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CoD4 Tweaks: Reducing your ping
Written by jockyitch   
Monday, 12 November 2007

Back in the days when we were writing about CoD2, we discussed about ways to reduce your ping.

The techniques involved (among others):

1. Getting a faster processor (CPU) or Graphics Card.

2. Getting a faster upload/download connection (or moving nearer the ISP provider).

3. Optimize settings in the multiplayer configuration file, config_mp.cfg in the CoD player directory directly related to communication rates.

Here, we will focus here on item 3 above: Optimizing your connection using the configuration settings in CoD4.

I will not be getting too detailed in this post. If you want to read the technical details I refer you to the "Sweet Spot " post we put up a few months back for CoD2. That longwinded post, while making logical sense, is outside the scope of this article. Today,  I want to keep things simple so you can go and do some fragging.

Let's see if we can lower your ping and improve your scores. Note that all the modifications here are done to the config_mp.cfg file, which normally can be found here:

C:\Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare\players\profiles\PlayerName

Where, "PlayerName" is the folder housing your player profile (in my case this folder is called "Jock Yitch".

STEP 1. Find out what your lowest consistent framerate is on any map you are thinking of playing. 

To do this you can modify the following line from "Off" to "Simple"

seta cg_drawFPS "Simple"

Note, for fun, I usually turn on my Lagometer as well:

seta cg_drawLagometer "1"

STEP 2. Now, go play and note your lowest frame rate. Now, I'm playing with an abysmally out-of-date Graphics Card, the NVidia 6600. The lowest consistent rate I muster with it is 35 fps. That's with almost all the settings at low. 

However, see if you can muster any of the framerates I mentioned in the Sweet Spot posting: 55, 76, 125...etc. 

STEP 3. Set cl_maxpackets and com_maxfps to this number


seta cl_maxpackets "35"
seta com_maxfps "35"

This optimizes your communication settings.

I have personally tested this in a map that usually gives me a ping of 65 ms (BLOC). When optimized, my ping lowered to 45 ms. I assume that the better (faster) your computer/graphics card is, the lower the relative improvement - in fact there are more than a few factors involved. 

In any case, it worked for me and if you too are running ancient hardware, this might help you out. It put a little less strain on the 'puter and it seemed a little less "laggy". 

I have not checked registration yet, but I've found that optimizing my connection also usually improves my registration - at least it did in CoD2. Of course, the higher the maxfps/maxpackets are, the better that registration usually - at the cost of ping of course. The higher the rates of data your PC has to crunch through the higher the effective ping you will see. The point though is to try and optimize the data rate so that your computer is not needlessly crunching through data that it cannot hope to process fast enough. This whole topic, as I have said, was explained in the Sweet Spot post.

Please let me know your findings!

Email me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have anything to add to this or please post your fps/maxpacket questions on our Boards . I would be glad to hear from you.


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