You've been drawn into the enthralling world of Dungeons & Dragons, embarking on an adventure filled with intricate storytelling and mythical encounters. Baldur's Gate 3, the latest masterpiece from the creators of Divinity: Original Sin 2, invites you to explore the Forgotten Realms. But what happens when technical issues such as crashing, not launching, or a black screen interrupt your quest in Baldur's Gate 3?
Fear not, fellow adventurer! This BG3 guide is here to aid you in overcoming these hurdles, ensuring your journey remains uninterrupted.
How to Fix Crashing, Not Launching, Black Screen Issues in Baldur's Gate 3
In Baldur's Gate 3, players may experience frustrating problems such as crashes, failure to launch, or freezing on a black screen. The good news is that these are often solvable with a little guidance. Below, you'll find step-by-step solutions that will lead you back to the captivating world of Baldur's Gate 3.
1. Repair Game Files
- Steam Users: Right-click on Baldur's Gate 3 in your Steam library, select Properties, then Installed Files, and click on 'Verify Integrity of Game Files...' button.
- GOG Users: With the Galaxy client, select Baldur's Gate 3, click on the settings icon beside the Play button, and under Manage Installation select 'Verify / Repair'.
2. Switch Between DirectX 11 and Vulkan
In the game launcher, experiment with switching between DirectX 11 and Vulkan to determine the configuration that works best for you.
3. Update GPU Drivers and Windows
Indeed, one of the primary solutions to avoid crashing, not launching, and black screen issues in Baldur's Gate 3 is to ensure your GPU drivers and Windows operating system are up to date. Outdated drivers or operating system can lead to incompatibility with the game, resulting in these frustrating issues. Here's how you can take care of these updates:
Update GPU Drivers
Graphics drivers are an essential part of the gaming experience, ensuring that your GPU communicates effectively with the game. Therefore, updating them to the latest version can improve performance and stability.
- For NVIDIA Users:
- Visit the NVIDIA Driver Downloads page.
- Select your GPU model and operating system.
- Download and install the driver following the on-screen instructions.
- Reboot your computer to finalize the installation.
- For AMD Users:
- Head over to the AMD Drivers and Support page.
- Choose your GPU model and operating system.
- Download the corresponding driver and run the installer.
- Restart your computer after completion.
- For Intel Users:
- Go to Intel's Download Center.
- Search for your GPU model or use the automatic detection tool.
- Follow the download and installation instructions.
- Restart your system to apply the changes.
Similarly, keeping Windows up to date ensures that you have the latest security patches, features, and compatibility updates. Here's a brief guide on how to update Windows:
- Click on the Start button and then the Settings gear.
- Select Update & Security.
- Click on Windows Update on the left panel.
- Hit the Check for updates button.
- If updates are available, they will be downloaded and installed automatically.
- You may need to restart your PC to complete the installation.
4. Run in Compatibility Mode, Disable Fullscreen Optimization, and Run as Administrator
Right-click the game's executable (bg3.exe and bg3_dx11.exe) and follow these steps:
- Select Properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab.
- Tick run as administrator and disable fullscreen optimization.
- You can also set a Windows 7 or 8 compatibility mode.
- Optionally, Check 'Override high DPI scaling behavior' (set to Application).
5. Turn Off Background Applications and Overlays
Also, closing some background applications and disabling overlays may fix crashing, or not launching issues in Baldur's Gate 3 on your PC.
Definitely, engaging in modern gaming without distractions requires full attention to detail, and that means making sure your computer's resources are fully dedicated to the task at hand. In fact, background applications like anti-virus, firewalls, and certain monitoring programs might seem innocuous but can be the root of significant problems.
For instance, ASUS Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer, an application known to cause startup crashes in some games, should be disabled or uninstalled through the Control Panel. Moreover, chat programs or other unnecessary applications should be closed to ensure a seamless gaming experience.
Overlays, while meant to enhance your gaming experience by providing additional information and controls, can sometimes be counterproductive. Surprisingly, these graphical interfaces that run on top of the game can lead to performance issues or conflicts.
For example, graphics tweaking or monitoring overlays might provide real-time data about your system's performance, but they can also clash with the game's graphics engine. Therefore, it is undeniably wise to disable these overlays before launching the game.
Most importantly, if you use specific gaming platforms like Steam or Discord, you may need to navigate to the Settings and look for an option like In-Game Overlay or Enable Overlay, and uncheck or turn off these options.
Core Affinity Adjustments
Equally important are core affinity adjustments, made through programs like Process Lasso. Such modifications, while aimed at optimizing performance, can lead to conflicts. Thus, returning to the default settings where all cores are utilized without restrictions might be necessary.
6. Repair/Install Visual C++ Redistributables
Visual C++ redistributables are essential components that support running applications developed with Visual C++. Occasionally, these might encounter issues or conflicts, and this can lead to problems in running certain games or software. Therefore, addressing these issues by repairing or reinstalling the Visual C++ redistributables can make a significant difference.
Repairing Visual C++ Redistributables
If you encounter problems, one solution is to repair the existing Visual C++ redistributables. For example, you can do this for the 2019 Visual C++ redistributable (64bit) or the latest 2022 release. Here's how:
- Navigate to the Control Panel, then Programs and Features.
- Right-click on the MS VC++ 2015-2019/2022 redistributable entries (both 32 bit and 64).
- Select Uninstall and then Repair from the context menu.
- Reboot your system if necessary.
This process attempts to fix any corruption or configuration issues with the existing installations.
Uninstalling and Reinstalling Visual C++ Redistributables
If the repair does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to uninstall and reinstall the redistributables:
- Repeat the steps for the repair but continue with the uninstall.
- Reboot your system.
- Navigate to the redistributable installer, which can often be found in directories like:
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Steamworks Shared\_CommonRedist\
- C:\Program Files (x86)\GalaxyClient\Dependencies\__redist
- Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
You can also download the latest supported Visual C++ redistributables from the official Microsoft page: Download Here.
7. Update Vulkan Runtime
Vulkan Runtime is an essential part of many modern gaming applications. It acts as an interface between the operating system and the GPU, providing high-efficiency access to graphics and computation on modern GPUs. However, like any software, Vulkan Runtime can sometimes encounter issues, including crashing or black screen in Baldur's Gate 3. Therefore, keeping it updated is extremely crucial.
Why Update Vulkan Runtime?
You might be wondering why you need to update Vulkan Runtime. Indeed, most graphics drivers include Vulkan Runtime, and it should update automatically. Nevertheless, in some instances, manual updates have been reported to fix various crashing issues. In these cases, manually updating Vulkan Runtime can, without a doubt, make the difference between a smooth gaming experience and a frustrating one filled with crashes and interruptions.
How to Update Vulkan Runtime
Updating Vulkan Runtime is surprisingly straightforward. Here's how to do it:
- Visit the official Vulkan Runtime download page: Vulkan Runtime Download.
- Select the appropriate version for your operating system.
- Download the Runtime Installer.
- Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Reboot your system if prompted.
It's important to note that Vulkan Runtime updates are typically included with your GPU drivers. So, if you have recently updated your GPU drivers, the Vulkan Runtime might have been updated as well. However, a manual update is always an option if issues persist.
8. Disable Mods
Mods, especially those related to the user interface (UI), can sometimes conflict with game updates. For instance, with patch 9 and the full release of "Baldur's Gate 3", there are changes that may lead to incompatibility with older mods. Such incompatibility can result in crashes, glitches, or other unexpected behaviors. Therefore, if you've used mods in previous game versions or have them installed, it's crucial to investigate this as a potential issue.
How to Disable and Remove Mods
Disabling or completely removing mods is an essential troubleshooting step if you are facing issues with the game. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Navigate to the 'Mods' and 'Public' folders within the game's data directory. You can find them in the ...\SteamApps\common\Baldurs Gate 3\Data folder.
- Check if these folders are present, and if so, they are safe to delete. Simply right-click and choose "Delete".
- Access the local AppData folder for your user account, where the game also stores files. This path is C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Larian Studios\Baldur's Gate 3
- Or just copy and paste %LocalAppData%\Larian Studios\Baldur's Gate 3\Mods into the location bar in File Explorer and hit Enter.
- Remove any old mods present there as well.
The removal process can be quite straightforward, but make sure to proceed with caution, as deleting the wrong files can lead to further issues.
9. Clear Cache
Navigate to %LocalAppData%\Larian Studios\Baldur's Gate 3\LevelCache and delete the contents. This could fix saving, loading, or crashing problems in Baldur's Gate 3.
10. Disable Steam Cloud and Start the Game Directly From the Executable
If you find yourself grappling with technical issues while trying to play "Baldur's Gate 3," there's an alternative method to launching the game that might bypass some of these problems. This involves disabling Steam Cloud and then starting the game directly from its executable file. Here's how to do it.
Disabling Steam Cloud
Steam Cloud is a feature that allows users to sync their game data across different computers. However, in some cases, this might conflict with the game's performance. Therefore, it may be beneficial to disable this feature. Here's how:
- In your Steam library, right-click on "Baldur's Gate 3"
- Then select "Properties,"
- Next switch to the "General" tab
- Look in the Steam Cloud section to disable it specifically for BG3.
Renaming the 'Baldur's Gate 3' Subfolder
Another potential fix involves renaming the game's subfolder in the AppData directory. Simply browse to C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Larian Studios and rename the 'Baldur's Gate 3' subfolder (e.g. Baldur's Gate 3 - OLD. Alternatively, copy and paste the line %LocalAppData%\Larian Studios into the location bar in Explorer and hit Enter to get there.
Starting the Game Directly from the Executable
Finally, you might try bypassing the Steam client altogether and starting the game directly from its executable file. Here's how:
- Exit the Steam client (or Galaxy for the GOG version).
- Navigate to the ...\SteamApps\common\Baldurs Gate 3\bin folder.
- Right-click the executable file (bg3.exe or bg3_dx11.exe) and choose "Run as administrator".
11. Perform a Clean Boot
A clean boot is an essential troubleshooting step that can often resolve various issues with games and software. It starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs, eliminating software conflicts that could be causing problems. In the context of "Baldur's Gate 3", it can be particularly useful if you're experiencing issues like crashing, not launching, or a black screen. Here's how you can perform a clean boot:
a) Sign In as an Administrator
Make sure you're signed in to your computer as an administrator. Without administrator rights, you might not be able to carry out these instructions.
b) Open System Configuration
- Press the Windows Key + R on your keyboard to open the 'Run' dialog box.
- Type "msconfig" and press Enter or click OK. This will open the System Configuration window.
c) Configure Selective Startup Options
- In the System Configuration window, click on the "General" tab.
- Select "Selective startup," then uncheck the box next to "Load startup items."
- Ensure that the "Load system services" and "Use original boot configuration" options are checked.
d) Disable All Non-Microsoft Services
- Click the "Services" tab.
- Check the box at the bottom that says "Hide all Microsoft services." This will filter out essential system services.
- Click "Disable all" to disable all remaining services.
e) Disable Startup Items
- Click the "Startup" tab, then click "Open Task Manager."
- Right-click on each item listed under the Startup tab in Task Manager, and select "Disable."
f) Apply Changes and Restart
- Close Task Manager and return to the System Configuration window.
- Click "Apply," then click "OK."
- Restart your computer.
After performing a clean boot, try launching "Baldur's Gate 3" again. If the issues like crashing, not launching, or a black screen persist, you may need to explore additional troubleshooting steps or contact support. If the clean boot resolved the problem, you might want to enable services and startup items one by one to identify the specific conflict causing the issue. Always remember to restore your system to its normal startup configuration once you've completed the troubleshooting.