Performance Settings

The Performance settings are accessed from the Settings dialog.


The Visibility section contains the most important settings which affect the performance of Outerworlds. In Outerworlds, as in any rendered 3D environment, there is always a trade off between the number of objects you can see and the speed at which those objects can be rendered.

Your primary means of tuning the performance of Outerworlds is by adjusting your desired frame rate. As you move through the Outerworlds universe, the browser will increase or decrease your current visible range in an effort to keep the actual frame rate as close to your desired frame rate as possible. As a general rule, the higher you set your desired frame rate, the lower your visible range is going to be, and vice versa.

Note that the browser may not always be able to achieve your desired frame rate, particularly in densely built areas.

Also, keep in mind that at a given frame rate, the actual visible range can vary widely depending on the number of objects around you, or even simply which direction you are looking at any given moment. If you are in a lightly built area, you can expect your visibility to extend as high as 120 meters (the highest it will go) even if you have your desired frame rate set very high. Conversely, if you are in a densely built area, such as Ground Zero in OW world, your visible range can drop to as low as 40 meters even if you have your desired frame rate set to a low value.

By setting the minimum visibility you can set a minimum distance you would like to see at all times. It is strongly recommended that for all normal uses of Active Worlds you leave this value set to the default of 40 meters. The value set here will override your frame rate preference, meaning that even if the current frame rate is far below your desired frame rate, the browser will not lower the visible range past this minimum value in order to bring the frame rate back up.

You can have the browser display your current visible range from the Show menu.


It is recommended that you leave both of these options at their default settings (enabled). However, if you are on a particularly slow machine, you can try disabling them to see if there is any noticeable improvement in performance.

By disabling Show Multiple Avatar Types, all avatars in each world will appear the same. This will generally use less memory and may help performance on systems with low amounts of RAM.

Disabling Show Avatar Animations will turn off the mechanism that animates avatars as they move around you (e.g. walking, waving, etc.). This process requires additional CPU time, so disabling it may give you a slight boost in performance.

Texture Mipmaps

This option determines whether or not "mipmaps" will be used for textures. Mipmaps improve the appearance of textures viewed from far away. The "mip" in mipmap stands for multum in parvo, or "many things in a small place." Think of a mipmap as a lower resolution version of a texture where each pixel contains an average of several pixels from the original version. When displaying a mipmapped texture that is far away, using the lower resolution mipmap produces an image that appears to be a smoother, slightly fuzzier version of the original texture. By comparison, when a non-mipmapped texture is rendered far away, the pixel values chosen from the texture map (by a process known as "point sampling") are typically far apart, giving the texture a blocky, random look which often "shimmers" when your viewpoint is moving. Mipmaps eliminate this effect, at the cost of a slight increase in storage size.

In some cases, mipmaps can give textures a slightly "fuzzy" look. Some people find this effect annoying, which is why the option to disable mipmaps has been provided. The performance impact of having mipmaps enabled or disabled varies widely from video card to video card.