COD4 Networking & Gaming Performance


Staff member
The following are console commands that may help improve network and gaming performance. If you do not know what the "console" is, then go read the COD public forums. The console is opened from your game by hitting the ~ key below the ESC key. All console command start with a "\" key (above the enter key)


1) Reduce number of failed connections to server:

- \cl_connectsattempts 30 (or 60)

- \cl_connectiontimeout 500 (increases the amount of time that you PC attempts to connect to a server before it quits trying.)

Performance or gaming improvements

1) Punkbuster Sleep setting

\pb_sleep 500 (tells punkbuster client software to wait longer before awakening and sending info to PB)

\pb_writecfg (makes the above setting permanent so you don't have to do it each time you log in)

- The above changes the frequency that your PC reports to the server and thus reduced frequency of network spikes and the associated latency.

2) Packet transfer setting:

\cl_maxpackets Default is 30. 60 works well. 100 if you have a great connection to the server. This setting helps smooth out data transfer and should help if you have a cable or other high speed connection. I got a 20ms ping improvement and other FMJ members have seen the same improvement with many indicating they are getting better hit registration.

3) Manage whether or not extra or duplicate packets are sent to the server

\cl_packetdup 0 or 1

(1 is default and this sends an extra packet of data in case the first one is lost. If you enable the lagometer (see tools below), then you can see if you are losing any packets. If yes, then leave this at 1. If no, you can consider changing to 0.

4) Enable higher Frames Per Secon (FPS):

\com_maxfps 125 (Default is 60 so this may help overall FPS. Some say this should be set at or just above your average FPS to smooth things out) (Others say the eye can only see 60FPS so who knows)

- This allows your game to go allow higher frame rates that the default. Set it to a value you want based on the capabilities of you machines…can go as high as 1000

5) Field of View (FOV): \cg_fov 80

- If you want to widen your field of view from 65 degrees to 80 degrees, use this command. NOTE: This basically "backs you up" to give you a larger viewing area at the sides but it does make user/soldiers/enemies slightly smaller at the same time. This command does not affect machine performance and is merely a preference to give you the ability to see more.

In game tools

1) Show framerate so you can see how your PC is performing.

\cg_drawFPS 1 (choices are 0,1,2,or 3 where 0 = off)

- At a minimum, you need to try to be above 60FPS so that you have not visual choppiness. Reduce textures, shadows, lighting etc. to get above 60 if possible:

2) Show network connection quality:

\cg_drawlagometer 1 (puts a graph just above your grenades)

- Top meter on graph. If blue, (or blue with small amounts of yellow) then you system is in synch and you screen/system is refreshing in synch with the server's perspective of the game world. If Yellow, then you are having issues and your screen/system may not be in synch with what the server thinks is happeing.. in blue shows how well your graphics card is staying in synch with the server as it relates to rendering the gaming environment. A few yellow items is OK but you want the vast majority to be blue. If you have a lot of yellow, this means that your graphics rendering and server rendering of the gameworld is out of synch. lost packets and you need to make sure you he smoother the flow on this meter, the better.

- Bottom meter should be all or mostly green. Lots of yellow or red means there are issues. When you spawn or die, you can sometimes see lots of RED , this seems to be OK. If you are all green, then you can consider changing your cl_packetdup to 0 and you can increase your cl_maxpackets

· Set your Hunkmegs for maximum performance

First locate your config

Make a Backup copy (in case you snafu)

Open it in wordpad

Find and change the following setting

seta com_hunkmegs "???"

Change the number in quotes to half of your system memory.


System memory is 512mb set it to 256

System memory is 1 gigabyte set it to 512

This allows larger maps to load and run more smoothly.

/com_maxfps 125

One of the most important commands in cod4 is the FPS command, and Ill tell you why. You probably already know that more fps makes the game feel much smoother. What you might not know is that COD4 is based on the q3 engine and is designed to work at 125 FPS.What this means for you is that your going to have problems interacting with the game under 125 FPS. This can mean any thing from not being able to climb objects, or even bad hit detection during fire fights. The problem is your fps is set to 85 by default, lets fix it. Bring down you console and type "/com_maxfps 125" (with out "").

/cg_fov 80

Next up is the field of view command. FOV(field of view) is basically how much you can see on your monitor at one time. The higher the number the more you can see, which will give you a huge advantage over those who don't use this command. Default is 65 max is 80, to change it bring down your console and type "/cg_fov 80".

/r_drawdecals 1

Another helpful command is "r_drawdecals", set it to 1 for on and 0 for off. Its off by default, and don't be surprised if you turn it on then have to turn it off to get into certain servers. It basically cleans up some of the random paper and trash on the ground, and gives you an fps boost. But some servers want you to have bad fps and wont let you in unless its set to 0(note that the other commands will work fine on any server).

/maxpackets 100

Maxpackets next, this command command usually helps people who have good fps but bad hit registration. Default is 30 if your fps is set to 125 you should set maxpackets to this "/maxpackets 100".

/snaps 30

This command tells your cod4 server how many times to update positions of players, bullets ect per second. Default its 20 setting it to "/snaps 30" should make movement look smother and hits register better.

/r_drawsun 0

Disables the sun and a bunch of effects that is causes saving you a few fps.

/cg_brass 0

Turns off shell ejection. Not having to render them should send a few more fps your way, a good addition to your CoD4 config.

Important cod4 config console commands

/com_maxfps 125

/cg_fov 80

/maxpackets 100

/snaps 30

/r_drawsun 0

/cg_brass 0

Next lets optimize the settings we can change in "Options". If you have a pc with powerful hard ware make sure you turn your settings up at least a little bit. you can actually lose FPS buy setting every thing to low with fast hardware.

Lets get started, go into options then graphics. Theres only a few settings that matter to you here, the rest you can turn off or leave at default.

Video Mode, if your using a LCD you should be at "1280x1024". Use what ever runs best for you on a CRT.

Brightness, crank it up about as bright as you can handle.

Model Detail, you want this setting as high as you can set it without losing lots of FPS. The higher you can set it the easier it is to make out player models from the background.

The rest of the call of duty settings are pretty much dictated by the hardware you have. If its good turn your cod4 settings up if its not ask Santa for an $800 video card. You can get by in cod4 with old hardware. You just have to crank all the settings down and use tricks like looking straight up in the sky to make 125 fps for certain jumps.