strategy   tips and tricks   Low-down sneaky stuff.    

The jumpin' and runnin' maneuver:

Here's a handy little trick fer coverin' lotsa ground in a hurry. Jumpin' is faster than runnin', but both tire you out pretty quick, especially jumpin'. Jumpin' and runnin' at the same time is particularly fatiguing but there's a way ta do it without gettin' winded:

Start runnin' and then jump. In midair release the "forward" key an let yer momentum keep carryin' ya forward. When ya land start movin' forwards and jump again, repeating the process... You'll find that releasin' the "forward" key makes yer endurance meter start regeneratin' again as if ya were at rest, but you've still got yer forward momentum workin' for ya. By the time ya land yer endurance bar will be right back where it was before ya jumped, so ya can repeat this maneuver almost ad infinitum.

Th' "How ta Fall from a Tremendous Height an' Survive" trick:

Got this once from ArcherAce. It's a rather nasty 'lil hack that really shouldn't be in th' game, but since it is we might as well all abuse it.

So if ya find yerself fallin' from someplace that's so high you know yer gonna be seriously hurt upon impact with th' unforgivin' ground below, hit yer "Esc" key right before ya hit th' ground. This'll take ya to th' little in-game menu. Quickly hit "Esc" again an' you'll find yerself landed safely. You may hear yerself land while yer on th' menu screen. If ya time it jus' right you'll land light as a feather with no damage at all.

If yer fallin' down a narrow hole an' can't see th' bottom, jus' keep hittin' "Esc" over an' over, as fast as possible until ya land.

Ta onlookers in multiplayer it looks like you've lagged in midair: that is, while yer on th' menu screen yer body appears ta keep fallin', but then when ya hit "Esc" again ya suddenly "warp" back up ta jus' a 'lil below where ya were at when ya first hit "Esc."

Th' "Bottomless Bag of Dynamite" trick:

Sent in by th' ever lovin' Dikyolero. Get some dynamite. Light it. Switch to a different weapon. Run. After the fireworks, check an' see how much dynamite you have left. Gosh!

Th' Dikster suggests th' best way ta use this trick is when someone's in hot pursuit:

"light the TNT count to 3 (or 4) depending how close he is, then change weapons...it will be dropped on the floor and will explode with any luck just as ya pursuer comes along....you'd be amazed how many times this has actually worked for me ;-))"

Thanks Dikster! I guess that explains how ya kept blowin' me sky-high...

Th' Whisperin' ta yer Teammates trick:

Thanks ta Outlaw_DR fer bein' th' first ta enlighten me on this one.

When playin' Teams or Capture th' Flag there will be time when ya wanna say somethin' vital ta yer teammates that ya don't want th' other team ta hear, like "It's a good thing I'm laggin' or they'd be kickin' our butts!" Well ya won't find this in any Outlaws manual, I dunno where it came from originally but:

Hit ALT+Y as usual to pop up a text field. Then type "#r" or "#b" without the quotes followed by your message to whisper to the red or blue team, respectively. Make sure there's a space before the text of your message. And yes, if you whisper to the other team you WON'T see your own message. If ya hate typin' that # thingy then, as Shifty pointed out ta me, ya kin use "red:" or "blue:" instead. If ya use ya don't need ta leave a space before yer message.

Well isn't that handy? Why am I always th' last person ta know these things? I wish I'd have know this like, uh, a year ago...

Thanks ta Ohara, Banjo an' Shifty fer helpin' me test this one.

Th' Whisperin' ta One Person trick:

MaDoX tol' me about this nifty an' heretofore undocumented command line function.

Ta say somethin' ta one specific player so that others don't see it, ya jus' type in this format in yer text box:


Don't type those brackets they're jus' fer illustration purposes. Ya don't even hafta type their full name, jus' th' first few letters. Of course if their name was, say, "redbeard" or "bootless" that wouldn't work quite right ta type "red:" or "boot" 'cause those are other functions. But "redb" or mebbe even "re" might work. Ya don't need any spaces around th' colon either.

Ain't that swell? Thanks ta .000, Josey Wales an' light fighter fer helpin' me test it.

Th' How ta be a Nobody trick:

Now ya kin really be that semi-mystical joker from th' excellent self-parodying Spaghetti Western "My Name is Nobody."

From th' match Lobby, go ta th' multiplayer character selection screen. Instead'a clickin' on one'a th' six characters, hit yer Escape key. You'll pop back inta th' Lobby with no identity. :) Strangely enough though "Nobody" looks an' shoots jus' like Anderson. He's so similar ta Anderson, in fact, that ignorant people jus' might think he IS Anderson, but you'll know better.

Advanced Dynamite Techniques

Th' obvious thing ta do with dynamite is ta light th' fuse, hold it a few nervous seconds an' then chuck it as hard as ya can in th' direction of someone ya don't much like th' looks of. But with some creativity an' a good deal of luck ya kin do all kinds of fun stuff with those oversized candles. A few ideas that have come from my personal, extremely painful experience:

    If that darn fuse is jus' too slow fer ya, ya kin shoot th' TNT ta set it off. Try this: if someone's after ya, drop a stick in their path, whip out yer shotgun, an' blast it jus' as they step up. Ya better stand back a bit, of course...
    If yer real careful (an' hopefully packin' a boilerplate an' some medbags) ya kin use th' blast from a stick of TNT ta propel yerself inta places ya couldn't otherwise reach. I found two basic techniques:
    • Light a stick an' toss it directly behind you. Then turn around, count ta about 5 an' a half, an' jump straight up. Th' blast should catch ya in mid leap an' carry ya a good ways. I tend ta lose about half my health doin' this, but th' nice thing is that tossin' th' stick behind ya ensures that yer a minimum safe distance from it an' ya won't take TOO much damage.
    • Light a stick an' toss it in th' direction ya wanna go. Count ta five an' a half or so an' then run to th' stick, leapin' forward jus' as ya reach it. This is REALLY hard ta time right, but if ya do get it you'll fly very far, with a lower trajectory than th' first method, although it takes off about 3/4 of yer health even if ya do it right. If ya mistime it yer either gonna fly a REAL long way as a corpse, or jus' get a blackened butt an' not go anywhere at all. Either way is pretty embarrassin'.
    A blast from a stick of TNT will also set off any other dynamite in th' vicinity, so ta multiply yer destructive potential, throw a bunch of unlit sticks around yer target before throwin' a lit one (or shootin' em). OR throw a lit stick an' follow it up quickly with a couple unlit ones before th' first explodes. This way, if yer victim starts runnin' away from th' first stick ya kin throw a few follow-up sticks after 'em that'll blow when th' first one goes off. Of course, if th' first blows jus' as yer throwin' another yer gonna be in a whole world of hurt, but what's life without risk?
    Sort of th' domino theory in action: throw a bunch of sticks in a line between you an' yer target. Stand at one end, blow th' end stick an' watch th' chain reaction. This one takes a little time ta set up.

Needless ta say you'll probably wanna practice these techniques a bit before tryin' 'em in actual game conditions. No matter how good ya get with 'em yer bound ta blow yerself up once in a while, but as long as yer takin' people with ya it'll all be worthwhile.

Th' Runnin' on Water trick:

That darned H2O often gets in th' way an' slows ya down. How ta cross it quickly an' still keep yer powder dry? Try movin' quickly along th' surface by pushin' forward while holdin' down both th' run an' jump keys. Wish that worked fer more of us in real life.

Th' Altitude Aiming Adjustment trick:

You may've noticed that when someone is far above or below you your shots go right through them. This is because Outlaws is not a true 3D engine and does not calculate vertical perspective correctly, that is, parallel lines receding infinitely upwards or downwards would not appear to converge. This is why you are prevented from looking all the way up or down like you can in Quake, which has a true 3D engine.

Character bitmaps can't compensate for extreme altitude difference either. Looking at someone from above or below you still see them in a side view. In fact, the view on the screen no longer matches their true location because of this skewing.

So you have to compensate by over-aiming. If they are above you, shoot at or above their head. If they are below you, shoot at or below their feet. The more your altitude differs from theirs, the more you must over-aim to hit them. It feels funny to purposely aim off target but hey, when ya don't got that full third dimension, ya gotta do what ya gotta do ta get by.

Th' Map/Crosshair Toggle Trick

Now say yer like me an' ya don't like ta play with crosshairs on 'cause they're artificial an' they get in th' way of seein' what yer shootin' at. But then say you got somebody waaay off in th' distance with yer rifle an' ya gotta make sure yer first shot hits. What do ya do? There's no quick toggle key fer crosshairs, but there IS a toggle key fer yer automap! How's that gonna help? Well you'll notice that in th' very middle of th' automap there's a yellow arrow with a crossbar representing you. This arrow also happens ta look kinda like a crosshair, an' sits smack dab in th' middle of yer screen, right where th' crosshair would be. So jus' toggle on yer map, ignore th' white map lines, line th' arrow crossbar up on yer target an' plunk away. When yer done, jus' toggle th' map off again.

Keep yer Use key handy:

This key's set ta "Enter" by default. With the other keys still on the default config, though, it's a little hard ta get to in the midst of combat without takin' yer hands off some vital keys like the movin' an shootin' ones. Why's it so important? 'Cause it's the key ta use medbags with, an' havin' 'em handy in a fight can save yer hide from a premature demise.

So put this function somewhere handy. I useta have mine on th' space bar which is nice an' easy ta hit when yer in trouble, but fer some reason that really started ta hurt some kinda tendon in my hand. Now I got it on "Q." Many's the time it's pulled my fat outta the proverbial fire.

Keep yer Weapon keys handy:

If ya use yer left hand on th' left side of th' keyboard as most do you'll find you hafta lift yer hand off th' movement keys ta hit th' higher-number weapon keys fer th' dynamite (7), knife (8) and gatling gun (9). Because takin' yer hand off yer movement control even fer a split second kin get ya killed, why dontcha reassign those keys to somewhere closer to yer hand?
I swap my dynamite key (7) with th' rarely used sawed-off key (6) which on split keyboards brings th' TNT key three or four inches closer to yer left index finger, within relatively easy reach. Killercraig recommends putting knife on (R) and gat on (F), again within easy reach of that versatile index finger of yers. Now ya kin switch between all yer weapons on th' fly!

Run While Barely Gettin' Tired:

Another great tip from Killercraig. He discovered that if you start running while holding the forward key and one of the strafe keys (A or D by default) you can release the run key and remain moving at your running speed while only tiring at the walking rate, meaning you can run much further before having to stop to catch your breath!
Now it's actually easier said than done, you hafta be sure not ta release th' forward or strafe key though if ya do it carefully ya can switch from one strafe key to th' other. Also if you run into something you'll revert to walking speed. Craig adds that you can get moving even FASTER if a bullet hits you from behind as its velocity will add to your own. Pretty darn tricky!

Get a three button mouse:

Okay now this may be an economic difficulty for some'a'ya. I've got a Logitech Mouseman 96 an lemme tell ya the middle mouse button on this thing comes in REAL handy.

Okay first of all if ya wanna be any good at today's first-person shooters ya gotta be usin' the keyboard with one hand an the mouse with the other. The mouse is used for aimin' and steerin' while the keyboard is used for, uh, everythin' else. Usin' the mouse is really the only way ta be able to aim up, down, left and right accurately and quickly.

Now ya kin set the mouse buttons to activate handy Outlaws functions. The defaults are fire (left) and reload (right) which is pretty damn handy. Get yerself a middle button, though, and you've got another function right at yer lazy middle fingertips. Middle defaults ta move forwards. I've hearda people who use it this way but it seems weird ta me. I'd recommend settin' it ta alterate fire so's you'll have fire, alt-fire 'an reload all on the same "gun" hand. Give it a try, an if ya don't like it... um... don't come whinin' ta me, freako!

Cross hairs an' auto-aim

I'd be doin' a disservice ta new players if I left this stuff out. When ya first play a multiplayer game ya may wonder why ya can't hit anyone. Well, it's partly because you haven't practiced much an' you suck at it like you do at anything new at first. But there are two options you need to enable that'll make hittin' whut you shoot at much easier.

Go to "options" and then "special options" and make sure that BOTH "crosshairs" and "auto-aim" are checked. Crosshairs make it much easier ta nail people: just keep yer sights over th' target! Auto-aim enables th' natural aimin' skill of th' character yer playin'; the degree of auto-aim depends on th' combination of character an' weapon. To see maximum auto-aim in action, try shootin' at some fellers at long range with Anderson's rifle. Th' gun actually moves to point at the baddies when ya pull th' trigger (th' crosshairs stay stationary though).

Sure in a perfect cyber-world no one would use these options an' there'd be much more skill involved in' th' game. However, everyone else uses them, so you'd better as well if you want to have a chance. That's just cold, hard video-reality pardner.

Personally I don't use crosshairs. It took a while ta get used ta it but now if I switch 'em back on it seems like they get in th' way of seein' my target. I do use auto-aim, 'cause in laggy games (ie, 99 percent of my internet matches) ya jus' can't really hit anyone without it. Lag causes fellers ta not actually be quite where they appear on yer screen, an' auto-aim can compensate fer this drift. Without it ya tend ta fire in front or behind 'em. Also I suspect that disablin' auto-aim causes some "warpy" lag fer th' player who disabled it. Dunno why.


This sounds a little weird, but it simply describes a type of gunfighting movement that all halfway experienced Outlaws players take for granted. It seems ta be held as an advanced tactic among Quakers, but we all knew Outlaws took more skill than Quake, didn't we? If you don't learn this maneuver you'll never cause any Outlaw to shake in his binary boots.

You need to be usin' a mouse and keyboard fer this, but we already covered th' mouse issue above, right? So ya use th' mouse for direction an' the keyboard to move. Two of th' keys are "strafe" keys; that is, they move you sideways left an' right like a crab walks. Quite handy fer dodgin' side ta side.

So usin' th' mouse an' strafe keys in tandem is called "circle-strafing." You move side to side with th' strafe keys while usin' th' mouse ta keep yer crosshairs on yer target. If ya kept goin' either right or left in this manner you'd trace a complete circle around them.

So what's th' big deal? Well, circle-strafing lets you keep shootin' at'cher victim while simultaneously makin' it easier ta dodge their shots. It takes a lot of practice ta be able ta fire off amazing "hip shots" that actually hit yer intended victim but believe me practice pays off in th' long run. Master this technique an' you'll be able ta go toe-ta-toe with some of th' meanest hombres out there.

Use Medkits Automatically with a Gamepad

A wiley ol' Outlaw named Badger had a lil' tip ta let ya use yer medkits automatically in Outlaws with th' help of a gamepad:

I play outlaws with a gamepad, but i never touch it. I have the "use"-key on fire. Sounds strange? Not if you have "auto-fire" on. If you get hit by a bullet and have medbags they "refill" your health automaticly. Very handy when in a big rumble...
Pretty darn tricky there Badger. I dunno how many of ya have a gamepad, much less one with auto-fire, but hey some of ya might. I dunno if this's a great idea all th' time 'cause there are times ya wanna save a medkit ta get a reg'lar health kit instead, but could come in handy in rough spots.

Play the Outlaws Movies From Your Desktop

T urns out that you kin play any of the Outlaws video clips right from your Windows desktop without actually having to play through the levels. Ain't that handy? Trick pioneer Smoker found that all you gotta do is browse your OL CDs and click on any file that ends with a ".san" extension (these are the movie files) and when Windows asks what program to use to open it, point it to the "olwin.exe" file in your Outlaws game directory. Smoker's illustrated that window nicely in this graphic. Outlaws will quit as soon as the movie finishes, or you can just hit ESC if you want to end playback before the movie finishes.

The real trick, as it turns out, is to make sure to uncheck that box down at the bottom. If you accidentally left it checked, the movies won't play. At this point there are several things you can do.

The complicated but more definite solution is to go into your Windows registry and delete where it's stored what you did when you checked that box. Smoker kindly illustrated how to do that in this graphic. As always, if you aren't familiar with messing with your Registry it is advisable not to do so, since screwing something up in there can prevent Windows from running correctly. Even if you do know what you're doing, take the time to back up your registry before mucking about in it.

Alternatively, according to Mr. Baggins, you can do a bit of fiddling and get Windows to play the movies when you click the link. You check the "always play" box, then in a Windows Explorer window go to the "Tools > Folder Options" menu (this is in Win98, it may vary a bit in other versions), select the "File Types" tab and scroll down to the "SAN" file type entry (German screenshot). Edit it, select the "open" action in the properties window (screenshot) and remove the "%1" at the end of the command line (screenshot). Now Windows should play the movies for you when you double-click them. [Note: I wasn't able to get this to work under WinNT... but there's a lot that doesn't work under NT, especially when I'm the one attempting it. :P).] Baggins says that olwin.exe will also play movies from LEC games "Monkey Island" and "Shadows of the Empire."

The much less risky workaround, found by Who, is to run the movies by dragging icon of the .san file you want to play over the icon for olwin.exe. When you release the button after positioning the .san file on top of olwin.exe, Outlaws will load and play the movie for you!

Fun with the Outlaws Registry Keys

Windows has this big thingy called th' Registry that programs like Outlaws store settings in. Th' Registry is handy 'cause it provides a central place fer all this piddle an' crap but then again if you changed somethin' on yer system an' now Windows won't work right, chances are good yer Registry got messed up. Outlaws writes a lot of keys ta th' Registry, most of which you can change through th' normal Outlaws Options screen, but some that can only be changed by hackin' th' registry. There are two that you might find useful to change, but be careful ya don't mess up yer registry while fiddlin' around in it.

Registry Editing Basics

You edit th' registry with th' program "Regedit.exe" which you'll find in yer Windows directory. Th' registry consists of a lot of variable settings, called "string values," grouped together in different categories called "keys." Navigating this structure with Regedit is kinda like browsin' yer hard drive with Windows Explorer. Th' keys sit in th' left pane, an' th' string values in th' highlighted key appear in th' right pane listed in alphabetical order.

We want to edit th' Outlaws keyboard settings, so we hafta go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lucasarts Entertainment Company\Outlaws\Users\Default User\Keys. Once you get there you'll see a bunch of string values in th' left window. To change a string's value, right-click it and select "Modify" from th' pop-up menu. Once yer done you kin jus' close Regedit or keep it open if you like. You don't hafta reboot but you do hafta restart Outlaws fer changes to th' Outlaws keys ta take effect.

There are plenty of innerestin' settin's you could mess with but I've really only found th' followin' couple ta be worth yer editing while:

Double-Bind Yer Mouse Buttons

Setting two keyboard functions to th' same key doesn't seem to work -- Outlaws only does one of them. However, you CAN set more than one function to your mouse inputs! Instead of th' "Keys" folder, go into th' one called "MOUSE" an' observe th' available keys (addin' more doesn't work, I tried ;)). You'll see a bunch of string values -- these are the ones that show up in your Outlaws mouse Options screen. Notice that most have a value of "4294967295" for "Sel:" -- the equivalent of a null setting. Yer left mouse is Sel 1, right mouse is Sel 2 an' middle mouse (if ya got one) is Sel 4.

Now fer th' fun part. If ya want ya kin set multiple strings to th' same Sel value. Fer instance if ya set Reload, Jump an' Map to Sel 2, when you right-click you'll reload, jump and pop yer map up. Okay that's not a very handy combination but I'm sure there are some control freaks out there who kin come up with useful ones!

Combine Mouse Buttons for More Functions

Thanks ta GoJo fer discoverin' this an' ta Mr. Slack fer keepin' th' ball rollin'. You can get additional mouse button functions in Outlaws by assigning functions to combinations of buttons. Do this by setting the "Sel" value of the function registry key as a sum of the Sel values of the buttons you want combined: left is 1, right is 2 and middle is 4. So left/middle (Sel: 5) can be a function, as can middle/right (Sel: 6), left/right (Sel: 3) and left/middle/right (Sel: 7).

Now that would all be great except that Win95 doesn't seem to take a great likin' to mouse button combo tricks. In fact in WinNT they all worked great, but in 95 the buttons tend to get "stuck" executing the function of one of the buttons you used in the combination. So the fire button would get stuck shooting, or not shooting, etc. Basically it's a great thing ruined by Win95's blundering. Poo!

Change that Chat Key

I always thought it was pretty irritatin' how you hadda hit two keys, Alt-Y, to pop up th' in-game Outlaws chat window. Kind've a pain in th' butt. Well you kin change this by modifyin' th' "Chat" string value. You prob'ly don't wanna use a key you might hit while typin' a sentence. I switched mine that that lil' key in th' upper left corner of th' keyboard, below "Esc": "Tilda." Actually it types a "`" of you hit it, but you need ta enter in "Tilda" which is how Outlaws refers to it. A tilde is actually that lil' wavy shifted character on th' key. Of course you could set yers ta whatever you like, although it should be a non-standard key that you wouldn't hit in normal conversation, and one that isn't assigned to any other Outlaws function.

Run VERY Fast

Now if you sit back an' look at th' various keyboard settings strings, you'll see that yer run key is called "Fast." Then you might happen ta look down near th' end of th' list, an' see a string called "Very Fast." Gosh. It's unassigned, too...

"Very Fast" lets you move extremely quickly: about 50 percent faster than you can while running normally. However, this burst of speed is extremely draining; you tire about 10 times as quickly as normal, becoming completely fatiqued in a matter of a few seconds. Still I suppose that lil' adrenaline rush could come in handy at times when ya really need it. I set mine ta "Caps Lock" which is right above "Shift," my normal run key.

Th' other downside ta "Very Fast" is that you can't jump while moving quickly. No super-jumps, sorry. :( (Unless you use the OLBOUNCE cheat code that is.)

Increase Your Outlaws Sound Mixer Channels
I was actually looking for a way to get around Outlaws apparent limitation of 16 3D sound channels when using A3D sound but couldn't find anything that would help. However, I did find a way to increase your DirectSound channels. You know how you can set your sound mixer channels to 4, 8 or 16 in the olcfg.exe DirectSound Advanced options? Well if you have a sound card that supports more than 16 channels you can boost this number for Outlaws, though to tell the truth it doesn't really make a noticeable difference in most cases other than lowering your framerate in noisy gunfights. But hey I had to come up with something to make myself feel better when I couldn't solve the A3D problem.
So what to do? Load up regedit and go to HKEY_LOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lucasarts Entertainment Company\Outlaws\v1.0\DirectSound. Double-click the "Mixing Buffers" variable and change it to whatever your sound card can support (my MX300 does 76 or so, so I used 64 just to be on the safe side). Voila!

Shoot Yourself
Go to... wait, first let me get this out of the way: yes, I learned how to use Outlaws to play with myself. :P Okay now let's focus. Point regedit to HKEY_LOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lucasarts Entertainment Company\Outlaws\v1.0. There's a variable here called "Multiple Windows" which is currently set to "N." Set it to "Y." Now you can run multiple instances of Outlaws at once, limited only by your computer's memory and processing power. What's the point? I dunno, but I had fun joining my own games and killing myself--this worked great with Winsock, not sure if DirectPlay can handle it. Anyhow here's a screenshot of me in a 3-player game with me, myself and I; here's a shot of what happened when my Sanchez incarnation added a lil' spicy TNT to the mix. Three times the pain! Also worked just fine fullscreen with my Banshee; here's a shot of me gunning myself down in cold blood. Seemed somehow fitting. But wait, didn't the ancient ones decree that "Paleface shall not kill Paleface?" Oh no, that was apes; I guess I'm in the clear. :)

More Responsive Keyboard Turning
Ben Rogers found a way to make keyboard turning more responsive:

When playing around with the Outlaws registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Lucasarts EntertainmentCompany\Outlaws\Users\Default User\Keys) there's a string called "Yawl Accel MSecs." I found that by changing this from the default (200) to zero, I negated the annoying lag that would possess your character when using the keys to turn left or right. I think it must have something to do with the delay before reaching full turn speed; i.e. changing it to 0 meant no delay, whilst 200 was something like 200th of a second (?).
Well there you have it. Not really sure how many folks out there are using the keyboard to turn; frankly, you'll get MUCH better control using a good mouse to aim. Buy yeah there are always people who just have to do things their own way...


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