The Long Dark

The Long Dark

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The Long Dark Technical FAQ
What can I try to improve The Long Dark's performance?

The graphics detail may be too high for your system. Try lowering the graphics quality level in Options → Display → Quality.

Dropping the Resolution (Options → Display → Resolution) may help performance.
Outdated video card drivers can cause performance issues and possibly crashes. Please make sure all your video card drivers are up to date.

Ensure your system meets the minimum system requirements.

If running on a laptop, optimize your graphics and power management settings for gaming. (see below)

Running in DirectX11 mode may improve performance on some Windows systems. Launch the game in DirectX11 mode by running tld_dx11.bat (found where game is installed).

How do I optimize my laptop's settings for gaming?

Ensure power management settings are configured to provide maximum power when playing games. Performance will degrade significantly if power saving mode is enabled while the game is running.

Some laptops have two video cards. Ensure the more powerful card is used when playing games.

Play with your laptop connected to power, as playing on battery power can cause performance loss.

The game won't start, what can I do?

If you haven’t already, try rebooting. Sometimes system issues preventing the game from running will clear up after a reboot.

Ensure your video card drivers and Operating System are up to date.

Some players with Comodo Antivirus or Firewall software have had problems launching the game. Configure the software to exempt The Long Dark to avoid this issue.

If you still cannot start the game, please follow the below instructions for submitting a Bug Report (be sure to include a debug log).

How do I report a bug?

We now have a Public Bug Database where players can submit issues to our team directly. Please report any bugs you find there and not in the forums, as it is much easier for us to track them this way!


Just click on the red Create button near the top of the page to submit a new issue.

When creating a new report, please include the following information:

What operating system you are using (Windows, Mac OS, etc)
A thorough and specific description of the bug
What steps we could take to reproduce this bug
A screenshot, if relevant (Press F8 to take a debug screenshot)
Location coordinates, if relevant
How often you see this issue

Please create a separate report for each bug you submit.

Where do I find my debug log?

When reporting a problem, please include the debug log generated by the game. This will help the dev team solve the problem faster. Please include the log as an attachment, instead of copy/pasting the entire thing into the text field.

Location in Windows:
In Windows, open File Explorer
--At the top of the window, switch to the View tab
--Go to the Show/Hide section and check the Hidden Items box
--On the left side, Scroll down to This PC and click on the C drive
--Navigate to the following folder:
(Note that your Windows username will be the name of the USERNAME folder)
--Inside TheLongDark folder you will find a file named output_log.txt . This is your game debug log.

Location in OSX:

Note: It's possible the Library folder will be hidden. You can make it show up by typing the following into Terminal: chflags nohidden ~/Library

The debug log gets overwritten each time you play, so remember to send it along before starting up the game again!

How do I take a screenshot for my bug report?

Press F8 to take a screenshot with coordinates and other debug information. The File will be saved to your Desktop.

Screenshots are super helpful for us to track down where exactly you had the problem, thus making it easier for us to fix.

How do I run the game in Borderless Window Mode?

For players that want to run the game at native (desktop) resolution but not in Fullscreen mode, launch the game as:

tld.exe -popupwindow

There is a tld_borderless.bat and tld_borderless_dx11.bat that you can use to launch the game like this.

How can I run the game on Multiple Monitors?

To force a specific resolution for The Long Dark, you can run the game as follows (example is for triple 1080p monitors):

tld.exe -popupwindow -screen-width 5760 -screen-height 1080

Where can I find my save game files?

When reporting save related issues we often need a copy of your save files. Your save files can be found at:

Windows: c:\users\username\AppData\Local\Hinterland\TheLongDark

OSX: /users/username/.local/share/Hinterland/TheLongDark
On OSX the easiest way to get to saves is to select 'Go/Go To Folder' from the Finder menu and then copy in the path.

Linux: /home/username/.local/share/Hinterland/TheLongDark

How can I force the game to start with low graphics quality?

On PC:

Open a command line window.
Navigate to the folder containing tld.exe
Type "tld.exe -graphics-low"
The game should launch with graphics set to Low.

On Mac:

Open a Terminal window.
Navigate to the folder containing
Type "./ -graphics-low"
The game should launch with graphics set to Low.

For both you can also force this through steam by following these steps:

In Steam interface, click on "LIBRARY".
In games list, right click on "The Long Dark".
Choose "Properties"
Paste into text box "-graphics-low" without the quotes
Click "OK".
Click "CLOSE".

What can I do if I am only seeing a Black Screen, or if the game is crashing randomly?

If your game is getting a black screen when launching or is randomly crashing while you play, there are a few things that could be happening and some ways you can fix on your end.

Verify your Steam files
Try starting the game in DX9 Mode
Check if you are missing the Visual Studio C++ Redist Package (Windows users only)
Try reinstalling the game

How do I verify my Steam files?

Go to your steam library
Right click on The Long Dark
Select "Properties"
Select the "Local Files" tab
Press "verify integrity of game cache"

How do I run the game in DX9 Mode?

The game now defaults to DirectX11 (from DirectX 9). Not all systems and graphic cards/chips are compatible with the more current DX11 displays. If needed, players can still run in Directx9 mode by running tld_dx9.bat or passing -force-d3d9 as a command line parameter when launching the game.

In the Steam interface, click on "LIBRARY".
In games list, right click on "The Long Dark".
Choose "Properties"
Paste into text box "-force-d3d9" without the quotes
Click "OK".
Click "CLOSE".

This will run the game in DirectX 9 instead of 11. It may not completely fix the issue, but it can sometimes significantly improve the results.

Where can I get the Visual Studio C++ Redist Package? (Windows only)

Check your computers programs to ensure that Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2013 is installed on the computer. Steam should be doing this when the game is installed, but some players have been missing this package. If it is missing then you should install it manually from Microsoft, here:

We suggest you download both the x86 bit and x64 bit versions.

I am still having technical issues, where can I get help?

If none of these solutions work for you, send us your Debug logs (Instructions on where those are above) and we will dig into what could be causing the issue. You can contact our Support team directly by email at
Last edited by hinterland_community; Mar 20 @ 9:15pm
The Long Dark > Technical Issues > Topic Details