Client Setup for PVP
Rule number 1 for life in 0.0 and PvP combat is that lag kills. Your graphics settings might look cool, but if these settings cause your client to lag when 10 hostiles land on grid and a battle starts, you are dead. The last thing you want is a slide show when you're in a 50 pilot gang going against another 50 pilots. For this reason, before engaging in combat in EVE you must take time to set up your client properly. To reduce lag, 0.0 and other PvP pilots turn off several game effects.
Explore the options you get when hitting "Esc" key to bring up settings menu. When all the bells and whistles are set to "high", the client looks great, but these additional features can drop your frame rate through the floor. Especially when there are a large number of ships on grid (example: a PVP-Basic class). To reduce the chances of this happening we're going to look at some of these options. In this article we will only be dealing with three of these tabs: Display & Graphics, Audio & Chat, and General Settings. Then we will move on to EVE Mail settings.
NOTE: Client performance will vary from computer to computer so use your best judgement when configuring your settings. You know your rig better than we do.
Configuring Client Settings
Display & Graphics
Display Setup: You must decide whether you want to run EVE in windowed, fixed window or fullscreen mode. Fullscreen mode will lighten the CPU load, but makes it more difficult to tab between different windows. Windowed will show the "bars" all around your client, and "fixed window" is windowed mode but no "bars" around it. For Mac Os users the shortcut to switch between fullscreen and windowed client is Apple+Return.
Resolution/Window Size: One thing you will discover very fast with EVE is that you need to utilize the entire screen and the higher the resolution you can support the more room you will have. Run your client at the highest resolution possible, but keep in mind that you also want a good frame rate. This can be a tricky balancing act. You can press Ctrl+F to see your frame per second (FPS) count in game, or use FRAPS to measure it. Generally you want to keep your FPS count between 30 and 60.
The most important setting in this panel is Present Interval. Here you want to select “Interval One”. This will limit your FPS to 60. When sitting in a station your client can have very high FPS count (up to and over 200). This will put a great deal of strain on your video card, which has been reported to lead to overheating and your system shutting down or worse.
Effects: For large scale fleets, turn off "Turret & Launchers", "Effects", "Missile Effects", "Camera Shake", "Ship Explosions", "Trails", "GPU Particles" and "Drone Models".
For small scale fights, however, leaving them on can be beneficial. It will allow you to visually distinguish between different electronic warfare effects, such as when your ship is being webified or warp disrupted, as well as let you to see remote repair and neutralizer/nosferatu effects.
Turn off “Sun Is Occluded by Ships” and turn on "Use LOD". LOD stands for "Level of Detail. Turning it on means that EVE client will use simplified 3d models to show things that are far away from the camera. Enabling LOD can result in smoother graphics.
Turn off "Physically simulated cloth and hair" Turn on "Low quality characters"
Graphic Content Settings: Again, our goal is to have the lowest lag possible, therefore select the lowest settings for all options.
Audio & Chat
Thanks to recent improvements in the game client, audio doesn't impact the client performance nearly as much as it used to. However, if you are continuing to have lag and other performance issues, the following may help a bit.
Audio Engine Settings: Uncheck "Audio Enabled” to turn off sound. The sound in EVE provides more situational awareness, but the load it puts on the CPU can cause the game to lag. For many players turning the sound off when playing the game improves its performance.
Voice Settings: Most alliances and corporations in EVE use either Ventrilo, Mumble or Teamspeak. This way if the server goes down or one of pilots becomes disconnected, he or she will still be able to use voice communications and hear what is being said. EVE Voice however is a nice alternative to use when your Mumble, Vent or TS goes down.
Chat: Logging chat can create extra lag, but the information stored in the logs can be very useful. Whether you want to leave this option on of off is up to you.
General: Find the box that says “Show Session-Change Timer” and place a check on it. You can have other boxes set to whatever you wish. This option will display a small circle at the top left corner on your UI when your session change is on. Mousing your mouse over the circle will display the time left until the change is complete. Being able to see the session change timer is very important in PVP, for example, in a situation where you have to evade a gate camp. Session timer is enabled every time you change or leave your ship, every time you dock or come through a gate, and every time you jump clone or get podded. Refer to the following article if you do not know what the session change timer is Using Session Change Timer.
Help: Uncheck the “Show Damage Notifications” box. "Damage Notifications" are a small pop-up typically seen in the middle of your screen informing you of damage dealt or received every time you take or deal damage. Needless to say, this creates quite a bit of lag in large group PVP situations. This option can be quite useful in small scale PVP and PVE however.
Another important change is to set the “Auto Target Back” option to zero (0) targets. When checked, your ship will automatically target-lock on any ship that locks target onto you first. If your modules are cycled this will make them activate on the locked target. However, often in combat situations the ship that locks you first is not the one you want to be shooting at. In 0.0 or any other kind of PvP you will be choosing targets much more intelligently, not letting them choose you. The ship locking you might be a friend simply trying to test locking time (or a logistics pilot in your gang). If your weapons are cycled you might end up killing your friend's ship. There are also several tricks used in empire space that can get you CONCORDed if your auto-targeter is enabled. It is a good idea to have this option turned off.
Layout: You can set this up any way you like.
Configuring EVE Mail
This last setting is located in your EVE Mail window. To open EVE Mail, look at the left side of your EVE client and find the third icon down from the top. Click it to open.
Once your mailbox is open, click the triangle in the top left corner to access settings, and set 'CSPA charge' to 0. This means people don't have to pay money to invite you to fleets, etc.
Next, right click on the Inbox again and turn blink off. Whenever your ship gets destroyed you will receive an email stating the amount of ISK that has been transferred to your wallet via insurance. This will prompt your mail box to blink, which causes a small amount of lag.
It is also a good idea to turn off the blinking effects of your wallet. Each time your ship gets blown up, you will receive some ISK from its insurance. If your wallet settings are set to make your wallet blink, it will blink upon this event and cause a small amount of lag for your client. In turn, it will make it more difficult for you to enter warp with your pod and avoid getting pod-killed.
If you find that your EVE client loads slowly and is persistently being bugged by various small bugs it might be time to clear your cache. It is a good idea to periodically clean it out in any case. To do this press "ESC" button and go to "Reset Settings" tab. Find "Clear all cache files" option and click on "Clear". You will have to restart your client after this.
After applying all of these setting, your EVE client will be as lag free as possible. If you are still experiencing large amount of lag in PVP you may have to upgrade your computer.