Call of Duty (COD) Modern Warfare Lag Fix – Stuttering, FPS Drops & Crashing

Last Updated on January 4, 2022

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Lag Fix – The open-beta and private access ended sometime back, people were pretty happy with the overall performance and gameplay altogether. The full release is on October 25th and this will be way different compared to the beta release, probably furnished. But, AAA titles have a reputation of having issues on release, but these are fixed with time. Open beta had several problems, even with RTX 2070 with Core i7 8700, I was lagging and stuttering in Ground War.

In this article, we’ll find out how to fix these Call of Duty Modern Warfare Lag and Stuttering related issues. The developers know about this issue as people have been posting them on Reddit and the MW forums, and should be fixed within a few hours or days.

Click here if you’re getting Dev Errors in Modern Warfare.

New Hotfix Update: A new hotfix update was pushed, the size was around 7GB for PC users. Activision promised that most of the issues will be fixed with this update.

Update: The game is now available for preloading, all pre-order users can go ahead and start downloading the game right now. The size is pretty big and it might take a while for people with slow internet connections, but you have more than 24 hours as of writing this article.

Modern Warfare System Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (1709 or later)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB / GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD: 175GB HD space

Recommended Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB / GTX 1660 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • RAM: 12GB RAM
  • HDD: 175GB HD space

Even though the minimum requirements mention that you can play this game on Windows 7, but you shouldn’t do it. Microsoft will stop supporting this older version of its OS coming 2020. The older versions also have compatibility, security, and performance issues. The game also requires 175GB Space, it seems like we are getting a lot of content this time around.

Your PC configuration should fall in between or higher than the recommended settings to run the game smoothly. If that is not the case, you might have to compromise with graphics and FPS obviously.

Let’s move onto making the game run better for ourselves.

Change Graphic Card Settings

Below are the settings for AMD and Nvidia graphics card users, apply these settings for the best performance.

For Nvidia Users

  • Open up Nvidia’s Control Panel. Right-click on desktop > click Nvidia control panel
  • Click Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings
  • Find “COD MW”, you can manually add the game if it’s not in the list
  • Now, make the following changes:

Monitor Tech: G-Sync (If available)
Maximum Pre-rendered frames: 2
Threaded optimization: On
Power Management: Prefer Maximum Performance
Texture Filtering – Quality:  Performance

For AMD Users

  • Anti-Aliasing Mode: Use Application settings
  • Anti-aliasing Method: Multisampling
  • Morphological Filtering: Off
  • Anisotropic Filtering Mode: Use application settings
  • Texture Filtering Quality: Performance
  • Surface Format Optimization: On
  • Wait for V-sync: Off
  • OpenGL Triple Buffering: Off
  • Shader Cache: AMD optimized
  • Tesselation Mode: Override application settings
  • Maximum Tesselation Level: Off
  • GPU Workload: Graphics
  • Chill: Off
  • Frame Rate Target Control: Disabled

These settings should be good enough for you. Try tweaking a bit with the priority of the application, this also tends to give a little FPS boost. I was able to get a constant 70-80 FPS in the private beta access. You can expect things to be a little more furnished this time around as this is the full public release.

Update Device Drivers

Whenever a new game makes it’s arrival, especially when it’s a AAA title, Nvidia is known for pushing their optimized updates for the best performance with their graphic cards. I am not sure about AMD because I’ve never used an AMD card. Below are the links for downloading the latest drivers.

Update: Nvidia has already released a full-fledged optimization update for this game. You can fire up Geforce experience and get the update right away.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Stuttering Fix

In the private beta, I had stuttering issues, sometimes it got too bad that my game crashed on its own. I tried figuring it out and there were no solutions for this problem, there was a hotfix pushed by the devs that fixed it. However, if you face it, I’d recommend you to shut down all memory-hogging applications such as Chrome. Issues like these are fixed pretty fast if this happens on a scale, we hope there are no issues this time around.

Another thing to check is, open up the task manager and check your memory and disk usage. Close all applications (non-windows) that are eating your memory and using disk drive. If you are still stuttering with everything looking fine then you should probably wait for the hotfix update, which should be pushed out shortly.

Turn off Game Mode

Windows says that the Game mode helps in optimizing all-around windows processes, windows updates and other windows related stuff while running games if you have the game mode enabled. But this isn’t factually true, game bar has been known for causing issues related to FPS. So it’s better to turn it off if you are not using it, Nvidia’s Shadowplay is better for capturing game clips.

  • Click Start > Settings > Gaming
  • On the Game Bar, set “Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar” to off.
  • Now head to the Captures tab set the “Record the background while I’m playing a game” to Off.
  • Lastly, click on the Game Mode tab, and turn it off.

Tone Down Game Settings

The general rule of thumb for every game is if you are lagging it is always recommended to tone down the settings. Play around a little bit with the settings, turn down shadows and textures, this should help.

I will be posting my exact settings once the game is unlocked on October 25, 2019.

Disable Discord in-game overlay

If you are using Discord like me, then I’d recommend you to change a few things. One such thing is, discord overlay, it’s not really something you need at all times. I use a two-monitor setup, so the overlay is useless for me. It is known for causing FPS related issues.

Disable Hardware Acceleration in Discord

  • Open Discord
  • Click on User Settings > Appearance
  • Click on the Hardware Acceleration radio, this will turn it off.

Disable Discord in-game Overlay

  • Open Discord
  • Go to Overlay under App Settings
  • Click on the “Enable in-game overlay”, this will turn it off.

Increase Game Priority

This is an old-school method of boosting FPS in certain games, this only affects the CPU relying Games.

  • Press CTLR + Shift + ESC to open task manager
  • Find Call of Duty Modern Warfare and right-click > go to details
  • Now right-click on the process’s .exe file and set priority to “high”.

This will prioritize your game over other windows applications and provide you with a little boost.

Update Windows

The recent couple updates were weird and broke a lot of games, to fix those issues, Windows has already pushed out hotfixes and you can download them right away. If you are running an older version of Windows, I’d recommend you to download the updated version.

There was also an update that caused windows to use up a lot of RAM for its search bar’s function called Cortana. This also has been fixed, you just have to update.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Crashing Issue

If you’re facing the crashing issue with your game, then I’d recommend you to check for any overclocking related apps running. 9 out of 10 times, the problem is caused by MSI Afterburner or the Zotac Firestorm. Turning them off or toning down the overclocking settings should fix the problem.

Fix Modern Warfare Looking Blurry

When you install the game for the first time, you’ll find out that the textures are not crisp. This is because the Render Resolution in the game is set to 50% by default. This means, no matter what your resolution is, it will be rendered only 50% of it.

To Fix This

  • Go to the options in the game
  • Click the Graphics tab
  • Scroll down to “Render Resolution” and make it 100

There are a few more settings that you should change;

  • Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
  • Anti-Aliasing Setting: SMAA 1X
  • World Motion Blur: Disabled
  • Weapon Motion Blur: Disabled

For RTX users: The anti-aliasing option will be blurred out for you. To disable the blurriness problem set Filmic Strength to 0.00. This will fix issues with RTX cards.

Fix Direct Crashing Issues

This error can occur if you have tweak monitor software running. For me, the issue was due to the Asus GPU tweak software. As soon as I turned it off, my problem was gone.

You can also try to update your drivers.

Audio Desync and Cutscenes Lag

For some reason, the game’s priority is set to high or above normal by default due to which the CPU usage is spiking. This is also leading to lags in other apps such as discord.

Turn Down Game Priority

  • Press CTLR + Shift + ESC to open task manager
  • Find the ModernWarfare.exe file and right-click > go to details
  • Now right-click on the process’s .exe file and set priority to “normal”.

Fix RTX Not Working

There can be two reasons why RTX mode is blurred out or simply not working for you. Let’s find out what those reasons are.

You are running Windows 10 older than 1809

RTX only works with the newer versions of Windows 10, if for some reason you are running any version older than 1809, update windows.

Check what your Windows version is.

  • Click Start > Settings > System > About > Open about settings
  • Scroll down, under Windows Specifications you’ll find what edition and what version your Windows PC is.

The current version is 1903. Go ahead and update your windows machine right away, the newer versions are more secure and better optimized. Running an old version can cause problems in the longer run.

You have an incompatible graphics card

RTX Mode will only work with Nvidia’s graphics card which supports it. There can be times a supported graphics card might even have this problem. That only happens if you are running a really old driver, update your Nvidia drivers to fix it.

Fix “unable to access graphics options”

If for some reason you are unable to access the area for graphic options, don’t worry, you are not alone. This problem is being caused due to the corruption of player settings file, below is how you reset it.

  • Head to the My Documents folder
  • Locate “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”
  • Delete the whole folder
  • This will reset your profile, don’t worry, it won’t take away any of your unlockables.

Also, try pressing ALT + Enter, this will change the game to windowed mode. This way you can change your settings other than the resolution.

This is only a workaround for the time being, Activision has said that they are looking into it. If for some reason this didn’t work for you, try contacting them using this support page.

These are a few things that you can use for fixing troubles related to Call of Duty Modern Warfare. Do comment below if these helped you out.

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Written by Vikas

Hey, I am Vikas. I've had a longstanding passion for computing and gaming for over a decade now. With a computer science degree under my belt sparking my initial interest in the industry from a young age, you'll often find me immersed for hours in the latest PC titles, especially enjoying multiplayer online games, while also enjoying sharing my insights and reviews. My work has been featured on IGN, Kotaku, MSN and Forbes to name a few. In my spare time, I read books and play with my cats. You can read more about me here. My favorite games are Destiny 2, Warframe, COD Cold War, and Minecraft.

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3 thoughts on “Call of Duty (COD) Modern Warfare Lag Fix – Stuttering, FPS Drops & Crashing”

  1. 3/4 of these options don’t exist for me in Nvidia control panel. For example “Shader Cache: AMD Optimized,” has “Use global setting, On… Off… and On… most of the things you’re saying to click on within the control panel do not exist.


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