How to Improve COD4 FPS

Written by william bradberry
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How to Improve COD4 FPS
Call of Duty 4 is a graphically intesive game that may require a few tweaks to run smoothly. (James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

"Call of Duty 4" is a modern first-person shooter developed by Infinity Ward and released by Activision in November, 2007. "COD4" takes the series out of World War 2 and into modern combat scenarios. This incredibly popular series brings a resource intensive experience to the PC that left many worried they might not have a system capable of handling it's demands. "COD4" has a versatile Graphics and Sound Menu, allowing for adjustments to improve game performance. Minimum system requirements include either a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, an Athalon 64 2800+ or an Intel or Athalon 1.8 GHz dual core CPU. Also required is Windows XP or later, 512 MB of Ram, DirectX 9.0c or later and a 128 MB graphics card with 3d Hardware Acceleration and updated drivers. (See resources 1)

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Choose "Options" in the main menu and then "Graphics." Turn off "Shadows" in the "Graphics" menu. Shadows take up valuable resources and provide little benefit, graphically. (See references 1)

  2. 2

    Lower the game resolution in "Video Mode" in the "Graphics Menu." Test out lesser resolutions until you find an adequate performance increase.

  3. 3

    Turn off "Anti-Aliasing" in the "Graphics Menu." Anti-Aliasing smooths the appearance of jagged diagonal lines in graphical objects, giving them a more appealing look. Your computer must make extra calculations to determine how to improve each object's appearance and this slows down performance. (See references 3)

  4. 4

    Turn off "Vertical Sync" in the "Graphics Menu." Vertical Sync keeps your monitor and your graphics card in sync, sending new images to the monitor only when it is ready to display them. This uses resources and is not required to run "COD4", though turning it off may produce a hit in graphics quality. (See references 4)

  5. 5

    Disable "Dynamic Lights" in the "Graphics Menu." Dynamic lights work to illuminate the game environment and have no in-game source (such as a street light or lamp), changing on the fly during gameplay. Processors work harder to manage dynamic lighting. (See references 5)

  6. 6

    Set "Glow" to "No" in the "Graphics Menu." "Glow" puts a halo around lit objects. (Personal game experience)

  7. 7

    Disable "Soften Smoke Edges" in the "Graphics Menu." This option helps render smoke effects more smoothly. (Personal game playing experience)

  8. 8

    Set your "Screen Refresh" as high as your monitor will allow in the "Graphics Menu." Screen refresh refers to the number of images your monitor is able to display in a single second. A higher refresh rate reduces screen flicker. (See references 6)

  9. 9

    Disable "Rag Doll" in the "Graphics Menu." Game animations often handle events like death with static animations. Rag Doll physics allow bodies to react to the environment when they are affected by player actions. A player killing an enemy may see him bouncing down a flight of stairs upon dying. Turning this off lessens the load on the graphics card and improves performance. (I've been gaming for close to 30 years, I'm very familiar with this term.)

  10. 10

    Disable "Depth of Field" in the "Graphics Menu." This is the range of distance in the game where graphics appear sharp. Turning this off reduces the distance a player can see clearly. (Personal game experience and general game experience)

  11. 11

    Disable "Bullet Holes" in the "Graphics Menu." Bullet holes will no longer remain in objects. (Personal game experience)

  12. 12

    Set "Water Detail" to Normal in the "Graphics Menu." Rendering water graphics take up a good amount of processor resources and may not be worth the performance hit on slower machines.

  13. 13

    Set Model Detail to Low in the Graphics Menu. (self explanatory)

  14. 14

    Set the "Sound" setting to "Low Quality Sound" in the "Sound Menu." Locate this setting in the "Options" menu off of the main menu.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure your computer meets the minimum spec requirements to run the game properly. Extremely poor performance may indicate your system is not equipped to handle the demands of COD4. Visit to find out if your computer can run COD4.
  • De-fragment your hard drive. De-fragmentation speeds up overall performance of your computer, and COD4 will reap the benefits.
  • Turn off all unused applications. Unnecessary programs running in the background put a strain on computer resources that can result in a performance hit on COD4.
  • Lower and disable only those settings you have to in order to balance performance with quality.
  • Upgrading a system may be the only option for those who lack the proper hardware to run COD4.

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