Call of Duty: Black Ops Steam Connection Lost, Crashes, Change FoV, and Fixes

Troubleshooting guide to fix all the issues that you come across while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, be it low FPS, crash on desktop or freezes.

If you come across any game breaking bug, error and or any other issue you need to troubleshoot when playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, you can troubleshoot by following our step by step instructions!

Call of Duty: Black Ops Errors and Fixes

If you are among these unlucky folks trying to run Call of Duty: Black Ops and are facing random, crashes, freezes, and other performance issues, please refer to the troubleshooting guide below to fix these issues.

Before you start: Where to find your config file
Call of Duty: Black Ops config file is located here:

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Call of Duty Black Ops\players\

It should be named as: “config_mp.txt”. Open with notepad and you will be able to apply the tweaks in there.

Steam Connection Lost, Fix
If you are experiencing the constant connection issues to Steam, you need to be patient as the good guys at Steam are on the problem to fix it.

We are aware of the connection issues occurring on Steam and are working to correct them. Thank you for your patience. – DerrickG

Lag Fix – 100% System Resources Usage
If you are experiencing lag because your system usage goes up to 100% when you start Call of Duty: Black Ops, you can try the following workaround.

  • Run Steam in Offline mode.
  • Start Black Ops.
  • End the steam.exe process in Task Manager.

Game Unavailable – Steam
Gazillion people are trying to download the game from Steam, and thus, servers are too busy to handle your request. Retry downloading the game in a few minutes. Alternatively, try restarting Steam and trying again.

Game Crashes After Changing Resolution
There was a common bug where the game will crash if you try to change your ingame resolution. Same happens if you ALT-TAB during the game.

Steam Goes Offline while Joining Multiplayer Games
This may be a resources related issue. Try running the game in windowed mode to check if the issue still persists.

How to Change FoV
From the Main Menu, press the console key ` and type in
/cg_fov x
where x can be any value.

No In-game Sound
There is a common issue that even though the game boots just fine, there is now audio. This issue also persists in another Call of Duty game: World at War.Here are some of the workarounds that might help you tackle this issue:

Solution #1
1. Start Game.
2. Press [ALT] + [TAB]

3. Navigate to the bottom corner of the screen, and find the speaker button.
4. Now, either right click on the speaker button and and choose “open volume mixer” or left click on it and click “Mixer” that should be underneath the volume slider.
5. You should now see Call of Duty: Black Ops volume control, drag it up to the top.

Solution #2
Go to Control Panel> Hardware and Sound> Sound > Click on Communications Tab and select the “Do Nothing” radio button. This should permanently fix the audio ingame.

Solution #3
If you notice that the whole system sound is muted the moment you open the game, press [ALT] + [TAB] and un-mute the sound.

Solution #4
You can also force the game to run in Compatibility Mode to tackle this issue. Find the EXE in the steam folder, right-click the game EXE file and head into Compatibility menu. Choose “Run in Windows XP SP3” and press Apply. Now try running the game.

Solution #5
If the game is unable to correctly recognize your audio output device, perform the following steps:

  • Go into the installation folder
  • Head into the redist folder
  • And finally into the DirectX folder
  • Run DXsetup and install it.
  • After that, reboot the game and head into Settings > Audio. You should be able to change your audio device there.

Solution #6

  • Right click on the speaker button
  • Select Playback Devices
  • Choose the sound device you use by default
  • click Properties
  • Head into Advanced Tab and select 16bit, 48000hz(DVD quality).

Note: If all else fails, update your sound card drivers.

Game Doesn’t Boot
First if you have downloaded the game from Steam, try to run the game from the installation directory. If you get the dll missing error, do an integrity check to see if you have missed any files, Steam will automatically download these files.

Verify integrity of game cache. Right click on ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ in Steam > Properties and Local Files > “Verify Game Integrity of Local Files”.

Start the Singleplayer mode, and then you can go into Multiplayer. This might fix this issue for some.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Freezes
If the game freezes while trying to play online, you might be having a network problem. Try checking your router to see if that is the case.


If you are experiencing freezes while playing the game on console, try running the game from disk. Do make sure your disk does not have any major scratches or any other sort of physical damage.

If you are experiencing freezes on PC, make sure you have updated your video card drivers. Disable any antivirus or firewall you have installed and see if that resolves the game freezing. If game doesn’t stop freezing randomy, you can try running the game in windowed mode.

  1. Go to Black Ops installation directory
  2. Open the Players directory
  3. Open the Config.cfg file in Notepad
  4. Search for the line seta r_fullscreen “1”
  5. Change the line to seta r_fullscreen “0”
  6. Re-run the game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Crash on Startup
Install the DirectX version that should be located here.
steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\Redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

Call of Duty: Black Black Ops Crash on Startup to Desktop
Install the DirectX version that should be located here.
steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\Redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

Call of Duty: Black Ops Black Screen Fix
Run the game in your native desktop resolution or at 640×480 resolution.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Port Forwarding
You need to bind all inbound and outbound traffic to these ports:

Nintendo Wii – TCP [443, 3074] UDP [3074, 3075]

PC – TCP [3074] UDP [3074]

PlayStation 3 – TCP [80, 81, 443, 3074, 5223] UDP [3074, 3075, 3478]

Xbox 360 – TCP [80] UDP [88, 3074, 22728, 33233]

Call of Duty: Black Ops Stuttering Fix
If you are experiencing stuttering while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, try the following workaround.

  • Open Task Manager.
  • Right click on ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ process.
  • Set Affinity and select ‘one CPU’.

Black Ops 100% Resource Usage Fix

  1. Launch the game, and bring up the server list. Since the server list should be lagging for many people, you may want to quickly navigate to the “Recents” tab as soon as the server browser pops up. This may somewhat help with the lag issue.
  2. Bring up Task Manager, and click on the “Processes” tab.
  3. Right-click on your Steam.exe process and navigate yourself to ‘Set Affinity’. set this to ‘Core 0’
  4. Right-click on your original Black Ops process and navigate yourself to ‘Set Affinity’. set this to all cores except Core 0.
  5. Next, right click on the game process again and set the priority to max.
  6. Bring the game back up and join the server of your choice, it should run smoothly.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Direct X Error
If you have come across “DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error. Check the readme for possible solutions.” Update your DirectX, if you have updated DirectX, install the DirectX that comes with the game and this should fix the issue.

Restart your computer after installing the DirectX that comes with the game, and re-launch the game. It should run just fine now.

Servers too Busy – Install Disk Fix – Steam Server Currently To Busy To Handle Request
If you are unable to download the game due to busy servers, try setting the servers to US, and see if that helps. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Open Steam.
  • Click the Steam tab in upper left corner.
  • Open Settings.
  • Click the Downloads/Cloud tab.
  • Select US in the Download region bar.
  • Reboot Steam.
  • If this still doesn’t fix the issue: close Steam and install the game from CD.

19# Game Crashes at Menu
A rare issue is if you start the game and it instantly crashes at the first splash screen. Even if doesn’t crash, the game gets stuck at the splash screen with infinite Windows loading cursor icon hovering over the screen. Here is a workaround for this issue:

Delete the config.cfg and replace it with the config_mp.cfg. Just clone the config_mp.cfg and rename it to config.cfg. You’ll find the files under
Steam\steamapps\common\Call of Duty Black Ops\players

“BlackOpsMP.exe has stopped working”
Try running the game in Singleplayer mode and seeing if it downloads the missing file.If it does, close the game and try running the multplayer mode afterwards.

Black Ops Lag
You can try the following hot fixes to resolve lag issues in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Solution #1

  • Open Console (`)
  • Type cl_maxpackets 100
  • Close Game.

Solution #2

  • Right click on Black Ops Multi in Steam games
  • Go Properties -> Updates -> Untick “Enable steam cloud sync”.

Solution #3
Go to Steam > Settings > In Game > uncheck “Enable Steam Community In-Game”. Apply changes and restart the game.

Solution #4
urn off the in-game Shadows.

Solution #5

  1. Start Black Ops Multiplayer,
  2. Оpen your Ctrl+Alt+Delete and get in Task Manager! (Ctrl+Shift+Esc as shortcut).
  3. Go to processes tab, then select Steam.exe
  4. Go down to Set priority and set to Low.
  5. You can do the same to BlackOpsMP.exe but rather set it to High – that bit is up to you.
  6. Switch back to Game.

Or do the following tweaks.
r_blur_allowed 0
r_distortion 0
r_dof_enable 0
r_glow_allowed 0
cg_brass 0
r_cachemodellighting 1
r_cacheSmodellighting 1

If you do not have multiple GPUs: r_multiGpu 0

Call of Duty: Black Ops FPS Increase

  1. Download FPS increase file from the internet and unrar it to the desktop.
  2. Find your Steam folder.
  3. Navigate to Steam> steamapps > common > Call of Duty Black Ops > main.
  4. Open your config file in notepad, copy only vars with r_ at the beginnning of each line, and paste them into your config file. (Its tricky, if you replace the whole config file with your config file, you will run into problems)
  5. Start Black Ops.

You may be able to find only FFA matches if you replace the config file with Stevy’s config file. You have been warned.

Verify the integrity of the game cache. Make sure you have set the correct time zone for yourself.Or start Singleplayer once, close it and then boot Multiplayer.
If you previously meant to decrypt your file data, and it failed, you may need to delete Black Ops, any associated NCF files in the same folder and try again.

Game Crashes on Start-Up
Re-install DirectX that should be located in:
steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\Redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

Call of Duty Black Ops Crashes, Freezes, Errors, and Fixes (General Fixes)
via Activision Support

1. Make sure that you meet the minimum system requirements.
2. Make sure that you have the latest video and sound drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
3. Set your desktop to a resolution of 1024×768, 32 bit True Color.

For Windows XP

  • Right-click on your desktop and select Properties.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Set your screen area to 1024×768.
  • Set the colors to Highest (32 bit).
  • Click Apply and OK.

For Windows Vista\Windows 7

  • Right-click on your desktop and select Personalize.
  • Click on Display Settings
  • Set the resolution slider to 1024X768
  • Set the colors to Highest (32 bit).
  • Click Apply and OK.

4. All background applications should be shut down prior to running the game.
Go to the Start bar and select Run. (If you are on Vista or Windows 7, hit the Windows key and the R key at the same time)

  • In the Run window, type in msconfig and hit enter.
  • Once the utility comes up, go to the Startup tab and hit the Disable All button.
  • Next go to the Services tab and check the “Hide All Microsoft Services” checkbox and then hit the Disable All button.
  • Hit the OK button and close the utility, and restart your computer when prompted to.

Windows XP Sound Acceleration Bug

  • Click the Start button > Settings > Control Panel.
  • Double-click the Sounds and Audio Devices icon.
  • Click the Volume tab.
  • Under Speaker settings, click the Advanced button.
  • Click the Performance tab.
  • Reduce the Hardware acceleration to Basic, the 2nd notch from the left.
  • Click Apply and then OK 2 times. Run the game now. Don’t forget to turn the acceleration back up to restore the high-end features for your sound card when using other applications.

5. Uninstall Call of Duty: Black Ops and force a Disc install.

  • Launch Steam and click on ‘My Game’ tab.
  • Right click on Call of Duty: Black Ops and click ‘Delete local content’. The non-installed information will appear next to the game.
  • Insert Disk 1 into your DVD drive and properly exit Steam through the menu bar.
  • From the Windows Desktop, click on the Start Button, (XP) click Run (Vista) type Run into the Start Search box and choose Run from the list.

In the window Run box enter the following:
C:\program files\steam\steam.exe -install E:
Note: If your CD/DVD drive is not E: please change it accordingly. If Steam is not installed within c:\program files\steam, change the path accordingly as well.

  • Press OK, Steam should now start the installation from the Disk 1 and will ask for Disk 2 a bit later on.
  • At the end of the installation process, Steam will connect on Internet to download a small update which should take no more than few minutes.

6. Delete all files in the Windows/Temp directory

Windows XP

  • Click the Start button > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
  • Select the drive you want to cleanup such as the C: drive.
  • Click the Clean up button.

Windows Vista\Windows 7

  • Click the Start button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
  • Select the drive you want to cleanup such as the C: drive.
  • Click the Clean up button.

7. If you have multiple drives capable of reading the disc then try installing from your other drive(s).
30# Call of Duty: Black Ops Error – “Steam Must be Running to Play the Game”
Make sure you have Steam running before you start the game. If Steam is causing 100% resource usage, you can kill the Steam process after you have launched the game. This should also help with some Black Ops 1 errors and fixes.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Stuttering Fix
You can try this tweak and see if it helps the cause.

seta r_multiGpu “0”
seta r_multithreaded_device “1”


  • Disable Steam Cloud and In-Game Community; Make steam.exe use 1 core (Core 0) and set Priority to Low.
  • Tweak config and set multigpu = 0, multicore = 1, vsync = 0, maxpackets = 100.
  • Run the game on High settings.
  • Go into nVidia Control Panel and use Advanced Settings to force High-End settings: 16xAA, 16x Anisotropic, Max Quality.

Corrupt file: mp_duga.ff
Verify the integrity of the game cache in Steam. Right click on Black Ops shortcut in Steam Library, go to Properties, then Local Files, then click “Verify the Integrity of Game Cache”.

Unable to see any other game mode except FFA
If you have applied the FPS increase config and are left with only finding FFA game modes online. Try the alternate fix or reset your config files by deleting the config file located here, which will reset everything.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Lag Fix
1. Find the Black Ops configuration file located at:
C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players
2. Open config.cfg in Notepad and find “multiGpu”and “multithreaded_device”.

  • If you are using SLI or Crossfire, set multiGpu to “1”. Otherwise: “0”.
  • If you have a multiple core CPU, set multithreaded_device to “1”.

Poor Framerates and Performance Issues

  • Goto “Run” by pressing [WIN] and [R] key at the same time and typing “msconfig”.
  • When you’re inside msconfig go to “Startup TAB” and press ‘Disable All’ button.
  • Now go to “Services TAB”. Check ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and press the ‘Disable all’ button.
  • Apply the changes and press OK.

via Activision Support

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Zawad Iftikhar is the founder of, an FPS enthusiast and a Call of Duty veteran, having participated multiple eSports competition.