Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row: The Third

120 ratings
General Help & Troubleshooting Saints Row: The Third
By Der Hexer and 1 collaborators
Here are some informations for those people with issues starting and playing Saints Row: The Third on a PC or laptop. If you have further informations how to fix a problem please let me know - i'll add it to the guide and give you credit for it, thx!
1. Verify your Game Cache
First thing you should do
  • From the Steam client, open the Library menu
  • Choose Saints Row: The Third
  • Right-click Saints Row: The Third
  • Choose Properties
  • Switch to the Local Files tab
  • Select Verify Integrity of Game Cache...
This lets steam check that the game isn't missing any files. It's a painless and fairly quick thing to do.
Still not working? Turn off your Anti-Virus program and your firewall temporarily.
2. Intel Graphics
Inadequate display drivers can cause crashes at loading screens, AMD intro screen and when swapping display settings in game. It can also be responsible for extremely low fps and a black game screen.
If you're experiencing any issues playing on a notebook with a Intel™ IGP (e.g. HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000) and have still the graphics driver installed that comes with your notebook (or an updated one from your notebook manufactors website), get the latest drivers for your IGP from Intel™ Website - Downloadcenter[]

The latest graphics driver from Intel's website for Windows 7/64 and HD3000 by the time writing this (12. Aug. 2013):

Intel® HD graphics Driver for Windows 7 (x64) for HD2000/3000
File name: Win64_152815.exe
Version (driver package):
Version (file version):
Date: 03/21/2013
Status: Latest
Size: 124.72 MB

Intel® HD graphics Driver for Windows 7 (x64) for HD4000
File name: Win64_15319.exe
Version (driver package):
Version (file version):
Date: 05/10/2013
Status: Latest
Size: 147.79 MB

Intel™ list of popular games...[]
that are playable on second generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 3000/2000 and Microsoft Windows 7* 64-bit operating system.
3. Graphics
Poor performance
  • Make sure your Windows power management is set to "Always on" or "Performance" and not "Balanced".
  • Make sure your AA (anti-aliasing) & AF (anisotropic filtering) settings in your graphics driver controll panel are set to "application controlled
  • Turn off Vsync in the game options
  • Run in windowed mode
  • Lower the graphics resolution of the game, e.g. from 1920x1080 to 1280x720 (that is +2 million pixels to calculate against below 1 million)

AMD Catalyst Version 13.4 is working best and stable (Aug. 2013)
The game is running even on a AMD E2-1800 APU with Catalyst 13.4 (confirmed by KitsuneXero)

The older Driver Version 320.18 fixed some issues for a handful of users.

FPS Freezes/Stutters in SR3 and SR4
System specidications:
Intel i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40GHz
16Gb RAM
Windows 7 64bit
Geforce GTX 680 4GB
To fix the freezes and stutters the solution was to DISABLE Stereoscopic 3D under Nvidias Control Panel.
Thx to Maluno!

Issues with your Laptop (Intel CPU and Nvidia graphics) or Nvidia Optimus Technology?
Laptop not using Dedicated GPU[]

Some more threads threads on about laptop graphics:
laptop dedicated gpu[]

Crash After Picking DirectX Version (Nvidia only)
Important: Turns out that an outdated EVGA Precision tool can cause issues, e.g. you're not being able to run SR3 in directX 10/11 mode - update your EVGA Precision tool and it should fix the problem.
  • The outdated version causing trouble is: EVGA PrecisionX 303
  • The working version is: EVGA PrecisionX 421

Disable the Steam Community Overlay
Steam is using 50% of the CPU time on my dual core system - what can I do to reduce the resources Steam is using?
Follow the instructions provided here

How to remove and refresh your Steam files
Your game is freezing every few seconds for a short period?
Certain Steam issues may be corrected by removing and refreshing your Steam files.
Follow the instructions provided here

Restart your PC
If you're experiencing unusual low framerates while playing SR3, restart your PC and check if that's fixing it. Sometimes a pending steam update is causing this issue.
4. System Specification
If you're asking for help on the forums, please post the hardware you're running and the operating system. A precise description of the error and a list of what you've already done to fix the issue can't hurt either :)
  • Operating System + 32bit or 64bit
  • CPU model
  • Graphics device & driver version
  • native resolution of your monitor
  • RAM
  • HDD informations
  • Sound device
  • Power supply
  • additional information
All of this information can be found by generating a DirectX Diagnosis report (search and run "dxdiag" on your Startmenu). The graphics information can be found in the display tab.

If you can't get enough informations by running "dxdiag" google for some free tools, e.g. "SIW" (System Information for Windows), "SIV" (System Information Viewer) or Piriform Speccy[]

Proper system specifications (example):
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Service Pack 1
CPU model: Intel i5-2500K (default speed)
Graphics device: AMD Radeon HD 7950, 3GB VRAM (GPU @850MHz / VRAM @1450 MHz)
Driver version: AMD Catalyst 13.1
native resolution: 1920 x 1080 (single monitor, HDMI)
RAM: 2 x 4 GB DDR3-1866 (PC3-14900)
HDD informations: OS on 256 MB SDD (drive C), steam and games on 2TB internal drive (drive D), additional steam games on external 2 TB USB3 drive (drive G)
Sound device: VIA VT1708 (codec: HDA)
Power supply: Enermax EPM600AWT (600W)
additional information: running MSI Afterburner for custom fanspeeds, game is installed without any mods
5. Faulty display.ini file
If you have problems to get through the game launcher or the game is crashing by accessing the main menu or something alike, i would suggest you to post the content of your display.ini file, found here (open it with the windows editor):
...\Steam\SteamApps\common\saints row the third

You'll know for sure something is wrong there if the only entry is:
Preset = -1

Check appendix A. for a minimum graphics display.ini file
6. Diagnosing Crashes
To find out what's causing your crashes it's a good idea to check your event viewer. Go to:

Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Event Viewer >> Windows Logs >> Application.

This opens a list of everything eventful an application has done. Now find a report about SRTT crashing and post the contents to the forums (a crash appears as a white exclamation mark on a red circle, and the crashes will have SRTT in the details)
Whilst waiting for a reply, google the file(s) involved to see what part of your system they belong to.
7. Strange Controls
Your character or the camera is always moving when it shouldn't
Usually caused by having an external controller or some other input device (e.g. steering wheels, joysticks) connected to your system. SR3 is working best with a XBox 360 controller and proper drivers.

Unplug any other input devices besides your keyboard and mouse and check if it's working the way it should.

8. Game doesn't start or keeps crashing
Saints Row: The Third is crashing all the time or doesn't even start?
One well known reason is that SR3 doesn't like it if NOT installed where your Steam installation is, so make sure you have SR3 installed in the usual Steam folder and not on an external or different harddisk.
C: Steam + C: SR3 = works
D: Steam + D: SR3 = works
C: Steam + D: SR3 = fail
D: Steam + E: SR3 = fail

Failed to Start the Game (Missing Executable)
If you see the error "Failed to Start the Game" when launching SR3 through Steam, delete your appcache foler.
Follow these instructions.

Programs which may interfere with Steam - Firewall with Steam - dealing with Spyware, Adware, and Viruses
There's a list of programs on Steam which may interfere with Steam and/or the game you're trying to run.
Some informations for using a Firewall with Steam and dealing with Spyware, Adware, and Viruses and you may also check the article about how to disable background applications.

The Steam servers are too busy to handle your request. Error Code (53)
This is basically about turning off your firewall and antivirus software temporarily, more details here:
The Steam servers are too busy to handle your request. Error Code (53) (Steam Article)

9. Last resort
You have done all the thing listed here and the game is still not working? Maybe steam just messed up the installation of SR3. To fix it:
  • delete the SR3 game files (right click on SR3 in your library, "delete local files")
  • restart steam
  • let steam reinstall the game (the game files needs to be downloaded again!)
10. Audio Issues
Audio issues
Make sure you have your audio device set to the default sampling rate and bitrate (24 Bit, 48.000 Hz)

For Windows 7
  • Open control panel
  • Open Sound
  • Select your sound device (e.g. speakers) and click on "Set default"
  • With the device still selected, click on "Properties"
  • Change to TAB "Advanced" and click "Restore defaults"
  • Make sure you have "24 Bit, 48000 Hz" selected in the dropdown list
  • Click "Apply" and close the window

A. Minimum display.ini file
# Display options.
# This file is rewritten whenever options are changed in the menu.
# Toggle values can be true/false or 1/0. Everything else is a number.

ResolutionWidth = 800
ResolutionHeight = 600
RefreshRate = 60
MSAA_Level = 0
Fullscreen = false

# Which monitor should be used in fullscreen mode.
DisplayIndex = 0

# Toggle whether resolution is verified before setting.
# This can be used to run the game at any arbitrary resolution in a window.
# However this will break fullscreen mode and Alt+Enter.
VerifyResolution = true

# Toggle v-sync in fullscreen.
VSync = false

# Preset is a number between 1 and 5 for low, medium, high, ultra-high, and custom.
# Custom allows the rest of the settings below to be edited in the UI.
Preset = 5

# TextureDetailLevel toggles the use of high res textures. Currently ignored.
TextureDetailLevel = 0

# AnisoLevel is usually 0 (for trilinear filtering) or 1 through 16.
AnisoLevel = 0

# Lighting detail can be 1, 2, or 3 for low, high, and ultra-high.
LightingDetail = 1

# SSAO level can be 0, 1, 2 or 3 for off, accumulative SSAO, regular SSAO, and hi-res SSAO.
SSAO_Level = 0

# ShadowDetail is the shadow map resolution. 1024, 2048, and 4096 are default options,
# but any power of two will work.
# Zero for no shadows.
ShadowDetail = 0

# Scene detail controls the geometric detail of the scene. 1 through 3 for low, medium, high.
# This includes LODs, view distance, and turning off certain scene elements.
SceneDetail = 1

# Reflections are 0, 1, or 2, for off, low, or high.
Reflections = 0

# MotionBlur can override motion blur off even when post process detail is up.
MotionBlur = false

# PostProcess can be 0, 1, or 2 for off, low, or high.
# HDR bloom and tone mapping, basic DoF, and motion blur all come on at low,
# God rays and diffusion depth of field come on at high.
# DDoF is incompatible with lighting details other than 3.
# If DDoF is enabled, bokeh DoF will come on automatically on DX11 level cards.
PostProcess = 0

# Toggles whether cutscenes are letter-boxed in the center monitor or
# expand to fill all monitors in Eyefinity mode.
LetterboxEyefinity = true

# Toggles whether or not the game will auto-detect input devices when plugged in.
InputDeviceAutoDetect = true

# Extremely low framerate (less than two frames a second) could be due to low video memory.
# * Resolution is the biggest factor in video memory usage.
# * Lighting detail has a major effect on memory usage.
# It effects lighting quality slightly, but turning it to low will also turn off advanced depth of field.
# * At high resolutions, anti-aliasing modes can result in high memory usage.
# * Shadows and Ambient Occlusion have a minor effect on video memory usage.

# Poor frame rate on low-end CPU’s can be aided by the following options.
# * Scene detail has the biggest effect on CPU performance and visuals. The low setting here should be a last resort.
# * Reflections can have an effect if they are turned off.
# * Shadows will improve CPU performance if turned off, but will seriously affect visuals.

# Poor frame rate on low-end GPU’s can be aided by the following options.
# * The presets are geared toward GPU performance. Using auto-detect should choose settings appropriate for your GPU.
# * Resolution and lighting detail have the biggest effect.
# * Post processing has a major effect on GPU performance when set to high.
C. Credits
JudgeTiberius: a big thanks for your help!
Idolninja (Blog)[]: for all the info about SR3
Seilan: Crash After Picking DirectX Version Thx for sharing this info!
cruinne: for helping the SR3 community by posting the links to our guides - thx ;)
Maluno: FPS Freezes/Stutters in SR3/SR4 on a Nvidia Geforce GTX 680
< >
Der Hexer  [author] 14 hours ago 
@FenFen and HatHat
there's no save way to bypass the region restrictons here on steam - all methods may result in your account getting permanently banned.

that being said you might want to check out this thread:
Cut to uncut "transition" fails
there are some reports about successfully asking steam to help you out.

you can kindly ask steam support to switch either your version to "cut" or your friend can ask to switch his version to "un-cut".
give them some good reasons to do so and be nice - that's the best advice i can give ;)

by switching to the cut-version you're loosing primarily the wored mode which isn't a great loss in my opinion.
It's a long shot, but I wish to ask: Do you have any idea how to make the game versions identical? I come from Poland I want to play with my friend from Croatia, yet as it appears his version is always changing to the CUT version. He bought the game twice and we're still unable to play together. It's pretty much pissing me off by now and I'd love to get that solved. Cheers.
Der Hexer  [author] Sep 19 @ 8:14am 
then check your graphics driver version and also run "dxdiag" (directX diagnostics)
also make sure there's no error or download when verifying the integrity of game cache
Spider8ite!!!!! Sep 19 @ 8:10am 
Nothing happen, crashes after 2 intro
Spider8ite!!!!! Sep 19 @ 8:07am 
Der Hexer  [author] Sep 19 @ 8:06am 
then the game can't identify your graphics card properly.
maybe updating your graphics driver will help

you can also check the section from this guide
A. Minimum display.ini file
copy & paste the content from inside this box into your display.ini file, don't forget to save it and then try to run the game again.
if it's working you can the adjust the graphics settings from ingame menu, but make sure you have set it to CUSTOM and not LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH or ULTRA

Spider8ite!!!!! Sep 19 @ 7:58am 
Preset = -1 yea,this
Der Hexer  [author] Sep 19 @ 7:56am 
please check your display.ini file, found here (open it with the windows editor):
...\Steam\SteamApps\common\saints row the third
is there a line like this?
Preset = -1

if not what's the number behind "Preset = " ?
Spider8ite!!!!! Sep 19 @ 7:49am 
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
Pirate version plays normal
license just crash
Der Hexer  [author] Sep 19 @ 12:37am 
@ Papich
need more infos:
what's your hardware?
is the game installed on the same drive as your steam client?