How to play Warcraft III without picture stretching (fullscreen 4:3 on widescreens)

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Aug 23, 2014
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It's not a secret that the majority of monitors nowadays are widescreen.
However, Warcraft III was created when most of the monitors used CRT and 4:3 aspect ratio. So we can say his native resolutions are 4:3, all others will just stretch your view horizontally.

1920x1080 (16:9)
|
1728x1080 (16:10)
|
1440x1080 (4:3)
Example_1920_1080.jpg
|
Example_1728_1080.jpg
|
Example_1440_1080.jpg
If you are tired of seeing flattened faces of characters, here is a way to change the aspect ratio without any additional software.

Warning! Modern monitors often able to work with non-standard resolutions, but old monitors can just turn black.


Part I. Monitor settings


First you need to check: Your monitor has the desired mode or not. How to do it?
1. Change your resolution to lower with aspect ratio 4:3 (for example 800x600).
2. Open your monitor options with buttons on the monitor.
Further steps will depend on your monitor, try to find the closest in meaning:
3. Open "Picture Advanced" menu tab.
4. Select "Display Mode" option.

Display Mode in BENQ options
MonitorDisplayMode.jpg
5. Change "Display Mode". It will be "Full" by default (stretch video signal to all available space), change it to "Aspect" (strecth video signal keeping aspect ratio) you will notice that now your image have 4:3 aspect ratio, but blurred.

Full mode
|
Aspect mode
MonitorDisplayModeFull.jpg
|
MonitorDisplayModeAspect.jpg
6. Also find "Overscan" option, turn it off if it's enabled. (this option stretches the image off the screen)

With overscan
|
Without overscan
MonitorOverscanOn.jpg
|
MonitorOverscanOff.jpg
7. Now you can go to the part II.


Part II. System settings


Now you know what your monitor can handle 4:3 aspect ratio without problems. You want to set awesome resolution in Warcraft III and play without stretches. However, the system may not have the ideal resolution.
For example my system only offers 1280x960, and this leads to: 12,5% hardware strech and blur or 60px black stripes at the top and the bottom of the screen.

Well you think now: "Hey, why not set proper resolution via regedit?". Problem with this way here - Warcraft III will reduce your resolution to the closest system resolution. I think it's protection against errors.

So you need to add new resolution to the system.
I can tell you that it is very easy with Nvidia cards (don't know about Radeon cards).

Instruction
Yep, it's in Russian, so all names translated
and can be different in reality
NvidiaSystemSettings.jpg

1. Open Nvidia taskbar menu with right click on the Nvidia icon.
2. Open Nvidia control panel with corresponding button.
3. Now open tab "Monitor->Change Resolution".
4. Choose your display at the top.
5. Click "Configure" at the bottom.
6. Check "Allow non-standard modes".
7. Click "Create user resolution".
8. Input proper settings for your monitor, i.e. "Horizontal pixels: 1440, Vertical pixels: 1080, Refresh rate: 60, Color depth: 32, Scan type: Progressive, Sync: Auto".
9. Press "Test" -> "YES" -> "OK".
10. Check that your new resolution is now in resolutions list.
11. Close Nvidia control panel and run Warcraft III.
12. Select new resolution in options and enjoy :)

Result
MonitorResult.jpg

What are the advantages?

  • No blurring and stretching.
  • Black stripes do not distract from the game.
  • Cursor can not leave game window, so you can easily scroll view with mouse at the edges.
  • Fullscreen applications work faster.
  • You just run the game and everything is already set, without additional programs and other.

Bonus


This solution works with all games.
Now you can set new resolution in old games if they fill resolutions list from system settings.
If game doesn't fill resolution settings from OS, you can configure it with ".ini"/".cfg" files or registry entries (depends on the game).
 
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