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Improve your graphics on Halo: Combat Evolved using the NVIDIA Control Panel | Black Hole Tec

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Improve your graphics on Halo: Combat Evolved using the NVIDIA Control Panel

Submitted by Tom Perkins on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 14:35


I'm the kind of person that plays old games. One of my favourites has to be Halo: Combat Evolved. The mix of storytelling, killer gameplay and awesome music never fails to make for a fun experience.

One of the problems of old games, however, is the graphics. While cutting-edge at its time, Halo has aged. 
When I reinstalled a few days ago for yet another playthrough, I tweaked some settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel; Lo and behold, the graphics improved an unbelievable amount.

The first step is to open the NVIDIA Control Panel. Click on "Manage 3D settings". By default, the utility doesn't recognise Halo's .exe. Under "Select a program to customise", click add, and then navigate to your .exe.


  • Turn Anisotropic Filtering to 16x,
  • Antialiasing - FXAA to On,
  • Antialiasing - Mode to "Enhance the application setting"
  • Antialiasing - Setting to 32x CSAA
  • Texture Filtering - Negative LOD Bias to Allow
  • Texture Filtering - Quality to High Quality

Once this is done, click on Apply in the bottom right hand corner of the window. Close the Control Panel.

Now, navigate to where your halo.exe shortcut is. Right click, select properties. 
In the Target line, write -vidmode xxxx,xxxx,xx where the first xxxx is the width of your display, the second xxxx is the height, and the third is the refresh rate. So for me, it's -vidmode 1920,1080,60. The space between vidmode and the first number needs to be there.
Then, add another parameter of -use21 which affects the shaders.
Click OK.

This should all combine to make Halo an even better experience, and enable it to live on in the gaming world.

Enjoy some screenshots of what a game made in 2001 is capable of.
The textures don't magically become better, and the screen is slightly stretched to match my resolution (and then downscaled to be uploaded), but it's a lot better than the vanilla game.


A tunnel in The Library


The lift in The Library


Right before what was almost the biggest (and last) mistake in his life

Fear the pink mist

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