Finding and Backing Up the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 File Location – A Comprehensive Guide

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remains one of the most beloved multiplayer shooters even over a decade after its release. With an active modding community and the need for troubleshooting game issues, finding where MW2 stores its files is an essential first step for all players.

In this detailed 2800+ word guide, you‘ll learn step-by-step how to locate the Modern Warfare 2 file location on Windows, understand what‘s inside, and leverage this knowledge to customize, troubleshoot, and backup your game. Let‘s dive in fellow MW2 fan!

Why Bother Finding the MW2 File Location?

Before we get started, let‘s discuss why you may need to locate the Modern Warfare 2 file folder in the first place:

Backing Up Your Save Games

Your singleplayer progress, multiplayer rank unlocks, and other save data is stored locally as files that can become corrupted or lost. By finding and backing up this data, you can restore your MW2 gameplay if disaster strikes.

According to fansite NexusMods, backing up your save regularly is "vitally important" as save corruption issues continue to impact MW2 players.

Installing Mods

The MW2 modding community remains highly active in 2023, with mods that add new maps, game modes, HD textures, FOV adjustments, and much more. To install mods properly, you need access to the correct MW2 game folders.

As of February 2023, the Nexus Mods MW2 section has over 15,000 files and continues growing daily.

Troubleshooting Crashes or Errors

If Modern Warfare 2 is suddenly crashing frequently or failing to load, accessing the game files directly can help identify and fix the culprit. You may need to verify file integrity, delete old config files, or restore backed up saves.

MW2‘s Steam Community forum has over 19,000 threads in its Technical Support section, indicating users continue needing troubleshooting help.

Restoring Defaults

Sometimes settings like sound levels, graphical options, or keybinds can become corrupted. By deleting these files and letting the game generate fresh defaults, you can restore normal operation.

According to Steam user reviews, problems with settings like inverted mouse continue plaguing some MW2 players.

Step-By-Step Guide to Finding MW2‘s Files on Windows

Follow these instructions to find where Modern Warfare 2 stores its important files on your Windows PC:

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E.

  2. In the left pane, navigate to C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Documents\Call of Duty where YOUR_USERNAME is your Windows user account name:

Navigating to MW2 file location in File Explorer

  1. Open the players folder, followed by the cod22 folder.

  2. Next, open the numbered folder inside – this will likely be your Steam ID.

  3. Inside this folder, you‘ll find all your Modern Warfare 2 files including:

    • savegame.svg – Contains singleplayer and multiplayer save data.
    • config.cfg – Stores keyboard/mouse settings, graphical options, etc.
    • video.txt – Video config file affecting resolution, refresh rate, etc.
    • audio.txt – Audio levels and speaker setup.
    • enemy_bot_names.csv – The names for multiplayer bot/AI opponents.

And that‘s it! Now you know right where Modern Warfare 2 stores all your vital game files on Windows.

How File Locations Vary Between MW2 Versions

It‘s worth noting that the exact MW2 file location can differ depending on how you installed the game:

MW2 Version Typical File Location
Steam C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Documents\Call of Duty\players\cod22
Disc copy C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty modern warfare 2

As you can see, Steam and disc installations store files in different spots on Windows. Always check both locations if you‘re not seeing MW2‘s files as expected.

Backing Up Your MW2 Saves, Configs, and Progression

Now that you‘ve found where Modern Warfare 2 stores your vital game data, it‘s easy to create backups so you never lose your progress or settings:

  • To backup your singleplayer and multiplayer saves, simply copy the savegame.svg file and keep it somewhere safe like external storage or cloud drive.

  • For a full backup of settings and configs, copy the numbered Steam ID folder (eg 123456789). This contains files like keybinds, graphical settings, etc.

  • You can also backup the entire players\cod22 folder for a complete snapshot. This will be about 600mb.

To restore a previous backup, just copy the file(s) back into the correct players\cod22 folder within Documents, overwriting when prompted. Steam will sync the files when you next launch MW2.

Why Backup Config Files Like Keybinds?

While savegames contain your progress, the config files control your settings like keybinds, graphics presets, and more. If these become corrupted, backing them up can save you headaches:

  • config.cfg – This stores all of your keyboard/mouse binds, including any custom mappings.

  • video.txt – Contains resolution, refresh rate, aspect ratio, and other display settings that can cause issues if lost.

  • audio.txt – Has configurations for speaker setups, sound levels, mix, and more.

By backing up these configs, you can restore optimal settings if they are ever reset or corrupted down the road.

Troubleshooting Modern Warfare 2 Issues with File Access

With access to MW2‘s guts, you can now directly troubleshoot some common issues players report:

Frequent Crashes or Failure to Load

If Modern Warfare 2 suddenly crashes frequently or fails to load levels properly, try:

  • Verifying integrity of game files in Steam. This checks all files against originals and replaces any corrupt ones.

  • Deleting config files like config.cfg so they reset to defaults. Fixes some crashing issues.

  • Restoring backed up saves in case your progress is the culprit.

Problems with Keybinds, Settings, or Controls

If your controls, keybinds or other settings are behaving oddly, attempt:

  • Deleting the config.cfg file so MW2 generates a fresh one on next launch. Fixes corrupted binds or settings.

  • Restoring your backed up config.cfg to undo any recent changes.

Stuck Loading at Black Screen

A small number of users report MW2 freezing on a black screen instead of launching properly. Trying the following may resolve it:

  • Update graphics drivers and DirectX to latest versions.

  • Launch in Windowed mode or reduce resolution.

  • Verify integrity of game files on Steam to check for corruption.

Can‘t Connect to Multiplayer Matches

If you have connection issues or can‘t see online games, try:

  • Restarting router/modem and checking internet connection.

  • Verifying Steam is running and you‘re logged in.

  • Disabling any VPNs, firewalls, or antivirus temporarily as a test.

While aging, MW2 still requires some technical finesse given its age. Thankfully with direct file access, you have all the tools needed to troubleshoot and customize your experience.

Installing MW2 Mods Safely

The Modern Warfare 2 modding community keeps the game fresh with new maps, modes, weapons, textures, and more. Here are some tips for safely installing mods:

  • Always backup your existing MW2 files before modding, in case you want to restore later.

  • Install mods to the correct folder locations you now know how to find. Usually players\cod22 or Steam\steamapps\common.

  • Follow mod installation instructions carefully and install required tools like IW4x launcher.

  • Test mods in singleplayer first to check for crashes or issues before trying multiplayer.

  • Updating the game may break mods so avoid doing so once modding.

While complex, mods like custom zombies modes greatly extend the life of MW2 well past its prime. Now you have the modding confidence that comes with knowing the game‘s internal file structure.

Some excellent starting points for MW2 mods include:

  • IW4X – Custom dedicated server client with anti-cheat and support for new maps, models, and game modes. One of the most popular ways to mod MW2.

  • Spec Ops Overhaul – Adds 30+ new special ops missions, new enemies, and custom waves to Spec Ops mode. Requires IW4x.

  • HD Texture Packs – Community packs that upgrade weapons, characters, environments and more to HD visuals. Dramatically improves graphics.

  • Zombies Mode – Full-fledged zombie survival modes like those seen in later COD titles, but modded into MW2. Extremely popular.

Closing Thoughts

Hopefully this guide has equipped you with the MW2 modding, troubleshooting, and file backup knowledge that veteran players have acquired over the years. While it still requires some technical skill, learning where and how Modern Warfare 2 stores your files unlocks tons of customization potential on PC.

Here are some closing tips:

  • Finding the exact MW2 file location may vary slightly by setup – be willing to poke around!

  • Always backup files before making major changes like modding or deleting configs.

  • A little Googling goes a long way when troubleshooting more complex issues.

  • Occasionally verify game file integrity on Steam after major updates or if you notice issues.

Take care of that temperamental yet beloved MW2 installation, and it will provide you endless high-octane entertainment for years to come. Now get out there soldier, the Call of Duty awaits!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.