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: Right click your Halo 2 shortcut (generally located on your desktop), select “Properties” and the select the “Shortcut” tab. From here, outside of the " add a space and -novsync to the end of the Target line and hit Apply, then OK. Make sure your game is closed when doing this, if it is not a restart is required.

Vsync can introduce input lag as well as stutters to the game. In a future update, there may be an option to enable and disable Vsync via the in-game Cartographer menu in Video Settings.
See the following image for more details:

Step 2: If using a high refresh rate monitor such as a 144hz or 240hz, please go to the "CARTOGRAPHER" guide on the main menu of the game and select Advanced Settings > Video 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)
Please note that the FPS limit of Halo 2 should be kept to 60 FPS until proper uncapped framerate is added to the game. Going above 60 FPS will result in the game's engine slowing down and not running properly.

Step 3: If still having issues, disable the in-game Cartographer FPS limiter by opening Run, type appdata, press OK and navigate to Local\Microsoft\Halo 2. From here open the halo2config1 file and find fps_limit=. Set this to 0 and save the file. 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:

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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