tell you. Have you ever been browsing the forums, and suddenly were face to face with the most brilliant looking Screen Shot? Those colors! Those lines! You could see everything! Unlike that blurry mess you see on your screen every day when you log into Final Fantasy XI.

It's possible to fix your blurry mess. It's possible for YOU to also have a beautiful gaming experience with Final Fantasy XI. No, We cannot buy you a whole new top of the line system. But we can give you some info that could change your gaming experience for good!

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  • Rendering computer graphics is the process of producing the pixels of an image from a higher-level description of its components.


  • The 3-D environments in Final Fantasy XI are made up of a large number of simple geometric polygons. It's easy to identify a polygon because its face will always be flat and its edges will always be straight.


  • This term refers to a 2-D image which is applied to the face of a polygon in order to give it the appearance of having a texture rather than a single solid color on a perfectly flat surface. Textures often start out as complicated 3-D design, and are then rendered out into a 2-D image during the game's design phase. A pre-rendered texture is repeated over the surface to create the illusion that the objects being rendered have more detail than than they actually do.


  • A pixel is the smallest unit of display on a display device like a monitor or television. A pixels size can vary, but this is dependent on your displays size and resolution.


  • All modifications to the settings of the game described in this guide will be done with Windows Registry Editor. To access this: Click on Start > Run > type "regedit" > click "OK". The configuration for Final Fantasy XI is stored in the following registry key for North American Users(Having the NA version of the game installed):
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PlayOnlineUS\SquareEnix\FinalFantasyXI in the US.

  • The configuration for Final Fantasy XI is stored in the following registry key for European users.
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PlayOnlineEU\SquareEnix\FinalFantasyXI

  • Before making any changes to the above key, we recommended that you create a backup. To create a backup, select the key and click on "File > Export...". Choose a location to save the ".REG" file and remember where you save it. In the event that you alter the registry, and Final Fantasy XI will not work, just double-click on the ".REG" file(the copy that you saved) to revert back to the original settings.

  • All values given for altering the registry are in decimal (base 10), while the default for the registry is hexadecimal (base 16). When modifying numeric values, please make sure all values you enter are in decimal. If not, any values greater than 9 that you input will be saved incorrectly.

The following is a quick reference for the values found in the above registry key:

Value Description
0000 MIP mapping
0001 Screen resolution width (in pixels)
0002 Screen resolution height (in pixels)
0003 Background resolution width (in pixels)
0004 Background resolution height (in pixels)
0007 Music and Sound effects (0=Off, 1=On)
0011 Environmental Animation (0=Off, 1=Normal, 2=Smooth)
0017 Bump Mapping (0=Off, 1=On)
0018 Texture Compression (0=High, 1=Low, 2=Uncompressed)
0019 On-Screen Maps (0=Compressed, 1=Uncompressed)

Overlay Graphics Resolution (Screen Size)

  • The screen resolution is defined in values 0001 and 0002 of the registry key. It represents the physical number of pixels displayed on your screen. Value 0001 represents the width of the screen and value 0002 represents the height of the screen. When a resolution of "800x600" is referenced, this means 800 pixels wide, 600 pixels tall. If you wish to run your game in 800x600 resolution, you would set value 0001 to "800" and 0002 to "600". As mentioned above, please make sure you enter the values in decimal, not hexadecimal. We recommend that you use the FFXI Config Utility for specifying this value.

  • This can only be set to a limited number of supported resolutions. It is important your video card and your monitor support the screen resolution, or Final Fantasy will not run.

  • This is NOT to be confused with the background (3-D) resolution. This is the resolution at which the game will be displayed on the screen, and has a greater impact on things such as menus, chat logs, and other 2-D artifacts than it does on the 3-D environment. This setting should be adjusted more based on what feels natural than what provides more detail. For players with an LCD monitor, it is usually best to use the native resolution of that monitor (the highest allowed, often 1280x1024). The "native resolution" is the physical resolution of the monitor, if you try to display a lower resolution then it will earn you slightly better performance but the image will be distorted in order to display it on your monitor. This is not the case for CRT monitors, which can actually change their physical resolution to match the computer's output.

  • The following screen resolutions are generally supported by all monitors and video cards:

  • 640 x 480
  • 800 x 600
  • 1024 x 768
  • 1280 x 1024
  • 720 x 576
  • 800 x 480
  • 1280 x 768
  • 1440 x 900
  • 1680 x 1050
  • 1920 x 1200
  • 720 x 480
  • 1280 x 720
  • 1920 x 1080

Background Resolution

  • The background resolution is the resolution at which the 3-D graphics in the game are rendered. Usually pc games will render the background resolution at the same as the screen resolution. Final Fantasy XI is completely different as it renders the 3D environment at it's own, independent, resolution.This is obviously the easiest way to make your graphics look better on your screen.


  • This is the process by which a 3-D image is rendered below the screen's resolution and then expanded to fit the screen. The end result is an image that is poor in quality because the system is only working with the information contained in 1 pixel and trying to span that across multiple pixels.


  • This happens when an image is rendered in higher detail and then shrunken to the smaller screen. The end result is that for each pixel on screen, there is more than one pixel of information to draw from, so the system is able to average the information out and create a much more accurate image.
Bsphilar of Ragnarok
Bsphilar of Ragnarok
These pictures shows possible background resolutions:
  • 1)Half the screen resolution
  • 2)Matched to screen resolution
  • 3)Double the screen resolution.

  • This setting will not effect the menus that you see on a 2 dimensional level. This only effects 3D images.

MIP Mapping

  • MIP mapping is a setting that decreases the render quality for textures that are farther away. Since the objects are distant, they are likely to appear smaller on the screen and less likely to be the focus of your attention. Therefore, performance can be increased by turning this on at a minimal cost to the quality of the image.

  • In fact quite often this blurring effect can make the image appear more realistic, as our eyes also tend to have trouble providing great detail about objects farther away (due to the increased amount of air between your eye and the object), while this is not an issue when looking at distant objects on a computer monitor.

      • The possible settings are:

  • 0 (off)
***No MIP mapping. Distant objects will be rendered in full detail.
  • 1 (on)
***MIP mapping on. Objects at a certain distance will have less detail, and textures at a certain distance will be slightly more blurry.

  • Note that you can actually use settings higher than 1 here. This will not change the distance at which environmental objects (trees and such) have less detail, but it will increase the blurring effect of distant textures. The higher the number, the closer the blurring will occur.

  • The example below illustrates the effect of the MIP map setting on distant objects. The barrels in the example are just far enough away that a few steps in either direction can cause them to cross the invisible MIP map barrier that causes them to be rendered with less detail.

Insert pic

  • The example below illustrates the effect of the MIP map setting on distant textures. The difference is very difficult to see even with a high level of oversampling.

Insert Pic

  • With MIP map setting on, you will constantly notice the level of detail being adjusted as you move around in your environment. The optimal setting is one to where you don't notice the changes unless you are watching for them.

Environmental Animation

  • This is a pretty simple setting, and its name pretty much says it all. This determines the framerate at which objects in the environment move, and is defined in the registry value 0011. The possible settings are:

  • 0 (off)
      • No animation. The trees and bushes will not sway in the wind, torch flame will not flicker, etc.
  • 1 (normal)
      • The trees and bushes will sway but their motion will not be smooth. They will move a little, stop, move a little, stop, in very rapid succession, making the movement appear unnatural.
  • 2 (smooth)
      • The framerate will be increased so that the motion is more natural.

      • This setting will not have a huge impact on gameplay, and turning the setting down will not free up many system resources. For that reason, it is advised to leave this on 2 (smooth).


Bump Mapping

  • Bump mapping is a process by which the textures of an object are given the appearance of 3-D depth. Normally a texture is created with a preset light source in a preset position, so that no matter how you shine light on an object the shadows and highlights of the texture will always be the same. Bump mapping assigns limited 3-D attributes to the texture so that the shadows and highlights can be generated with consideration for the various light sources in the environment. See the figure below for an example:

Insert Pic

Texture Compression

  • Texture Compression has three settings. High, Low, and Uncompressed. The only textures this settings actually effects are cloud and light flares. Honestly whichever setting you choose you are going to have a hard time telling the difference. The high settings compresses both flares and clouds, while low just uses compressed textures for clouds.

  • On-screen Maps
    • This has two settings. Compressed and Uncompressed. Default is set to compressed. I assume this is for the 2D textures displayed in the overlay. Or it may the 2D map textures shown when typing /map, /rmap, /bmap, etc. Clarification is needed!

Final Fantasy XI

Category: Final Fantasy XI
This page last modified 2010-02-16 22:15:35.