BUSTED: You Don’t Need A Tegra 3 Device For “Tegra 3” Graphics (RANT)

BUSTED: You Don’t Need A Tegra 3 Device For “Tegra 3” Graphics (RANT)


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It’s been a while folks. I’ve been pretty good lately on going easy with the rants, but this time, I have to speak up. I posted an article about a great looking game called Dead Trigger last month, and how users with Tegra 3 devices (like myself) would be treated to “extended graphics” that wouldn’t display on dual core or single core devices. The video for the game was very impressive, and I actually felt lucky to have Tegra 3 device when I saw how well it played on my Transformer Prime. Then it happened. XDA member SnakeHaveYou not only exposed Nvidia as very shady, but showed a SIMPLE way of enabling those “exclusive Tegra 3 graphics” on NON Tegra devices. In other words, Nvidia is PURPOSELY keeping you from getting the best experience for your money.

Here’s a piece of information that Nvidia isn’t telling you: The software for certain (possibly all) Tegra 3 specific games are hidden whenever playing them with a non Tegra 3 device. Not disabled due to compatibility or performance issues. HIDDEN. All those top notch graphics that Tegra 2 users (and non Tegra devices) don’t have access too aren’t because your device can't run them, but because Nvidia doesn’t WANT you having access to them. They don’t want you to have the best experience possible unless you have a Tegra 3 device. Nice isn’t it?

Need proof? I’ll do you one better. If you happen to have a rooted device, I’m going to tell you right now how to “unlock” these advanced graphics on a popular new “Tegra 3 optimized” title so you can see for yourself. Here are the instructions to unlock ALL Tegra 3 effects for Dead Trigger on your NON Tegra 3 device. You will need root to make this work, but it’s so stupidly easy to get this working (credits again to XDA Member SnakeHaveYou):

  • Be sure Dead Trigger isn’t running
  • Download ES File Explorer from here (any file manager that allows to edit text and permissions/explore root folders will do)
  • In ES File Explorer, go to “settings - and activate “root explorer”
  • Navigate to /data/data/com.madfingergames.deadtrigger/shared_prefs
  • Change this line: <int name="UnityGraphicsQuality" value="1" /> TO THIS: <int name="UnityGraphicsQuality" value="2" />
  • Then change this line: <int name="OptionsGraphicDetail" value="2" /> TO THIS: <int name="OptionsGraphicDetail" value="3" />
  • Press Menu, and then Save
  • VERY IMPORTANT and/or OPTIONAL!!!!! Maintain tapped file and press Properties, and go to "Changes" (next to Permissions) and Un-check all the middle options, where it says "Write". In my case, i needed this. Not all users do.
  • Move the "com.madfingergames.deadtrigger.xml.BAK file to SDCard.. Don't leave this .bak file in there!! (I recommend to move the .xml.BAK to SDCard because it has the "In game progress", so you'll need it if something goes wrong)
  • Play the game and enjoy all the “Tegra 3” glory on your non Tegra device (a reboot might be needed).

The .xml file saves the game progress in a string.. So, if you delete it, you can lose your in-game progress (be sure to ONLY touch those settings guys. Don’t fool with the other ones!).

That’s seriously it guys. No complicated hacks or writing code. You’re literally changing a “1” to a “2”, and a “2” to a “3” in an XML file in order to enjoy those top notch graphics. But I suppose that was too difficult for Nvidia to do right? I guess Tegra 2 owners (and every other non Tegra device owner) aren't worth it enough for Nvidia to take the time to change TWO numbers in an XML file to allow users to enjoy this game (and possibly others) running at its full potential?

I have tried this out on my rooted Galaxy Nexus, and it’s working great for me. I’m gonna try it out on RipTide and every other Tegra 3 game I have (keep in mind before trying on other games that the file you need to edit might be named differently on different games) , and then see if the games have the same graphics on my dual core Galaxy Nexus and my Tegra 3 powered Prime. If they do, rest assured that I will never buy another “Tegra 3” optimized title again (unless I get a REALLY good explanation).

Nvidia: If you want to have certain enhancements available to users who have paid for specific hardware, so be it. You're a big company that is naturally in this to make profit, and it makes sense that better hardware can in many cases deliver better performance and graphics. But what IS wrong is taking the option completely away from users who have paid money for games when you KNOW GOOD AND WELL that their hardware is FULLY CAPABLE of running your “optimized” game just fine. That’s just plain shady.

Several users (myself included) have reported that this very easy “hack” works perfectly, and is confirmed working for (CDMA and GSM phones) the HTC Sensation, Evo 3D, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, Galaxy SII, HP TouchPad, and even on a Chinese Tablet SmartQ T20 device. It should actually work on EVERY Android device, although very old phones might have problems running newer titles. If it works for you, be sure to add it to the list of working devices on this XDA thread.

So if you are rooted and happen to own Dead Trigger (I’ll try this for other titles soon), I encourage you try this out now to enjoy the best experience for a game that YOU paid for.

Thanks again to XDA member SnakeHaveYou for showing how to accomplish this.

Picture credits: (edited by myself)

Source: XDA Developers

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  • Byron97 Jul 16, 2013 Link to comment

    I just someone to get this to work for all of them

  • Light Xeraser Mar 1, 2013 Link to comment

    Hello, Androidpit Staff. I was wondering what's the Result of Your RipTide Tests. Is it possible to set the THD Graphics ?
    Are the THD Features hidden or are there some specific THD applications ? (Example: Is it possible to modify Modern Combat 4's settings like DEAD TRIGGER's ones ?)
    And, I've watched a Video that shows TEGRA 3 gaming on a NEXUS 7. And that Isn't a Tegra Device, isn't it ? (Not sure) Yet, the TEGRA ZONE is available. It isn't available on my Galaxy Tab Note 10.1 which has a TEGRA 2 processor. I've also seen that the NEXUS 4, despite having a much superior hardware than the NEXUS 7, can't natively run TEGRA 3 games. How does that work ? Plus, I installed the Tegra Zone application back in 2011, on an ACER LIQUIDMINI, which is one of the first FROYO Smartphones. I couldn't install the games but the Application worked just fine. So, just a quick summin' up..

    Is it possible to run ALL Tegra 3 Games on Non-Tegra Devices like GT-N8000 and NEXUS 4 or just ANY phone/tablet just by modding the XML-stuff ? Or are there some Tegra 3 Games that have separate APKs/Applications ? I'd really want to know that just because I'm developing a Game with Unity and I'd really want to add those " Tegra " Effects/FX.
    One last thing: Why in the world would NVIDIA not allow full graphics quality on older TEGRA Devices and Non-Tegra ? I mean, if the Developers of DEAD TRIGGER and RipTide said " People are free to enjoy our games as much as they want, so we'll be enabling TEGRA FX on every device ", could they do that without NVIDIA getting utterly mad and saying " FUCK NO " ? I bet they could.

  • Danny Jan 9, 2013 Link to comment

    old but ..for those didnt get it running.. try making sure you ran the game 1st time set all to HIGH then quit..

  • Eric McBride Jul 21, 2012 Link to comment

    No problem Yiannis. I'm glad it worked for you!

  • Yiannis Themelis Jul 21, 2012 Link to comment

    The OptionsGraphicDetail line was not present on my xml. I just typed the whole thing and worked perfectly. Thanks guys.

  • Eric McBride Jul 18, 2012 Link to comment

    No problem man! :)

  • Wickets Jul 18, 2012 Link to comment

    Thanks for sharing this

  • Eric McBride Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I don't think you ll have to wait long. The Xoom gets really great Dev support!

  • Tyler Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Ya. I was about to root, ROM, and OC until I saw that JB would be out for it in the near future.

    I like my Xoom as is which is why haven't been in a hurry to modify it even though I've had it since launch. And the fact that Google shows it love. I was so happy when it received ICS.

    Now I guess I'm in for the long haul waiting for JB and then for devs to give a root method and put out custom JB ROMs.

  • Eric McBride Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    The Xoom has some great custom ROMS. Be sure to give this a try as soon as you decide to root!

  • Tyler Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I'm glad the only Tegra HD game I've bought is Fruit Ninja HD. (I know it's not a T3 enhanced game but I'm glad I haven't given them extra money)

    If my Xoom was rooted I would try this out. I'm waiting for Jelly Bean though before I root and OC.

  • Eric McBride Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    Awesome man! Glad it worked. I ll add that a reboot might be needed.

  • Keith Smith Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    It didn't show up initially but after I restarted the phone it works great. Water droplets, leaves and particles in the air. And all smooth as butter.

  • Eric McBride Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I'm assuming you're rooted correct? And both of the changes were saved after applying correct? Did you double check that permissions were set correctly? Let me know if you're still not seeing water on the floor! :-D

  • Keith Smith Jul 17, 2012 Link to comment

    I have VZW GNEX and my values are set to 0. I changed them as noted and the game still work but I don't have a Ultra High graphics option only high. Any idea.

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