Dev responds to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War crashing issues on Xbox Series X

Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot
Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot (Image credit: Activision)

What you need to know

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the latest entry in the long-running Call of Duty FPS franchise.
  • The game has had a rough start, with many issues and bugs revealing themselves after launch, especially on next-gen consoles.
  • On the Xbox Series X, this has led to multiple crashes and has even completely bricked consoles, according to user reports.
  • A Treyarch dev has responded to these issues on Reddit, hopefully indicating that the team is actively working on a fix.

A new Call of Duty comes around every year, for better or worse, and this year brought us Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which earned a middling review from us due to its lackluster multiplayer. The newly launched game has also seen a ton of issues on multiple platforms, but especially on next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and Playstation 5. One of the more serious issues is how Black Ops Cold War is consistently crashing Xbox Series Xs, and even completely bricking them in some cases.

Reddit user Junesfoshiz (via CharlieIntel) shed some light on these issues, discussing how Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War crashed their system every 4-5 games, until eventually their console would simply not start up anymore. Reddit user FoxhoundFPS, a Treyarch developer, responded to this thread and to the reported crashing issues afflicting the next-gen powerhouse.

According to the dev, they're investigating "all crashes," and his "immediate recommendations are to make sure that you're using the correct version for your platform. Players have also shared that disabling Ray Tracing on XSX has helped." Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also has a Trello board to monitor community issues and to provide progress updates on incoming fixes and more.

Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Box Art

Source: Activision (Image credit: Source: Activision)

In our own investigation, we found that the most likely culprit behind the crashes is related to how Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War handles next-gen upgrades. Rather than use Xbox Smart Delivery, an intelligent system that installs the best possible version of a game for your console automatically (and for free), Black Ops Cold War has two different versions of the base game to choose from, and only the more expensive one includes the upgrade for next-gen consoles. Even with the cross-gen version, however, the Xbox Series X will still play the Xbox One X version, leading to crashes and eventually more serious issues.

It certainly doesn't help that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has extremely confusing box art and messaging.

If you're having these issues, make sure you're playing the correct version of Black Ops Cold War for your system, turn off ray tracing for a while, and consider playing another of the Best Shooter Games for Xbox. If your Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War experience is great, consider one of the Best Controllers for Xbox Series X|S to ensure you never lag behind, and one of the Best External SSDs for Xbox Series X|S so you don't run out of space for this massive game.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.