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Setup / Basic Strategy

Here you will find our strategies on preparing for battle, and the basics of combat.

Click below to skip ahead to a specific section:



JK2, while it has many elements that make it different from other games in the FPS genre, does however, have many fundamental similarities in terms of gameplay.

In Multiplayer contests the human (and AI controlled "bot") characters are placed in a game level (or "Map") that acts as an Arena for their combat. They then procede to fight to the death (the exact details depend on the gametype).

Most games fall into two basic categories, individual games and team games. In the individual games, every player tries to keep themselves alive, while destroying their enemies (the rest of the players they encounter) through their use of the available weapons, items, and the map's terrain features. Players score points by killing their enemies, and lose points for inadvertantly killing themselves.

In team based games, players must work together for their chosen group, to defeat the enemy team's members, and the score is a combined one.

JK2 adds some elements to the mix that are not found in very many FPS games. These features involve the ability to switch from first to third person on the fly (except with Lightsabers, which are always used in third person perspective), the use of melee weapons (especially the Lightsaber) and the use of Force Powers (that enhance player abilities or grant special characteristics or bonuses when used in certain situations). Success depends on the player's ability both to master their own use of weaopns and Force Powers, knowing the layout of the map, and knowing their enemies (being able to anticipate, counter, and thwart, whenever possible, the strategies of their enemies to beat them).

A Brief Description of Game Modes

Note: Jedi Vs. Merc is only available in version 1.04 and up for servers that have it enabled.

Game Type
Free For All (FFA, aka "Deathmatch")

Kill other players to score points.

The most common gametype.

Team FFA (aka "Team Deathmatch")
Kill members of enemy team to score points.
Capture the Flag (CTF)
Capture enemy team's Flag while protecting your own.
Capture the Flag (CTY)
Capture the enemy team's Ysalamari while protecting your own.
Holocron FFA
Kill other players to score points. Force Powers are obtained by picking up Holocrons.
Jedi Master
Players begin with No Force. Pick up the map's one Lightsaber to become a Jedi with all powers. Kill players as the Jedi Master to score points.
Fight one on one battles with other players to score points. Usually played with "Lightsaber only" and often with No Force.
Jedi vs. Merc
A special hidden modification that can apply to any gametype. Players can choose to be a No Force Gun/Explosive user or a Full Force Jedi with a Lightsaber. Item use is also different for each player class. (See Jedi vs. Merc page for details).

Keep in mind these game types can be played with any level of Force, and with or without "Lightsabers Only" applied to them. In your server browser, games will have appropriate icons in front of them to let you know if these options (No Force, Saber Only, Jedi Vs. Merc) are in place.

Click on "Play" then "Join Server"

When you click on "Join Game" you get the following screen (be sure you set the Source to "Internet" unless you're going to play on your local LAN):

Join Game Servers List

Remember that each "version" of the game (1.02, 1.03, 1.04) will only display games that are the same version, thus 1.04 will not list 1.02 or 1.03 servers. Also servers with pings that are too high won't be listed at all. You can also choose to filter out Full or Empty games.

You can click on "Server Info" to display the settings (and players currently playing) on the highlighted server.

See the game manual and readme for further details.

Server Icon

Password Protected Server.

Highlight the server and click on the word "Password" with your mouse at the bottom of the screen to enter it.

"No Force" Server.

Only Force Jump Level 1 is available.

There is possibly a difference between these in that one is "all force disabled" while another is "some force disable" (ie: one or more powers shut off).

If anyone can verify which is which please let me know!

"Lightsaber Only" Server.

All other weapons disabled.

"Jedi Vs. Merc" Server.

Players choose either a Jedi (Full Force, Lightsaber Only) or Mercenary (No Force, No Lightsaber)

Remember the lower the ping (in ms) the smoother the gameplay experience. It is advisable to join servers below 100 ms if possible, although with slower connections this may not be feasible most of the time. As long as you stay below 250 ms, the game should be somewhat playable. Some dialup modem users inform me that they can tolerate up to 450 ms ping with some degree of playability.

Suffice to say, that with all internet games, "Lag" is a fact of life, and can be compensated for somewhat by firing ahead of targets (called "leading") or hitting them more often.

Lag is affected primarily by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and connection speed. People who use 56K (or slower) modems and users of services like AOL will probably experience the most lag. Joining servers far away from you (such as overseas) will also tend to be a bad idea if you want to avoid heavily lag.

The in-game server browser is the main way to play JK2 online. However, there are other ways to find games.

These are other free options that you might consider trying:


"QT" is a free server browser/gamefinder/launcher that acts as a seperate program. It works with dozens of online games (and shoutcast mp3 servers), and has neat features like mapshot packs and player trackers. Well worth checking out if you play a lot of online games! You don't have to use your web browser and no signups are required to use this program. Also has partial support for various LAN games.

Works with a lot of games, including the original Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith expansion.

Gamespy Arcade

"GSA" is a free alternative to the Zone. It sprung up more recently and covers a lot of games. Basically you sign up, join chatrooms, and launch games from there after finding players. Like the "Zone" it requires you to install a bunch of software for your browser before you can use it, and to sign up for their free service. You may also be required to "update" your software periodically, like the Zone.

Works with a lot of games, including the original Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith expansion.

MSN Gaming Zone

Formerly the "IGZ" (Internet Gaming Zone) or just "the Zone." This is the "cheap-o" option for gaming. It's free, and has been around a long time, but tends to be a "last resort" for most serious gamers (editorial opinion). I would recommend only using this if you can't find games anywhere else. Though it does have a bunch of chatrooms, they aren't as nice as GSA. The only real benefit to this is that it tends to have a lot of players, and works with some games that aren't supported elsewhere. Their policies and joining requirements change often, so read all the legal docs before you commit.

Works with a lot of games, including the original Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith expansion.

If you have any others you'd like me to add, please send them my way!

Game Setup

The first, and most important step before venturing into battle is making sure everything is configured properly. This is a complex process that varies greatly with the individual. However, here are some basic tips that most players will find useful for optimizing their chances of success.

Video/Sound Setup

(Refer to the game's manual and documentation for details on configuring these settings, your hardware setup may vary):

Make sure that the brightness level (or "gamma correction") in both the game and on your monitor are set such that it is not too bright, or too dim. Obviously, you want to be able to see what's going on clearly!

In addition, be advised that (at the time of release) JK2 is a rather system intensive game, and so most players (except those lucky enough to own top of the line hardware) will not be able to play the game at the highest display and sound settings. There is no shame in this, as players in multiplayer games use a wide variety of systems and configurations, and nobody can see what's on your end but you (and whoever else may be in the room with you).

I advise taking whatever settings you are comfortable with using in the Single Player game, and taking them down a notch or two. For the sake of gameplay, it is better to lower the "eye candy" a bit in favor of a faster, smoother game.

Make sure your volume is turned up high enough (don't wake the neighbors!) so that you can hear the in-game sounds and warnings clearly enough. If it's too loud or too quiet, you may not be able to discern what's going on readily enough.

If worst comes to worst, and you can afford it, sometimes it may pay off to consider upgrading your system a bit, if the game is too slow or choppy, even at lower detail settings. If you want to have a better game playing experience, this may be necessary, if it's worthwhile to you.

System Resources

Manage your system's resources conservatively, and you will most often have a faster, smoother game. Don't have lots of windows open, and programs running in the background while you play. This all eats up precious memory (especially on a Windows based system) that a big game like JK2 needs to perform optimally.

It may be a good idea to restart your operating system prior to playing, and make sure all other unnecessary programs are shut down.

In addition Email checking programs, internet browsers, virus scanners, and other programs may eat up your online resources as well, causing "lag" in your gameplay on the internet (this may lead to high "pings," which can ruin the gaming experience, because everything appears slower or reactions are delayed in-game).

If you're just going to run a server, but not join it, run a DEDICATED SERVER (see manual and documentation for details on running one). This will save you some system resources and the game will be less likely to "crash," ruining the game for those trying to join it. Good server admins will periodically "check on" their games in progress to make sure things are going alright, and usually will have map cycling and vote settings enabled to allow players to change settings in their absence (to add some variety).

Remember that when it comes to playing online, dial-up (modems, 56K and below) will always be the slowest and most annoying ways to play (but they are cheap, and many people can't afford to upgrade to broadband). Thus "lag" and medium to high pings (over 100 ms) should be expected. Try to adapt to the slowness by predicting where your opponents and shots will go, and compensating for the choppiness.

Your best bet is to always join servers that are relatively close to you, having the lowest pings possible. Broadband (cable, DSL, etc) and LAN (Local Area Networks) can be expensive to setup and are not available to the public in all areas, but they can greatly enhance the gaming experience, since pings are usually lower, and make for a smoother game.

Sometimes, when upgrading your connection is not possible, it may still be possible to change to a better ISP (Internet Service Provider). Some ISP's are not very 'game friendly' for most users (AOL comes to mind).

Control Configuration

This is perhaps the most important consideration when playing, since all of your in-game actions are controlled through your various input devices (keyboards, mice, joysticks, etc) and you, as the user of those controls, need to know exactly what does what.

Most players of FPS titles are familiar with the keyboard and mouse setup, and it tends to be the preferred control scheme for this type of game. In general, a multibutton mouse (I prefer the optical variety, with its fast tracking speed) and decent keyboard, setup in a comfortable manner is best. Get yourself a comfy chair to sit in while you're at it.

The controls should be setup in a manner that you are comfortable with, where your fingers can reach the buttons that activate all important functions in a relatively swift manner. I strongly recommend setting hotkeys (key binds) to all of your Force Powers, as well as the key to activate your Lightsaber (someplace other than the default number keys). Scrolling or cycling through weapons and powers is always slower than simply hitting a key (though you may wish to bind your "next/prev" weapon key to the mouse-wheel.. another common setup that works for many players).

Most of the time, in multiplayer games, keeping in constant motion (to make yourself a more difficult target and to keep your opponents guessing) is a good idea, and so I like to use "Always Run" as my default option. There are a few cases where walking is used (such as navigating a precarious ledge, or to aide in stealth), and so that key should be nearby as well.

I will not go on about my own control configuration, since every person's is different and you become comfortable with your own after awhile. However, I will give one piece of advice. That is to make yourself a CONTROL CFG FILE.

Control CFG Files

Config (files with the "cfg" extension) have been part of the Quake3 engine (which JK2 uses a modified version of) since the beginning, and many FPS gamers are familiar with how they work.

To use a CFG file, the user brings up the in-game Console (a command line menu) by pressing the tilde (the `~ key to the left of the 1 key on standard keyboards) while holding down the SHIFT key, and then entering the following command:

exec <CFG File>

(where <CFG File> is the name of the file with the CFG extension to be executed)

More complete lists of Console Commands are found elsewhere (see the official product pages and game documentation for details), but a couple of useful commands are:

bind <key> <function>

(where "key" is the key, and "function" is what you want to do, for example:)

bind f12 screenshot

Makes it so that every time you press f12, the game will take a screenshot for you.

Another is:

cg_drawfps 1

Which will toggle a display for your current FPS (frames per second) in game. The higher the number, the smoother your gameplay will be. Type the command again with a 0 instead of 1 to turn it off.

cg_lagometer 1

This will display a red box on the right side of your HUD which shows the lag you're experiencing. Typically yellow peaks or "mountains" mean server lag (between you and the server). Green peaks or mountains mean lag on your end (CPU lag, your computer is chugging or low on resources, perhaps from displaying a large amount of models and explosions on screen at once or programs running in the background). Little blue blips are normal. So a few blue blips and little yellow blips (close to a flat line) are pretty good.

Remember that lag happens most often when a player first joins and when they leave. So don't get upset if somebody joins with 999 ping. Just wait 30 seconds to a minute and they should be normal ping ("normal" being 100's-200's for most people).

Switch to 0 to turn off the Lago-O-Meter!

And another useful one:

seta con_notifytime "6"

This command controls the amount of time chat text displays on the screen in multiplayer. I set it to 6, because I often miss what people say otherwise. Configure it how you like.

Creating a CFG file is simple. Simply create a text file, and give it the extension cfg, and it can be used. More detailed explanations exist for CFG files on a myriad of sites. What I recommend is creating a seperate CFG file for DarkSide setup and LightSide setup, seperate from your Single Player cfg file(s) (since SP is so different).

Here are my DarkSide and LightSide cfg files for reference, you may modify them to your liking and use them yourself if you wish. Place all CFG files into your "base" directory in the directory where JK2 is installed, and they will be available to exec through the Console.

Here is a Master cfg file, for use in Holocron FFA and Jedi Master gametypes (incorporates all applicable Force Powers).

Practice Makes Perfect (or Perfect Practice Makes Less Imperfect)

The purpose of this site is to help you become a better player, or to at least think like a player who wishes to improve their game.

Nothing short of practice and quick-reflexes will make you a better player in the long run. Practice what you will play. Playing Single Player won't prepare you for Multiplayer, since everything is so different. I recommend playing against Bots (the AI controlled simulated human opponents built-into the game) at a higher level of difficulty than you are comfortable with (might as well play on the highest Jedi Master setting). While not as good as playing against humans, it is excellent practice to get familiar with the game and how it plays.

It is a good idea to memorize the layout of the in-game maps, the locations of weapons, good sniper positions, shortcuts, flag bases, item pickups, etc. Get to know where the "respawn" points are for items (especially shields, health, and bacta) and where players will appear. This saves getting lost or covering the same ground too often in battles.

Before you step into the real multiplayer games on the internet, you should play at least a few Bot matches, and/or run around in an empty multiplayer map, learning the layout and testing weapons/powers to get yourself familiar with things. Even veteran players will do this periodically, to "warm up" and to practice new techniques.

If you practice with Lightsabers all the time, but don't practice guns, your skills may deteriorate in this area over time, and vice versa, so it is a good idea to practice a variety of skills, after you have mastered the basics, to keep yourself in good form (if you want to be a good player). Not everyone has the time, obviously, to put in the practice needed to become a top notch player, and not all are willing. But, if you want to be good, you may need to put in some "training time." ; )

After you have finished with your setup functions, it is probably a good idea to exit the game (since if the game crashes, sometimes settings will be lost) and be sure your options are saved. Note that CFG files will have to be executed each time you play (and can be executed on the fly in the Console) unless you create an autoexec.cfg (that can load multiple cfg files on game-startup).

Your cfg files are stored in your /base folder of your JK2 directory. It may be a good idea to make copies of your favorite cfg's and store them elsewhere, in case you need them, or wish to share them with others.

I now recommend moving on to the Force sections to set up your Force Powers, and the Weapon, Items, and Lightsaber sections to familiarize yourself with the other tools you will need to master in the game.