Tweaks for Call of Duty: Ghosts

Just last week, I kicked your sorry butts in boot as Battlefield 4 deployed. Now, it’s time for your next tour of the latest digital battleground – Call of Duty: Ghosts is out. Provided you got the right kind of machine, we’re going to get you locked and loaded with all sorts of tips that I’ve amassed from all over the Internet. You ready?!?! WE ARE OSCAR MIKE!

 

COD Ghosts - ENVY RECLINE.jpgAll right, All right, you probably know the drill but I’m going to remind you of a couple things right up front…

 

UPDATE YOUR DRIVERS!

So, yes, there’s the obvious stuff like your graphics cards. Do that. Now.

 

AMD Calling TeamRed: Consider checking out the latest Catalyst drivers – 13.11 Beta 8 – Paul Lilly at Maximum PC goes into it here.

 

NVIDIA If you’re a member of House Green, then you also need to jump on the new driver bandwagon. NVIDIA recently released GeForce 331.65 driversMore info on that right here at the GeForce blog.

 

(No doubt other updates are coming. Stay on top of that.)

 

DIRECTX – Make sure that your graphics card supports DirectX 11 – it is required for the game work. Then make sure that you have the developer-provided build of DirectX installed on your machine, at the very least. Assuming you’re downloading the game from Steam – like I did – it’s sitting in this directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Call of Duty Ghosts\_CommonRedist\DirectX\Jun2010

 

(Same rules apply for for Microsoft Visual C++, .Net Framework and NVIDIA PhysX. Make certain you've got the latest versions.)

 

FOR EVERYTHING ELSE ON YOUR SYSTEM: If you have an HP PC, you really should have the HP Support Assistant running in the background. It’s got a reasonably small footprint while it works its magic to scan your system for the latest driver updates. Or, if you’re among the hardcore, make sure you’ve bookmarked the support page for your specific PC and do it on your own.

 

WHY DON’T I JUST PLAY THIS ON A CONSOLE?

Do I need to come over there and straighten you out? Here’s why….take a quick look at this video GameSpot shot, comparing the console and PC versions (mind you someone recorded this at 720p….but still….)

 

 

WHAT KIND OF MACHINE ARE YOU?!?!

The PC requirements for the game separate the men from the boys. The min spec:

  • Minimum System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHZ / AMD Phenom™ X3 8750 2.4 GHZ or better
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM (This is important to keep in mind! Mo RAM, mo betta!)
  • Hard Disk Space: 40 GB (the Install  for the single player alone is about 30GB)
  • Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 450 / ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 or better
  • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
  • DirectX®: DirectX® 11

 

Does your PC pass muster? If so, you’re ready to report for duty.

 

WHICH SETTINGS SHOULD I USE ON MY MACHINE?

I know that there’s been a lot of talk about game performance, but I wanted to see how a middle-ground machine would run the game. So for my first test, I didn’t even play it on some massive gaming rig – I used an ENVY Recline all-in-one PC. I’m crazy like that.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it was packing a little heat (Intel Core i7-4770T, 16GB RAM) and there is discrete graphics on board (NVIDIA GeForce GT 730), but it’s not going to topple a good gaming card you’d plug into a tower. And yes, obviously, you load this game into a powered rig like the ENVY Phoenix 810, you’re covered.

 

Here’s the settings I ran with for my test run….on the ENVY Recline, though:

 

  • Image Quality: High
  • Depth of Field: No
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion: Off
  • Terrain Detail: On (If you’re getting low frame rates, turn off Terrain Detail as well.)
  • Anistropic Filtering: Normal
  • Motion Blue: No
  • Distortion: No
  • Anti-Aliasing: 2x MSAA
  • Shadows: No
  • Texture Quality: Manual (!!) -> I RARELY USE “AUTO” SETTINGS EVEN IF I HAVE A SPEC-CRUSHING PC.
  • Texture Resolution: High
  • Normal Map Resolution: Normal (Consider going “Low,” though)
  • Specular Map Resolution: Low
  • Water Map Resolution: Low

 

Obviously, you can fiddle with this stuff all day to put you in your happy place. Me? I kept it at 1600 x 900 during my initial run and everything seemed fine. Looked good, ran smooth – all that. So I went back in and notched up the resolution to 1920 x 1080 and started monkeying with the sliders so that picture looks better, but some stuttering started coming into play when firefights got hectic.

 

(From the guys at PC Gamer: Call of Duty: Ghosts can stutter if your OS has it defined as a high priority process. You can improve performance by opening Task Manager, right clicking on iw6mp64_ship.exe and setting priority to ‘normal.’” – but I’ve seen reports that you might want to also try going into Borderless / Windowed mode and maybe even turn off AA.)

 

This is as good a segue as any for a quick reality check. There are some…let’s just say growing pains… with this CoD: Ghosts right now. It’s well catalogued online. I don’t think I need to go into it here. A number of the items being addressed are cataloged at places like PC Gamer, SegmentNext.com, and PC Gaming Wiki. They highlight some rough fixes, but I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Activision is on the case with an official one.

 

PROTIP: Say “no!” to overlays. For now.

Right now, if you’re trying to use something like FRAPS to record video – or you plan to switch over to the Steam community overlay while playing, don’t. It can cause a stutter. Just switch any overlay apps off (heck, maybe consider uninstalling them) for the time being. To disable Steam Overlay, just right click on COD: Ghosts in Steam menu, select “Properties,” “General,” then uncheck “Enable Steam Community In-Game.”

Oh, and while you’re at it, If you’ve got a dedicated gaming mouse that uses special software, turn it off.

  

 

PROTIP: CUSTOM RESOLUTIONS!

Want a custom resolution? Maybe you’re trying to stretch the game across two monitors? Just make sure to go into the config files.

 

You can find them at: \Steam\steamapps\common\Call of Duty Ghosts\players2\

The files: config.cfg for the single player game and the Multiplayer config file is….wait for it…..config_mp.cfg

 

Once you crack that open, the config file is kinda a mess to navigate, but if you look for the key phrase, ”seta,” that starts each command. So in this case, look for....

 

seta r_displayMaxWidth [type width number here] 

seta r_displayMaxHeight [type height number here] 

 

This help you at all? You have more questions? I’m still testing, tweaking and figuring this stuff out as well. Hit the comments if you’ve got some good advice to give!

 

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