Dark Souls 3- PC errors, crashes, Bonfire crash, controller issues, stuttering, lags, tweaks, white screen, performance fixes and workarounds

BY AMIT BARAN ROY   |   Dark Souls III, one of the most awaited games of 2016, got finally released for PCs and consoles worldwide on April 12. The game which is known for its ecstatic visual experience and an extremely tough gameplay, is making life lot more difficult for gamers by its frustrating crashing issues at launch (especially for PCs). The most common crashing issue that gamers are facing is the epic Bonfire crash. Apart from that, people are also experiencing issues with FPS drops and controller compatibility. There have been workarounds posted on Reddit and Steam that have solved majority of the issues. Below is the list of all possible fixes and workarounds that may help to improve your experience with Dark Souls III until an official patch is announced by Bandai Namco Entertainment. For specific issues that haven’t been covered here, you can also reach out to the Technical support team of Bandai Namco to register your problems with them. Before moving on, it is advised that you go through the system requirements of the game that is essential for the best possible gameplay experience.

Minimum Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8.1 64bit Windows 10 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 / AMD® FX-6300
  • RAM: 4GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 750 Ti / ATI Radeon HD 7950
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 11 sound device
  • Additional Notes: Internet connection required for online play and product activation

Recommended Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8.1 64bit Windows 10 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 / AMD® FX-8350
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 970 / ATI Radeon R9 series
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 11 sound device
  • Additional Notes: Internet connection required for online play and product activation

1. Dark Souls 3- Bonfire Crash:-

This is the most frustrating crashing issue of the game right now. The game crashes when the player is engaged in a Boss fight during the tutorial mode at the start of the game. The issue gets worse afterwards. It is most likely an issue from the software aspect of the game that should get fixed permanently by a patch. For now, the available workarounds are as follows:-

  • Update you GPU drivers (especially if you are an AMD user).
  • Turn down the Lighting Quality to Low in Graphics settings.
  • Start the game with the Knight class (if you don’t want to turn down graphics settings).

2. Dark Souls 3- Crash at startup/ Game not responding/ APPCRASH/ Black screen/ White screen/ (0xc000007b) error:-

  • GPU drivers must be updated to the latest version. Sometimes a clean driver install can also solve the crashing issues.
  • Check that your antivirus/firewall is not blocking the game.
  • For APPCRASH error with faulting module as ntdll.dll, try running the game in Windowed mode.
  • For (0xc000007b) error, try to reinstall DirectX, Visual C++ and .NET Framework properly.
  • For black screen issue, you should check that the in-game resolution matches the resolution supported by your display device so that there should not be any conflict.
  • If Dark Souls 3 is crashing at higher resolutions- 1440p, 4K, try turning down your screen resolution to 1080p.
  • If you are getting a white screen issue, you may need to turn down your resolution below 1080p from the GraphicsConfig.XML file.

3. Dark Souls 3- Low FPS/ Lags/ Stuttering/ Flickering:-

  • For AMD users, it is recommended to update your GPUs to the latest drivers.
  • For many Nvidia users, there are reports that the latest driver update are causing excessive frame rate drops. For them, the workaround may be to revert back to the 314.22 driver release.
  • Even for Geforce 500 series cards, rolling back to 314.22 drivers has helped to fix much of the performance issues and low Fps issues.
  • For the PC flickering issue, make sure that the refresh rate of your display screen is same as in-game. Then locate the xml configuration file at: C: > Users > Username > AppData > Roaming > DarkSoulsIII > GraphicsConfig.XML. Open the file using a text editor. Edit the first line of the config file as: <config><ScreenMode>WindowScreen</ScreenMode>
  • For framerate drops, you can also try turning down some of the graphics settings like motion blur. Adjust the other settings till it helps.
  • For AMD users, disable Raptr from task manager. Disable any other intensive applications that may be running in background. Also try setting ‘Tessellation mode’ to 8x/16x and 'Texture Filtering Quality' to Performance from your Crimson edition Radeon 16.4.1 Hotfix software to fix frame rate drops.
  • For Nvidia users, go into your control panel 3d settings. Select Dark souls 3 under programs, then go to "Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames" which by default will be set to 1. This bottlenecks your GPU and you need to turn this to use the 3d Application setting to get better frame rates. Also note that the ‘Power Management Mode’ option should be set to ‘Prefer Maximum Performance’.
  • Nvidia users can also go to nvidia control panel and add the DS3 exe Set to adaptive vsync and turn on triple buffering. Set maximum prerendered frames to 1. Turn on threaded optimization. Note: Set adaptive vsync to half refresh rate for locked 30fps (for a 60hz panel) if you want.
  • Set Virtually Prerendered Frames to "Use the 3D Application Setting" in Nvidia Control Panel. The same can be toggled on AMD systems, but you need a third party software called RadeonPro as this setting is not available in the official Radeon software. In RadeonPro navigate to "Advanced" and set "Flip Queue Size" to "1". This is the same setting as "Virtually Pre-Rendered frames" in Nvidia Control Panel."
  • In Task Manager, set High Priority for Dark Souls 3 process thread.
  • Disable any recording software like MSI afterburner, Fraps, Dxtory, D3DGear to maximize performance.

4. Dark Souls 3- 60 seconds crash fix:-

The most likely cause of this issue is memory leaks. This should be taken care by an official patch. But the interim workaround is to expand the virtual paging file of C drive. Right click MyComputer > Properties > AdvancedSystemSettings > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced > Change Virtual Memory. Set page file for C drive to be anything high (say 5GB), then it may fix majority of the lag. This should also smoothen out some of the stuttering issues.

5. Dark Souls 3- PS4 Dualshock Controller issues:-

  • For people having issues with DS4 and DS3 controller not getting recognized, go the DS4 Window settings, then tick the first option, "Hide DS4 Controller". Launch the game and the controller should work.
  • You can also use the x360ce emulator to fix the controller issues.
  • For people with a Logitech controller that is not even working with a x360ce emulator, you can check this reddit thread to fix it.

6. Dark Souls 3- 200 MB file size in Japan:-

Gamers in Japan who are currently trying to buy the Global Keys for the game are facing issues. Instead of the 17GB game data, they are offered with a mere 200 MB file that is actually a bonus sound track of Dark Souls 3. To fix this you need to change Your Steam Client Language to Japanese and select install on the same 200MB file. The given file will allocate and download full 17GB of data. But the problem with this is that the game will be in Japanese when you try to run it and the Global Key doesn’t make sense then. You can change the language to English from the Dark Souls 3 properties in Games library. But it is advised that you take a backup of the game data before doing this, in case you end up corrupting your game data and re-downloading again.

Heads Up:- Dark Souls 3 is available on Steam at $59.99 and the Pre-purchase Season Pass is available for $24.99 that will give access to 2 epic DLC packs at a discount.

Contact the author at amit@forceclaw.com

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