Battlefield 4 Issues and Fixes



Company: EA
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: November 7th, 2013

To cure what ails you

DICE's monumental shooter Battlefield 4 finally launched last week, although to a rocky start. While server crashes seem to have been greatly reduced across the last few server updates, there are still client-side issues that need to be addressed. While you wait for a patch (currently in the works), below you can find many options for improving various areas of the experience.

Framerate

Let's get the basics out of the way: if you're an AMD man, grab the Catalyst 13.11 beta 9.2 drivers (or newer if you're reading this late); if you're on NVIDIA, head for the 331.65 drivers (same). If you don't do it already, I recommend a clean install every time to ensure no driver issues (Driver Fusion is available through Steam and may be useful to this end).

Also make sure DirectX, .NET Framework, audio drivers, and Punkbuster are updated (for Punkbuster, download PBSetup, click 'Update Punkbuster', then 'Add a Game', add Battlefield 4, and let it update).

Graphics settings should be tweaked for an optimal balance between performance and visual fidelity. The 'auto' preset is reasonably smart, but it will almost always be inferior to good old-fashioned manual tweaking.

Our full tweak guide for the game will be up relatively soon, but for now, I recommend using anti-aliasing (post) instead of anti-aliasing (deferred) and disabling V-Sync, each of which should offer a significant boost to performance with minimal negative impact; reducing Effects Quality may help a lot in evening out framerate, too, as might reducing Shadow Quality and Mesh Quality.

Realmware's external Battlefield 4 Settings Editor can prove useful for tweaking. To observe framerate while in game, hit the ~ key, and type render.drawfps 1 and/or perfoverlay.drawfps 1.

Windowed and Borderless modes may improve framerate, although the latter is temporarily not working fully as intended. A workaround in the form of clicking on the taskbar icon as soon as it appears may prove useful.

Network Lag and Hit Registration

Network lag is an issue most if not everyone is running into right now, if only from time to time, and the same goes for hit registration. While DICE is working on improving both to be more in line with what we saw in beta (and hopefully something even better), for now there are a couple options which may help out.

Many users report reducing the Networking Smoothing setting in Gameplay options to 10% or 0% works great for them, although it worsened things for me personally in brief testing. In any case, fiddle with all kinds of values to see if it helps you.

It's also commonly said playing on servers with lower player counts than 64 should drastically better the experience in the meantime.

Audio

As with Battlefield 3, audio occasionally cuts out for some players, particularly on certain maps. It's fitting then the fix that worked for players there works for players here (at least some). To implement it, navigate to C:\Users\[user]\Documents\Battlefield 4\settings, open PROF_SAVE_profile with Wordpad, and change the GstAudio.AudioQuality value from whatever it's set to to 4. For many users, this eliminates the issue, though spawns new issues for others.

Stability

Server crashes should be rare now, but either way I'd recommend playing on Pure Battlefield, a community based around fun and teamwork, whose administrators are thoroughly monitoring the optimal settings for maximum stability, including the exclusion of certain maps.

The audio stutter crash is a fairly commonly seen crash in Battlefield 4: you'll know it when your game freezes up, the audio stutters and loops, and the only way to end it is by accessing Task Manager. Sadly, there is no fix for this one at the moment, but a patch is in the works which should cure it.

Besides updating your drivers and software as mentioned in the Framerate section, anyone running into client-side crashes should remove any present overclocks, as these are known to cause stability issues from time to time, particularly in certain games.

Conclusion

Battlefield 4 is arguably the most fun and deep title in the acclaimed series yet, and though some technical issues are hurting it some, the game is in decent shape as of this week, and should be in great shape within the next week or few. In the meantime, hopefully these fixes and workarounds help make your experience the best it can be. For more information and progress updates, check out this post on Battlelog.