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Call of Duty 2 Tweak Guide

[Page 10] Conclusion

The guide is fast coming to an end. Read the remaining information on this page for some final things of note on Call of Duty 2 including a handy booster to your FPS, as well as my concluding thoughts.

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Call of Duty 2 FPS Boost

In what happens to be an excellent (and now well-known) discovery, myshkinbob over at the NVNews Forums discovered two important facts regarding Call of Duty 2's performance under DX9. Read his thread for the full story, but basically his discovery centers around two important settings in Call of Duty 2:

  • There appears to be a fault of some kind with the way the engine applies the texture settings (the r_picmip-based commands). Thus, each time a new map loads up, you can get a noticeable performance boost if you change the r_picmip value from its current value, use the r_applypicmip command, and then reset the r_picmip setting back to its desired value and again use r_applypicmip. This must be done every time a new map loads up, and myshkinbob has created a set of files you can use to do this - see his thread for details.

  • There is a problem with the r_gpusync command, which should be set to 0 for single card graphics users, however it instead defaults to 3 for all users. Setting this command back to 0 should provide another performance boost for single-card graphics users (SLI users should leave it at 3). You can simply add "+seta r_gpusync 0" (without quotes) to your startup icon(s) if you want to quickly apply this fix, or insert it into your autoexec.cfg file.

  • Now that these issues have been identified, it should be relatively straightforward for Infinity Ward to address them in an upcoming patch. They are just a case of incorrect settings being applied at initialization of the graphics engine, and not a major bug in the course of things. However appreciation goes to myshkinbob for picking these up and letting everyone know about them, as the performance boost from these two changes can make a real difference on most peoples' machines.

    Update: Earl Hammon, Jr from Infinity Ward has written to me to explain the r_gpusync issue. Basically the game's developers are aware of the additional FPS possible when r_gpusync is disabled (set to 0), however because this setting controls the synchronization of the CPU and GPU (your graphics card(s)), disabling this can also introduce input (mouse/keyboard) lag. This is because your input can at times be processed by the CPU faster than it can be drawn on screen. So on balance they chose the default of r_gpusync = 3 to maintain synchronization while still giving good performance. The same situation (input lag) can occur if the 'Optimize for SLI' or r_multigpu setting is enabled.

    Update 2: The r_picmip issue discussed above has been resolved as of the 1.2 Patch, and there is no longer any need to use the manual method to fix this issue.

    Call of Duty 2 and Dual Core CPUs

    As with most recent games, I decided to see if Call of Duty 2 shows any practical benefits from being run on a dual core CPU (specifically an AMD X2 4400+). I opened up Task Manager, set it to the Performance tab so I could see the CPU usage history. Then I loaded up halfway through the first mission in the Train Yard, right in the midst of some action and played for a few minutes. Switching back to the Task Manager, I saw that only my CPU 2 core had been utilized at 100%, the other was sitting almost totally idle throughout.

    So once again, it looks like another game has not taken advantage of dual core power as yet. Since COD 2 is optimized for dual graphics cards, it looks like your money would be better spent buying an SLI setup.

    Update: As of the 1.2 Patch, Call of Duty 2 should take better advantage of Dual Core/HyperThreading systems with some performance improvements. Furthermore, this patch should also fix any issues on such systems, so it is a must-install for Dual Core/HT owners. See page 4 of this guide for details.

    Disable Startup/Menu Movies

    This has been covered elsewhere in the guide, but just to spell this tweak out in case you missed it - if you want to skip the introductory movies for Call of Duty 2 each time you launch it, there is a simple method for doing this. Go to the icon you use for launching Call of Duty 2 (Singleplayer and/or Multiplayer icons), right-click on it and select Properties. In the Properties box which opens, find the Target line and add a space then "+set com_introplayed 1" (without quotes) to the end of it. For example:

    "C:\Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 2\CoD2SP_s.exe" +set com_introplayed 1

    Now when you launch the game with this icon, the intro movies are skipped every time. For more details see the Advanced Tweaking section.

    Taking Screenshots

    Taking screenshots in Call of Duty 2 is quite easy - simply press the F12 key and a screenshot is placed in your \Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 2\main\screenshots directory in JPG format. If you want to use other methods for taking screenshots, try these:

  • Use the PRINT SCREEN key during a game to place a single screenshot into memory, and once you exit Call of Duty 2 you can paste the last screenshot taken into a paint/photo editing program and modify or save it in any format you like from there.
  • Use a free utility like Fraps. Fraps can take as many screenshots as you like during gameplay, and stores them in high-quality .bmp format in the directory of your choice.
  • Use a utility called Hypersnap DX, which will meet any and all of your screenshot needs for any game, but requires paid registration to enable full functionality.

  • I personally use the F12 key and Fraps as my main methods of capturing COD 2 screenshots.


    In what has been a marathon month for me, this is the third tweak guide I have racked up in the last three weeks. I really enjoy Call of Duty 2, so I hope this guide does justice to what is a great game. I would really appreciate constructive feedback on this guide, so let me know what you think. Obviously if you have additional tips, tweaks and resources which you think will help other Call of Duty 2 players, I would really like to hear them from you so I can update this guide with them. I want to stress that for time reasons, I can't offer any tech support. That includes general requests for help in improving performance or figuring out a complex problem you have, sorry. Also keep in mind that I don't keep "secret tweaks" - if I know of something which improves performance or adjusts COD 2's functionality, I have already included it in the guide. You're welcome to drop in on the TweakGuides Forums if you want to seek some help from fellow gamers or to discuss this game futher, however please note that you should make sure to read the forum rules first before posting as it is a very strict forum.

    Links and Credits

    Check out the following sites if you want to do more reading on Call of Duty 2:

    Call of Duty 2 Official Site

    Infinity Ward Official COD 2 Site

    Planet CallofDuty

    Make sure to check back on this guide regularly as I will keep it updated with the latest information on Call of Duty 2.

    Until next time, take care!