- 1 Loadout Strategies
- 2 Important Advice for New Players
- 3 Common Problems and Fixes
- 4 Performance Tweaks
- 5 Misc Game Tips and Tricks
- 6 How to Stream/Record Onward
AP and Body Armor
AP ammo and body armor are almost always worth using. You carry more ammo if you use FMJ, but usually you won't need it. Being able to deal torso damage through body armor—which is extremely common—is a very big deal. While most other players use AP ammo as well, body armor is still very powerful. Automatic riflemen, pistols, and knives will rarely break through armor, not to mention those that simply choose to run with FMJ. FMJ can be used in place of AP fairly safely on Tanker—due to the fact that nearly every player will be running night vision and not body armor—but even then the extra ammo isn't usually useful. If you're fairly certain that the other team is all running AP, then body armor can be replaced with something else, but taking off AP ammo is a huge risk.
General Marsoc Weapons
The Marsoc armory has a selection of great, versatile weapons. The AK5C and MK-18 stand out quite well with 30-round magazines, full-auto and semi-auto firing modes, access to the Marsoc's amazing red dot sight, drop free magazines (one button to remove magazine), lock-open bolts (one button to chamber a new round after running a magazine dry and putting a new one in), and access to AP ammo. With a red dot sight and foregrip, these weapons are extremely powerful. When it comes to pistols, the M9 and G17 are both excellent pistols with large magazines (15 rounds for M9 and 17 rounds for G17) and usable iron sights.
General Volk Weapons
The Volk armory isn't quite as great as that of their enemy. Most of their rifles lack both drop free magazines and lock-open bolts, so reloading tends to be slower and more difficult with most Volk weapons. The rifle that stands out easily from the rest of the Volk weapons is the specialist's G36, which has a 30-round magazine, full-auto and semi-auto firing modes, a lock-open bolt, and access to AP ammo. It doesn't have a drop free magazine, and its sights are a bit high above the barrel—which can make it difficult to shoot over cover at times—but it is quite potent when combined with a foregrip and holographic sight. Another commonly used Volk weapon is the SKS Rifleman, which—while it is limited to a 20-round magazine and semi-auto—has shown itself to be a great tool. The best pistol for Volk is easily the USP, which has by far the largest magazine capacity of the Volk handguns and also great iron sights.
Weapons to Avoid
First of all—due to how powerful guns are in this game—anything can potentially be used effectively, and so you may see a player doing well with any weapon. With that having been said, there are weapons that put you at a disadvantage.
- The MP5 currently shoots much lower than it is sighted in for. At the shooting range, you can feel this at even the closest target. To hit the furthest targets, you nearly have to aim at the skyline.
- The P90 doesn't shoot as low as the MP5, but it still shoots noticeably low. This weapon at least has the advantage of a 50-round magazine, but you're better off using something that is sighted in correctly.
- Both shotguns are currently the worst weapons in the game. This will change, but they only have access to slugs; these slugs do the same damage as the assault rifles, but you have to deal with a lot of bullet drop, considerable recoil, a small ammo capacity, and a tedious reload process. Both shotguns also seem to have problems with a bug that causes them to hit something in front of their barrel, effectively cancelling the shot.
- The MK-14 Rifleman is a very odd weapon. Every Marsoc rifleman weapon is very powerful, with the exception of the MK-14 Rifleman. It has a tiny 15-round capacity and lacks both features that make reloading faster. If you use AP ammo—which you should—you will have a whopping total of 30 rounds of ammunition with the MK-14 Rifleman, which you can easily burn through. UPDATE: This weapon with FMJ now has the advantage of quickly breaking body armor, but this weapon still usually isn't worth using, especially with AP.
- Pistols are in an odd spot right now. For the most part, it's really never worth spending points on pistols, since the 2-point pistols are almost never noticeably better—and even tend to be worse—than the other pistols.
Important Advice for New Players
- Please do not go straight into your first match before ever testing things out in the shooting range. Know how to grab and use rifles, pistols, grenades, syringes, your tablet, your radio, and your knife. Things get hectic in real matches, and you won't have much of a chance to learn the basics. If you need help figuring these out, the Gameplay section of this wiki should have all of the information you need, or you can ask questions in the Onward Discord!
- On top of learning the controls, it is highly recommended that you never go into a match with a weapon that you have never used in the shooting range. Nothing is more embarrassing than being the last one alive and fumbling with your gun until you are shot. Different rifles are reloaded in different ways. Some require you to grab the magazine, while others let you drop the magazine with a simple button press. Some require you to manually chamber a new round with your nondominant hand, others have a bolt that locks open so that you can chamber a round with a simple button press. The belt-fed machine guns are famous for getting new players killed. Also, some guns shoot higher or lower at different ranges, and this can even vary by the sights you are using. The MP5 shoots extremely low, the M16A4 with iron sights shoots high, and the M16A4 with red dot sight shoots slightly low at close range and dead on at long range. Knowing how to use your weapon and how it behaves at different ranges is extremely important.
- Many new players worry about upsetting their team, but there are really only two things you can do that can be a problem: team killing and prolonging the match. It is better to not shoot than to kill a teammate. If you are Marsoc—especially if you're the last one alive—you need to play the objective. If you sit all the way across the map from the objective as Marsoc, the round will not end until the time runs out or an impatient Volk stumbles across you, which means that everyone is waiting. Prolonging the match is less of an issue for Volk, since letting the time runs out is a win for your team.
- Although Volk do win if time runs out, they have a huge reason to watch the objective. Allowing Marsoc to complete their objective in Uplink mode doesn't just mean you lose the round, it gives them two points instead of one, which is equivalent to losing two rounds through other means. If it's possible for Marsoc to be on/near the objective, you need to relocate yourself so that you can ensure that they do not enter the code. If you're the last one alive on Volk, it is literally twice as bad for the other team to enter the code than it is for you to die, and they can't enter the code if you force them to kill you (although your goal should be to kill them first, of course).
- When you're starting out, being able to quickly tell the difference between a friend and foe is quite difficult, and you're bound to kill your teammates every now and then. There are four main things to pay attention to that prevent friendly fire: your gloves, your weapon, the other player's character model, and your tablet. Marsoc has brown gloves and Volk has black gloves. Marsoc and Volk also share none of the same weapons, so you know that if you're using an M16A4, you're definitely on Marsoc. Obviously Marsoc is brown while Volk is black, but also try learning the other differences between the character models. Finally, you can use your tablet to check for friendlies, since they show up as green/yellow/red dots on your map, depending on their health.
- One of the advantages of being on Marsoc is having a random spawn that Volk doesn't know. If you're on Marsoc, do not shoot your weapon at the start of the round. This is especially bad on Downfall, since Marsoc desperately needs to be as stealthy as possible on this map.
- There are some terms and mechanics that new players should take the time to learn about. Body Armor is very commonly misunderstood, which causes huge issues for players with certain loadouts. Parallax is a mechanic that even many experienced players do not know about, despite its huge effect on scopes. Even Health and Damage can be a bit confusing, especially regarding what exactly the Syringe does.
Common Problems and Fixes
Here are a collection of common issues and fixes you might encounter playing onward.
I Can't Sprint!
Trouble sprinting is probably the most common problem that people have in Onward, there are a number of potential problem areas that can contribute to sprinting slower than other people. See Gameplay - Sprinting section of the wiki for details on the mechanics of sprinting.
- Performance *
Movement, physics and other aspects of Onward are tied to the framerate, and having dips in your framerate can cause issues running at full speed. See the Performance Tweaks and Optimal Settings section of the wiki to make sure you have the optimal settings configured. The default settings for both Oculus and SteamVR settings are not optimal for playing Onward.
- Height Calibration *
Onward uses your physical body as a key input device for playing the game, making you crouch when you crouch, or go prone when you go prone. If you have your VR height miscalibrated with the height you have configured in Onward, the game can think you are crouching slightly and you will not be able to go full speed. Recalibrate your standing height in Oculus Home and/or SteamVR and make sure you have the correct height configured in Onward.
- Weapon Angle *
In order to sprint with a rifle or pistol drawn, you need to be pointing it down towards the ground. Lifting the weapon up to Aim Down Sights will reduce your maximum speed. See
Gameplay - Sprinting section of the wiki for details on the mechanics of sprinting.
Framerate / Performance Issues
Slowdowns, choppiness, loading screen transitions and other issues have a multitude of problems that are related to system performance and having the optimal VR settings configured. See the Performance Tweaks and Optimal Settings page for more details.
Screen Sometimes Goes Black
If you see your screen going black sometimes you should make sure your height in Oculus Home and/or SteamVR are calibrated correctly and that you have your Onward height set correctly in the settings page. Improperly calibrated height can trigger anti-cheating protection measures designed to prevent people manipulating character roomscale movement or hacks to get through normally impassible walls/objects.
Here are a collection of tweaks, settings, how-tos and things you might have questions on.
Onward uses SteamVR and as such much of the tweaking for performance and image quality is done there. It is recommended to install the SteamVR Plugin: [| OpenVR Advanced Settings] which is a utility that makes many settings very easy to adjust
The [| Oculus Tray Tool] application also has some useful features for Rift users like automatically disabling ASW when Onward loads.
Oculus Tray Tool Note: currently the OTT (as of Oculus Home 1.13 and OTT 0.68) cannot set SuperSampling if you make a profile for Onward.exe due to the way the Oculus Debug Tool which the OTT uses to apply the settings. The profile based setting of SS for Onward.exe applies its SS settings after SteamVR has already loaded, and the Oculus Debug Tool does not implement the SS change. ASW works correctly however, as it can be enabled/disabled at any time.
- Asynchronous Reprojection: Enabled
Both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift platforms should have this setting enabled.
- Interleaved Reprojection: Disabled
Both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift platforms should have this setting disabled. Due to how this feature works (forcing the application to render at 45fps) this interferes with the physics engine in Unity that operatings things expecting 90fps.
- Always-On Reprojection: Disabled
This is not an option that is enabled by default and should not be enabled, this will cause permanent slowdowns and a very poor gaming experience.
- Asynchronous Spacewarp: Disabled
Oculus Rift platforms should have this setting disabled. Due to how this feature works (forcing the application to render at 45fps) this interferes with the physics engine in Unity that operatings things expecting 90fps. The Oculus Tray Tool is a very handy application for this to be done automatically.
Onward graphics tweaks
If you are having performance issues you can see some small improvements by enabling low-quality mode in the Settings section of the Onward main menu. You can also adjust your SuperSampling settings, see the section below.
Reducing the resolution of the desktop Onward window can also improve performance a little by lowering the load on your GPU. To do this simply resize the Onward window on the desktop to be smaller.
Onward and VR games in general are very CPU intensive games. Increasing the Onward.exe priority to above normal during gameplay can help prevent other applications from impacting your gaming performance. A modern quadcore or better processor is highly recommended.
- SuperSampling Image Quality
SuperSampling is a form of antialiasing and it can be used to increase the clarity of the graphics in Onward by internally increasing the resolution of the game and then downsampling, at the cost of reduced performance. Both SteamVR and Oculus Home natively do this without applying any additional settings to increase supersampling. The Vive and the Rift both have a resolution of 2160x1200 but apply a default 1.4x supersampling to everything making the effective resolution 3024x1680. Further increasing supersampling can have a noticeable improvement in fine details making long distance visibility better, and there is diminishing returns of improvements beyond supersampling at about 1.6/2.5 old/new levels.
Systems with latest generation video cards (GTX1070/1080 and newer) can increase SuperSampling substantially, while previous generation video cards (GTX970/980) can often see a modest increase.
Recently Valve changed the supersampling figures in SteamVR to be a more linear representation of increased pixel depth. The below chart reflects both old settings, which are still analogous to changing it in the Oculus Debug Tool and the "new" SteamVR Supersampling Settings. Note that SteamVR has an option to enable/disable "Advanced Supersample Filtering" and many people are indicating they prefer it to be disabled.
Note on Advanced Supersample Filtering: There have been some reports of performance problems (framerate slowdowns) on AMD GPUs that are resolved when disabling Advanced Supersample Filtering. Most notably the grass on suburbia is sufficient to trigger a framerate slowdown under this issue.
|Video Card||Old Supersampling||New Supersampling||Effective one-eye Resolution|
|GTX1080ti||1.7-1.8||2.9-3.1||2289x2725 - 2366x2817|
|GTX1080||1.5-1.6||2.2-2.5||1993x2373 - 2125x2530|
|GTX1070||1.3-1.4||1.7-2.0||1752x2086 - 1901x2263|
|GTX980ti||1.2-1.3||1.4-1.7||1590x1893 - 1752x2086|
|GTX970/980||1.1||1.2-1.3||1472x1753 - 1532x1824|
Onward PhysX settings
Onward uses a lot of physics via PhysX and this can potentially present performance problems. If you have an NVIDIA GPU you can offload the PhysX processing to the GPU where it is done at much higher speed than can be done on a CPU. To access this setting open up the NVIDIA Control Panel, go to 3D Settings, Configure Surround, PhysX and there should be a dropdown menu on the right half of hte page. It is titled PhysX settings and you can select your CPU or GPU for your PhysX processor. Select your GPU and then apply and close this window.
Increase Onward.exe process priority can help with performance issues
For the most part, Onward is reliant upon GPU performance in order to have a smooth gameplay experience. However, VR games in general take more CPU to run and you can find yourself hitting CPU contention and causing some frame rate drops/slowness even on modern powerful quadcore i5/i7 processors. This is doubly true if you are streaming/recording your gameplay or running other processes in the background.
Chances are most processes run on your system at the 'normal' priority level, meaning every process gets scheduled equal CPU time as they demand it, and when you reach very high CPU utilization levels you can run into contention that will cause some apparent slowdowns in Onward.
- Increase Process Priority
To fix this problem, start Task Manager while you have Onward running, go to the process under details/processes, sort by name and then right click on Onward.exe and click Set Priority -> High. Now the Onward.exe process will get "first dibs" on CPU time and the other applications will no longer interfere.
Unfortunately, this setting only persists until you close Onward. There are applications out there that claim to be able to help make this persistent, but many of them no longer work in Windows 8/10, and those that do require MORE CPU to implement their process controls.
Persisting the Priority change
- Changing the executable launch priority with a registry change
You can also change how Windows treats the executable by making the following registry key.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Onward.exe\PerfOptions]
You can also download a reg file with the change you can get here: https://github.com/ragesaq/OnwardTweaks
- Oculus Tray Tool
Recently the Oculus Tray Tool reached release 0.80 which includes some enhancements that allows configuring process priority for a game in a profile along with the ASW or SuperSampling settings. Use this to set Onward to High Priority. Additionally, there is a checkbox for increasing the process priority of OVRServer_x64.exe. This is one of the key processes that Oculus systems use in processing various things like tracking, etc. Increasing the process priority can help as well. This is a great addition to the OTT because the above detailed registry key does not work for this process due to how the process is instantiated.
Misc Game Tips and Tricks
While playing Onward, your interaction with your equipment and weapons can make all manner of sounds. There'll be times when you might want to try and stay as quiet as possible to avoid detection from the enemy. In these moments knowing the distinction between which sounds you can make can be heard by the enemy can be extremely useful.
While playing stealthily, and if you think you're near one of the enemy team, crouching and going prone can reduce the volume of your footsteps/movement sounds. Crouching will reduce it significantly (further reduced by moving slower) and going prone will make your movement sounds completely silent. Any sound being picked up by your microphone can and will be transmitted as proximity voice so nearby enemies can hear anything you say (but not what comes through on your radio).
For a full list of which audio is sent over the network and which is kept local, see below -
- Equipping/unequipping weapon
- Equipping/unequipping tablet
- Firing sounds from guns (live or dry)
- Cooking/Releasing spoon of grenade
- Throwing grenade
- Movement sounds when audible (volume is respected)
- Proximity voice
- Putting in and taking out a mag
- Gripping/ungripping a weapon with either hand (whilst it's still held in the other)
- Pin pull from grenade
- Tablet button interaction
- Radio transmissions and radio squelch
- Grabbing ammo belt on LMG
- Cycling/releasing the bolt on a weapon
- Switching firing mode on a weapon
How to Stream/Record Onward
Streaming Onward, like other VR games, is a little bit trickier than your average game. This is compounded a little by the fact that the Onward desktop rendering window is only from your left eye, so if you aim a scoped weapon with your right eye you will not be able to capture the view down the scope.
Fortunately the fix is not that complicated. See the below sections for some specifics to Vive/Rift.
Beware: Streaming Onward, or other video games, can increase CPU utilization by a considerable amount if you do not use GPU encoding. This might lead to lower FPS than the 90FPS to maintain an optimal Onward experience, and when your FPS drop below 90FPS you experienced reduced movement speed and other issues.
Increasing the process priority of Onward.exe to High can prevent this from negatively impacting your gameplay performance. If you have and some GPU headroom and the ability to use a hardware encoder, this is advisable over the software one as it will take a lot of the load from the CPU for the capture. See the Misc#Persisting_the_Priority_change section for tips on this.
Configuring the Source for Capture
SteamVR Display Mirror
In the SteamVR settings (the dropdown from the desktop monitor window) enable the Display Mirror option, and then in the Display Mirror window you can change the view to the right eye. Using your broadcasting/recording application of choice select the SteamVR mirror window and you should be set!
Note that the SteamVR display mirror has somewhat poor visual quality. No SS is applied, in addition there is an interpolation "mask" that causes additional jaggies. Complaining on the SteamVR discussion hub might help get someone to improve this particular problem!
The native aspect ratio of one eye in a Vive/Rift is 1080x1200, which is very unusual to say the least. The SteamVR mirror outputs in this aspect ratio, so you will want to manipulate your OBS Studio canvas/output to capture a 16x9 aspect ratio (1280x720) for your stream/recording. This does end up cropping a lot of the SteamVR mirror so it cannot be seen, however, the SteamVR fov is such that much of the display output cannot be seen in your HMD, so it ends up being kind of a wash. To do so shrink the SteamVR mirror source in OBS until it fills the window side to side and then experiment with adjusting the height slightly until you find a good center.
Note that I need some supporting comments from a Vive owner for the above section, I only have experience with doing the same thing for a Rift.
OBS OpenVR Plugin
A very excellent OBS-Studio plugin was released on 7-8-2017 and is both easier and provides superior image quality to the SteamVR Display Mirror. You can download it here, along with some installation tips. https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/openvr-input-plugin.534/
Note, the first release didn't seem to fill a 16x9 canvas when you go to settings and pick from the dropdown options. Adjusting the sliders manually a little bit allowed it to fill the canvas properly.
The Oculus Mirror application is a CLI process that is located in the Oculus Diagnostics folder. The fov / aspect ratio of the Oculus Mirror is fixed, so while you can (as of 1.15) change the Height and Width of the mirror, the aspect ratio remains the same. The aspect ratio seems to be made for 16x9 output, with variances in a 16x9 resolution in the settings just stretching/cropping that aspect ratio. However, the aspect ratio provided is great for streaming AND it is a high quality output!
Navigate to your Oculus Diagnostics folder, under c:\program files\oculus\support\oculus-diagnostics\, right click OculusMirror.exe and select Send-To->Deskto(Create Shortcut).
Then navigate to the desktop, go to properties on the OculusMirror target, and change the Target to look something like this:
- For Oculus Home 1.15
"C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-diagnostics\OculusMirror.exe" -Width 1280 -Height 720 -RightEyeOnly"
- For Oculus Home 1.16
"C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-diagnostics\OculusMirror.exe" --RightEyeOnly --Size 1280 720"
The Oculus mirror outputs in a fixed 16x9 aspect ratio at a fixed fov, which is a little lower than what can bee seen in the HMD. However, considering you would have to morph the resulting window for OBS/etc to pick up, its kind of a wash. The greatly increased output quality make this a much better option for a capture source than using SteamVR Display Mirror if you are an Rift owner.
Example OBS Setup
This guidance is intended for OBS Studio v19 or newer, which includes NVENC encoding by default. There are some addons for AMD GPU encoding you can find if you search the internet, the configuration of which I believe will follow very similar settings. You can download that here: https://obsproject.com/download
Encoding with an NVIDIA GPU
Using GPU encoding for your OBS capture can greatly reduce the CPU load on your system, which should yield a better gameplay experience. You might need to lower your SuperSampling level a little bit to make sure you maintain good framerates.
Experiment with your Output bitrate and your video resolution/FPS to find an optimal balance between quality and performance overhead.
Example NVIDIA Shadowplay Setup
This tutorial is going to explain you how to install and configure NVIDIA's shadowplay through GeForce Experience. this is a NVIDIA product so this will not work with an AMD GPU.
downloading and installing the latest beta build
Let's start of by make sure you have GeForce Experience installed on your PC if not, download it from the following link : https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/geforce-experience/
- Once you've downloaded GeForce Experience, log in using your NVIDIA account, Facebook account or Google account.
- After you've logged into GeForce Experience, click on the settings icon and tick "enable experimental features".
- Now fully close GeForce Experience, and reopen it again for it to download the latest beta build.
configuring Shadowplay (recording)
- Now that you have the latest build of GeForce Experience installed, we're going to configure the recording settings.
- We're going to start with opening NVIDIA Share by clicking on the top right triangle like icon. (pressing ALT + Z will do the same)
- Now you will see four different buttons : "Instant replay", "record", "stream" and "broadcast". left click on the "Record" button and then click on "Customise".
- we're going to start off setting the Quality to "custom", the Resolution to "In-game", the Frame rate to "60 FPS" for max comfort for the viewers. The Bit rate should be set between 50Mbps to 70Mbps for max quality to file size ratio. after you've done this click "save"
- now we're going to the audio settings by clicking on the microphone and then by clicking on "settings"
- here we select the right microphone, in this case i've selected the Rift microphone. i've also changed the Rift microphone level to around 90 for a less loud microphone quality.
- we're going to set System Sounds to 100%. this is the audio we get from the game. Shadowplay ALWAYS records the default audio device as the game audio capture.
- For more control over your audio, we're going to click "Separate both tracks". this will make the microphone audio separate from the game audio. after all this click save.
(not done yet)