Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Posted:  July 03, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Micro Stutters
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
45 FPS
Limit
45
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
No
Scaling Filter
NO
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-22 (for Multiplayer/Zombies)

Game Settings

1280x800

Highest Game Settings

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
~9W - 10W
~50C - 60C
4.5 Hours

Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the sequel of Black Ops and the predecessor of Black Ops 3 from the popular First Person Shooter franchise and is full of nostalgia for those of us raised on all the earlier COD titles. BO2 comes with a somewhat lengthy campaign that goes back and forth between modern and futuristic combat, a gratifying multiplayer experience filled with iconic maps, and the evolution of the well-received zombie gamemode introduced from World at War, Black Ops 2 gives players an incredible experience.

The 45 FPS build for me was the smoothest of them all, which is why it is my recommended build. I used native resolution since lower resolution with FSR was causing micro-stutters for me (1-2 fps drops consistently), but I had it tested with another person who didn’t get the micro-stutters so take it with a grain of salt.

The reasoning behind not capping the wattage is mainly due to the game not using a high wattage 90% of the time anyways, except for certain cinematics that require the wattage to not stutter throughout. For the setting used in this build the game would reach up to 68fps at times if not capped which does give the player wiggle room if you prefer better shadows or something of that nature.

Fair warning though, there will be select heavy parts of the game where you might get around 40 instead of 45 fps due to this. If shadows are necessary for you, I would lower the 8x MSAA to 4x MSAA. But for me, the 8 times was easily worth the shadow loss. I felt the scopes on turrets or snipers would look blocky, but in 8x that was not the case. With this build, the battery length is 4.5 hours depending on the mission at hand.

I didn’t encounter any big issues in Black Ops 2 except on some cinematics where the game will not have a stable fps, likely due to the game’s cinematics not optimized for Linux. If you are looking to play multiplayer and zombies, you are going to need Proton GE 7-22 or above installed. For zombies and multiplayer, all the settings will need to be on low all, while leaving the TDP Limit at 15W to try to help against the lag/stuttering. With that, it is currently possible to get a stable framerate if you change the refresh rate and cap to 40 FPS. Playing solo works well, but I experienced a lot of lag during any connection to a server in multiplayer and zombies, so I can't recommend playing them at this current state.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Conclusion

In the end, Black Ops 2's game’s campaign worked perfectly and it was great to re-experience it, but any multiplayer modes left something to be desired. While I could play Zombies alone without issues at 40 FPS, it was not enjoyable to play online, which I believe will deter a lot of players. If you are wanting to play through the Bo2 campaign, the deck would be a great way to do so. Otherwise, I would put more hope on the other CoD games for a better multiplayer and zombies experience. While I could play Zombies alone without any issues whatsoever at 40 FPS, it was not enjoyable to play online due to overwhelming connection issues.

Need some help understanding how we got to our score? Check out our Guide to Steam Deck HQ.

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

This game’s campaign worked perfectly and it was great to re-experience it, but any multiplayer modes left something to be desired.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Zeratul831
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the sequel of Black Ops and the predecessor of Black Ops 3 from the popular First Person Shooter franchise and is full of nostalgia for those of us raised on all the earlier COD titles. BO2 comes with a somewhat lengthy campaign that goes back and forth between modern and futuristic combat, a gratifying multiplayer experience filled with iconic maps, and the evolution of the well-received zombie gamemode introduced from World at War, Black Ops 2 gives players an incredible experience.

The 45 FPS build for me was the smoothest of them all, which is why it is my recommended build. I used native resolution since lower resolution with FSR was causing micro-stutters for me (1-2 fps drops consistently), but I had it tested with another person who didn’t get the micro-stutters so take it with a grain of salt.

The reasoning behind not capping the wattage is mainly due to the game not using a high wattage 90% of the time anyways, except for certain cinematics that require the wattage to not stutter throughout. For the setting used in this build the game would reach up to 68fps at times if not capped which does give the player wiggle room if you prefer better shadows or something of that nature.

Fair warning though, there will be select heavy parts of the game where you might get around 40 instead of 45 fps due to this. If shadows are necessary for you, I would lower the 8x MSAA to 4x MSAA. But for me, the 8 times was easily worth the shadow loss. I felt the scopes on turrets or snipers would look blocky, but in 8x that was not the case. With this build, the battery length is 4.5 hours depending on the mission at hand.

I didn’t encounter any big issues in Black Ops 2 except on some cinematics where the game will not have a stable fps, likely due to the game’s cinematics not optimized for Linux. If you are looking to play multiplayer and zombies, you are going to need Proton GE 7-22 or above installed. For zombies and multiplayer, all the settings will need to be on low all, while leaving the TDP Limit at 15W to try to help against the lag/stuttering. With that, it is currently possible to get a stable framerate if you change the refresh rate and cap to 40 FPS. Playing solo works well, but I experienced a lot of lag during any connection to a server in multiplayer and zombies, so I can't recommend playing them at this current state.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Conclusion

In the end, Black Ops 2's game’s campaign worked perfectly and it was great to re-experience it, but any multiplayer modes left something to be desired. While I could play Zombies alone without issues at 40 FPS, it was not enjoyable to play online, which I believe will deter a lot of players. If you are wanting to play through the Bo2 campaign, the deck would be a great way to do so. Otherwise, I would put more hope on the other CoD games for a better multiplayer and zombies experience. While I could play Zombies alone without any issues whatsoever at 40 FPS, it was not enjoyable to play online due to overwhelming connection issues.

Need some help understanding how we got to our score? Check out our Guide to Steam Deck HQ.

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

This game’s campaign worked perfectly and it was great to re-experience it, but any multiplayer modes left something to be desired.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Zeratul831
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
45 FPS
Limit
45
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
No
Scaling Filter
NO
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-22 (for Multiplayer/Zombies)

Game Settings

1280x800

Highest Game Settings

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
~9W - 10W
~50C - 60C
4.5 Hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Other Builds & Information

50 FPS/Battery

SteamOS:

-50fps
-50hrz
-5hrs
-15W
-FSR 5sharpness

Proton Version:

Proton GE 7-22

In-Game Settings:

Screen Resolution-960x600
Display Mode-Full Screen
Monitor-1
Brightness-NA
Field of View-65
Shadows-Off
Subtitles-Enabled
Graphic Content-Enabled
Texture Quality- High
Texture Filtering- Low
Anti-Aliasing- 4X MSAA
FXAA- No
Ambient Occlusion- On
Depth of Field- Low
Number of Corpses- Tiny
Sync Every Frame- No
Max Frames Per Second- Unlimited
Draw Fps- No

Performance:

-Wattage- 9-10.5W
-Temps- 54-61C
-Battery- 5 Hours

Multiplayer/Zombie

SteamOS:

-40fps
-40hrz
-3.5hrs
-15W
-linear

Proton Version:

Proton GE 7-22

In-Game Settings:

Screen Resolution-1280x800
Display Mode-Full Screen
Monitor-1
Brightness-NA
Field of View-65
Shadows-Off
Texture Quality- Low
Texture Filtering- Low
Anti-Aliasing- off
FXAA- No
Ambient Occlusion- Off
Depth of Field- Low
Sync Every Frame- No
Max Frames Per Second- Unlimited
Draw Fps- No

Performance:

-Wattage- 9-12
-Temps- 50-68C
-Battery- 3.5-4 hours

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