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I play TF2 on a laptop and I get about 15-20 fps out of it. It's very inconsistent however, and it can jump to 60 in one sitting, then drop to 1 extremely quickly.

I know that there are a lot of particle effects within TF2 (Healing, bullets, fire, unusuals, etc.). Are there any settings in-game and modifiable by configs that can give me the minimum particles needed to run TF2, yet somehow increasing performance?

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Have you tried using a maxframes config, such as Chris' configs or TF2mate? –  Schism Feb 23 '13 at 20:13
    
I've tried using those, they only marginally inrease my fps. I was only aware that the config got rid of certain things (made textures worse, got rid of useless details, etc.) –  meme scientist Feb 23 '13 at 22:12
    
Is this the settings decided by the game itself? –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 26 '13 at 11:44
    
Techinically yes. –  meme scientist Feb 26 '13 at 18:27

2 Answers 2

To my knowledge there is no in-game way to alter particle systems aside from disabling those marked as weather (this is in advanced options). You need to create or find/download particle effect mods (which may or may not work on servers of various sv_pure settings) that reduce particle count/complexity.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Taken straight from the wiki:

Multiplayer Decal Limit

The maximum number of decals that can exist at once. Decals are used for visual effects like bullet impacts. Higher numbers will result in more persistent decals, at the expense of performance.

There is a command that represents the Multiplayer Decal Limit, noted by the command mp_decals x with x denoting the amount of decals you want visible in game.

Since decals are responsible for showing sprays, bullet holes, and other particle effects in game, reducing x will in turn lower the amount of particle effects. X can be a number from 0 - 200.00.

If you'd like to have some particle effects (to still show bullet holes, useful for learning recoil patterns and such), an advisable amount is mp_decals 9, which is enough for seeing the Scattergun's spread without sacrificing any performance. In Chris' words (creator of Chris' configs)

maxframes.cfg

mp_decals 1 // `9' is a good value to still see the spread pattern from a
            // scattergun without any real performance loss.
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