Grim Dawn- PC errors, crashes, FPS issues, lags, freezes, bugs, tweaks, fixes and latest patch

BY AMIT BARAN ROY   |   Grim Dawn is the latest action role-playing game developed and published by Crate Entertainment on February 25, 2016. First announced six years ago in 2010, the game is set in the dark and ominous world of Cairn, where humanity is driven to the verge of extinction. The much awaited game, which is set around the lines of Diablo 3, has received good and positive reviews except for the few crashes and issues that are causing a headache for the players. Most of the crashing and freezing issues have occurred after the Build 31 release and some players are finding it real hard to get on with the game smoothly. We have identified few common issues and below is the list of the possible fixes. Before that, have a look at the minimum and recommended specifications of the game.

Minimum Specifications:

  • OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
  • CPU: Core 2 Duo E4600 2.4GHz / Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5000+
  • CPU SPEED: 2 GHz
  • VIDEO CARD: 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series or ATI Radeon X800 series or better

Recommended Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7
  • CPU: Core i3-3240 3.4GHz / Phenom II X4 40
  • CPU SPEED: 3 GHz
  • VIDEO CARD: 1.5 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 or ATI Radeon HD 6870

1. Get the latest patch updates:-

Players are facing much of the crashing, BSOD and freezing issues after they have updated to the Build 31 release. Since then, there has been two official patch fix (also called the Hotfix) released. These are auto update patches via steam. The game will automatically download the updates once you log in to Steam next time. Check out the changelog below for more details.
Grim Dawn Patch version (Hotfix 3)
Grim Dawn Patch version (Hotfix 2)

2. Crash at Startup/ Grim Dawn not starting/ Black Screen/ Blue Screen/ BSOD fix:-

This is the most critical issue of the game till now. Many people have reported that their rigs getting black screen and BSODs after attempting to run the game. If the above patches fails to fix these issues, have a look at our workarounds below.

  • Update your NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers to the latest version. While it seems obvious, but it is the most essential and wisest step to perform.
  • There is a possibility that the game files may be corrupted. Hence it is advised to verify your game installation files.
    - Right click Grim Dawn in your Library and choose “Properties”.
    - Select the “Local Files” tab.
    - Press the “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” button.
    - Steam will redownload the missing file.
  • Ingame freezes- This has become more predominant after the B31 update. It is frustrating as the game suddenly hangs after playing few minutes and players end up rebooting the rig which may be dangerous. Below are the few possible workarounds.
    - Try playing the game in windowed/ borderless window screen.
    - If the game freezes in full screen, try alt tabbing out, then press Alt+Enter, the game switches to windowed mode, then again press Alt+Enter to go in the full screen mode.
    - Some Nvidia users have found that underclocking the GPU by 100Mhz fixes the freezing issue but try it at your own risk.
    - Try disabling Steam Overlay (open steam games, right click on Grim Dawn, click on properties, unclick "enable steam overlay while playing").
    - In Task Manager, set High Priority for Grim Dawn process thread.

3. Grim Dawn not starting:-

There has been reports that some antivirus applications are flagging GrimDawn.exe as a virus. This results in automatic deletion of the .exe and the steam error message “Executable not found” occurs. First make sure to add Grim Dawn installation folder (usually "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\Common\Grim Dawn") to the exception list of your antivirus. After that once again verify the game files by the above mentioned process.

4. FPS issues/lags/stuttering:-

Apart from the several in game freezes, players might also face some kinds of stuttering and fps drops. These are most probably due to the failure to meet the recommended specifications. Try out these following workarounds.

  • Disable Vsync, anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering. Turn the resolution and other graphics settings to the point when you get a stable FPS.
  • For AMD users, disable Raptr from task manager. Disable any other intensive applications that may be running in background. Make sure to set ‘Tessellation mode’ to 8x/16x from your Crimson edition Radeon 16.1 software and turn off Vsync there too.
  • For Nvidia users, tweaking the Nvidia control panel 3D settings can similarly provide a FPS boost. You can also set the ‘Power Management Mode’ option to ‘Prefer Maximum Performance’.
  • Disable any recording software like MSI afterburner, Fraps, Dxtory, D3DGear to maximize performance.
  • Memory Leaks:- Though it is not a game specific issue but knowing the fix helps. Users can experience severe memory leaks with low RAM (below 6GB). To fix it to some extent, try the next steps. 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.
  • "Couldn't initialize graphics engine" error:- Make sure that you have the latest version of DirectX 9 installed. Also, it is essential that the graphics drivers are up to date. Run "Repair.exe" located in the Grim Dawn installation folder to reset your game settings.

5. Cannot connect to multiplayer sessions:-

Check out the official list of solutions for the common problems in the GrimDawn forum here.

6. Cannot see/move mouse cursor:-

Try the following steps to fix this issue.

  • Ensure that "Display Pointer Trails" is disabled.
  • Access Windows Control Panel.
  • Select "Mouse".
  • Under "Pointer Options", ensure "Display Pointer Trails" is unchecked.

7. Game not running fullscreen fix:-

To fix this problem, go to Video Options menu. In the Video Options menu you should see multiple options for "Render Device". Changing between the different options will allow you to run the game in fullscreen or on alternate screens.

Heads Up: Grim dawn is available at a 10% discount on Steam. This ‘Special Promotion’ offer ends on March 3.

Contact the author at amit@forceclaw.com

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