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How to Speed-Up Minecraft
I've noticed a lot of people screaming about lag when playing on the server. I decided to make this guide because of that and because of a neat little program that NazzyDragon showed me called Game Booster, which can perform a lot of the steps in this guide automatically. You can download it here.

Please note that this guide aims to maximize the ability of your computer to play games such as Minecraft. While this should clear up some things on your side, the Pigcraft server, like any other, isn't perfect. From time to time, you rather will experience some lag from the server.

Hopefully, this will make Nazzy's playtime, and everyone else's, a lot less stressful. Let me know if something's amiss, and please do read carefully.

Table of Contents

Quick Introduction
Option 1: Reinstall and Update Minecraft
Option 2: Update Java / Remove Older Installations
Option 3: Update Your Hardware Drivers
Option 4: Check Your RAM
Option 5: Eliminate Running Processes
Option 6: Cleanup and Defragment Your Hard Drive
Option 7: Change Your Video Settings
Option 8: Enter Fullscreen Mode

Quick Introduction

This guide only covers Windows operating systems. While Minecraft can be played on Mac OS X and Linux systems, I've chosen to eliminate the two as some programs suggested for use in this guide are not compatible with non-Windows operating systems.

Please make sure that you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. To find out which operating system you're using, visit here.

Option 1: Reinstall and Update Minecraft

Make sure that you have the most recent version of Minecraft. During the time that I wrote this, the newest version was 1.7.2 Beta.

Assuming your installation of Minecraft is a legitimate one, you should first try reinstalling Minecraft. This fixes most issues and instructions to do this can be found here.

Also, if you tend to play Minecraft in-browser, make sure that your browser is current and up-to-date. Mozilla Firefox is an example of a popular web browser.

Note: The Pigcraft server does not usually update immediately after a Minecraft update is released. If you are prompted to update, check the forums before doing so. Updating may make it impossible to connect to the server.

Option 2: Update Java / Remove Older Installations

Updating Java for your operating system is very important, as it is the framework of Minecraft. To update Java, please visit here. You should be congratulated if you already have the latest version.

Next, it's recommended that you remove older versions of the Java software that could be on your computer. Until recently, Java came on as a separate installation when updating and left older versions behind. Removing older versions of Java may improve performance and reduces a number of security risks.

You can find instructions and how to remove them here. You may be prompted immediately if an older version of Java is detected.

Option 3: Update Your Hardware Drivers

Let's face it, some of us are running on outdated hardware. While the obvious solution is to throw out your old computer and get a new one, this isn't always necessary.

Updating drivers can correct a number of problems, including system performance. Drivers are tiny little programs that make your hardware "go." This portion of the guide will focus on updating the drivers on your graphics card, as those tend to solve the most problems.

Follow the guide here to assist with updating your graphics card. Ignore the fact that the guide names another program, Google Sketchup, which we will not be working with. Before updating, I recommend that you back up your computer's settings with System Restore. This is in case the update does not provide satisfactory results.

Note: It may be beneficial to update the drivers for your network interface controller (NIC). You can find instructions on how to do this through a simple Google search.

Option 4: Check Your RAM

Random-access memory (RAM) is critical to the performance of your computer. The more RAM you have, the better. I personally recommend that you have at least 1 GB of RAM when participating in Minecraft Multiplayer.

To check how much RAM you have, go to your Start menu, right-click My Computer, and then select Properties. The amount of RAM you have will be listed amongst other system specifications.

If you find that you have insufficient RAM, you will have to buy more. I recommend that you use the Crucial System Scanner to detect and purchase the correct type of RAM for your system. You can download it here.

Option 5: Eliminate Running Processes

There's a lot going on in your computer. Cutting out some of the less useful or pointless operations to make room for Minecraft certainly can't hurt, as long as you're careful what to shut down.

This can be done manually or automatically (the latter being easiest and safest). A fantastic program for doing this is Razer Game Booster. This Windows-only program closes out unnecessary programs to make room for your games, namely Minecraft. You can download it for free here.

Doing this manually can also yield positive results. While processes vary across systems, some processes that can be killed from Task Manager are ctfmon.exe, iTunesHelper.exe, and reader_sl.exe. Keep in mind that these will likely return after you restart your computer. To keep them out of your memory for good, check around the Internet for what to do for that specific process.

Option 6: Cleanup and Defragment Your Hard Drive

For a number of reasons, having fewer programs on your computer provides the possibility of better system performance. This is especially true for users of multiple anti-virus programs. If you have any programs that you don't use, or never will use, consider uninstalling them. A good tool for doing this is Revo Uninstaller (download here).

When new programs install and do their business, they often leave behind stuff on your hard drive that's of no use to anybody. After a while, these small bits of junk can slow down your computer. If you have a hard disk drive (not a solid state drive), I recommend doing a check for this junk every week. Two excellent programs for this are Disk Cleanup (included on Windows machines) and CCleaner (previously known as Crap Cleaner). The latter can be downloaded here.

Another important step that can be taken to up your performance is defragmentation. Essentially, this process moves around files on your hard drive so they can be accessed faster. Sort of like cleaning up that room that you let fall to pieces. There's a program in your computer called Disk Defragmenter that can do this, but there are also many other programs out there if the included one isn't to your liking.

Note: Depending on the size and current usage of your hard drive, disk cleanup and defragmentation can take a good amount of time. Defragmentation in particular can take several hours.

Option 7: Change Your Video Settings

This should be an obvious one, but some people are not sure which Minecraft settings are best for their computer. Each choice in the Options > Video Settings menu will be described in detail. Recommended settings are in bold when available.

Graphics: Fast, Fancy. Unless you have a large monitor, there's no reason to have fancy graphics. On the average screen, you will be unable to tell the difference. However, using the "fast" setting puts a lot less stress on your computer.

Render Distance: Tiny, Small, Normal, Far. Quite simply, this is the distance that you and your computer can "see" from your character's position. The fewer things your computer has to pay attention to, the faster your game will be. Test this setting until satisfaction is achieved.

Smooth Lighting: On, Off. This feature was added to replace the older lighting feature. While setting this to "off" will use the older one, the difference on your computer is generally unnoticeable.

Performance: Power saver, Balanced, Max FPS. Unless you feel like going green or really burning some fuel, just leave this at "balanced". It'll support a fair usage of power while providing an acceptable gaming experience.

3D Anaglyph: On, Off. Unless you have 3D glasses, or are particularly fond of red and blue, keep it off.

View Bobbing: On, Off. Controls whether or not your character bobs up and down. Keeping it off can improve performance minimally.

GUI Scale: Small, Normal, Large, Auto. This is the size of the graphic user interface (GUI). While Auto resizes to fit the screen, you may wish to lock it to another size. This is sometimes useful during full screen mode.

Advanced OpenGL: On, Off. This mode of rendering has your computer only show what you can see. For example, while you can see a block of dirt just fine, your computer will ignore the one under it until you dig it up. This can dramatically improve performance, especially on laptops. However, older computers (and some cheap newer ones) do not support OpenGL technology. That said, use with caution.

Clouds: On, Off. Some machines have trouble with them. You won't even notice they're gone.

Particles: Minimal, Decreased, All. Particles can really slow down your system if you load chunks with a lot of them. Minecraft has improved its particle handling over time, but you should keep this setting low unless you absolutely need glitter in your eyes.

Use VSync: On, Off. This setting can cause input lag and is only useful if you see tearing on your screen during gameplay. Keep it off unless your monitor looks like a jigsaw puzzle.

Option 8: Enter Fullscreen Mode

If all else fails, try going fullscreen while in Minecraft. These days, a good number of programs (mostly anti-virus) can detect when another program has entered full screen mode. AVG Free Edition, for example, changes its priorities when full screen is detected, entering what's known as "game mode." This frees up your computer to better focus on your game.

On most setups, the key to access full screen in Minecraft is F11. However, this can be changed in the Options > Controls menu.

In newer versions of Minecraft, you can toggle fullscreen in the Options > Video Settings menu.

Note: If you experience a black screen when exiting full screen, use Alt+Tab to switch out of Minecraft. You may then switch back to windowed mode.
This is a great, Game booster is amazing you really should download
Stickied. Very nice.

A suggestion I have though is that for a good web-browser, you may want to use Google Chrome. It's a very fast browser, but uses a little more CPU than the average one (but has multicore support, so herpaderp), but it's speedy.

My favorite so far.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup; best prepared with tenderizing from the banhammer and cooked in the spawn lavajail.

Need admin help? PM me, and I'll get to you when I'm next available. I can fix forum and (most) in-game issues.
Requesting that this be moved to the Help & Guides forum.
You know, you could probably do that yourself.

<_< I think.

Doing so anyways.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup; best prepared with tenderizing from the banhammer and cooked in the spawn lavajail.

Need admin help? PM me, and I'll get to you when I'm next available. I can fix forum and (most) in-game issues.
Tried, can't. Thanks.
Pika, TYPO >:U
WARNING: [Do not open if you are subject to epileptic seizures]

TB was here
Um, where? It's a long article...
Smooth Lighting, not Smooth Lightning
WARNING: [Do not open if you are subject to epileptic seizures]

TB was here
Psh, "Smooth Lightning" is way cooler.


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