Black Ops 2 PC Tweaks Guide – How To Tweak Graphics and Performance

By   /   Nov 29, 2012

Black Ops 2 is a fast-paced first-person-shooter. For a greater and smoother gameplay experience, it’s best that you follow our optimization guide. Off course if you’re an owner of a monstrous rig, then for sure skip this article entirely.

First things first, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements for the game.

  • Processor: 2.4 GHz dual core CPU
  • Memory: 2GB RAM (32-bit OS), 4GB RAM (64-bit Windows OS)
  • Hard Drive: At least 16GB of free space
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • OS: Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 or Windows 8 (XP not supported)
  • Internet: Initial installation requires Internet connection for Steam authentication

Know Your Performance Rate
There is a built-in FPS indicator which you should enable. Once turned on, a yellow-colored FPS counter will be displayed on the top right corner of your screen. This number will inform you of your current performance level. To enable the Draw FPS option head into Settings & Advanced.

As with every first-person-shooter you’ll need to get a stable and at least 60 FPS if not higher. Closely watch your counter when you engage into battles. A low FPS will cause frame stuttering and an annoyance to the gameplay.

Black Ops 2 Graphics Settings

Resolution: Resolution highly depends upon the capabilities of both your graphics card and monitor. A lower resolution like 1280 x 1024 will get you higher FPS than say 1920 x 1080. The difference is off course in image quality. Low resolutions will have a more pixelated image while higher resolutions will show a sharper image. However, higher resolutions also mean more load on your graphics card and may reduce overall performance.

Display Mode: For those wanting to run your game in a window on your desktop can do so by selecting Windowed. Once enabled the game will run in a borderless windows which will take up your entire screen. This will prevent any of your desktop from showing in the background and also increase performance at the same time.

Note that you can switch between windowed and fullscreen modes at any time by pressing ALT+Enter.

Monitor: Those with multiple monitors can select the monitor on which they want the display to be.

Brightness: A slider will determine the brightness of your screen.

Field of View: FOV determines the amount of world you can see on your screen through the player’s eyes. A higher FOV means more vision and hence, gives an advantage in multiplayer. The FOV range in Black Ops 2 is between 65 and 80 degrees, with the default being 65. Increasing FOV may reduce performance slightly.

Shadows: This is a very important feature of the game because it partly determines if your game will eventually play with a higher and most importantly a stable FPS.

The option enables dynamic shadows which means that you’ll gets to see realistic shadowing that changes according to the light sources. Increasing this from low to medium or high will increase the quality of those shadows. High shadows will eat a lot of your system’s power.

Ragdoll: When enabled, dead bodies in multiplayer maps will be thrown about when, let’s say a grenade explodes nearby. Disabling Ragdoll will have all dead bodies lie stationary and not react to the environment. The option when enabled has no real affect on your system’s performance.

Texture Quality & Filtering

Texture Quality: Having a higher setting for Textures will result in more defined objects and surfaces in the game. Shapes will have more sharper curves and edges, the land and surfaces will have more detail. Off course keeping textures low will give a great boost to your FPS counter, provided you can live with playing an ugly game. Note also that higher texture settings will cause the game to stutter if your Video card has not enough VRAM.

Texture Filtering: This option improves the clarity of the textures. Like I mentioned above, higher settings will give a more clearer, crisp and sharp surface.

To ensure the highest level of texture filtering, you should also open the NVIDIA Control Panel, and under the Program Settings tab select ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ in the first drop-down box – select the mp .exe file for multiplayer, and the sp .exe file for singleplayer campaign. If a profile isn’t shown here, untick the ‘Show only programs found on this computer’ check box and try again. Scroll down and click the ‘Texture Filtering – Quality’ box, and select ‘High Quality’ mode, then click the Apply button.


Anti-Aliasing: Anti-Aliasing smooth outs jagged lines. In games you might have noticed that the edges of walls and obstacles look very crude and pixelated at distances. This causes players to sometime not see an enemy clearly who is hiding behind that said wall or object. Anti-Aliasing sharpens those edges and reduces the distracting shimmering and crawling of those lines when in motion.

If you don’t have a high-end card then it’s best to keep this disabled. You can check yourself by first playing with 2x AA. If you have decent FPS in the game then try to increase the said setting.

Ambient Occlusion: The feature of Ambient Occlusion is pretty much for those players who have a high-end rig. This option, when turned on creates more realistic lighting and shadows. In all it puts a lot of load on your system.

Depth of Field: In any open game you might have noticed how objects in the distance appear blurry and foggy. Depth of Field changes that, making them more sharper and distinct.

Low settings provide minimal effects but from medium onwards, players will get to see a good noticeable change. Aiming down your weapon’s iron sights will give you a heightened sense of reality.

Number of Corpses: The number of corpses lying on your screen can drink away a lot of memory. Reduce this number if you’re looking for a better FPS rate. The available options are Tiny (3 corpses at a time), Small (5 corpses at a time), Medium (10 corpses at a time), and Large (16 corpses at a time).

In multiplayer mode this setting is unavailable, and the number of corpses is fixed at 5.

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