Call Of Duty: Ghosts’ 6GB RAM Requirement Patched Out

By Nathan Grayson on November 20th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

It probably requires so much RAM to generate all of those hyper-complex dog emotions.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is a lot of things (a game, a shooter, a faithful recreation of Michael Bay’s entire filmography), but a graphical powerhouse isn’t one of them. Visuals aside, it doesn’t seem particularly demanding in other fields of warring and faceness either. Relatively small enemy counts, linear levels, simple AI, etc. So when a 6GB RAM requirement sneaked up and shouted, “BOO,” most players were more confused than frightened. Also, angry. But now, much like a ghost or an entirely unnecessary wall put in place to boost trumpetings of “next-gen”-ness, that barrier has disappeared.

A new, rather sizable update has dropped Ghosts’ RAM requirement to 4GB – which is still entirely silly, given that requiring a certain standard at all is a massive misstep. Maybe it’ll run sub-optimally on some machines, but so what? At least players with low-to-mid-range machines would have the option of trying it out at all. Still though, I guess Activision’s decision to bite off a couple gigabytes is something.

The patch includes a couple handy bells and whistles, too. A broadcaster mode, eSports rules, and a 4K display option are now in, so you can play Call of Duty: Ghosts pretty much any way you want (unless you are one of many millions who fall outside an arbitrary RAM restriction).

The full list of patch notes is here. Is anyone still playing this? Is the multiplayer any different this time? At all?

, , .

66 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Kiiyor says:

    I’m probably wrong, but doesn’t Windows7 x86 only recognize 4GB of ram? Or was that a requirement patched out in days of yore?

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx

    • Sixtoe says:

      I thought COD was 64bit only, at least there was lots of talk of that…

    • Low Life says:

      Yes it does, but as Sixtoe mentioned the game requires a 64-bit OS so that doesn’t really matter. Even if the game supported 32-bit operating systems, the available RAM on a 32-bit Windows would be less than 4 GB (due to the same address space being used for I/O) so the game wouldn’t launch on it despite the lowered requirement.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      It’s not only ram, it’s system memory in general. Meaning a 1GB GPU will reduce the ram the OS (or program) can use to 3GB (rest of the peripherals mostly have an arbitrarily small amount of memory). It’s not something you can just patch out as it comes with the 32-bit memory address space. Physical Address Extension makes the OS able to use up to 64 GB, but programs will still use 32-bit addresses meaning they will still cap out at 4 GB that’s shared between RAM and VRAM.

      That said, I’m guessing the requirement of Ghosts is more about trying to call it a Crysis than it actually being one. It’ll probably run with less.

      • Low Life says:

        That’s actually not quite true. Unless you’re using an integrated GPU without its own memory not all of the VRAM is removed from the available address space – a video card with 3 GB memory won’t leave the system with only 1 GB of available system memory. Only a section (less than a gig) of the VRAM is mapped to the address space and the mapped section is switched when needed.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Considering that 64bit pci memory space has been common since like 1997 or so, I’d say most operating systems can handle this issue.

  2. Sixtoe says:

    I played the single player, which was just “OK” as long as you like your games short and popcorn film forgettable, I played Battlefield 4 single player, which was better, but then I played Call of Juarez Gunslinger which totally blew both out the water (and much cheaper). I can’t say I’ll go back and play either COD of BF again, but I would Gunslinger :)

    • int says:

      I almost feel ashamed to say that I have liked all CoD campaigns (still haven’t played BO2 or Ghosts). On the multiplayer front my favorite game was WaW – there’s nothing like severing body parts with an anti-tank rifle.

      The one thing that made me interested in Ghosts was that player customization seemed much more refined and diverse. Though I’m just basing this on short official video so I don’t know how good it is.

    • Doomsayer says:

      Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is my favorite FPS game this year. It’s the best shooting gallery (where enemies shoot back) I’ve ever played. The guns and explosions are so damn satisfying and once you string together some of the better skills (and get your shooting skills appropriately greased) you can completely wipe the floor like the one-man-army that so many FPS’s tell us we are but so few deliver.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Who’s a good boy, Infinity Ward? Is it you? Is it you? Yes it is! Yes, you’re a good boy! You’re a very good boy! Now who wants a biscuit? Who wants a biscuit? Who wants to send me the address of their offices so I can send them a dog biscuit in the mail? Is it you? Is it you?

  4. Spacewalk says:

    It requires that much RAM in order to boost the dog’s vision ’cause dogs can’t see too good, they need help.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Ah, but their hearing is excellent, so maybe all their sound files are specially engineered .wavs with a huge frequency range and time resolution.

    • Horg says:

      Personally I think this dog fix patch is a waste of resources. Dogs can’t look up, everyone knows that. No amount of extra RAM is going to fix them.

  5. SkittleDiddler says:

    All those fanboys claiming the game actually needed 6GB of RAM must be feeling pretty stupid now. Well, more so than normal.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Fanboys be fanboys. Although it’s true that sometimes games can be hugely poorly optimised – I heard someone from Creative say at a talk that with Empire they lost track of which files were actually used by the game, so they had a huge disk space overhead of files that they weren’t sure were needed.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      No, no… They’ll just take their cognitive dissonance elsewhere…

    • Grygus says:

      Fanboys rarely feel stupid. The reaction in this case will be that their trust was betrayed. Some of the fanboys will now flip to irrational hatred of the developer.

      • kalirion says:

        No, a true fanboy’s reaction in this case will be that the game would’ve required 24GB RAM if it was not incredibly optimized, and the fact that they managed to optimize it even further is nothing short of miraculous, and the devs all deserve medals, hookers and blow for such an accomplishment.

  6. Bull0 says:

    Who doesn’t have 4GB of ram in their games machine now? I think it’s better they try to dissuade people from buying the game if they aren’t going to be able to run it properly. “Letting people try it” means letting people drop £40 on it only to find out it’s unplayable on their machine? Get real. What use is that to anybody? It’s just call of duty, it’s not like you need a demo to know what you’re in for.

    *edit* That said, 6GB was always over the top, and it’s good they’ve removed that. They need to work seriously on optimizing the game – it’s visually quite hard to distinguish from Blops 2 (but the differences ARE there) so it’s hard to understand why it compares so badly in performance terms.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I have 3 gigs, and it’s only really become a problem in the last few months.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Unless increasing the memory you have installed leads to cascading upgrades, I’d say put more in. 16GB can be had for less than 200$ these days.

    • Low Life says:

      You misunderstand what Nathan’s saying – it’s perfectly fine to report system requirements, such as “Minimum 4 GB RAM”, on the game box or on a store page. People see that and they can figure out if they should buy the game or not.

      What CODGHOSTS does is that it refuses to launch the game if its arbitrary check for RAM size doesn’t pass. The user bought the game, dropping £40 on it only to find out it’s unplayable on their machine – except in this case it’s literally unplayable, not stuttery unplayable. Nothing has been done to dissuade the player from buying the game, just from playing it.

      • Bull0 says:

        …I haven’t misunderstood anything at all, I fully understand that the game doesn’t run if you don’t meet the arbitrary RAM requirements. It’s right there on the store page that the minimum system requirement is 6GB ram, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that the game flat wouldn’t run without it. Everyone was talking about it in the run-up to launch. That’s dissuading people from buying the game, in my opinion, but it’s semantic, you can argue it either way. Nathan’s alternative is not to have the functionality, so people aren’t dissuaded from buying it even when it might not run well enough to be worth the money. That’s apparently better, because more people would spend £40 on an already not that great game that then runs like crap on their PC into the bargain. I’m not misunderstanding, I’m disagreeing.

        • Low Life says:

          “It’s right there on the store page that the minimum system requirement is 6GB ram, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that the game flat wouldn’t run without it. Everyone was talking about it in the run-up to launch.”
          No it’s not (common knowledge) and no they weren’t. The first information about the game not launching with less than 6 GB memory was from people who had bought the game and tried it with such computers. Games checking the PC’s specs against their (often arbitrary) minimum requirements and refusing to launch is not a common occurrence, so it wouldn’t be common knowledge.

          Nathan’s “alternative” has served us pretty well up to this point.

          • Bull0 says:

            Well, we were all talking about it, anyway. It was all over the steam forums, reddit, etc. If the first you heard of it was on launch day, I sympathise, they obviously didn’t do a good enough job of communicating it out. I got the message, but I read the internet all day. That said, checking and ignoring the minimum system requirements for games is a pretty silly practice, and if you do that you can’t then complain that the game doesn’t work on your system. No shit, that’s why they bothered to put minimum system requirements together.

          • SuicideKing says:

            ^I agree with this, really. System Requirements are there for a reason.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            I can certainly understand why users would be mad, but I have to agree with Bull0. It’s like buying a Honda Accord and then being pissed off that it’s 4-cylinder. Well, if you had done a modicum of informing yourself as a consumer, then you would have known the model you were getting was a 4-cylinder. Yes, publishers need to be upfront about stuff, but there does need to be a certain level of assumed risk and effort on the part of the consumer.

            Also, I’m sick to death of seeing every single new game get trashed by a bunch of idiots complaining that their game, at max settings with FSAA and MSAAx8, won’t run on their laptop with Intel HD4000 integrated graphics. Or the idiots that put on MSAA and FSAA and then wonder why their game is lagging with their NVidia 630mobility GPU. Same with the people who live in the middle of nowhere and/or have terrible wifi connections and then complain about bad netcode.

            If a developer or publisher screws up, I’m all for holding their feet to the fire. However, what I often see is users that refuse to inform themselves buying games without checking the specs and then trying to run games at unrealistic specs on their sub-optimal machines.

          • Koozer says:

            In my poor school going days I played plenty of games that I didn’t meet the minimum requirements for. Anything north of 15 FPS was amazing. I would’ve been bloody disappointed if they flat out refused to run.

          • Premium User Badge

            wengart says:

            Here is the thing about it though.

            Minimum requirements say “This game probably won’t work, or won’t work to our standards if you have less than this” they don’t say “You can’t run this game.”. The meaning of minimum requirements isn’t what COD Ghosts says it is.

            And I think it would be perfectly reasonable to think that if the game needs 6 gbs of ram that I could play multiplayer on those tiny maps with 4. Maybe I can’t play the campaign, but you know who cares/

        • Funso Banjo says:

          But that’s not how 99% of games work. If the minimum is 4GB, and you have 2GB, 99% of games (more than 99% really, this is the first game I have ever been aware of) will still TRY to run.

          • Bull0 says:

            Yeah, I do know that. I’m saying I thought we all knew it wouldn’t run if you didn’t meet the 6GB requirement. I can remember the outrage, and I remember it being before the launch, not after. I even double-checked my own system for the 64-bit OS requirement (I can never remember if I’ve got 64-bit or 32).

          • Grygus says:

            Yes but you’ve lost the thread of your own argument. Your argument is that people who ignore system minimums are bound to run into problems and have nobody but themselves to blame. But reading Internet conversations about a game isn’t a given for any game; the people on the forums are always a tiny minority of any game’s community. You’ve basically gone from “people did not perform due diligence,” to “people didn’t act exactly like me,” and it weakens your position considerably.

            I should never have to find out that you explicitly keep me from running your game via word-of-mouth.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Actually, the argument holds up just fine.

            “Your argument is that people who ignore system minimums are bound to run into problems and have nobody but themselves to blame.”

            They didn’t read them, or if these people did read them, they didn’t care. They then had problems running the game.

            Granted, the vast majority of games will still try to launch of you have less than the required RAM, etc., but that’s not really an excuse. The game said a minimum of 6GB. People that ignored that ran into problems. Argument is still valid.

          • Premium User Badge

            Rikard Peterson says:

            Several people in the comments seems to be confusing “minimum specs” with “recommended specs”. They are not the same. “Recommended” means “you should have this if you want the game to run well, but it will run on less, but “minimum” means “don’t buy this if you’re machine isn’t at least this tall”. Sure, some companies may err on the safe side when setting “min specs” (particularly these days – I don’t think anyone bought Duke3d expecting it to run on 4MB when it stated that it needed 8), but if you ignore the stated requirements, you have only yourself to blame.

    • Viroso says:

      4gb is still a lot for this game, and it is better to have more accessible specs. They don’t have to dissuade people by artificially pushing ram requirements up. Anyway, to give you an idea, Planetside 2 is one of the few games out there that require 4gb minimum. Planetside 2 puts hundreds of players in a single huge map simultaneously.

      Witcher 2, Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, all of these require 2gb. It’s crazy that Ghosts asks for 4gb.

    • Rukumouru says:

      There are two problems with your assessment:

      1) The game doesn’t rull well enough to warrant your money with a million rams and a GTX Titan. Even on consoles it drops frames and stutters.

      2) The game has been shown through the Resource Monitor to use no more than 2GB of ram, making it entirely possible to run on just 3GB of ram in a well-optimized system with little to no bloat running in the background. It was arbitrarily requiring twice that amount, and is still requiring one extra gigamajjiger of rams because it assumes that you are an idiot.

      • Bull0 says:

        I know all of this, it doesn’t really change my overall position on the policy of enforcing minimum system requirements through hard locks. I’ve said all over this thread that I think IW executed it really badly and that the whole thing was misguided, I’ve also said that the game is poorly optimised and only uses a fraction of the ram it asks for, etc.

    • Baines says:

      it’s hard to understand why it compares so badly in performance terms.

      Infinity Ward. Post the Respawn departure.

      Really, that’s all the explanation you need for the lackluster performance. Just look at how their previous game was handled, including the year of terrible support and constant denials that anything wrong was the fault of their code. (With MW3, they spent around six months blaming netcode issues on every possible outside cause they could think of before they’d look for problems in their own code or game design. And that is just one of many such issues.)

    • Vyce says:

      There was also a problem in some cases where even if you did meet the requirements, it would give you the same limit message.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Keymonk says:

    Wait. Was this actually a legitimate requirement? As in, you had to have it to be allowed to run the game?

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, wouldn’t install otherwise. Properly boneheaded move.

      • Premium User Badge

        Keymonk says:

        That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard then. Thanks for the clarification.

      • Low Life says:

        Wait, I’m confused. In the comment thread above this you defend the game not launching with less than 6 GB memory (as it apparently protects customers from performance issues) and here you call it a “properly boneheaded move”. Which one is it?

        • Bull0 says:

          6GB was boneheaded, because it clearly only uses half that at most. Yeah, I think dissuading people from buying games that won’t run properly on their system is probably a good idea, I just think they handled it badly. Other people, yourself included, would rather they left it open – but also reserve the right to complain if the game doesn’t work because you don’t meet the documented minimum system requirements, apparently.

          • mouton says:

            People who complain when they don’t meet minimum requirements are ignored instantly. I mean, duh.

            Then again, people who buy Call of Duty titles at launch deserve whatever happens to them.

    • KhanIHelpYou says:

      A guy made this video about it when the game came out.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQrFvVmOJK8

      There was a hacked .exe that let you play the single player with less than 6GB ram.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        I thought that hack was relatively well-known by now, but you’re the first person to mention it here. It kind of invalidates that whole “system requirements are there for a reason” excuse, doesn’t it?

        • mouton says:

          It’s not as clear cut, though. While I really dislike this arbitrary limitation, I can emphatize with a company wanting to make damn sure that people don’t run the game below the specs. Had it not colorfully backfired, it would have limited the support hassle and negative hype created by customers feeling entitled to run the game nonetheless.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Don’t you think speculating on the overall effectiveness of lying to customers about an arbitrary technical limitation is pointless now? There game never needed 6GB of RAM, and trying to justify it on the grounds of “improved customer support” seems a little specious.

        • Bull0 says:

          In this case, yeah – you’re adding to the chorus of people who’ve pointed out 6GB was arbitrary, including, apparently, IW, who have released a patch that changes it! Does it mean system requirements as a whole aren’t there for a reason? Hell no!

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Let’s not forget that IW most likely would have been happy to continue advertising the game as requiring 6GB if they had not been busted on it.

            If we’re talking about the necessity of honest-to-God minimum system requirements, you’re absolutely correct in thinking that they are a necessary part of the industry. What I take issue with is publishers inflating specs for the purpose of making their games seem technically more advanced than they actually are. Activision isn’t the first company to try getting away with this, and they certainly won’t be the last.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    Did they fix the (hilarious) bug where if you have a certain number of Steam friends (More than 50-100, I believe, but nobody picked an exact figure) it just stops for 3-4 seconds at a time continuously in the menus, and you can only alleviate it by putting Steam Friends into ‘Appear Offline’ (Meaning you now can’t find your friends to play with them)

    That, and a general feeling in this COD of laziness (Spawning was a joke, you can kill people and have them spawn near-directly behind you, every weapon has a TTK of 15ms or less) got me to uninstall for the first time in the series in under two weeks.

    I can’t believe I’m saying it, but Treyarch now make the good COD games, the world is finally backwards, the end is nigh!

    • Bull0 says:

      Trey have been making the “good” ones for a while, now. I’m not too thrilled with this edition but I quite like the Squads mode. It’s also nice that they put Search & Destroy back in.

    • Baines says:

      Spawning was a joke in MW3. They spent 9 months tweaking values, which ultimately only changed whether the person you just killed spawned behind you or in front of you.

      Infinity Ward’s whole approach to their spawn system was broken in MW3, on every level. From the code itself to how the maps were designed. It was just flat out broken. (In a Free-for-all match with 3 or 4 players *total*, some of the original maps would spawn two players in the same location. People were spawned on top of their own corpses. You could be spawned directly behind the sniper that just shot you. I believe one of the maps in Sabotage had a spawn flip that would spawn the opposing team right next to the bomb. In matches with only a few players, the spawn algorithm was so predictable that on some maps you could run between spawn points in a sequence killing the same person repeatedly as he respawned. When they later released the special smaller maps, you could spawn camp for a few kills in a 1v1 match on Aground.)

      From what I’ve heard, Ghosts uses pretty much same spawn system as MW3.

  9. Awesumo says:

    I’ve got a copy of all the COD games from the glorious COD1 up until the last one – but I’ve given up on them now. COD 1 was a great game… COD 4 was a great game, and one of the generic modern warfare games was a great game (pick one, they are all the same.)
    It’s the every year release cash in and ever shrinking map sizes so they can fit it on the old xbox360 – which they did once again here – COD 4 had some pretty big maps – big enough that sniper rifles actually had a use.

    • Baines says:

      The map sizes are due to how Infinity Ward (and Raven) want the game to play.

      People complain about being sniped, so they make the maps harder to snipe from. People complain about having to look up, so they eliminated a lot of the verticality in MW3. (The maps looked more vertical than they were, often because the maps were sloped to give that impression. But in any particular spot, an enemy could only be at one or two heights. You also weren’t allowed to get on top of most new obstacle assets.) People complained about spending too much time out of the action, so they made maps smaller, tighter, and with fewer directions you could go in order to constantly funnel people into each other.

      They didn’t want to recreate the smallness of Shipment, but they didn’t want open largeness either.

  10. stupid_mcgee says:

    The real thing is, why the fuck does this game require a minimum of 40GB of HDD space?

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      In order to achieve ultimate authenticity and next-gen garfics, every frame of animation for the dog is actually its own static model extracted from mocap data and stored uncompressed in the install.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        lol That must be it! Everything must be uncompressed, I guess. All sound assets are in WAV or FLAC format and all textures are still in their RAW formats. :P

  11. soopytwist says:

    You can’t polish a turd

  12. Onemoar says:

    lol its freaking IDTech 3 albeit heavily modifyed but not matter what you do to IDTECH3 it will never ever ever ever require more then 1.5GB of ram
    this is just a blatant OOO look at us we are next gen we require lots of ram OOOo pretty

  13. Sumit5 says:

    After a long googling I finally got the fix of it

    here is the fully working fix guys……

    https://adf.ly/bDCao