Mass Effect 3 Errors, Crashes, Freezes, Frame Rate Fix, Origin and Fixes


Mass Effect 3 is the highlight of March, and we know for a fact how the launch of a blockbuster like that goes on PC platform; lots of bugs, game breaking errors and frustrated consumers.

Don’t worry though, our troubleshooting guide for Mass Effect 3 has all the workarounds for the known bugs in the game.

If you come across something that isn’t listed in this guide, you can comment, and we will try to assist you in resolving that issue.

1# Mass Effect 3 Direct X Install Critical Error Fix
When you try to install Mass Effect 3 through Origin, it somehow can’t install DirectX and a Direct X Internal Critical Error pops-up. To fix this error, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\__Installer\directx\redist and delete everything in that folder except these three files:

  • DSETUP.dll
  • dsetup32.dll
  • DXSETUP.exe

Origin will magically install Mass Effect 3.

2# Mass Effect 3 VC++ Runtime Distributable Package Not Installed Error
You can fix this error by updating the redist version of the Microsoft C++ in the Mass Effect 3 installation directory. You can do so by following these steps:

  • Download Microsoft C++ 2010 x64 and Microsoft C++ 2010 x64 from the official download site.
  • Go to control panel and uninstall any Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 packages you may have.
  • Go to C > Program Files (x86) > Origin Games > Mass Effect 3 Demo >_Installer >vc > vc2008sp1 > redist and delete both vcredist files.
  • Paste latest C++ packages you just downloaded from the official site at C > Program Files (x86) > Origin Games > Mass Effect 3 Demo >_Installer >vc > vc2008sp1 > redist.
  • Start Origin and try to install the game.

3# Falling Through The World – Your Character Below or Above The Environment ?
If you find your character out-of-sync with the environment, don’t worry. It’s just a minor glitch, which will probably be fixed with the upcoming patch.

It happens when you charge while you are dead because of the discrepancy between client and server about true position of the character. Re-starting the game and avoid charging when you are dead to get rid of this issue.

4# Mass Effect 3 Can’t Install – Origin Infinite Installation Loop
You have installed Mass Effect 3, but it still shows ‘Read To Install’ pop-up every time you try to run the game. If that’s the case, you can try the following workaround to fix this issue:

Step 1
Open regeditor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow 6432Node\EA Games\Mass Effect 3 and look up GDFBinary with the value being: C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\GDFBinary_en_US.dll.

Step 2
Add another value called: Install Dir

Step 3
Add following text in this value: C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3. This value refers to your Mass Effect 3 installation path, which may be different for you.

Now you will have -

  • ab (Default) REG_SZ (value not set)
  • ab GDFBinary REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\GDFBinary_en_US.dll
  • ab Install Dir REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3

Restart Origin and it should recognize Mass Effect 3 as installed.

5# Voice Chat Not Working in Multiplayer
Press Tab in the lobby to see if your microphone is connected correctly. If it is, you will see a microphone icon in the lobby. If it isn’t, you should re-install the game or try to set the microphone volume all the way up to MAX.

If you are getting a red-microphone icon in the lobby (when it doesn’t work), you can also try to go into the options, change your sound device to something else, exit out, then go back in and change it back to the proper device. This workaround will fix the voice-chat in Mass Effect 3.

6# Soldiers Quick Button Error
If you can’t access the quick-buttons during your multiplayer session of the game, you should re-log to fix this issue. It occurs when you switch your character in the lobby.

7# Failed to Initialize The Physics System
You may need to clean-up your old Physics drivers and then install the latest from here. You can use any driver cleaning utility like Drive Sweeper to remove the old physics drivers from your system.

If you still can’t fix the error, simply copy the PhysXCore.dll from NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Engine\v2.8.3\ and paste it to \Mass Effect 3 Demo\Binaries\Win32\.

8# Mass Effect 3 Performance Frame Rate Fix
Those of you who will play this game on your laptops may experience performance issues with the game, especially those with Nvidia Chipset graphics card.

The reason for that is Mass Effect 3 somehow uses the integrated graphics chipset (Default Graphics), and it happens because optimus tech isn’t correctly set up to switch over to the proper card for the game. You can fix it by following these steps:

  • Open up the nvidia control panel (use the search in the start menu)
  • Under ’3d settings’ select ‘manage 3d settings’
  • Click on the ‘program settings’ tab
  • Find mass effect in the program list and switch it to ‘high performance nvidia processor’.

Alternatively, disabling Origin in-game may also fix this.

9# Mass Effect 3 Load Failed AWC.Dll Exe Loader
If you come across this issue, you can follow the instructions here posted by Bioware moderator in the last post to fix it.

10# Crash To Desktop (ATI)
For ATI Card users, you may try setting Catalyst A.I. Settings to Performance (Not Quality) to fix this issue.

11# Text Chat Fix
It wasn’t available in demo.

12# Mass Effect 3 Crash To Desktop, Low Frame Rate, Freezing Fix
If you come across any of these issues, first thing you should check is if your video card is using the high end graphics driver. If it isn’t, you should force it to use these.

How To

  • Search for “Nvidia Setting”, it should have come with your computer. Open the program
  • Go to 3D setting, Select the “Manage 3D Settings”
  • Now click the “Program Settings” Tab
  • Click the “Add” Button
  • Navigate to “File Path..\Origin\Mass Effect 3 Demo\Binaries\Win32″ and click on the “MassEffect3.exe”
  • Now you’re free to decide how the graphic cards handle the program.
  • Underneath the above option, you should find the “Select the preferred graphics processors for this computer”.
  • Tell it to choose “High Performance NVIDIA processor” it may vary, but the idea is the same.
  • Don’t forget to look at the bottom left and click the “Apply” button.
  • Restart the game and Origin to make it WORK!

13# Origin Is No Longer Running
You need a stable connection to play Mass Effect 3. Make sure you have added Mass Effect 3 and Origin to your firewall exceptions list. Disable your anti-virus and forward the ports for the game. You may have to re-install the game and then reboot to fix this issue.

14# How To Adjust Resolution
Run the config tool located here – C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\Binaries.

15# Mass Effect 3 Performance Fix – Anti-Aliasing
Enabling Anti-Aliasing in Mass Effect 3 will drastically impact performance, but if you enable it and also force it through Nvidia or ATI control panel, frame rates are much smoother. Give it a try if you want good graphics and stable performance.

16# Mass Effect 3 Static Meshes, Textures Bug
It may be a driver issue. Try rolling back to earlier driver or updating your video card drivers to fix the issue.

17# No One Joins When You Create Lobby
This may have something to do with lobby search. There is only one workaround so far and that involves getting one of your friends to join your lobby, which will get you noticed in the lobby search and people joining in. It’s a game bug if anything, and Bioware would most probably fix it in the upcoming patches.

18# The Connection With The Match Has Been Interrupted
Try searching for a definite difficulty.

19# Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer – Can’t Move ?
Try jumping forward and getting to a cover.

20# Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Timed Out – Can’t Find Games
If searching for games ends with a timed out error. Try to be more specific when searching for a game, you should be able to find a game.

21# Can’t Connect To EA Servers
If you can’t connect to EA Servers – make sure your firewall is not blocking outbound traffic. Add Origin and Mass Effect 3 to your firewall exceptions list. Try disabling anti-virus to give it another try.

If that doesn’t work either, go to C > Windows > System32 > drivers > etc and find the file named ‘hosts’. Open it with notepad and delete all the lines with ea.com in it. Save and Play!

Alternatively, making Origin offline may fix the issue.

22# Mass Effect 3 Has Stopped Working – Crash and Freeze
This may have something to do with the performance fix as mentioned above. If your system is using integrated graphics chips, Mass Effect 3 will freeze followed by crash to desktop.

To fix this – Go on your Nvidia parameters > 3D parameters > Globalparameters then check your favorite graphic process and choose’high high-performancermance NvidiaProcessor’.

23# Crash At The End of The Mission or After Pressing ESC
Lowering your resolution may fix the issue.

24# Mass Effect 3 Crash At Start
Disable Origin in-game to resolve the issue.

25# Mass Effect 3 Launches With Black Screen and Doesn’t Load
N/A

26# Mass Effect 3 Slow/Long Loading Times Fix
Those will dual-core CPU may experience very slow loading times affecting the over-all experience of the game, especially Multiplayer.

To fix this issue – ALT-Tab out of the game and open task manager. Go to processes and right click on MassEffect3 exe file and click Set Affinity. Change it to One Core and click Ok. Open the manager again, right click on the Mass Effect 3 exe and Set Affinity back to two cores. Only catch is, you will have to do this every time you start the game.

27# Mass Effect 3 Slow Loading Followed By A Crash
If your game loads very slowly and then crashes to desktop, you should disable Origin in-game to fix the issue. You can disable it by going to Setting and Ingame and Un-check Enable Origin In-game.

28# Multiplayer Profile Name Defaults To ‘Player’
If you don’t see your Origin or EA nick and instead see ‘Player’ alias when playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, you should set default profile at EA and restart Origin client to fix this issue.

If you come across any other issues, let us know in comments and we will try to help you out.

By Zawad Iftikhar

Zawad is the lead editor here and it's him who manages what gets published on the site. When not working on SegmentNext, he likes to relax with a few PC games.


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    • Bobby Romanski

      Try turning off your hyper-v clients too. Sometimes I would get a crash saying that it couldn’t write to a certain area of memory. I had 7 Server 2012 VMs running, so after turning them off, I had no errors.

    • Kevin

      Solution for #22 and #23 do not work. I have AMD graphics hd 6630 and intel hd graphics and I’m thinking it’s intel since others with my problem also have intel. I will try to restore the old version and see if that helps but I’ve tried everything else I think. Usually it will crash during an online game, always crashes as we win or lose and should be returning. It sends me to my desktop with the error message that mass effect 3 is not working and that windows is trying to resolve the issue. Someone mentioned reinstalling directx from the mass effect disc so I might try that next. Also an example to increase performance with something other than nvidia because not everyone has that? lol I have chosen the performance option where necessary. When I try to go to task manager and then to processes to set me3 to priority high it tells me access is denied, even though I’m the administrator. That was another option if I can get that to work.

    • Lindsey

      I have the same problem as Aurelsan. I can’t figure it out. It occasionally happens after I press ‘esc’ but mostly when I am accessing the power/weapon menu through ‘shift.’ The game works fine otherwise. Is there a suggestion to work around this?

    • Adam

      With my Mass Effect 3 i am unable to install off discs is there anyway that is possible ?? And when i try to download through origin i click download and it says “Must be administrator” But i am the administrator for this is only one computer and i have tried many solutions thru forums and i have emailed ea support but have not been much help can anyone help me here ??

    • John

      I just had to reinstall the game on a new build, and I can no longer hear the instructions in Multiplayer (such as when the voice says “good job team” or “incoming bogeys”. I hear everything else, voice chat, special effects, etc. just not that voice over. Any ideas?

    • Sid

      Hi everybody ive got real problems with texture specially with clothes. there is no detail on their clothes. it just happened at middle of the game. i dont know why. before that everything was perfect. Please Help.

    • Shoaib Danish

      I have Intel HD Graphics 3000 shared memory card in my laptop. It gives me the error of Physx is not installed on my computer. Can any body suggest me any solution ?

    • aurelsan

      Hi i’m experiencing troubles with ME3…
      I have a PC without graphics card, only the integrated chipset Intel HD graphics 3000. Somehow in game, when i’m using shift to pause the time and change weapons, assign orders etc., the game chrashes. I guess it’s only the graphic interface who dies, cause i can still hear the sound from the game and i have to kill the processus masseffect3.exe to get back to quiet desktop. Do you have any idea of why i have this problem ? does the older driver (2361) fix it ?

    • Brandon

      Thank you very much my friend, the first problem was the one that was causin me grief, once again. Thank you

    • Sam

      I have been having problem #2 and I attempted the fix you suggested, although you put the same file twice, I substituted one for X86 instead of X64. However, when I attempted to run Origin, the lack of an installed VC++ package caused it to crash. I then installed the copy I had downloaded from the original site, and Origin worked again, but the error reappeared, this time with an error code of 5100 rather than 1603. Please help me fix this, I don’t want a $100+ purchase going down the drain.

    • Narel

      i got asus g51j and after installation everytihng works fine except that the game is working in kinda 3D view witch my computer is not prepared for how do iturn it off? it says: ‘this application is not rated in the NVIDIA Copr.’

    • Afnan Mir

      My own game was getting crashed, fixed after solution #12 \m/

    • Banie

      Thanks for an excellent website guys. I’ve been looking everywhere to solve the PhysX error and you guys were the only ones with actual helpful advice.

    • Dave

      I cant move anything when im above tuchanka – i have three missions the i click on enter orbit , i see the reticule and the missions but i cant select any of them – this happens ONLY on tuchanka

    • Allan Mitchell

      Physx does not install

      I have a ATI Radeon 5670 1Gb. AMD 3.2Gh triple core processor, 300Gb availale storage, 12Gb RAM
      I easily meet all other requirements. After downloading from origin, whilst installing, it comes up with the following error:

      “A redistributable package (PhysX) was not installed successfully. Setup cannot continue. (1603)”

      Can ou please advise on how to solve this issue

      • http://segmentnext.com Zawad Iftikhar

        Run the Physx from the redis folder in Mass Effect 3 (Download). Physx should be in the same folder as directX. Path specified above!

        If that doesn’t work, install latest ATI drivers. ATI doesn’t really support PhysX so issue should resolve after the latest drivers update is installed.

    • ILBar0ne

      Issue 23# Crash At The End of The Mission or After Pressing ESC

      …no gain for me lowering resolution. I have found that similar issue with the ESC key seems to affect also Mass Effect 2. This problem appears if your PC is running a Intel HD 3000 graphics driver.

      Even if you don’t use the integrated card to run the game (I refer to nVidia optimus technology) this driver will interfere in some way causing the game to crash.

      Like for ME2 the solution, at least for me, was to downgrade intel driver to the version 15.22.1.2361. I hope this may help.