Red Faction Quick Start Guide

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Welcome to the Red Faction Quick Start Guide!

Quick Links


  • Recommended game version/client: Dash Faction
    • Dash Faction is the de facto standard Red Faction client for all purposes. It resolves countless bugs with the game, fixes virtually all compatibility issues with modern computers, and adds many very useful features. Furthermore, the Red Faction Campaign, as well as many custom levels and mods, simply won't function properly without Dash Faction. There is no downside to using Dash Faction, and it is highly recommended you install it if you wish to play or host servers for Red Faction. Dash Faction is open source and actively developed by rafalh.
    • You can read more about Dash Faction here: Dash Faction
    • You can find instructions on how to download and install Dash Faction here: Dash Faction Installation Guide

  • Join the community! Red Faction Community Discord
    • The community is approachable, and very welcoming to both new and old school players alike. If you like Red Faction, you'll fit right in.
    • Join by clicking:


In-Game Settings

  • Game Options
    • Difficulty Level - Set difficulty for single player. Affects damage taken from enemy weapon fire, amount of ammo/health/armor obtained from pickups, and duration of countdown timers. Also configurable in-game via the difficulty console command. (in Dash Faction)
    • Show 1st Person Weapon - Toggle visibility of first person weapon models.
    • Autoswitch Weapons - Toggle autoswitch for non-explosive weapons (as per priority specified in Autoswitch Priority).
    • Autoswitch Explosives - Toggle autoswitch for explosive weapons (as per priority specified in Autoswitch Priority).
    • Autoswitch Priority - Priority for weapon autoswitch (if turned on, see above). When you pick up a new weapon, if autoswitch is turned on and the new weapon is higher in the priority list, switch to the new weapon. Move up and Move down move the selected weapon in the priority list.
  • Video Options
    • Detail Level - Set video options preset. Available options are Low, Medium, High, and Custom. Automatically changes to Custom if you edit any settings manually.
    • Shadows - Toggle visibility of circle shadows under enemy player models.
    • Decals - Toggle visibility of bullet and blast decals on geometry.
    • Dynamic lighting - Toggle visibility of dynamic lighting (ie. muzzle flashes; light emitted from projectiles; glows coming from players with Damage Amplifier, Invulnerability, and CTF flags)
    • Texture resolution - Set texture resolution. Available options are Low, Medium, and High. High renders textures at their native resolution, medium scales them down by a factor of 2, low scales them down by a factor of 4.
    • Character detail - Set model detail level. Despite label, this option sets detail level for all models, not just characters. Available options are Low, Medium, and High.
    • Filtering - Set filtering level. Available options are bilinear and trilinear. Also configurable in-game via the trilinear_filtering console command. (in Dash Faction)
    • Gamma/brightness - Sets gamma for the game window.
  • Sound Options
    • Sound Effects Volume - Set volume for any sounds that are not considered music or messages.
    • Music Volume - Set volume for all music tracks in game. Note that in come custom multiplayer maps, music is configured to use Sound Effects Volume instead.
    • Messages Volume - Set volume for HUD radio messages (from Eos, Hendrix, Capek, etc.)
  • Controls Options
    • Mouse Sensitivity - Set sensitivity modifier for mouse input. Also configurable in-game via the ms console command. (in Dash Faction)
    • Mouse Y-Invert - Invert Y axis for mouse input.
    • Binds - Set available binds. Double click on a bind to set it, or select it and click Change Binding.
    • Default - Reset all available binds to their default settings.

Dash Faction Options

Dash Faction options presets. Game executable, Adapter & Resolution have been blanked out, since those three fields will be different for each player.
  • Access the Dash Faction Options panel by clicking the "Options" button in the Dash Faction Launcher before launching the game.
  • Common presets are displayed to the right. The individual options are explained below, but feel free to just replicate either the Best Graphics or Best Performance presets to the right.
    • Game executable - Path to your Red Faction game executable. This is normally configured during Dash Faction installation, and you should only need to change it if you've moved your Red Faction installation directory. You can change it by clicking Browse...
    • Graphics
      • Resolution - Set the resolution of the game client. Presets are available by clicking the dropdown arrow, but you can also manually type in a custom resolution if you wish. (ie. 3840x2160 for 4k displays) Dash Faction will automatically adjust the HUD for whichever resolution you pick. It's generally recommended to set this to match your desktop resolution.
      • Color Depth - Color depth of the game. In virtually all cases, you should set this to 32 bits. 16 bits causes issues on some systems, and Dash Faction will not let you set it to 16 bits if it is expected to cause issues on your system.
      • Adapter - Select your graphics adapter. It's unlikely you'll ever need to adjust this option.
      • Window Mode - Select Full Screen, Windowed, or Stretched (no border windowed). It's generally recommended to keep this at Full Screen for best performance, but windowed and stretched are also fully functional if you'd rather play in one of those modes.
      • Rendering Cache - Recommended to set to 32MB.
      • Anti-Aliasing - Smooths out sharp edges at the cost of performance. For best performance, keep this off. For better graphical quality, turn it on. NOTE: Older Dash Faction versions experienced severe framerate drops while recording the game via OBS after enabling this option. Those issues should be fully resolved as of Dash Faction 1.6.1.
      • FPS Limit - Set the maximum framerate you wish your game to run at. Usually best to keep at 240, but configurable between 10 - 240. Also configurable in-game via the maxfps console command.
      • Vsync - Wait for vertical sync. Reduces tearing, but caps your framerate at your monitor refresh rate (ie. 60Hz, 144Hz, etc.) and may cause input lag. Unless tearing is noticeable and unbearable for you, it's recommended to keep this off.
      • Fast animations - Performance option that skips rendering every second frame in animations, making them appear more "choppy". The performance improvement on most modern systems is negligible, but technically having this option on is a performance improvement. If you have a slower system, you may notice a significant performance improvement by turning this option on.
      • High model details - Expands the distance required for model level of detail (LOD) transitions by a factor of 10. Once enabled, this can be controlled in-game via the lod_distance_scale console command. NOTE: As of Dash Faction 1.6.1, this option replaces the previous "Disable LOD models" option, which fully disabled LOD transitions for meshes, meaning models were always displayed at the maximum detail level regardless of distance.
      • Anisotropic Filtering - Turns on Anisotropic Filtering in the game. This is a complex concept, so rather than describe it here, I'll direct you to Wikipedia's article on it if you wish to read about how it works. For Red Faction, just know that it improves graphical quality at the cost of potential performance impact.
      • High Scanner Resolution - Increases the resolution of the Rail Driver thermal scanner, so thermal signatures of players and vehicles look nicer.
      • High Monitor Resolution - Increases the resolution of camera images displayed on security monitors (single player only).
      • True Color Textures - If ticked, textures render with proper native color depth. Default behaviour (unticked) is classic RF behaviour - all textures are converted to 16 bit when rendered in-game.
      • Big HUD - Render larger HUD elements. Highly recommended when running the game at high resolutions (ie. anything above 1024x768). Also configurable in-game via the bighud console command.
    • Multiplayer
      • Multiplayer Tracker - Tracker to query for a server list when going to the multiplayer "Join Game" screen for clients. For servers, this sets the tracker your server will be listed on. Defaults to, which is the default community multiplayer tracker. Recommended to keep at this value, and hitting the Reset button will reset it to this.
      • Force Port - If checkbox is ticked and port number is specified, run the server or game client on the specified UDP port. If unticked, game client will run at a randomized high port, and dedicated server will run on UDP port 7755 (unless specified via command line when launching the server).
      • Rate - Maximum transfer rate for network communication (in bits per second). Highly recommended to set this to a very high value (eg. 200000)
    • Miscellaneous
      • Use DirectInput - Use DirectInput for mouse input, rather than classic RF input. Improves accuracy of mouse input. You can read more about DirectInput on Wikipedia.
      • EAX Sound - Enables DirectSound3D in all cases, and enables EAX sound effects where present in levels. You can read more about EAX on Wikipedia.
      • Keep launcher open - Tick this box to keep the Dash Faction launcher open after launching the game. Default behaviour (unticked) is to close the launcher when launching the game.
      • Allow overriding game files by packages in user_maps - Allows you to replace default game assets (ie. sounds, models, textures, etc.) with customized assets. In a case where an asset file contained within a .vpp packfile in user_maps/multi or user_maps/single has the same filename as a core game asset file, if this box is ticked, the game will prefer the file from user_maps. Note that you cannot use this functionality to load customized .tbl files - those must be modified via conversion mods. This option is required to be on for clientside mods to function. Default behaviour (unticked) is to not allow such mods. You can read more about how to use clientside mods in the guide: Installing Clientside Mods (RF1)
      • Run game at reduced speed when window doesn't have focus - Tick this box to run the game at a drastically reduced framerate when minimized or out of focus. Improves system performance while the game is running in the background.
      • Game language - Choose game interface/subtitle language from stock supported languages. Available options are English, French, German, and Auto. Auto selects the game language automatically based on the presence of game files specific to certain regions.
      • Fast Start - Always skip playing THQ/Volition logo animations when launching the game.
      • FPS counter - Display framerate counter in the top right hand corner of the screen.
      • Linear pitch - Tick this box to enable linear pitch camera movement. Default behaviour (unticked) applies RF classic acceleration to camera pitch. Without linear pitch enabled, mouse sensitivity is reduced gradually when aiming up and down.
      • Scoreboard animations - Tick this box to enable animations when the multiplayer scoreboard is shown/hidden ("Multiplayer Stats" control, default bind is TAB).
      • Level Sounds - Default behaviour (ticked) plays sound effects in maps. Untick this option to disable map sound effects (like ambient sounds, etc.). The in-game levelsounds console command allows percentile volume configuration of level sounds, rather than simply the true/false choice available in the Options panel.