Modern Warfare 3: How To Fix Lag & FPS Drops

Last Updated on November 10, 2023

Modern Warfare 3 Lag: Let’s be honest: Lag and Stuttering are the worst things that can happen in a multiplayer game. In Call of Duty games, both problems are prevalent during launch and following days until a performance patch arrives.

I also occasionally faced lag & FPS drops, even though I have a computer that can handle the game easily. Below, I have written a few tweaks that helped me eliminate the problem.

How To Fix Lag & FPS Drops in MW3

Let’s start with looking at the system requirements:


  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows® 10 64 Bit (latest update)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-6600 or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1400
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960 / GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon™ RX 470
  • DirectX: Version 12


  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows® 10 64 Bit (latest update) or Windows® 11 64 Bit (latest update)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-6700K or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1600X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080Ti / RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 6600XT

The system requirements have been going up year after year. However, there are no significant graphical changes in this version. It is also being taunted from previous MW games to MW3 as a mere port, which might be good for performance.

Download Latest GPU Drivers

Nvidia has already released the game-ready driver for the game. You can open Geforce Experience and download it right away. The driver version is 546.01. Here’s the download link for the same.

For AMD users, Adrenalin 23.11.1 is the latest driver with day-1 support for MW3; you can download it from here.

Tone Down Graphics Settings

Whenever you have troubles related to FPS Drops and Stuttering, tone-down graphics settings are always recommended. Start with demanding settings like Shadows, Texture Resolution, and so on.

Don’t forget that the game comes with multiple upscaling options. I did testing during the beta, and AMD FSR was the best.

Note: I am writing a full-fledged settings guide, which will come out soon. You will find it here.

Close Memory Hogging Applications

I love to browse a few Reddit subs and YouTube when the game is trying to find a match for me. You also probably use Chrome like me; it is one of the most notorious apps that eats into your resources. So, turning off applications like Chrome would make sense while playing MW3.

Enable High-Performance Mode for Modern Warfare 3

This setting is set to High Performance as default for most. But in some cases, Windows might change it to Power Saving if the setting is set to Let Windows Decide. We have read a few instances of this happening on Reddit Forums, primarily for Gaming Laptops.

The steps to do this are as follows:

  • Go to Graphic Settings > Search for Graphic Settings in Windows Search
  • Click on the result
  • Now from the newly opened window, located graphics performance preference
  • Search for MW3
  • Click on the App > Options
  • Select “High Performance” and check “Don’t use Auto HDR” (Applicable for HDR Monitors)

Enable Game Mode

I’ve noticed considerable improvements in the Game Mode in Windows 11. For Windows 10, we suggest disabling both the Game mode and game bar, whereas this option should be enabled on Windows 11.

To Enable: Type game mode in search and enable it.

Disable In-Game Overlays


If you use Discord like me, I recommend changing a few things. One such thing is discord overlay; it’s not something you always need. 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 in-game Discord Overlay

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

Windows Game Bar

  • 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 and set the “Record the background while I’m playing a game” to Off.
  • You can also test turning Game Mode on or off, one by one.

The most impactful change of these all was turning off applications like Chrome and choosing the right upscaling method. My FPS instantly jumped by 30-40 by doing this. I hope this works for you, too!

If not, comment below with your hardware details, and I will help you.

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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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