The advanced settings are available through configuration files on both the host and the client, and allows for some settings not shown via the application itself. Before changing these though, try the more basic settings provided in the application. If you have trouble with lag or latency, troubleshoot what's causing it before tweaking anything.
You can access the configuration file going into Parsec's settings, scrolling to the bottom and clicking "edit the configuration file directly".
Alternatively, you can find config.txt somewhere on your system's files:
- macOS / Linux / Raspberry Pi:
Applying settings via command line
You can also use all of these settings via the command line.
List of settings
A lot of these settings are also available in the Parsec application itself via its Settings section, so you may notice some similarities. Depending on what you plan to change, you won't need to modify the config.txt file at all.
These configurations are for when you're connecting to someone.
- VSync: Whether to use VSync while connected to someone. VSync increases latency, but eliminates screen tearing. On some Intel decoders, you can actually turn this option off and continue to play without tearing. Use 1 to activate VSync (default), or 0 to turn it off.
- Window Mode: Whether to run the Parsec application in windowed mode while connected to someone. Use 0 for fullscreen (default), or 1 for windowed mode.
- Overlay: Whether to show Parsec's overlay button in the top-left while connected to someone. Use 1 to show it (default), or 0 to hide it.
- Decoder: Whether to use software decoding while connected to someone. Software decoding is much slower, but can be useful for compatibility reasons if you lack a hardware decoder. Use 0 for faster hardware decoding (default), or 1 for software decoding.
- H.265: Whether to attempt to stream using the H.265 video codec, falling back to H.264 if all the connected computers don't support it or the clients don't have this setting enabled. Use 1 to try H.265, or 0 to use H.264 (default).
- Renderer: Which renderer to use for the Parsec application itself. There's OpenGL (0), Metal (1), Direct3D 9 (2) and Direct3D 11 (3). By default, Windows uses Direct3D 11, Mac uses Metal, and Linux uses OpenGL.
- Immersive Mode: Whether to use immersive mode by default while connected to someone, which allows you pass keys like Alt+Tab and Windows+R to the host, and locks your mouse to the Parsec window. Use 1 to enable it, or 0 to disable it (default).
- Network Client Port: You can use this to manually tweak the UDP port used when you are connecting to someone, useful in case you want to manually forward the port on your router. You should use a value between 1025 and 65534, or leave it at 0 for a pseudorandom number (default).
- Audio Buffer: Controls the delay on the audio, and it's the number of frames of video it's delayed. Our default minimum value is half of the max value. Increasing the max value increases the buffer/delay on the audio but resolves some issues with audio breaking up or crackling. By default the minimum value is set to half of the maximum value. This is measured in milliseconds.
These configurations are for when you're hosting a session to someone.
- Resolution: Determines the resolution this computer will change to when you or a friend with admin permission connects. The resolution must be supported by Windows and be 4K or lower, otherwise it will fail. Set both to -1 to not change the host's resolution, or set both to 0 to use the client's resolution (default).
- Bandwidth Limit: Determines the maximum amount of bandwidth Parsec will use while streaming video to everyone connected to this computer. By default this is 10.
- FPS: Determines the stream's frames per second. If you or a friend with admin permission connects, this will also try to change the display's refresh rate to match. Setting this above 60 may cause instability in some devices. By default this is 60.
- Echo Cancelling: Whether to prevent echo from using Discord on this computer. Use 1 to enable (default), or 0 to disable.
- Maximum Client Amount: Determines the maximum number of people that can connect to this computer. Keep in mind when changing this that your bandwidth is split between the people connected, so 30mbps for 5 people would mean each person has 6mbps, which is not a lot for fast action games. By default this is 20.
- Host Name: Determines your computer's name which will be shown to others in Parsec.
- Approved Apps: Whether to turn on Approved Apps, and freeze the screen and inputs of the people connected when in an application that hasn't been approved in Parsec's settings. You can learn more about Approved Apps here. Use 1 to enable, or 0 to disable (default).
- Network Host Start Port: You can use this to manually tweak the UDP port used when you are going to host, useful in case you want to manually forward the port on your router. If you for example use port 8000 as the starting port, if 4 people were to connect to this host, then 4 ports starting from 8000 would be used (in this case, 8000 to 8003). Make sure to forward all those additional ports if you expect multiple people to join. You should use a value between 1025 and 65534, or leave it at 0 for a pseudorandom number (default).
- Mute Speakers: Whether to mute this computer's speakers when you or a friend with admin permission connects. Use 1 to mute (default), or 0 to not mute.
- Encoder Video Quality: Determines the minimum quality value Parsec can use (the higher, the blurrier). A value below 5 isn't particularly noticeable to the human eye. Parsec automatically scales this value based on network performance so setting this lower does not necessarily improve the quality. If you see blurry video, look into increasing the bandwidth limit or check if something is wrong with the connection. By default this is 5.
Some additional settings related to the application. These are Windows-only.
- Hide Arcade: Setting this to 0 will hide the Arcade icon in Parsec. This does not disable the functionality at an account level, but rather just hides it from the interface.
- Hide Friends: Setting this to 0 will hide the friends icon in Parsec. This does not disable the functionality at an account level, but rather just hides it from the interface.
- Use Windows Proxy Settings: Setting this to 1 will tell Parsec to respect your Windows proxy settings.