Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter Tweak Guide
[Page 3] Troubleshooting Tips
This section contains specific troubleshooting tips which address many of the common problems experienced by GRAW players. Make sure to go through all of the advice below.
Official Support: The first place to look for official support information is on the Ubisoft Support Site, which contains answers to many common problems. In particular, check the game's minimum requirements as they are quite steep, and if you don't meet them (or barely meet them) then you will experience poor performance and/or glitches. If these don't help you, try the Official GRAW Forums or the Ghost Recon.net Forums for community support and information.
Windows Vista Users: If you're having problems running this game under Windows Vista, first make sure that you're using the latest Vista graphics and audio drivers for your hardware, and the latest version of this game (see page 4 for patch details). Next, make sure you don't change your UAC settings after the game has been installed, as due to Virtualization this can change the location of the game files and settings. If you can't launch the game successfully when UAC is enabled, you will need to run the game with full Admin privileges. To do this either right-click on the launch icon and select 'Run as Administrator', or right-click on the launch icon, select Properties and under the Compatibility tab tick 'Run this program as an administrator' then click OK. I strongly recommend that you refer to the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista for more information - in particular check the 'Gaming in Vista' section of the Graphics & Interface chapter; the UAC section of the PC Security chapter; and the 'Personal Folders' and 'Directory Junctions & Symbolic Links' sections of the Windows Explorer chapter. These will tell you how you can fix game-related issues and also explain the relevant differences of Vista.
SecuROM Issues: GRAW uses the SecuROM copy protection system. This is a system known to have certain issues, particularly on PCs which have any virtual disc emulators or specific types of disc copy software. The only real solution is to uninstall such software if you want to install and play GRAW. Make sure to also install the latest patch (See page 4 for details). For more details and possible solutions for specific error messages, see the SecuROM FAQ, and if nothing else works, send an email to SecuROM Support.
Gamespy Account Issues: A lot of people are having problems logging in or creating a new Gamespy account in order to play online. If you've followed the normal method outlined on page 5 of the guide, and you've also installed the latest patch, and still have problems, keep in mind the following things which Gamespy believes may help resolve the problem: Not pressing enter before clicking login will result in an error; When you enter your nickname if you use your mouse cursor to click on the next field 'Password' it results in an error - You must use the tab key or press Enter; When creating a login, if you use the mouse cursor to move from field to field you lose everything you typed - You must press the enter key. Gamespy have made it clear that these type of issues must be resolved by Ubisoft.
Multiplayer Problems: Most of the problems in GRAW Multiplayer, many of which have been patched out of the game as of the latest patch (See Patches & Mods section). For a list of current known issues and some discussion of these check this thread and this thread. Furthermore, note that as of the 1.16 patch onwards, GRAW Multiplayer does have a very basic anti-cheat method (it makes sure everyone is running unmodified files), but no real anti-cheat software. Unfortunately it's not clear when or if Ubisoft will incorporate genuine anti-cheat software into GRAW such as PunkBuster. This anti-cheat system boots you from an MP server if your game files do not match those of the server's version - so if you've installed any mods or made any changes to the games files (the tweaks in this guide aside), then you may have to uninstall the mods and/or reinstall the game to play MP on those servers. Once again though, make sure to install the latest patch as it contains a range of multiplayer fixes and playing on servers running the latest version will minimize the chance of problems or cheating.
Mouse/Keyboard Lag: Typically the most common cause of mouse or keyboard lag is low framerates, so check your framerate using FRAPS and if it dips below 15 or so then you will start getting noticeable control lag - lower various settings such as Resolution and/or Texture Quality and/or Post Effects for example to improve framerate. However if this doesn't work, check the Neat Stuff & Conclusion section of the guide and impement the 'Max Frames to Render Ahead' tweak. Furthermore, apparently some people have found this fix for keyboard lag to work for them. Finally, check the Hardware Cursor tweak under the Advanced Tweaking section. Update: the latest patch resolves this issue, so check page 4 for more details.
Graphical Glitches: If you are experiencing strange graphics, obviously first make sure your graphics card is supported by the game (See Official Support above). Next, make sure you check out my ATI or Nvidia Tweak Guides (See the Essential Optimization section) - especially the instructions on page 4 of those guides for doing a 'clean install' of the latest drivers. Next, make absolutely sure that your graphics card is not overheating - whether by reducing your overclock and/or providing more cool air flow through your case. Finally, make sure that you have not forced Antialiasing in your graphics card's control panel as this can cause problems with GRAW. Always set your Antialiasing to 'Application Preference' (or similar) when playing GRAW. See Page 6 of this guide for more details.
Virus Scan: Do a full scan of all your files using the following excellent (and free) tools: AVG Virus Cleaner for viruses, A-Squared for trojans, and Ad-Aware SE for spyware/adware. Viruses, trojans and spyware can cause unexplained behavior, general file corruption and system slowdown, and can also steal your CD Key. It's best to make sure your system isn't infected before moving on to any other other optimization measures. However make sure to disable any background scanning programs once you're done (See below).
Background Programs: Disable all background applications - especially virus, trojan and spyware scanners and messaging utilities. These applications can and do use up valuable CPU resources, take up precious RAM, cause memory conflicts and crashes to desktop, but most importantly they interfere with read/writes to your hard drive effectively slowing it down and causing even more in-game freezes and longer loading times. Full instructions on how to identify your startup programs and services and how to correctly disable unnecessary ones are in my TweakGuides Tweaking Companion. This is an important step you should not miss.
Overclocking: GRAW can be quite sensitive to overclocking. If you've overclocked any components on your system and are having problems such as crashes, reboots or graphical anomalies, the first thing to do is set everything back to default speeds and try running the game. If you don't experience the same problems at default speed, or they're reduced in severity, then your overclock is the primary culprit. Either permanently reduce your overclock and/or increase cooling to regain stability. Don't assume that because other games run with stability at a particular speed that GRAW will do the same.
There are obviously many more problems people are experiencing with the game, but most of these are due to a lack of system optimization. GRAW is not as buggy as people suggest. The game can and does run with stability on a system which isn't overly stressed and poorly optimized. If you don't spend the time to optimize your PC, cool it properly, reduce/remove your overclocks, and select appropriate settings then you will experience more crashes, freezes etc. I strongly suggest reading the free TweakGuides Tweaking Companion at the very least if you want to resolve most issues with this and any other game.
That's just a basic rundown of troubleshooting tips. Read the remainder of this guide for more specific settings and tweaks which can help improve your performance and resolve any problems.