Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag cover
Developers
Ubisoft Montreal
Windows Ubisoft Ukraine
Publishers
Ubisoft
Engines
AnvilNext
Release dates
Windows November 19, 2013
Reception
Metacritic 84
OpenCritic 85
IGDB 85
Taxonomy
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Open world, Stealth
Themes Historical, Piracy
Vehicles Naval/watercraft
Series Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on HowLongToBeat
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on IGDB
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag guide on StrategyWiki
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on MobyGames
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on Wikipedia
Assassin's Creed 2008
Assassin's Creed II 2010
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 2011
Assassin's Creed: Revelations 2011
Assassin's Creed III 2012
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 2013
Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD 2014
Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry 2014
Assassin's Creed: Pirates 2014
Assassin's Creed Unity 2014
Assassin's Creed Rogue 2015
Assassin's Creed Chronicles (series)
Assassin's Creed Syndicate 2015
Assassin's Creed Origins 2017
Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt 2018
Assassin's Creed Odyssey 2018
Assassin's Creed III Remastered 2019
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation Remastered 2019
Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Greece 2019
Assassin's Creed Valhalla 2020

General information

PC Report
Official forums
Assassin's Creed Wiki
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
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Windows
Amazon.com
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Windows
GamersGate
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Windows
Gamesplanet
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Deluxe Edition
Windows
Green Man Gaming
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Windows
Humble Store
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Windows
Origin
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Windows
Steam
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Windows
Uplay
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Deluxe Edition. The edition is included with Uplay+.
Windows
All versions require Uplay DRM.

Version differences[edit]

The Gold Edition is a complete edition containing the base game and all DLC. Only available in NA.
The Deluxe Edition includes Aveline DLC, The Castaway's Prize and Illustrious Pirates Pack.
Freedom Cry is available as both DLC and a standalone game.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Season Pass
Windows
Kraken Ship Pack Season Pass exclusive.
Windows
Freedom Cry Pack Also available as a standalone game.
Windows
The Castaway's Prize Deluxe and Gold Edition exclusive.
Windows
Aveline DLC Deluxe and Gold Edition exclusive.
Windows
Time saver: Resources Pack
Windows
Time saver: Collectibles Pack
Windows
Time saver: Activities Pack
Windows
Death Vessel Pack
Windows
Crusader & Florentine Pack
Windows
Time saver: Technology Pack
Windows
MP Character Pack: Blackbeard's Wrath
Windows
Illustrious Pirates Pack
Windows
Guild of Rogues
Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

File removal[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Go into videos (for single player) or multi\videos (for multiplayer).
  3. Rename, delete or move these files:
ubi_logo.bik
TWIMTBP.bik
abstergo_logo.bik
ac4bf_logo.bik
warning_disclaimer.bik
warning_disclaimer.bik is in a subfolder that corresponds with the set language.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/242050/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <Uplay-folder>\savegames\<user-id>\273\
<Uplay-folder>\savegames\<user-id>\437\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/242050/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Origin
Steam Cloud
Uplay
Uplay cloud synchronization was disabled sometime in 2013.[1]

Video[edit]

Graphics settings.
Graphics settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Anamorphic 16:9; use Flawless Widescreen to remove letterboxing.
Multi-monitor
Anamorphic 16:9;[2] use Flawless Widescreen. Or if using an AMD card just use Catalyst version 14.4
Ultra-widescreen
See the community page.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use jim2point0's cheat table (requires Cheat Engine).
Windowed
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
TXAA (Nvidia only), FXAA, SMAA (actually SMAA T2X) and MSAA/CSAA (also using FXAA).
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Double buffered. See FPS drops to 30 when Vsync is enabled for triple buffered v-sync.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 63 FPS.

Windowed[edit]

Run patcher[3]
  1. Download AC4 Window Mode Patcher.
  2. Copy it to the installation folder and launch it.
  3. Type y and press Enter to start patching.
Use WinExplorer[citation needed]
  1. Download WinExplorer.
  2. Run game and choose a resolution of your choice.
  3. Alt+Tab to the desktop.
  4. Open WinExplorer and select AC4 from list of running programs.
  5. Head over to style tab and tick WS_DISABLED and WS_CHILD checkboxes.

Notes

You may want to further customize the window style with WS_THICKFRAME, WS_BORDER or WS_DLGFRAME options

Input[edit]

Controls settings.
Controls settings.

Audio[edit]

Audio settings.
Audio settings.
General settings.
General settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sliders for music, effects and voices.
Surround sound
Autodetection up to 5.1 setups.
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Simplified Chinese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Hungarian
Italian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play
8

Connection types

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
Use Helix Mod: Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag.
vorpX
G3D
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Mouse and keyboard do not work[edit]

Might be related to either Logitech or Steam Controller drivers, as the game improperly detects the input device.[4]

Issues fixed[edit]

You can find various fixes in this Ubisoft Support FAQ
Ubisoft Community Technical Support

Crash when installed in a Storage Space[edit]

The game will refuse to run when installed on a drive which is managed by a Storage Space on Windows 8 and later.
Creating a junction to the folder "sounddata" to a non-Windows Storage Space drive seems to solve the problem[citation needed]
Installing the Game on a drive that is not a Storage Space will fix this issue[citation needed]

Game freezes on AMD GPUs[edit]

This issue first manifests upon starting a new file when the game freezes on a black screen with the 'saving' icon.
Avoid using MSAA or EQAA[5]

The image freezes but the game still runs in the background[edit]

Sometimes the game might appear to be frozen, but you can still hear the sound and the HUD works.[6]
Enabling "Volumetric Fog" and / or disabling "FXAA" fixes the issue[citation needed]
"Volumetric Fog" may cause artifacts on screen edges in-game, Use Driver AA instead if MSAA is being used.[7]

FPS drops to 30 when Vsync is enabled[edit]

This is caused by lack of triple buffering in the game.
Use D3DOverrider to force triple buffering[8]
Don't force VSync in D3DOverrider, only triple buffering. Enable VSync in game options (or force it in Nvidia control panel or Nvidia Inspector).
If you're using SweetFX or another injector, this fix will not work. Use the workaround below.
Use RadeonPro to force triple buffering[citation needed]
  1. Download and install RadeonPro.
  2. Launch RadeonPro.
  3. Add a profile pointing to AC4BFSP.exe or AC4BFMP.exe.
  4. Select the exe profile by clicking on it.
  5. Go to the tweaks tab leave vsync to driver default and check triple buffering.

Notes

Tested on Win8.1 with CFX 7970s.[citation needed]
Use Ctrl-Alt-Del workaround to force triple buffering[citation needed]
This method has only been tested on Windows 7 SP1 with an Nvidia graphics card and on Windows 10 with an AMD graphics card.
  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
  2. Click the cancel button to return to your desktop.
  3. Go back to the game by clicking its icon on the taskbar.
Alt+Tab does NOT work.
This workaround makes possible the use of SweetFX or other injectors with triple buffering.

Nvidia PhysX performance issues[edit]

Disable Shadowplay[9]
Change process affinity[9]
  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Details tab.
  3. Right click ac4bfsp.exe and select "Set affinity".
  4. Uncheck the last CPU core and hit OK.
  5. Go back to the same menu and re-enable it.
  6. Close Task Manager.

Nvidia PhysX on newer GPUs even after the above workaround[edit]

Remove old PhysX files[9]
  1. Install updated PhysX drivers
  2. Go to the <path-to-game>
  3. Delete or rename PhysX3_x86.dll, PhysX3Common_x86.dll, PhysX3Cooking_x86.dll, PhysX3Gpu_x86.dll, PhysXDevice.dll
  4. This will disable PhysX in the game. This can also be achieved by simply disabling PhysX in the in-game menu.

Nvidia broken PhysX on newer GPUs fix (Windows 7)[edit]

Install older PhysX driver
  1. Uninstall any existing instance of PhysX from your computer.
  2. Install version 9.14 of PhysX. Earlier version are not supported, and later versions are broken. PhysX 9.14.0702

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 11
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Anti-cheat PunkBuster Used PunkBuster initially[10] but was eventually removed.[11]

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Vista SP2
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.6 GHz
AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 30 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
ATI Radeon HD 4870
512 MB of VRAM
Shader model 4.0 support
Supported video cards include: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or better, GT400, GT500, GT600, GT700 series or AMD Radeon HD4870 or better, HD5000, HD6000, HD7000 series.
Laptop graphics cards may work but are not officially supported.
Dual core processors will, despite the minimum requirements, most likely work.[12] (only LGA1150/LGA1155 dual core processors will, under most circumstances, deliver a playable frame rate - LGA775/LGA1156 and AM2/AM2+/AM3/FM1/FM2 dual core CPUs are unlikely to suffice due to significantly lower IPC)

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/242050/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (242050) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References

  1. Ubisoft Customer Service Screenshot
  2. Assassin Creed 4 Black Flag - WSGF forums
  3. [GUIDE] Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - Dead End Thrills
  4. Verified by User:Suicide_machine on 2017-12-12
  5. "Game freezing on black "saving" screen- Please help!" - Steam Community Discussions
  6. Steam Forums: AC4 freezes but the HUD still okay???
  7. Steam Forums Post
  8. Verified by User:Blackbird on 2017-01-26
    Tested on W10 (1607)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 (Finally) Assassins Creed 4 Physx Performance Fix!! - GeForce Forums
  10. Even Balance, Inc. - PunkBuster Online Countermeasures - last accessed on 2018-09-04
    "Tue Nov 19 2013 12:00
    Ubisoft has contracted with Even Balance, Inc. to integrate our PunkBuster™ Anti-Cheat software into the online game known as Assassin's Creed® 4 Black Flag.
    "
  11. Verified by User:Aemony on 2018-09-04
    Installed the game and joined a multiplayer session. PunkBuster were nowhere to be seen.
  12. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - PC Performance Analysis