Preventing Lag

SmallWorlds Community Services -

If your gameplay hasn't always been as smooth as you'd like, you might have experienced 'lag'. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to prevent it.

First make sure you have the most recent version of Flash. Please check this link for details.

Say you're in a space with lots of friends, music, lights... that's a lot of info for your computer to process. Things that can make your computer struggle are:

  • Lots of widgets in a space that load when they come into view (Flickr, for example).
  • Lots of avatars in a space (especially if they are close together or moving a lot).
  • Lots of rapidly animating items, like candles, all in view at once.
  • Streaming music: this can cause network lag on slow internet connections.
  • The new lighting effects - they look great, but can make slower computers struggle. Especially if you've got a massive screen.

The Good News - there's LOTS you can do!

Things you can do to make SmallWorlds run more smoothly are:

  • Close down unneeded applications: Closing down other applications that are running will free up your computer's memory
  • Make your SmallWorlds window smaller: A new button at the bottom of the screen allows you to do this easily, or just manually drag the corner of your browser
  • Stay zoomed in: Zooming out shows a lot more of the space you're in, and it all needs to be processed and drawn.
  • Choose spaces with less avatars in them.
  • Don't use lighting if it's slowing you down too much.

Even more solutions

  • Check how much RAM you've got. SmallWorlds needs a minimum of 512MB, but we recommend having as much as 1GB. Extra RAM increases the amount of power your CPU has to draw on.
  • Manually set a performance level. This can be done through the Account->Advanced Settings panel->Graphics Quality. It defaults to Auto, which lets the performance manager decide which level to use. Try each setting and see which one works best. If Auto is not chosen, the performance manager will not adjust the levels.
  • Turn off streaming music from Account->Advanced Settings->Streaming music enabled.
  • Defrag your Hard Drive: Defragmenting your hard-drive is something you should do occasionally (You'll find the option to do it in your system tools).
  • Run Regular Spyware Checks: Spyware can really slow you down, without you even knowing it. Run a diagnostic and clean.

We're always working behind the scenes...

We regularly spend time optimizing SmallWorlds as much as we can. New releases of SmallWorlds may contain new optimization features to help prevent lag.

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