Dark Souls 3 Fixes for Low FPS, Crashes and Technical Issues

Dark Souls 3 Fixes for Low FPS, Crashes and Technical Issues

Dark Souls 3 has finally been released on the PC but some seem to be having issues regarding frame rate, crashes, and other technical issues such as controller support. Below is a list of issues with fixes included.


1. Low Frame Rate Fixes
  • A lot of people are reporting low frame rates in Dark Souls 3 even with hardware that is above minimal requirements. Some have gone as far as to test the game at 800x600 resolution with low settings and still their FPS wouldn't improve.

    This looks like a problem with the PC port and should be patched in a future update, meanwhile here are some things you can try to improve your FPS.

  • Try turning on adaptive V-SYNC in your video cards control panel, as well as triple buffering, set the maximum prerendered frames to 1, and turn on threaded optimization. Setting adaptive to half refresh rate will lock the game to 30 FPS.
  • For some, V-SYNC might not improve performance, but limiting FPS with an FPS limiter like NVidia Inspector, RadeonPro or DXTory does in fact help.
  • I can confirm on my low end machine, limiting the FPS to around 30, low settings and V-SYNC off makes the game playable.
  • FPS limiter programs also have many other options that can help. Try toggling "Force Process High Priority" and "Disable Aero". Also, try toggling Anisotropic / Trilinear optimization and "Enable Surface Format Optimization".
  • Another thing you can try to improve your FPS is going Windowed (instead of full screen) and setting the resolution to something lower than your monitor / TV. So for example if your monitor is 1920x1080, try turning on Windowed mode and then setting the resolution to 1600x900 or lower.
  • Some people have also reported low FPS when using a controller over mouse and keyboard, and that unplugging the controller improved their FPS.
  • Two other fixes for low frame rate include alt+tabbing out then back into the game, and switching your resolution to a lower one and then switching it back again.
  • Intel users can try disabling intelspeedstep from the bios to make their frame rate more stable.
  • 500 Series card users experiencing low fps should download the 314.22 Nvidia driver: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win8-win7-winvista-64bit-314.22-whql-driver.html
  • In Geoforce Experience anti-aliasing may be enabled for each frame. You can disable this under "Optimization" for a performance increase.
  • Nvidia has released a hotfix that helps with performance and reduces stuttering: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4086
  • For AMD users, try going into the video card control panel and set the "Texture Filtering" setting to Performance. This has helped some with FPS drops on AMD cards.
  • A memory leak has been discovered and it looks like sometimes the game will take up 7GB+ of memory causing your FPS to drop drastically. The only fix for this currently is to restart the game client all together. Some have reported that restarting their PC also helped with the memory leak.
  • Those using Windows Defender should try turning it while playing as it has been discovered to be utilizing a CPU core while Dark Souls 3 is in full screen mode.
  • Some have reported that playing in Offline mode may improve FPS.

2. Xbox 360 Controller Low FPS Fix - Using an Xbox 360 controller may be causing frame rate issues if you're using the latest drivers. Go to device manager, find your Xbox 360 controller (found in Microsoft Common Controller for Windows Class) and then right click and click update your Xbox 360 controller drivers.

Then "Browse My Computer For Driver Software". Next choose "Let me pick from a list..." and choose version from 8/13/2009, then hit next. If you get an error, check the next paragraph, otherwise restart your computer. Then check if game performance has improved.

If you get an error, make sure you're signed in as an administrator and go to "C:\Windows\System32" then right click the folder called 'drivers' and click 'Properties'. In the properties windows, go to ''Security' and click 'Advanced'. Where it says 'Owner' click 'Change' and type in your windows account name in the text box. Then click the 'Check Names' box. Then click OK. Check the box 'Replace Owner on Subcontainers and Objects" and click OK. Back in the Properties window, click 'Edit' and in the new window click 'Add.

Type in your user name again and click 'Check Names', then click OK. Find your name in the 'Permissions' window, under "Group or user names:" and click on it. In the "Permissions for (your username)" box, check the "Full Control" box and click OK, then click OK again. Now repeat this process for the 'DriverStore' folder. Once you're done, go back to your Device Manager and try downgrading your controller software again back to the 2009 update.

3. Crashes
  • Many people are reporting crashes right from the start of the game. Crashes when looking in the direction of the first bonfire, during loading screens, after opening doors, etc.
  • Some have noted that a lot of the crashes may be caused by picking a class other than Knight. The knight starts with a fully enclosed helm, so the cause of the crashes might be your characters hair physics.
  • Another fix is to turn your Lighting setting in the advanced graphics options to LOW. (Make sure you have "Auto Adjust Graphics" set to OFF. This seems to have fixed some peoples crashing issues. Some have also fixed crashes by setting Shadows and Shader Quality to low as well.
  • SLI mode has been reported to cause crashing.
  • Some have reported fixing crashes by reverting their video card drivers back to an earlier version.

    For those using an AMD card, try rolling back to an early 2015 driver to reduce crashes. Updating to the newest driver may also help.

  • For those who are crashing during loading screens, the cause may be your page file. Try setting the page file to 4GB on the HDD where the game is installed.
  • Try setting your virtual memory to above 10GB to prevent frequent crashing.
  • If you're using ASUS BIOS, check to see if you are on normal mode. There are reports of performance mode causing crashes.

4. Sound Issues - There are reports of random sound effects when navigating menus or simply walking through any area. It seems to be a constant loop that goes quiet and starts back up again. This may be a launch issue which will be fixed in the next patch. For now try turning down the audio levels in the settings.

5. Controller Not Working / Issues

  • Those with Dual Shock 4 controllers are having issues where the game doesn't recognize their controller. In order to fix this, go to the DS4 window settings and tick the first option "Hide DS4 Controller". Then launch the game and your controller should work.
  • Dual Shock 4 users should also uninstall VJOY if they are having issues playing the game.
  • Note that Dark Souls 3 uses 64-bit, so if you are using a 32-bit controller emulator, it will not work. You should download the 64-bit version of your controller emulation software.
  • For those who use DS4Windows, please note that this software is depreciated and you should instead try using Inputmapper. Inputmapper is an updated version of DS4Windows by the same developers
  • Another controller fix that has been discovered is to go into your device manager and under "human interface devices" disable everything with the name "HID compliant game controller".
  • For those trying to use a wired Xbox One controller in Windows 7, to get it working you must first install the Xbox One controller driver by going into Device Manger, finding your controller (should be under Microsoft Xbox One Controller), right clicking it and "Update Driver Software".

    Choose "Pick from a list of device drivers on my computer", and then choose Xbox One Controller. After this, you should be able to use the controller.

6. Micro-stuttering and freezing

  • Removing GameOverlayRenderer.dll and GameOverlayRenderer64.dll from the Steam installation folder to a different folder may fix stuttering issues related to the Steam overlay.
  • For those using 364.72 drivers it has been reported that reverting back to 361.75 drivers may reduce stuttering.
  • When playing online, every once in a while the flame icon will appear at the contents right of your screen, and the game will stutter / freeze for a second. This is caused by either an auto-save or online syncing.

    Try playing offline to see if it helps with the stutter. Offline mode can be found in the "System > Network Settings > Launch Setting" > Play Offline. Then restart the game to play offline.

7. Windows 7 Game Not Launching - Some Windows 7 users have reported that the game won't launch at all. Instead they get a white screen and then a popup asks if you want to close the program.

Instead of clicking Close, try clicking the Wait button. The game should eventually start.

8. Visual Blurriness - Dark Souls 3 uses FXAA anti-aliasing, which causes full screen blurring. If you would like to remove this, try disabling anti-aliasing in the advanced settings and using your video card control panel instead.

9. Game Won't Finish Downloading - When you download Dark Souls 3 (or any other game) through steam, if it seems like it's stuck on last few percent of the download, Steam is installing all the game files to your hard drive.

This means the last few percent will take longer. Just wait it out and the game will eventually finish downloading / installing.

If it still hangs for a long time, try restarting Steam to fix it.

10. Contacting Bandai for Support - If all else fails, try emailing Bandai at [email protected] for your specific issues with Dark Souls 3.

This page will be updated as more fixes and technical issues are discovered, so check back later if you didn't find a fix to your issue.

If any of the fixes on this page helped you, please consider sharing it with others.