67 ratings
Dark Souls 3 CTD (Crash) Fix
By Elioden Ward
This is a short guide to help people experiencing CTDs in this great game.
EDIT: Although I have not had any CTDs since the patch, a couple of friends of mine are still reporting CTDs. If you are still having the problems, follow the potential solutions below and if that doesn't work, feel free to ask me in the comments. I'll do whatever I can to help you get your game working. Thank you!

You know that feeling when you're out of estus and you finally stumble across a bonfire? That feeling of relief? Well, if you're like many of us, you don't. The reason being, you're crashing when you approach the bloody things. Some users are experiencing CTDs when approaching the bonfires. From Software is aware of this and has stated that the issue will be fixed in an upcoming patch.

The CTD is apparently caused by a bug in the lighting. There aren't really any details but if your "Lighting" settings are set above LOW you have a chance to crash when approaching a bonfire.

Therefore, the fix is, thankfully (most of the time) as simple as swapping your Lighting option (in advanced settings) to LOW. This has fixed the issue for myself and a few friends. Hopefully it will help you too. Below, are a few screenshots showing the setting that you need to swap and how the game looks with the lighting set to LOW. It still looks great but hopefully From Software will resolve the issue shortly.

UPDATE: Apparently if you wear a full helmet (a helmet that completely conceals your character's face/hair) you won't crash when approaching bonfires, even with your Lighting setting on MEDIUM, HIGH, or MAX. Source (http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/dark-souls-3s-pc-version-has-a-crashing-issue-with-an-odd-fix-36501)

UPDATE: A fellow user reported that Dark Souls 3 was changing their settings everytime they relaunched the title. In order to stop it from changing your custom settings, toggle OFF the "auto-detect best rendering settings" option in the graphics settings for the game. If you do not, the game will auto-detect what it thinks are the best settings for your system and therefore, mess up this fix. Thank you, The Dank Soul, for bringing this to our attention!

I hope that this resolves your issue and that you're able to play and enjoy the game!

Credits (This is where I found the primary solution, thanks folks.):

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Zerstorer037 Jun 9, 2021 @ 7:50am 
Hello, before I could open the game and play normal, I reached the final boss, I closed it to rest and I no longer opened I uninstalled it and installed it, and nothing I can do. 9/6/2021
Elioden Ward  [author] Jan 2, 2018 @ 12:11pm 
Oops! I guess I should have checked the link you posted before hitting up Google. Let me know if you get it working or not and I'll try and read up more on it.
cedmoy [swe] Jan 2, 2018 @ 11:57am 
That's the same link I also wrote I've tried :) That virtual reality pre-rendered frames I had on Global settings - application controlled is not an option for me. I can choose global or 3d program or 1,2,3,4. Well I try to mess around with those values... changing to higher value increaseing performance....

Also the DSR - Factors Off DSR - Smoothness Off - I dont have those options either...

Thanks for help! I'll get back after trying out those changes....
Elioden Ward  [author] Jan 2, 2018 @ 11:44am 
Cedmoy - Try changing the settings for Dark Souls 3 in your Nvidia control panel to reflect those in this post. It seems like this may be your issue as it causes fairly frequent crashes like you're describing. https://steamcommunity.com/app/374320/discussions/0/352788917753659485/

Oh, and set virtual reality pre-rendered frames to application controlled!

Hope it helps!
cedmoy [swe] Jan 2, 2018 @ 9:51am 
Hi! I have GTX 780

I tried:
All settings to low
clean install of latest graphics drivers
run chdsk in safe mode + repair
changed page size file
changed 3d settings according to this:
turned off overlay (shadowplay and steam)
verified game cache

Only the settings to low - seem to reduce the occurence or craches. sometimes Ive played for 1 or 2 hour... but most usually it crashes every 15 min or so. No special location, I can be in the game menu when it happens, near bonfires or far from them...

Coeal Dec 28, 2017 @ 12:05am 
Elioden Ward
i tend to not like downloading the "optional" drivers for my graphic cards as they tend to be useless (to me) "features". but turns out, DS3 seems to draw resources from this cards optional. since installing, problems gone. thanks :)
Elioden Ward  [author] Dec 27, 2017 @ 11:31pm 
Coreal Firren - Make sure that you have the latest graphics drivers for your GPU and try playing the game in windowed mode. If you haven't you could try checking out these comments, they're a bit old now but we found a lot of solutions to the game crashin back when the game was pretty new and I don't remember all of them. If none of it works, get back to me. Thanks. :)
Coeal Dec 27, 2017 @ 11:14pm 
just got the game, and have "played" 72mins of it. 72 mins of crashing. after the first few times i looked it up and did exactly these things. set lighting to low, toggled auto detect off, set admin rights. hell, i even set all settings to min and res to 720p with a hell of a lot of fps/compatability related command lines. nothing works. i have a A10 7860k, 8GB ram and RX 460 graphics. WTH? i was, but now cant, even get past the opening cutscene. please help if you know more
Do'tasarr o Khajiit Jan 15, 2017 @ 5:27pm 
i've checked, it isn't heating here.
It is specially weird because i've already beaten the game without crashes
Elioden Ward  [author] Jan 15, 2017 @ 5:18pm 
Do'tasarr - Your graphics card is starting to get some serious age to it. Are you sure that it isn't overheating while playing the game? My brother had a 650 and he couldn't get DS3 to stop crashing until he upgraded to a 960.