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Old 24th May 2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Post DiRT 3.

Here is the official DiRT 3 readme file.

DiRT 3™ README (version 1.0, updated 15-04-2011)

Thank you for purchasing DiRT 3™. This document contains last minute information about DiRT 3 and other information not found in the manual. Please read through if you are experiencing any difficulties running the game.

- The Codemasters Racing Studio


Minimum Specifications
  • Windows® XP, Windows Vista® or Windows® 7
  • AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 2.8 GHz / Intel® Pentium® D 2.8 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 15 GB Hard Drive Space
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon™ HD 2000 Series 256 MB / NVIDIA® GeForce® 8000 Series 256 MB
  • DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • DirectX 9
Recommended Specifications
  • Windows Vista® or Windows® 7
  • AMD Phenom™ II / Intel® Core™ i7
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 15 GB Hard Drive Space
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series
  • DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • DirectX 11
DiRT 3 is enhanced for DirectX 11, so if you're running on DX11 hardware and a compatible OS you'll benefit from enhanced visuals.

Network Play Requirements
  • Broadband internet connection required (512kbps+ recommended)
  • TCP/IP Network
Supported Graphics Cards

ATI Radeon™ HD2000 Series, HD3000 Series, HD4000 Series, HD5000 Series, HD6000 Series with at least 256 MB of VRAM.

NVIDIA® GeForce® 8000 Series, 9000 Series, GTX200 Series, GTX400 Series, GTX500 Series with at least 256 MB of VRAM.

Not compatible with all integrated sound/graphics solutions (inc.Laptops).


DiRT 3 can be configured to use almost any PC controller, however we recommend the following controllers for the best gameplay experience:
  • Xbox 360 Controller for Windows
  • Logitech Rumblepad 2
  • Thrustmaster Run'n'Drive
  • Run'n' Drive Rumble Force
  • Thrustmaster T-Mini 3-In-1
  • Dual Trigger 3-In-1
  • Thrustmaster Dual Analog 3 (ensure official Thrustmaster drivers are installed)
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
  • Logitech G25 Wheel
  • Logitech G27 Wheel
  • Logitech Formula Force EX Force Feedback Wheel
  • Thrustmaster T500RS Racing Wheel
  • Thrustmaster Ferrari 430 Force Feedback Racing Wheel
  • Thrustmaster RGT F/F Pro
DiRT 3 provides default configurations for all of the above, meaning that you should be able to plug-and-play, with no tweaking required.

For some wheels (e.g. Logitech MOMO, Fanatec Porche) it is important that the pedals are on separate, rather than combined axes. From the Windows Control Panel, choose 'Controllers' and click 'Properties' for the wheel you will be using. Click 'Settings' and ensure that the 'Combined' or 'Single Axis' setting is unticked.


It is advisable to close down all applications before either starting the installation or running the game. Not doing so may cause the game to lose focus or run poorly.

Place the DiRT 3 disc into your DVD drive and close the disc tray. If you have Autorun enabled on your PC then the installer should launch automatically.

If Autorun is disabled, open up 'My Computer' from the desktop or start menu. From there, double click on the icon for your DVD drive to explore the contents of the disc. Locate the 'Setup.exe' file and double click it to run the game's installer.

DiRT 3 requires the presence of either DirectX 9.0c or DirectX 11 on your system in order to run. DirectX will be automatically installed or updated (if required) during installation.

Once you have started the game and created a profile, you can alter your graphics and resolution settings from within the Options Menu.


Before reading the list below, make sure you're on the latest Graphics Drivers for your card. If you're having any kind of trouble running the game or you're seeing any strange behaviour then this is the first thing to check. Follow the links at the bottom of this page to the ATI or NVIDIA website (depending on your graphics card) and just follow the instructions you find there to ensure you're up-to-date. To a lesser extent the same is true of Audio Drivers and Windows Updates - try to make sure that all your hardware and software is up-to-date and you'll avoid most problems.

i) The game won't install!

If you find that you are getting 'file not found' errors (or other similar messages) during installation, it may be that your DVD drive is malfunctioning. There are several simple tests you can perform to verify this:
  • Does the same disc install correctly on a different PC?
  • Does the same disc install on your PC using a different DVD drive?
  • If you browse the DVD manually, can you locate the missing file?
  • Try copying the contents of your disc directly onto your hard drive - do you get a standard Windows 'Insert disc' error (or similar) whilst copying?
If any of the above tests succeed, then it is highly probable that there is an issue with your DVD drive. Such problems may not manifest themselves with all discs, so even if other games appear to install correctly then this may still be the case.

To install or uninstall the game you will need administrative privileges within Windows. On Windows Vista® or Windows® 7, simply enter the administrator password if and when you are prompted for it. On Windows® XP, log on as an administrator before running Setup.

ii) I changed my graphics settings - now the game won't boot!

If you changed your graphics settings and now can't get into the game - don't panic! This can occur if you enable an option that your graphics card cannot cope with, or set the resolution or refresh rate beyond what can be handled by your monitor. One option is to delete the hardware_settings_config.xml file in the /My Games/DiRT3/hardwaresettings/ folder, and the game will automatically generate a new one the next time it is run. Alternatively you can start DiRT3 in ‘Safe Mode’ using the shortcut under the start menu in Windows® XP or by right-clicking the game's icon in Windows Vista® or Windows® 7. This launches the game using the '-safemode' parameter, which simply boots the game using the lowest possible resolution and graphics settings.

iii) VSYNC

The VSYNC setting in the Graphics Options menu is off by default, this means that your GPU is unrestricted and allows the game to run at the highest frame rate possible. We recommend you leave VSYNC off if your average frame rate is lower than the refresh rate of your monitor or if you are running our benchmark test.

However, if your average frame rate is higher than the refresh rate of your monitor we recommend you turn VSYNC on. This will reduce the load on your GPU and the power consumed by your computer.

Please note that if VSYNC is off you may experience tearing across the screen, this can be avoided by turning VSYNC on.

iv) Poor frame-rate

Check the minimum spec above and make sure you meet all the requirements. If the game still runs at an unsatisfactory framerate, you may want to try a lower preset in the Graphics Options menu. Remember that ‘Ultra’ is designed to really test the top-end GPUs so don’t expect to get a high frame-rate with it enabled. If you are running with a high resolution or high level of multisampling, try lowering these first.

v) The game looks stretched/squashed!

DiRT 3’s ‘Auto’ aspect ratio setting automatically picks the aspect ratio for you based on your in-game resolution and your desktop resolution (which is assumed to be the monitor’s native resolution). This means that you should get a correctly shaped image regardless of what resolution you run the game in. If not, you can explicitly override your aspect ratio to one of the listed presets in the graphics options screen.

vi) The game has switched to running in a window!

If Windows steals focus from the game or if you Alt + Tab away, the game will end up running in a window. To get back to running in full screen mode, simply hit Alt + Enter. This toggles between windowed and full screen mode.

vii) Can't accelerate properly with a racing wheel

Make sure the wheel is not set up to use a combined axis. See the Controllers section above for info.

viii) Problems joining/creating network sessions

If you are running a Firewall, ensure it is set to allow the game to communicate on the following ports for both inbound and outbound traffic:

TCP and UDP port 3074

ix) The rear speakers are not playing

Switch your speaker configuration from stereo to surround in the Windows Control Panel. DiRT 3 supports 5.1 surround in 'generic software' mode, and both 5.1 and 7.1 (with the option of periphonic 3D7.1 surround) via the default Rapture3D driver. You must restart the game to hear the effect of changes to the Windows speaker configuration, but can adjust the Rapture3D settings while the game is running.

x) The side speakers are not playing

The software mixer supports up to 5.1 channel surround. For 7.1 surround, with two extra speakers, select "Rapture3D" rather than “Software”, and restart, after setting the number of speakers in Windows Control Panel. Then customise the configuration, if you wish, to best match your ears or speakers, with the additional options in the Rapture3D speaker layout application, which you can adjust if you wish while the game is running.

xi) Poor Online Performance

If you notice opponents' cars 'jumping' around during online races, this may be caused by your low frame rate. Try turning down some of the graphics options for a better frame rate, and the improved performance may reduce this problem.

xii) Game doesn't run when USB headset is connected

The game may fail to run with some combinations of sound card and USB headset. This can be rectified by;
1) Select Run from the Start menu, type dxdiag and select OK.
2) Select the Sound tab.
3) Change the Hardware Sound Acceleration Level to read "No Acceleration".

xiii) Loud audio feedback when using Speedlink Stage 7.1 soundcard

Under Windows XP, using the Speedlink Stage 7.1 surround sound card, you may experience a very loud audio feedback sound when running the game in Software audio mode. If your drivers are up-to-date and you still hear this problem, setting the game to use Rapture3D instead of Software audio in the Audio Options menu should fix this (you may need to restart the game for the settings to take effect).

If you notice a performance hit after making this change you may need to reduce the quality settings in the Rapture3D Speaker Layout tool. You should find this tool under 'Blue Ripple Sound' in your Start Menu; reduce 'Spatialisation Quality' and 'Processing Quality' on the Rapture3D tab.

xiv) Rapture3D driver is not selectable when a Thrustmaster brand steering wheel is connected

The Rapture3D audio driver may become unavailable when certain Thrustmaster branded steering wheels are connected to your PC. If you experience this problem, you can rectify it by doing the following:
- Right click on ‘My Computer’ and select Properties
- Select the ‘Advanced’ tab and choose ‘Environment Variables’
- Create a new user variable with the name ALLOW_RESTRICTED_RAPTURE3D and value 1

IMPORTANT: It is recommended that this environment variable is only added on a temporary basis whilst playing DiRT3, as leaving it permanently active may cause compatibility issues with other titles.

xv) Problems with Fanatec racing wheels on Windows XP and Vista

Fanatec racing wheels are fully supported by DiRT 3 on Windows 7 but on Windows XP and Vista you may find that the game does not detect and set up the controls for these wheels automatically. First ensure that your wheel's drivers are up-to-date (check the Fanatec support website) but if your wheel still does not auto-configure then please use the in-game Options > Controls screen to re-assign your controls as you see fit.

xvi) Accessing the Games for Windows - LIVE Guide

If you switch game input to a device which you did not sign into Games for Windows - LIVE on, you can still bring up the Guide via the device you originally signed in on, or by pressing 'Home' on the keyboard.

xvii) Changing screen orientation crashed the game

When rotating to and from portrait mode the game may crash - if this happens please delete the hardware_settings_config.xml file in the /My Games/DiRT3/hardwaresettings/ folder, and the game will automatically generate a new one the next time it is run.


If you are still experiencing problems the please contact our customer support where we will be more than happy to help. Details can be found in the back of your DiRT 3 manual or on the Codemasters website: You can also see if other users are experiencing similar problems by visiting the DiRT 3 forums - see the link at the bottom.



The audio system in DiRT 3 has been designed to scale greatly, to suit all machines and sound interfaces. There are two audio driver options. The "software" option is the same one available in the original DiRT and DiRT 2 for PC. Software uses the 'generic software' mixer from Creative Labs. This works on any DirectSound-compatible audio device, in stereo or 5.1 channel surround. It is fast but of limited fidelity; it has only limited EAX environmental effects. The “Rapture3D” option uses a more sophisticated OpenAL driver from Blue Ripple Sound. On a slow PC, this matches the quality of the old 'generic software' driver, but on a fast system (such as a modern Quad core PC) it can deliver performance equal or superior to that of the best hardware acceleration.

Rapture3D tests your CPU performance and auto-configures to suit. The two 'Quality' options in the Rapture3D tab of the Rapture3D Speaker Layout application, installed with the game, allow you to give more or less CPU time for sound. The latency (delay between game action and hearing the result) can also be tailored by adjusting the Default Buffer settings. Increase these if you hear stuttering of the entire audio mix; decrease them to make the audio respond more quickly to the controls. This only has an effect when Rapture3D is selected in the game audio menu.

The version of Rapture3D shipped with DiRT 3 is tailored to this game, but Rapture3D is also available for many other PC games that use OpenAL, with extra features such as custom speaker layouts and low-latency ASIO2 output for professional soundcards. Contact Blue Ripple Sound for details:


You should ensure you have the latest drivers for your soundcard.


DiRT 3 uses Ogg Vorbis libraries © 2006, Xiph.Org Foundation, (see disclaimer below)


Vibration and Feedback

The following settings can be found in the Vibration and Feedback screen, in the Options menu.

Vibration Strength
The amount of wheel vibration from crashes, rumble strips, and other environmental effects.

Wheel Strength
This adjusts the overall strength of the steering forces. The amount of steering force is set based on personal preference and driving style. Setting the value too high may cause oscillation and an unrealistic feel to the force feedback.

Wheel Weight
Wheel Weight refers to the steering wheel’s friction. A higher value will increase the apparent weight of the wheel, and more force will be required to turn the wheel, providing increased stability at higher speeds. A lower value will make the turning lighter and easier, but potentially more difficult to maintain a straight direction at higher speeds.

Advanced Wheel Settings

The following settings can be found under Advanced Wheel Settings in the Controls menu.

Dead Zone
This can apply to the steering or to the throttle and brake pedals. It creates a dead area in which input is ignored and so control will remain at the default (e.g. straight ahead in the case of steering). This can be useful if you are finding it difficult to keep the car in a straight line, but note that a higher Linearity value (see below) may give a more desirable effect than increasing the dead zone, so consider trying that before increasing the dead zone.

This can apply to the steering or to the throttle and brake pedals. Saturation sets the point at which maximum steering/pedal input is achieved, affecting for example the amount you need to press the throttle before maximum acceleration is achieved. If steering seems unresponsive, reducing the saturation will mean the steering reaches its maximum lock sooner.


This applies to steering only and adjusts the relative sensitivity of steering around the centre point and the extremities. Unlike the Deadzone setting it does not eliminate player input. Positive values mean that the steering is less sensitive in the centre region and more sensitive when cornering at high lock. Negative values mean the opposite, so steering is more sensitive around the centre and less so when cornering.


Benchmark Mode

Benchmark mode allows you to automatically run a standard race, in order to test the current graphics setup. It can be launched by pressing the button on the Graphics Options screen, and the test will take a few minutes to complete.

Benchmarks can also be launched as standalone tests from the command line by running "dirt3.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml". The XML filename is optional and allows you to override settings for displaying replays, saving the benchmark results, and overriding which hardware_settings_config.xml file to use (found with the game saves in the My Games folder). You can also specify custom race-sets by listing track and car combinations. See the file example_benchmark.xml in the game's installation folder for an example. For further automation options, search the game's forums (linked below) for the word 'benchmark'.

Motion Platforms

If your system has a motion platform, then DiRT 3 should be able to control it. This feature is completely untested beyond checking that the basic data output is correct, and as such should be used entirely at your own risk. The output format is designed to be compatible with the "Live for Speed" outsim motion platform format. To enable, just open the hardware_settings_config.XML file and edit the motion attributes:

<motion enabled="true" ip="" port="20777" delay="1" extradata="0" />
  • enabled - Set 'true' or 'false' to enable or disable the motion platform
  • ip - The IP address of the motion platform
  • port - The port of the motion platform
  • delay - the time between data updates from the game (1/100ths second).
  • extradata - This should always be set to '0'


Codemasters website:

DiRT 3 forum:

If you are having problems running the game, you may want to try updating your graphics card drivers from one of the following websites:

ATI Technologies:

Neither the name of the Foundation nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission. This software is provided by the copyright holders and contributors 'as is' and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall the foundation or contributors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
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