Client-side skin selection

Skin-selection menu

This feature allows a player to configure their client to render player models in colors other than the game defaults. For example, in team survivor, it permits to draw enemies using the FFA/LMS green skins and allies in orange skins instead of the default red and blue skins. This feature only changes skins. Individual players' models/gender are unaffected. This setting only effects you; everyone else will see whatever skins they have set for themselves, and servers cannot force this setting on players.

Selecting skins Edit

To select skins via the GUI, from the Main Menu, select Setup > Player, and then just above the player portraits, click the word "DEFAULT" to change to a different skin. To change skins while in a game, hit ⎋ Esc, click on Player > Player Setup, and select the skins in the same way there.

Two cvars are controlling skin selection: cg_skinAlly and cg_skinEnemy. The former control your team skin, the latter the one of your enemies. Elements of the user interface and flags will also match skin selection. Valid values are 0 for the default skins, and 1 through 14 for custom skins.

The following screenshots show the default player model wearing a kevlar vest. There will be slight variations for other player models and for players not wearing a kevlar vest.

For example, to configure your client to display your team in orange and your enemies in green, open Console and type:

/cg_skinAlly 5
/cg_skinEnemy 1

Note: To avoid abuse, changes to skin settings will only take effect during warmup, when changing team (including joining the spectators), and upon re-spawn (except for Jump mode where changes are immediate).

Note: Some combinations of values are restricted to avoid situations where both teams would end up with the same skins. Therefore:

  • setting cg_skinAlly and cg_skinEnemy to an identical value other than 0
  • setting one to 0 and the other to red or blue (2 or 3)

will display an error message. (In that situation, the skin displayed will match the last valid configuration).

Strategic UseEdit

Of course all skins are "visible," but some skins are going to be more visible in most cases, and help you to distinguish between allies and enemies more easily. It can be beneficial to set skins to bright, complimentary colors. Darker colors may look more realistic, but will also be harder to see. Complimentary colors will help exaggerate the difference between the teams. For example, Green allies paired with Red enemies, or Blue allies paired with Orange enemies.

When using Tac Goggles, players will be tinted with either red, green, or blue. For example, for green, yellow, and orange Tacs, players will be tinted with green. However, you can still see a bit of the skin color showing through, so it's best to choose a skin for enemies that contrasts well with the Tac's color overlay. So, if you set Tacs to Yellow (which has a Green player overlay), so you would want enemies to use high-contrast Red. If the enemies are red, you want allies to use high-contrast Green.

This ensures

  1. High contrast between allies and enemies (with or without Tacs on)
  2. High contrast between the Tac Goggle overlay and enemies.
Tac Color Tac Player Overlay Color Best-contrast Skin (for enemies) Best Counter-contrast (for allies)
Green, Yellow, Orange Green Red Green
Red Red Green Red
Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Pink Blue Orange Blue

This analysis is limited by the three possible Tac Goggle player-overlay colors: red, green, or blue. If you don't use Tacs, then you have more good options for high-contrast between allies and enemies.

Server configuration Edit

Server administrators can allow or forbid the use of the client-side skin selection feature in their server configuration using the variable g_allowForceSkins.

Caveats Edit

Team changes
When using skins settings other than unchanged (0) changing team will no longer change the skins of your allies and opponents.
While in spectator (whether in free look or following a player), "red players" will appear in the skin selected with cg_skinEnemy and "blue players" cg_skinAlly.
In solo modes, all players have the same skin as set by the cg_skinEnemy variable.
Team command and in-game team selection user interface
The team command and the team selection user interface have been left unchanged. This causes a mismatch with the skin displayed in-game. This should be remedied in the future. In the meantime, remember that the "red team" always appears above in the full and mini score boards.
Invalid transitions
When changing cg_skinAlly and cg_skinEnemy values, it might be required to temporarily set an invalid configuration, in such case ignore the error message and proceed. For example, assuming the default configuration, where both variables have value 0. To change it to have allies blue and enemies red (irrelevant of your actual side on the map), one might first set cg_skinAlly to 3. At this point, an error message is produced and the skin displayed are unchanged (see above about invalid settings). That error should be ignored and cg_skinEnemy set to 2. Only then will the skin settings take effect.

This article is based on a document originally from