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Call of Duty: Black Ops 3's PC version is a mess at launch

Here we go again

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 launched at midnight EST today, and players of the game's Windows PC version have been reporting severe issues ever since, including ridiculously low frame rates and even an inability to play the game.

Black Ops 3's official forums and Steam Community forums are full of complaints, with many of the cited issues rendering the game literally unplayable. One of the most common problems is that the game doesn't even boot up properly — the developer and publisher logos show up, and then the screen simply goes black.

Some people can get to the main menu, but find themselves unable to actually select whether they want to play campaign, multiplayer or the Zombies mode; all the choices are grayed out. Other players are reporting terrible performance in Black Ops 3, such as the frame rate dropping to a "near unplayable" low, along with what appears to be a memory leak: The game's CPU usage skyrockets to 100 percent.

Players have been coming up with makeshift fixes in the form of edits to INI files, but those solutions don't appear to be working for everyone. The suggested fix for the grayed-out menu choices is redownloading the whole game, or at least, the individual modes.

Treyarch developed the PC version of Black Ops 3 in-house, and even the studio is telling players to try messing with an INI file. The studio says it's aware of "very low frame rates" on "certain [Intel Core] i5 CPUs," and is relaying a potential fix that appears to come from the community. Treyarch is also suggesting that players try enabling v-sync and setting the frame rate cap below their monitor's refresh rate. But the frame rate-based performance issues don't seem to be limited to players running Core i5 CPUs; people with AMD processors are also seeing the same problem.

We've reached out to Black Ops 3 publisher Activision for more details, and will update this article with any information we receive. For more on Black Ops 3check out our review.

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