Skyrim Crashes, Freezes, Sound, Keys, Errors, FPS, Lag, Textures, and Fixes

By   /   Nov 11, 2011

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been released on PC and it goes without saying that it’s a console port. All is still not lost, there are few game bugs but it won’t be long before modding community will jump to the rescue of the PC Gamers.

The problem with console ports on PC is, they are poorly optimized for PC and end up with a plethora of bugs and glitches that need special attention of the developer post-release.

We are counting on Bethesda for the special attention to fix all these outstanding issues, meanwhile we have compiled this troubleshooting guide to give you the workarounds that will fix all these crashes, freezes, and performance issues, you may encounter when playing Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.

Even though we only have temporary workarounds for now, we promise you that we will continue to write on PC sides of Skyrim with new modes and tweaks coming shortly after this.

For more help on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, read our Walkthrough Guide.

1# How To Take a Screenshot
Press PrintScreen saves a screenshot in the installation directory of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

2# I Can’t See Any FX Effects In-Game ?
FX Effects in Skyrim like Fire Trail or Cobweb you are supposed to slash through don’t display properly or at times don’t display at all. If you are experiencing this issue, tweak your in-game graphics settings and see if it helps after you have updated your video card drivers. If you still can’t resolve the issue, download FX and Cobweb Fix.

3# and 4# How To Bind Keyboard Keys ? – Can’t Bind Keys
Skyrim doesn’t support keybindings by default, so it’s best to leave it to the modders to fix this.

5# Unable To Start New Game ?
If you have bought the game off Steam, verify the integrity of the files and re-try. Or log-out of the Steam and start Steam and Skyrim executable as administrator.

6# Skyrim – No Sound Fix
If you can’t hear any sound, update your audio drivers and restart your PC. If it doesn’t resolve after that, try running the game in Stereo sound settings. You can set this sound setting in your sound control panel.

If you still can’t resolve it, set the audio quality to 41K – you can do that by going into Playback Devices > Speakers (Or Any Sound Device) > Properties > Advanced and choose Studio Quality 41K 16bit.

7# Can’t Hear NPC Characters Talk ?
Follow the above workarounds but if they don’t fix this issue, try setting the audio to 2.1 or 5.1 in the Windows Audio Settings.

8# Game Freezes In The First Dungeon
If you stand next to the tunnel in the first dungeon, it will freeze the game. It’s a bug in the game so if you want to avoid that freeze, run further away.

9# Skyrim Doesn’t Detect Nvidia Card
Go to Manage 3D Settings in Nvidia Graphics Option and click the drop down box where it says – Preferred Graphics Processor. Select High Performance Nvidia Processor and save the setting.

Skyrim should detect your video card now and if it still doesn’t, – from Global Settings, go to Program Settings tab. Click on the drop down box and find Steam in the list. Click where it says ‘Preferred Graphics Processor’ and choose Nvidia Processor.

10# Skyrim Lags and Stutters in Bright Areas – FPS Fix
Set your shadows to Low and turn your Anti Aliasing Off and your frame rates should improve. Also, update your graphics card drivers and DirectX, they seem to help.

11# NPC Voice Fix
If you experiencing crackling voices of NPC character, which don’t make any sense, it’s a sound issue. You can fix it by setting your sound format to 16 bit, 44100hz.

12# Can’t Continue Past The Character Creation
Make sure you meet the minimum system requirements and have updated graphics card with updated drivers and DirectX installed.

13# Steam – The Game is Currently Unavailable
Usual Steam issue – log out of the Steam and log back-in to resolve it.

14# Crash Immediately After Loading Skyrim
This crash is caused by the sound issue – the same we have talked about above in the article. You can fix it by setting the audio quality to 16 bit, 41K Hz.

15# Crash To Desktop Fix

  • Go to Start > Control Panel > Sound.
  • In the Playback tab, right-click on Speakers (or whatever has a green tick next to it), then click Properties.
  • In the advanced tab on this new window, select 24 bit, 44100Hz (Studio Quality) in the drop down menu.

16# Disable Smooth Mouse Setting – Mouse Acceleration Fix

  • Go to your Steam Directory > steamapps > common > skyrim > Skyrim.
  • Create a backup of the SkyrimPrefs.ini file.
  • Open the file, then scroll down to where it says [Controls] and find bMouseAcceleration=1
  • Change to bMouseAcceleration=0
  • Save, exit, and play.

17# How To Disable Vsync

  • Go to your Steam Directory > steamapps > common > skyrim > Skyrim.
  • Create a backup of the SkyrimPrefs.ini file
  • Open the file, then scroll down to where it says [Display]
  • Add to the bottom of the section iPresentInterval=0
  • Save, exit, and play.

18# How To Tweak Skyrim FOV

  • Go to your My Documents > My Games > Skyrim > skyrim.
  • Create a backup of the skyrim.ini file.
  • Open the file, then scroll down to where it says [General].
  • At the bottom of this section, add fdefaultfov=XX (where XX is the FOV value you want to change to).
  • Save, exit, and play.

19# Failed To Initialize Renderer

20# Skyrim Flickering Textures Nvidia Fix
Most of the gamers with Nvidia graphics card are facing this issue and they can fix it simply by updating the graphics card drivers.

21# Low FPS on Good Rig
If you are experiencing very low frame rates on a high-end PC machine, make sure you haven’t set any option in Nvidia or Catalyst Control Panel to override application, because it will result in low performance. Set all the options to application defaults to resolve this issue.

22# Can’t Get Past The Intro
Fix this issue by following the sound issue fix proposed earlier. These crashes are caused by the sound bugs explained above, which can be fixed easily be tweaking the sound settings.

23# Low FPS – Tweak To Improve FPS
Set shadows to low with everything else maxed and you will see a huge change in frame rates and they will remain stable. Shadows seem to be the biggest culprit for eating the system resources so better set it to low and enjoy other eye candies to max.

24# Skyrim Random Freezes
Again, try the sound fix and you shouldn’t encounter any random freezes in the Skyrim World. If you have any USB plugged-in, un-plug it and try again. It may also fix the issue.

25# Crashing When I Hit Play
Install updated DirectX. Installing DirectX 9 should fix this issue.

26# Skyrim Crashes When Loading New Game

27# Skyrim Crashes at Logo
Try verifying your game cache and uninstall FFDshow if you have it installed in your OS. If it still doesn’t fix, run the game in compatibility with Vista SP2. You can run it in compatibility mode by right clicking the Skyrim executable > Click Compatibility Tab > and choose Vista SP2 from drop down menu and Apply.

28# How To Install Skyrim From Disk

  • Log in to Steam and click on Library.
  • Right-click on the game, select Delete local content, and confirm.
  • Insert the first disc into your computer.
  • Close Steam (Steam > Exit).
  • Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  • In the Run window type: C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe” -install E
  • Replace E: with the CD/DVD drive you are installing from if is not correct.
  • Replace C:\Program Files\Steam if your Steam installation is not in the default location.
  • Press OK. Steam will launch and ask you to sign in if you do not have your password saved. Your installation should continue from the disc.

29# Nothing Happens After Launcher – Game Doesn’t Start
Install DirectX 9 from Microsoft Site.

30# How To Enable Xbox 360 Controller in Skyrim

31# Crash At Launch – Missing X3DAudio1_7.dl
Install DirectX 9 from Microsoft.

32# FPS Fix – Lag Fix
Disable V-sync. Instructions to disable vertical synchronization are above in the article.

33# Low PC Textures
If you find Skyrim PC textures not satisfactory – wait for the modders to do their magic. They have historically made textures better than Bethesda.

34# Skyrim Resolution Fix
You can tweak the following variables to fix any resolution issue you encounter. You just have to edit .ini file in: #:\Users\[User]\Documents\My Games\Skyrim.

  • iSize W=(desired resolution #)
  • iSize H=(desired resolution #)

35# TESV.exe Stopped Working
Try the sound fix to resolve this issue.

36# Skyrim Crashes During Load Screen
Run the game in compatibility mode – Vista SP2. Full instructions above.

37# Game Freezes After I Press New Game
Uninstall your Nvidia drivers and Restart. Download and install latest Nvidia Drivers and try again.

38# Skyrim Nvidia Beta Drivers
Download Link.

39# Skyrim Random Freezes
If you are running any antivirus program, it may cause random freezes when you play Skyrim. If it has a game mode, run it in-game mode or you can disable it for the time you play the game.

40# Terrain Textures Tearing – Fix
Update your video card drivers to Skyrim Optimized drivers release. Nvidia beta drivers download link can be found above.

41# Texture / Decal Pop-in Fix
If your game has set invalid LOD bias values resulting in bad textures and decal pop-in. Find the variables below in SkyrimPrefs.ini and set the specified values to fix the issue.

  • fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=3072.0000
  • fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=4096.0000

42# Can’t Find Cursor ? Disable Xbox 360 Controller in Game Options
If you can’t see mouse cursor, disable Xbox 360 controller in-game options, and it should pop-up.

How To Make the Key Bindings
Talon Greywolf says. I’m one of those that uses the right side of the Keyboard and not W,S,A,D. and this allows me to make any key emulate another.

It’s quite simple to use.

When you open the program you’ll see 3 tabs. Untitled,GUI,and Variables.

  1. Click the GUI Tab
  2. Click the [Detect output to Emulate]button
  3. Press button you wish to emulate(i.e. Tab to exit menus,R to loot all, etc.)
  4. Click the [Detect input]button
  5. Press button you want it changed to
  6. Click apply

Repeat 2-5 for each key you want to change then Click File>Save as and Enter the Games name(The untitled tab will now say the name you just saved it as.)
When you’re ready to start the game, click run, minimize the window and start your game. Mine looks like this:

Key.Tab = Keyboard.NUMPAD4(Now Instead of hitting tab to exit menus, I hit numpad4)
Key.L = Keyboard.NUMPAD3
Key.R = Mouse.RightButton
Key.D = Keyboard.Right
Key.A = Keyboard.Left (I changed these because you still need a and d for certain things like turning pages, picking locks, etc.)

To further optimize Skyrim on PC, you can read our Tweak Guide. If you experience any other issue, let us know in comments and we will try to help you out.

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