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Afraid to get started in bf2142? Here's what might convince you to do it. Advantages and disadvantages of refractor 2.5.

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After several years of modding on the refractor 2.0 (Bf2), as well as the refractor 2.5 (bf2142. I wrote this article because the refractor 2.5 is not well known, and there is very little data on the internet explaining the new features.
bf2142 soldierbf2 soldier 1

So I will list the pros and cons of refractor 2.5 trying to be as complete as possible (this article will probably be updated based on my findings).

Update of 18/11/2021 [16h55 pm]

Before starting I will list the known issues/disadvantages/differences of the refractor 2.5 :

  • Profile and connection system (corrected with the unlocks tool)
  • No debug mod, if a template is missing it will crash the game when playing, like missing ambiant effect will crash the game when this one is triggered, very hard to catch. (But let us specify here that the game does not crash if a texture, an animation, or a geometry is missing)
  • 4 class max for ai (can add 5 class for humans players)
  • Soldiers speed and camera vars disable
  • Teams names are hardcoded with only 2 strings (but flags can be added without troubles)
  • LacrymoGas and flashbang codes not working
  • Shaders are a little different, need some work to port bf2 custom shaders to bf2142
  • Freecam speed mod delete (can't sprint with free cam mod with double W or Z)
  • Load Mount Archive into maps.init disable the archive from the main mod (Fixed by adding the main mod archive to the map mount archive too )
  • Atlas textures limited to one .tai file (But the paths can be added to the file so no worries)
  • Spawntime depend of reanimation time > fixed by add the desired value into GameLogicInit.con
  • 4km maps troubles (lot of clipping with huge map like PR maps, no fix yet)
  • Setting renderer.vsync 1 in init crash the game
  • Grapplin and zipeline missing (but we can redo them with the new codes ;) )
  • NightVision not supported
  • Hudbuilder is a little different than bf2, need some work to import somes HUD from bf2 (But it works great so don't panic)
  • Flash menu different than bf2
  • For what I tested, the remote control HorizontalTurnObject and VerticalTurnObject does not seem to work anymore
  • Commander vehicle drop missing
  • The vehicle ducking fonction is on "W" (azerty) or "Z" (qwerty) by default
  • The code MaxSoundPerBurst does not seem to work anymore
  • There is some troubles with multiple index on vehicle and HUD, you can't have a lock hud with PIAltFire, you need always to use PIFire to have a lock, so use mg on PIFire and aa missile on PIAltFire will not show any HUD, so need to edit some stuff here
The position of the camera is different for the handheld weapons of bf2142, 
to carry a weapon of bf2 in bf2142 requires to have the code renderer.tweaknearplane1p 0.015  to fix that.

Note : 3d models of bf2142 are the same format than bf2, no need to be edit.
Anything not listed here works fine in 2142

Modding can and should take longer, not having a debug prevents us from knowing if a template is missing, although most of the time the game will not crash, somes can and are difficult to debug, for example the ambient effects on the maps must be checked absolutely because they crash the game after join if they are triggered and the template does not exist.

Called templates that are not created are one of the main causes of 2142 crashes, especially the effects! Check if the effects are there! The causes of crashes are also the duplicate templates (whether in HUDs, effects etc.) Do not waste your time checking textures, animation etc., that will not be the cause, check the templates you call

BF2142 requires you to be methodical for debugging, when the game crashes, ask yourself the right questions! Have you added anything recently? Is it with bots? Does it crash without bots? Remove the vehicles from the map and re-test etc, The goal being to isolate the possible causes to have a track to search

BF2142 can be debuged with the linux dedicated server (can show the log and the stuff wich cause crash), a big thanks to Dankrad who taught me to use it.

Refractor 2.5

Well, I hope you haven't all closed the article being afraid by looking at the disadvantages, because the advantages are many more numerous!

Advantages :

[AI Behaviour]

  • AI is much more efficient and responsive, can use unlocks etc. etc.
  • AI Commander work (AI can use supply drop, orbital and emp strike, but can't use the uav drone)
  • AI autocontroller, pissed off the bastards who come shamelessly pounding the aircraft carrier with their brand new mig29 ? No problem, an auto controller assigned to the wasp and the problem is solved .....(for those who have never played bf2142, it is a function that allows a turret or whatever (as long as it is not on an aerial vehicle otherwise beware of crashes) to operate automatically without that a bot enters it.)
  • Much more weapons/object AI templates codes (for exemple ai medikit = weaponType Healing)
  • AI much more efficient in vehicle (Very nice improvement for the tanks and heli behaviour)


  • Breath effect
  • More codes like effect only draw in zoom mod


  • Better effect manager (max particles increased)
  • Better physics and radgolls
  • Better network optimization
  • Better optimization and loading times it just has nothing to do with bf2
  • Better sound manager, the sounds are much better managed, no more sound bugs when there are too many like bf2, some additional lines of codes are also available, vehicles engines sounds are better managed
  • Double amount of NetworkableInfos (1024 limit in bf2)
  • Weather feature natively supported (snow, rain, thunder)

[Fixed Issues in BF2]

  • Fixed sounds Automatically triggered (bots use them too)
  • Fixed HoldObject with bots (need to test more to be sure,will update when i will sure)
  • Fixed Hud blink bugs (blood effect for exemple when spawn)


  • Active shield on vehicles
  • Commander EMP Strike (can be used for magic stuff too, what about a tomahawk missile..)
  • Commo rose commands trigger animations 3p
  • Destroyable child on vehicles (Yes this is just great, you can destroy a tank's cannon without destroying it totally! Can be used to destroy the engine for example, but it will remove childs, so when destroy the engine, it will remove the wheels ...)
  • Destroyable projectile with [Point]
  • EMP effect disable engine and inputs (can surely be used for somes new magics stuff..)
  • Force object can follow inputs
  • Freecam can follow soldier
  • Parachute on space button
  • UAV can be attached to a projectile, and differentiate soldiers from vehicles
  • Weapons with Air Burst Rounds


  • Better shaders
  • Better lods/cull manager
  • Bloom and saturation effect (can be tweaked for each map in sky.con)


  • Kit customisation menu
  • More warnings HUD
  • More HUD Variables


  • 50 geometry parts per vehicle [against 26 for bf2 if I am correct]
  • 6 weapon targetcomps [against 3 for bf2]
  • Abilities (uav can be atttached, limited to a target, sprint, ammo, spot ...)
  • Better Component Armor
  • Better Component Zoom
  • Better DefaultFollowComp
  • Better SeekClosestTargetComp
  • Better MultiFireArmTargetComp
  • Better DefaultDetonationComp
  • CountdownSoundComp
  • Detonation delay projectile
  • Detonation projectile min and max range setting with mousewheel
  • Better Component VehicleHud
  • Equipment with secondary itemindexes (needed to avoid crash with no altfire input set)
  • More RotationalBundle settings (can ignore parent rotation)
  • More vehicles engines settings
  • Nametags component
  • Squadleader beacon
  • Vehicle can have an animated skeleton
  • Weapon sway Component and stabilization with shift key
  • Zoomlevels with mousewheel


  • Additional predefined python events
  • Python events may be predefined in the .tweak files for objects

Some examples in picture :

Wasp AI autocontroller

Wasp Auto AI

3p animation

BF2142Patched 2021 11 06 15 05 0

Note that there are still many other things that I have not detailed

Article that will be updated.....

To follow my work join the discord server which contains all the modders of BF : Refractor 2 Modding

logo soldat


This sound really interesting, but it also sounds like a lot of work.
Good luck with the project

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes

I have wished to port my mods into 2142 for a few years now especially for the awesome bloom effect already built into the Refractor 2.5 engine, but the reasons you listed means it would be a literal nightmare to do it and would take many years. Who knows, maybe one day I can get Battlefield 1944 or Battlefield:Korea ported, but it would take such a long time to do. But awesome work focusing on it and I will check out your mods in the engine for sure!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

Nice article! I have never seen the pros & cons of the different refractor engines listed like this.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes

Exactly, very good contribution indeed!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes

Wonderful Contribution. Thank you.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes

Make BF2 Great again!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
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