Reducing Lag

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In fleet battles with 50 or more ships participating, the game starts to lag horribly. It isn't uncommon for people using default configurations to not get a single shot off because they're looking at a 0.2 FPS lag-o-rama and everything dies before they even get a lock on it.

There are a few ways though to mitigate lag. These are the things I do on my Eve client, in the order of effectiveness I have found them to be. ALL machines are different however. Some need a lot of love and care and some are beasts that will chew through FPS like you wouldn't believe. Ever wonder why you get podded all the time while others always get away? These changes will help your machine run Eve faster, making you a more responsive PVPer.

Try all of these changes out for yourself and see what the difference is. Use the in-game FPS monitor (CTRL+F - it's on the Shortcuts menu when you press ESC), to see the effect on your own machine. Also test your FPS in both 'Windowed' and 'Full Screen' modes, some people get faster results Full Screen, personally I get better results in Windowed.

Tips for beating lag (especially turret lockups) in fleet fights

Turn Off Colortags
Short of not being in a fleet at all, this is the best thing you can do to reduce the lag created by the fleet system. Before you do this, make sure you DO NOT HAVE FRIENDLIES ON YOUR OVERVIEW. If you do, you will likely shoot them by accident and Tolon will pod you and you'll have to sing on teamspeak.

Disabling colortags means you have to select targets using your overview only. Do not be tempted to click on ships near you in space, in the heat of battle you will probably not be able to tell if they are friendly or not. Also, do not do this in Empire or you'll be concorded and everyone will laugh at you.

In your overview settings, go to the Appearance tab, then the Colortags tab. Uncheck everything.

Lose the Effects
CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E, CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+T turn off Turret and other Effects, makes a massive difference in fleet combat.
Disable Sound
CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+F12, or press ESC and select the 'Sound' tab, choose the Disable sound option. This also yields some benefits to FPS.
Clean Overview
Remove all but enemies from your overview. More items on overview = more lag. Many Pilots will have settings set to only display some kinds of ships (only Battleships, or only Frigates). Use this if your ship is a one-trick pony, no need to have battleships displayed on your overview if you are flying an anti-frigate cruiser.
Turn Off Brackets
Create a tab with all brackets turned off for grid loading. Removing brackets (the icons your client has to draw over every single ship, drone, and fighter on the grid) will drastically increase performance and reduce grid-loading tag, especially in the presence of large fleets and fighterblobs.
Minimize Overview on Load
When warping into an enemy fleet, minimize your overview completely, open it again when everything around you has loaded. Having overview minimized will make your load time faster.
Zoom out (or don't)!
In Red Moon Rising some of the graphics were optimized for some objects. Essentially if you zoom out past the viewing threshold some of them wont even bother being drawn. Sometimes this yields a marked FPS improvement, other times it doesn’t. An alternative strategy is to zoom right the way in and rotate the point of view so the most ships possible are off screen. Less polygons equals less lag.
Close other Apps
Turn off all programs in the background and kill the apps on your system tray (icons near the clock on the bottom right of your screen. Things like 'Creative CD Tray icon' and rubbish you won't need.
Increase thread priority
Once you have started to run Eve, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and select Task Manager. In task manager goto 'Processes' tab and right click on eve.exe. Change the Thread priority to 'Above Normal' and accept the warning. (Lots of people argue whether this is effective, I've measured it on my system and Above Average gives a couple of frames per second improvement, your call though)
Modify your Prefs.ini File
Eve uses a Prefs.ini file in your game directory to control some settings that you just don't have available through normal menus. One of the settings that's useful for performance:
desktopHeight + desktopWidth; In prefs.ini change the desktopHeight and desktopWidth settings to match your normal desktop settings. I.e. if you're running in 1152x864, then you should match up these values
XP Load Balancing
Foreground Application; Windows XP has an option to allow you to specify how much time to devote to applications, this can be accessed by idiots like us:
-Right Click on 'My Computer' and select 'Properties'
-Click on the 'Advanced' tab
-Under performance select 'Settings'
-Click on the 'Advanced' tab
-Under the 'Processor Scheduling' ensure that your machine is set to 'Adjust for Best Performance of Programs'.
Damage Messages
CCP recently added the ability to turn damage messages off. Turn them off in fleet, this can help reduce the lag you'll feel when your ship is being hit by 100 people at the same time. Do this from the Escape menu in Eve.
Turn off Logging
This option will prevent your machine from creating a local log file of what's going on. Turning this option off can help reduce the lag you experience in fleet.
Turn off the Depth Buffer
Do this by hitting ESC, going to the Graphics tab and selecting "No Depth Buffer" from the drop down menu. Makes all the models semi-see through, seems to help with massive fleet lag. Plus, it's really trippy cause you have no sense of where things are in relation to each other.
See Also
Fighting In Lag