Startup Settings

Video Settings

The dropdown combo boxes are for fullscreen settings.  The video mode shows the different screen resolutions of your card.

Windowed or Full Screen

EL3D can be run as a full screen application or in a window.


Clicking the Advanced button opens up a new dialog box.

Display frames/sec.  The frame rate is shown in the top left corner of the window

Limit Vertical Sync. Rate.  This setting limits the speed of the frame rate of the graphics to no more then the refresh rate of your monitor.  In actuality it would be a rare (super fast) system that could drive EL3D at those high frame rates (>60fps) where this option might be useful.

Depth Buffer.  This controls the internal precision of the location of objects in 3D space.  Preferably W-Buffer is to be used, but some cards have an inferior implementation and Z-Buffer may give better results.

Debug File.  This will create a file name GraphicDebug.txt in the main installation directory.   If you are having intialization trouble you can use it as a diagnostic tool.

Land Detail Texture Mode.  This is the way the detail texture is combined with the main land texture.  The land seems to look best in most cases with Modulate2X.  For a softer looking landscape you can try Modulate.  Weird looking results come from the other methods.

Texture Mode.  Again this is a video card capability setting.  16 bit is default but is also a lower quality video setting.  32bit looks best but uses more video memory.  Compressed is usually the best choice because it gives good quality but compresses the graphics in memory.  However, some graphics cards don’t support it.

Antialiasing.  If you have a really fast and high quality graphics card you can try this setting.  It takes the screen resolution and fills in-between the individual pixels with a gradient to make the picture seem less ‘pixelated’ and smoother.  It also requires lots of video power and can really slow down the display.

Filtering.  This is how the pixels on the screen are interpolated in order to draw a more realistic and smooth image.  It is a little like the Antialiasing setting except it operates on the native resolution of the screen and isn’t trying to make more pixels.  Trilinear is the default setting but Anisotropic is probably the best setting for more advanced cards.

Use Simple Models.  These are alternate low polygon models that can be used instead of the very detailed originals.  On many slower cards the frame rates will improve dramatically using these models.  Of course they do not have the detail of originals but they will get you flying – while you shop for that new card….

Startup Window

The preferred view you would like when the program starts.

Landscape Detail

Again this is a tradeoff between speed and resolution.  If your frame rates drop too much on the higher resolutions and then adjust accordingly.

Rock Density

Too many rocks and a weak graphics card are trouble.  Start with less and then add more later.

Rock Graphic

There are simple rocks and complicated ones with individual shadows.  The simple ones look fine but if you want more realism you can use more of the ‘real’ ones.  Of course the more real ones you use, the slower the frame rates.

Mission Parameters

Missions are broken down into a major Mission and a corresponding Flight. If you have an unregistered version of EL3D then the mission will always be Apollo 11.  Register for the others!

Texture Quality

Lowering this setting saves video card memory but degrades the various landscape and other bitmaps.  If you have a video card with 64mb or less memory and find the program is freezing or running very slowly, then try reducing the texture quality.

Current Pilot

This will select the current pilot from a list.  You can clear scores or add pilots here.


Change the volume or check More Settings to see other options.  You can modify the music you hear as well.  If you have a favorite song that inspires better flight, you can point to the wav or mpg file location by clicking, More Settings, and then the “…” button .


The joystick or keyboard can be selected as primary control.  Furthermore the joystick ports can be designated in the event rudder pedals or another yaw device is on another port.  Setup will also assign joystick buttons to other functions and control the way you use multiple joysticks.

More information about the controls and joysticks can be found here.