Content: nailguard & mirelle_earthshine - Layout/Coding: mirelle_earthshine

Hello and Welcome to Nailguard's Habi-Lag Guide!

Habitarium is well known for its profitability and lack of user input. But, it is also known for slowing down computers and causing substantial amount of lag, thus reducing the incentive for some players to run the game regularly.
In this guide, you will find some methods to reduce lag and optimize your computer so that running Habitarium is easier. By implementing a combination of these methods you can, hopefully, have Habitarium running while you continue to multi-task and do other things while playing Neopets.

Use the links to Navigate through the different ways to reduce lag.


Here are some basic steps you can take to reduce lag from inside your Habitarium.

Mute Sound & Background Music
As adorable and catchy as the background music is, it's best to mute it. This will save you considerable lag, and you can also play your own music elsewhere.
Sometimes leaving the Habitairum's sound button on can be helpful. Should you be low on soldiers, or if you just want to know when to collect those wondeful red gems, you will recieve the Pest-warning. But muting the sound, can also reduce lag.

Zoom In on an inactive area
The best way to adjust your zoom for lag reduction is to zoom in on an inactive area of the habitarium. To do this:
1. Zoom in as much as possible
2. Hold down your left mouse button, and drag your view of Habitarium to any inactive corner of the Habitarium.

Essentially, you will be looking at a portion of your Habitarium's background. As a result, you should only do this when you are not actively managing the Habitarium (harvesting eggs, moving p3s, etc).


Arn't these curly leaves cool?

When you are actively managing your Habitarium (harvesting eggs, moving p3s, etc), using the default zoom or the normal zoom should suffice.

Everything is so easy to see!

Buildings/Decorations
For the most part, you would want to keep your habitarium simplistic & minimalistic. You might want to keep the basic buildings such as:
Storages, Nests, and Houses.
Having Houses, Barracks or NC Buildings is alright, but to decrease lag you'll want to only have the buildings you'll need. More importantly, avoid painting your buildings as it will require your computer to load that extra colour whenever you refresh the game, or open habitarium.

NC decorations or animated Habitarium items contribute to lag, so try to exclude those as much as possible.
Other decorations that are just lying around, in water, or are only there to be pretty should be removed as they can cause unecessary lag (primarily when you start up/refresh habitarium)
Remember: An uncluttered Habitarium, is a happy Habitarium. (;

To further reduce lag, you can consider blocking off Storages, blocking p3s, & blocking off multiple resource access points and blocking all access points to a resource tile. For all 4 methods, you will need some non-storage buildings/decorations. Using food for blocking purposes is also acceptable, but because food can be consumed by pests and p3s, it should be used strategically.
You can see examples of all 4 methods below.

1. Blocking Storages
To block off storages, simply group your storages together, and enclose them with non-storage buildings or decorations (preferably non-animated). You do not need to cover tiles diagonal of the storage you wish to block. Blocking storages removes the animation of p3s walking towards the storage after harvesting resources but does not take out the animation of p3s walking to other access points of the resource tile. This method of lag reduction is least effective when compared to other options listed in this guide, but this method is cheap & relatively simple to implement. Resources will still accumulate, the only difference is your workers will not walk towards the storage, thus reducing animation and lag.
Another handy detail is to use the environment to block the storages off. Use corners, water and resource tiles to your advantage so you don't have to use so many decorations.


BONUS: Blocking off your Storages also keeps Pests away from them!

2. Blocking P3s
When blocking in p3s you can isolate them in one space or several. You can either surround several spaces and resource tiles or make it so that only one resource tile is available, as shown below.
The advantage of this is that workers will stay one place and are easier to grab. This lag reduction method appears to be the most effective as well. The disadvantage is that pests can spawn in the isolated tile (which can cause harm to harvesting p3s, soldiers often cannot access these isolated tiles) unless you take further steps. To solve this pest problem, simply drag a decoration/non storage building/food in the isolated tile after you finished placing the harvesting p3s inside the isolated tile. If you plan to place food in the isolated tile, be wary that soldiers can eat past 1 layer of obstacles, and so you may want to consider using nectar (heals health, soldiers rarely get harmed). With this option, you do not need to block the storages, as the harvesting p3s are isolated next to the resource tiles.


You're gonna stay there until this Mud Bog is empty, mister!!


3. Blocking off multiple access points
There is a third way to reduce animation and thus lag. Simply put, you would block off all but 1 of the access points of the resource tile (using decoration and/or non storage buildings). In this scenario, you do not need to fully enclose/isolate your p3. By blocking off the multiple access points, the worker would stay stationary in their harvest, and would not move from 1 access point to another. With this option, you still have to block off the storages though. As a side note, after your habi successfully defends itself against a pest invasion, all your harvesting p3s will move a short distance before returning back to their respective tiles. In essence, a pest invasion will cause lots of harvesting p3s to walk, and perhaps causing brief lag.


Loving all the pretty colors. Fashionable and Functional. We are High Habitaium Fashion.



4. Blocking All access points
This fourth method is very similar to the third method of blocking off all but 1 of the access points to resource tiles. To achieve this, you need to block storages & also block all the access points to the resource tile using non storage buildings/decorations.
P3s can still harvest from the resource tile even though there is 1 layer of obstacles in their way. This method of blocking allows for a group of p3s to harvest the same resource tile from different locations & still remain stationary.


Isn't spreading out fun?


For the most part, blocking p3s provides the best lag reduction and p3 protection. More importantly, blocking p3s can be done efficiently, even at level 50. For more information, check out this guide.

There are also steps that you can take with your Computer's overall settings to reduce lag and to maximize your Habitarium's potential.

Browsers
For Mozilla Firefox users, there are add-ons that reduces flash quality & thus lag. Consider the add-ons "low quality flash" (currently not compatible with ff 4), "grease monkey" and the script "force low quality flash" (compatible with ff 4).

For Google Chrome users, the extension "flash render quality" allows you choose the quality set for flash based application. Set the quality to low for optimal performance.

For other Browsers, you'll have to do some research yourself as I am less familiar with them. To find the add-ons/extensions mentioned in this guide, use a search engine and copy & paste the keywords (in quotation marks).

Other things to do with Browsers


Regardless of the browser you use, you can also reduce CPU usage by simply opening a blank tab in the window where habitarium is running, click the restore down button & resize the browser as small as possible. This method of lag reduction is especially useful when you have plans to leave habitarium running without user input.
Note: restore down simply makes resizing easier & is only accessible when the browser has been maximized.

Optimizing Your Computer
This section covers advanced methods of lag reduction and computer optimization. Since I own a laptop using Windows 7, I will only be capable of covering advanced methods for window users, and not computers using MACs or other operating systems.

Table of Contents
Adjusting Visual Effects
Power Options
Msconfig & services.msc
About:config (for ff)
In this section, you will learn how to adjust the preset visual effects for your computer for better performance. These steps generally work for Windows:

1) Click the start button, right click My Computer, select Properties
2) Click Advanced System Settings
3) Under the tab Advanced, Click the button Settings under the performance section
4) You should be in the Visual Effects tab. By default, it appears that the option "Let Windows choose what's best for my computer" is selected. Click "Adjust for best performance" to deselect all the visual effects in windows, menus, etc.
5) Click Apply and Ok.

By tweaking the visual effects section, you will likely notice that some visually appealing animations will not show up. This method of lag reduction is quite useful regardless of whether you play habitarium or not. In particular, if you like to restock from shops, you will likely notice that the popup windows that appears whenever you wish to buy something shows up slightly faster.

Click here to go back
In this section, you will learn how to tweak power plans and choose the power option that works for you. To access your power plans:
1) Go to start, click on control panel
2) If power options shows up, click on it. If your control panel is set to view by category, Click Hardware and sound, followed by Power Options.
By following the steps above, you should now have access to tweak and choose your power plan that best suits you. For the most part:
-Power Saver will yield reduced performance in conjunction with less energy consumption.
-Balanced will have a balance of energy consumption and performance.
-High performance allow for better performance at higher energy consumption.

If you are playing competitive games such as Keyquest (while having habi run in another window/tab), you would want to choose the high performance power plan. Otherwise, if you are planning to leave the habi running while you are not actively using the computer, choose the power saver plan (as you don't need super processing power). Balanced performance is also a good choice if you need mediocre computer performance while Habitarium is running.

Advanced power settings
After following the 2 steps to access your power options, you can view and edit some of the more advanced power settings in each of the power plans available.
1) Click on Change plan settings to the corresponding power plan you wish to view and edit in detail.
2) Click Change advanced power settings
3) In this window, you would want to look at the sleep section and ensure that the computer never: sleeps, hibernates, and hybrid sleep. You would also want to check the power buttons and lid section, and ensure that the lid close action is set to do nothing (For laptops, monitor will turn off when you close the lid).

Click here to go back
Since these 2 features allows you to disable important and unnecessary services, you will have to do research as to what you can disable and what should be left alone. Usage of a search engine is highly recommended when deciding which services should be and can be disabled for lag reduction and preference. To access these:
1) Go to start, and select run. (if you are using windows 7, you can just type in run in the search programs and files bar)
2) Type msconfig or services.msc depending on which one you want to access

In general, services.msc allows you to choose your services options more carefully, as you get to disable, set services to automatically run or run only when manually selected (automatic, manual, and disabled). Again, research via a search engine is important if you want to disable services safely for lag reduction and to accommodate your personal preferences.

Click here to go back
In firefox, you can modify all user preferences entries by using the about:config page. To access this page, simply:
1) Type about:config in your url bar for firefox
2) Click the I'll be careful, I promise! button. Seriously though, be careful when creating or modifying entries in this page. Follow guides carefully when making changes.

In this page, you will see a long list of entries.



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