Feb 14, 2013
Halo 2 PC Optimization Guide
A guide for fixing FPS issues
The following steps are for fixing FPS issues AFTER the usual steps you would use such as lowering resolution and quality details as well as updating drivers

Step 1: If using Windows 10, right click the taskbar and select “Taskbar settings”.

Once open, select “Home” in the upper left of the window and then select “Gaming”.

From there, on the left side of the window you should see “Game bar”. Select that and make sure “Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar” is set to off.
Next, select “Captures” and make sure “Record in the background while I’m playing a game” is set to off.
Finally, select “Game Mode” and if you have an option to set this, make sure this is also disabled by setting it to off. (Depends on your version of Windows 10)

*Windows 10 Game bar and Game mode have been known to cause FPS drops as well as introduce input lag for games.

Step 2: If still having issues, right click your Halo 2 shortcut (generally located on your desktop), select “Properties” and the select the “Shortcut” tab. From here, make sure you’re game does not have -windowed added to the end target line. If it does, simply delete the “-windowed” line and hit apply, then ok.
See the following image for more details:

*-windowed is used to force the game into Windowed mode which can cause issues.

Step 3: If still having issues, disable the in-game Cartographer FPS limiter located in the Cartographer guide > Other Settings > FPS limit. Click the current FPS number and it should set it to Disabled. Close or minimize your game and download “RivaTuner Statistics Server” from the following link: https://www.guru3d.com/files-get/rtss-rivatuner-statistics-server-download,15.html
After downloading, install and then run RivaTuner. Once open, select the green “Add” button at the bottom, navigate to your Halo 2 shortcut used to launch the game (typically located on your desktop) and select it. From here, make sure you then have “halo2.exe” selected on the list under “Global” and type “60” into Framerate limit box on the right. If it won’t let you type 60, just use the arrows to raise the value to it. After setting this, be sure to have RivaTuner running and minimized when playing Halo 2. See the following image for more details:

If using a high refresh rate monitor such as a 120hz or 144hz, please go into the "CARTOGRAPHER" guide on the main menu of the game and select Advanced settings > Other settings > Refresh Rate. From here, please set the value to the refresh rate of your monitor (default is set to 60). Once set, please restart your game. (This solution will also help reduce screen tearing)

Finally, always be sure to go into your graphics control panel, Nvidia, AMD, or Intel and make sure you have optimal performance settings.

Intel guide:

Nvidia guide:

AMD guide:

  • Chrome being open or running in the background
Possible Solution: Disable hardware acceleration in Chrome settings​

  • Google Hangouts running in background

  • Windows 10 background apps running
Possible solution: Go to Windows settings > Privacy > Background apps and set them to "off"​
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