Stuck Troubleshooting Modern Warfare 2 Issues? Here‘s Your Fix for Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

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Have you been eagerly awaiting the chance to revisit the epic single-player campaign and frenetic multiplayer of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, only to run into crashes, freezes, or the dreaded failure to launch?

I feel your frustration. MW2 is a true classic that every FPS fan should have the chance to enjoy without pesky technical issues getting in the way.

Not to worry – in this guide, I‘ll walk you through all the key troubleshooting steps and optimizations to get Modern Warfare 2 running smooth and stable on your rig. Whether you‘re playing on Steam or, we‘ll track down and fix whatever‘s causing those crashes or launch errors.

Ready to frag out in MW2 just like old times? Let‘s do this.

A Quick Refresher on What Makes MW2 so Special

Before we dig into troubleshooting, let‘s take a quick trip down memory lane and talk about why so many gamers have fond memories of Modern Warfare 2.

This game was an absolute phenomenon when it launched back in 2009, selling 4.7 million copies in the first 24 hours alone. It went on to gross over $550 million in the first few months – the biggest entertainment launch of all time up to that point.

It‘s still the highest selling Call of Duty game ever made, with over 22 million copies sold worldwide.

So what made MW2 such a smash hit?

For starters, the single-player campaign took you on a wild globe-trotting adventure full of memorable characters and epic setpieces. Remember that famous "No Russian" mission that sparked controversy? Or defending the White House from an all-out invasion? Unforgettable stuff.

Of course, multiplayer is where MW2 left its deepest impact. This is where Call of Duty levelled up and became the template for online military FPS going forward.

Killstreaks, custom classes, weapon progression – they perfected it here. New game modes like Infected, Demolition and Gun Game also came into their own in MW2 multiplayer.

Who could forget maps like Rust, Terminal, Highrise? The list goes on. MW2 just hit different. It was lightning in a bottle, and now we get to experience it all over again – if we can get past some pesky technical hurdles first.

On that note, let‘s get serious about troubleshooting!

Modern Warfare 2 Troubleshooting Step-by-Step

Here are the most common Modern Warfare 2 issues reported by players, along with fixes, optimizations and workarounds to try:

1. Modern Warfare 2 Won‘t Launch / Black Screen on Launch

This is one of the most frustrating errors you might encounter. You click that play button, MW2 flashes briefly in your taskbar, and then – nothing. It fails to properly launch.

Or, it launches but all you get is a black screen before it closes out.

Where do you even start troubleshooting when the game won‘t fully open? Here are some things to try:

Quick Fixes:

  • Update your GPU drivers – Crash on launch is often caused by outdated graphics drivers. Open GeForce Experience or Radeon Software and download the latest Game Ready drivers tailored for MW2.

  • Run as Administrator – Right click ModernWarfare2.exe, go to Properties > Compatibility and check "Run this program as an administrator". Try launching again.

  • Windows Update – Make sure you‘re on the latest version of Windows 10 or 11 by checking for updates. Game conflicts are often fixed in cumulative system updates.

Additional Troubleshooting:

  • Scan and repair game files – Corrupt files can lead to launch failure. In or Steam, find the option to scan/verify local files and fix anything corrupted.

  • Add exceptions to antivirus – Overzealous virus protection can block games from launching. Add an exclusion for the ModernWarfare2 folder and .exe file.

  • Reinstall graphics drivers – If updating drivers didn‘t help, try uninstalling and reinstalling them fresh using Display Driver Uninstaller.

  • Disable GPU overclocks – Any unstable OC can cause issues. Reset your graphics card to default factory settings if you have an overclock or overdrive enabled.

  • Check temperatures – Overheating can lead to abrupt shutdowns. Use HWInfo or Core Temp to monitor CPU and GPU temperatures while playing. Aim to keep both under 80-85°C.

Still having launch issues or black screen? As a last resort, try deleting all Modern Warfare 2 files and reinstalling fresh through or Steam. This eliminates any remnants from a bad install or corrupted local files.

Follow these troubleshooting steps and you should be blasting your way past that pesky launch crash in no time!

2. Modern Warfare 2 Keeps Crashing/Freezing Mid-Game

So you finally got MW2 launched, loaded into a match, and even played a few rounds. But suddenly, it crashes back to desktop without warning! Or everything freezes and the game becomes totally unresponsive.

Nothing kills the fun faster than crashes and lockups mid-match. Here are some likely culprits and fixes:

Quick Fixes:

  • Close background apps – Too many programs eating up RAM/CPU can cause instability. Close Chrome tabs, Discord, RGB software and other background processes.

  • Disable overlays – Overlays from Steam, GeForce Experience and more can conflict. Disable all in-game overlays.

  • Set ModernWarfare2.exe priority to High – Open task manager, find ModernWarfare2.exe, right click and Set Priority > High. This allocates more CPU resources to the game.

Additional Troubleshooting:

  • Add an FPS cap – High unlocked framerates can overload your CPU/GPU and cause crashes. Enable Vsync or an FPS limiter to cap your max frames at around your refresh rate.

  • Disable XMP or memory overclock – Unstable RAM overclocks commonly cause mid-game crashes. Reset your memory to default JEDEC speeds if you have XMP/DOCP enabled.

  • Monitor temperatures – Overheating continues to be a possibility. Use HWInfo64 and watch for your CPU or GPU approaching 90°C, which can trigger shutdowns.

  • Reseat components – Loose RAM, GPU or power cables can randomly cause crashes. Open up your case and firmly reseat all components and connectors.

Still crashing mid-match? Scan and repair files through or Steam as corrupt data is a common source of in-game crashes. And as always, keep your graphics drivers updated.

With these tips, your MW2 sessions should go uninterrupted for hours of fun. Let‘s move on to optimizations for getting the most out of Modern Warfare 2.

3. Optimize Graphics Settings for More FPS

Now that you‘ve (hopefully) resolved any launch issues, crashes or freezes, let‘s squeeze some extra performance out of Modern Warfare 2 with optimized graphics settings.

Here are the best settings for a nice FPS boost:

  • Render Resolution – Lower to 80-90%. The minimal visual impact isn‘t worth the huge FPS gain.

  • Anti-Aliasing – Disable or set to SMAA 1X for a big boost. MW2‘s post-process AA kills FPS for minimal improvement over 1X.

  • Shadows – Drop to Medium or Low quality. Modern Warfare is packed with shadows and they hit performance hard.

  • Texture Resolution – Bump down to Normal/Medium if needed. You get minimal visual benefit past this point.

  • Depth of Field, Motion Blur – Disable all cinematic effects. They tank FPS for little benefit.

  • Particle Quality – Set to Low. Reduce clutter from smoke, sparks and other VFX.

  • Bullet Impacts & Sprays – Disable these distracting visual effects.

Those are the big ones. I also recommend lowering Post Processing, Tessellation and most other effects to Medium or Low if you really need FPS.

With these optimized game settings, you‘ll fly well past 60 FPS for an incredibly smooth Modern Warfare 2 experience. Tweak from here and find your perfect balance of visuals and high framerates.

On one last note, be sure to set your Maximum Frame Rate to "Unlimited" and turn Vsync Off in the Graphics tab for minimal input lag.

There you have it friends – with these troubleshooting tips and performance guides, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 will be running better than ever on your PC. No more pesky crashes, freezes or launch errors holding you back.

Now finish the fight against Makarov, grind for Golden guns and go for high killstreaks to your heart‘s content! See you on the battlefield.


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.