Here we go folks – probably the most anticipated game of 2010 is finally here. Call of Duty : Black Ops is the latest installment to the long running first person shooter franchise which saw the light in 2003. Now, I read somewhere that over 5 million copies of the game were sold in North America alone, on release day itself – Black Ops is already a hit. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect release – there are numerous issues present, some of the most common problems being continuous stuttering, random slowdowns and of course, audio glitches. Here’s our routine troubleshooting article for Call of Duty – Black Ops. Hopefully, this article will help you get around these annoyances and make you single player and multiplayer gaming experience better.

Stuttering, lag, slowdowns, low FPS and other performance issues

It’s no secret that Call of Duty : Black Ops suffers from serious performance issues. Unfortunately folks, there’s no magic fix like in Fallout : New Vegas to boost the FPS. However, there are some workarounds you can try, at least until an official patch is released. We can’t guarantee these fixes will increase performance for everyone, but they are well worth a shot.

Use custom configuration file to improve performance.

  1. Back up your game’s configuration files which are located in \InstallPath\Call of Duty - Black Ops\players folder. config.cfg is the configuration settings file for single player mode and config_mp.cfg is for multiplayer mode.
  2. Copy the configuration settings from custom cfg file located at (this was posted on NFOHump forums)
  3. Replace the values in config_mp.cfg with values copied from custom file. Save and load the game.
    Note: Changes to config.cfg file reflects only in multiplayer mode. To edit settings for single player mode, edit the config.cfg file.

Upgrade to NVIDIA 260.99 Drivers

Video hardware manufacturers can do little if the fault is on the game’s side (which seems to be the case with COD : BO). However, several of our readers had E-mailed us that they got better performance when they upgraded to NVIDIA’s 260.99 WHQL drivers. You may download the driver release from this location.

Change priority of COD : BO process

Here’s a yet another workaround you can try. This involves changing priority for COD : BO Process to monimize CPU utilization issues the game seems to be having.

  1. Run the game – after you get to the main menu, Open Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del.
  2. Locate the Black Ops process. Right click it and set it’s priority to High.
  3. If you have Steam running, right click the Steam process and set it’s priority to Low.

Audio Issues, Game crashes to desktop (CTD) at launch, black screen or won’t start

Check the sampling rate

There can be a number of different reasons why this can happen but here’s a common fix you can try. We have mentioned this previously in troubleshooting posts for other games. Black Ops might crash if your sound card’s audio sampling rate is set to any value above 24 bit/48000 Hz range. To fix this issue, follow the steps below (applicable on Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems):

  1. Open Control Panel –> Sound.
  2. In the ‘Playback’ tab, select ‘Speakers’. Choose ‘Properties’.
  3. In the Speaker Properties window, switch to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  4. Under the ‘Default Format’ drop down, choose 24 bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality) option.
  5. Close all Windows by pressing Ok. Run the game.

Windows 7 Sound Fix

Note that you should try this fix if you have run into audio issues including noisy sound, stuttering or lagging audio, no audio, etc. as well.

Disable SPDIF / HD Fill

  1. Update your sound card with latest drivers.
  2. Open your Sound Card’s control panel utility.
  3. Look for any properties similar to ‘Speaker Fill’, ‘Speaker HD Fill’ or ‘SPDIF’.
  4. If any of these options are enabled, disable them. Now run the game.

Please keep in mind that this article is a work in progress - more fixes will be added here as and when they are discovered. Check this space for updates.

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  1. general714 // 11/12/2010 07:08:00 PM  

    Pastebin link does not work for config file.

  2. Violated // 11/13/2010 10:45:00 AM  

    Didnt try for config.cfg but worked for mp_config.cfg.
    Less stutter now.

  3. chiru // 11/13/2010 03:18:00 PM  

    If you are using XP SP3 x86 like me, try this.

    1) Go to My Computer -> Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices -> Volume (tab)
    2) Click on the "Advanced" button under "Speaker Settings" and click on the "Performance" tab
    3) Try setting "Hardware acceleration" to NONE AND/OR try setting "Sample rate conversion quality" to GOOD (it's on "best" by default). Note that you should try doing these one at a time, and then both at once, as the least amount of settings altered is what you want to achieve

  4. cultavix // 11/14/2010 01:32:00 AM  

    Thank you for this!!!!!

  5. cobra428 // 11/14/2010 11:34:00 AM  

    anybody have a fix for the game not saving?

  6. StarKiller // 11/25/2010 04:47:00 AM  

    Nothing. Nada. None of these did anything at all to my game. Still lags as hell in single player. Multiplayer is smooth, Zombies is smooth. Single Player, un-playable.

  7. Barry Dutton // 12/11/2010 11:49:00 AM  

    be careful about changing the priority level of the game. If you increase it, you may cause your computer to freeze.

    If you are receiving the sound stutter, you can fix it by typing \snd_restart into the console. It will come back after a while, but you can just type it again.

  8. Laurence // 3/24/2011 03:30:00 AM  

    This blog was really helpful
    check mine out for the latest call of duty news and tips

  9. John Tracker // 12/15/2012 07:09:00 PM