A few of you have probably been reliving your most outrageous Liberty City exploits since Rockstar released a pint-sized port of sandbox classic Grand Theft Auto 3 for Android last week. While the game makes the transition mostly intact, some of the graphical flair of the original is missing, probably to make it run better on a wider variety of Android phones and tablets. If you’re running a high end phone with a fast dual-core processor and a competent GPU, it might not be using them to the best of their abilities. Luckily, German site AndroidNext has found a hidden settings file within the game’s data folder, which will allow you to modify some basic graphics settings.

First, connect your phone or tablet to your PC, in either USB mass storage or MTP mode. Open the SD card or the /sdcard/ folder. Navigate to /Android/data/com.rockstar.gta3eng/files/GTA3. (I’m guessing on the “com.rockstar.gta3eng” file – it may be named slightly different in the US/UK.) Copy the file “gta3.set” to your computer for backup, then open the original in a text editor. Inside you’ll find all the fiddly little settings that you’re probably used to if you play PC games on a regular basis.

With the right settings adjusted, effects like light bloom, dynamic shadows, headlights, weather and more high-resolution effects become enabled. Obviously the game is going to take a hit on performance, but if your device is powerful enough, you may not even notice it. If you’re planning on picking up an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, be sure and keep these settings handy. You can go directly to AndroidNext’s site for a pre-configured settings file, but be warned: it might have your menus and subtitles sprechan sie Deustch.