Dark Souls PC Crashes, Low FPS Fix, Controls, Errors, Freezes and GFWL Fixes


Dark Souls is a challenging RPG with great combat mechanics, realistic battles and moronic boss fights but sadly, it wasn’t given much polish for PC specific hardware. It’s a straight port from console to PC and comes with a plethora of issues that weren’t fixed.

It isn’t like the developer promised such a thing, in fact, Dark Souls came with a pre-warning that it might be a crappy port. Although this might be very disheartening for some fans, the hardcore PC community has taken this as a challenge and is already working to fix the technical issues with the game.

Release of mods to fix the resolution and down sampling issues was a refreshing start and with time I am pretty sure this game will be rid of most of its flaws with or without the support of the developer as long as it is mod-able.

If you are among those facing these annoying issues with the PC version of the game, you can refer to our troubleshooting guide below!

1# Dark Souls Internet Rendering Resolution Fix
If you want to play on a custom resolution in Dark Souls and don’t like to be forced to play on a default resolution. You can here.

2# Increase Internal Framebuffer, Texture and Downsampling Fix
You can use DSFix to increase the internal framebuffer, fix downsampling and texture clarity.

3# AMD Fix – Graphics and Low Performance
Right now, there is no fix since it’s a driver issue. If you want to play the game anyway, make sure you use some utility programs to clean your system with old drivers and update the rest of the system drivers.

4# Dark Souls – FPS and Performance Fix
You can get a boost in performance by forcing the game to run in fullscreen windowed mode using this utility.

5# Dark Souls Xbox 360 Controller Fix
Make sure there aren’t any other controllers connected to your system. Check Control Panel > Devices and Printers (WiiMotes, PS3 controller, Joysticks, etc.). Alternatively, you can fix it by disabling HID-compliant game controller and unplugging any other devices except mouse keyboard and headphones. To do that:

Go Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers. Find HID-Compliant game controller Icon and leave that window open. Search for Device Manager and open Human Interface Devices and finally, find HID-compliant game controller and disable it. If there are two, one is your xbox controller so look back at the control panel window; if you disabled the right one will have the caution icon.

If this does not work for you unplug any unused devices that could be detected before the controller. Furthermore, you can right click on your Xbox 360 controller in the Control Panel and go to Game Controller Setting > Advanced > and Set Xbox 360 Controller as default.

6# Dark Souls Won’t Launch
For those on Windows 8. Remove/Uninstall:

  • Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable
  • Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace

After that, download gfwlivesetup from here and finally, Install it. Note. Don’t forget to uncheck Compatibility mode, if you checked it before.

7# Dark Souls Mouse Fix
Turn the in-game mouse sensitivity down to resolve the sensitivity problems you might have with Dark Souls. It’s not a perfect solution but works.

8# PC Settings Crash
If you are getting a crash to desktop when you select PC Settings in the game, you should change your display output or frequency of the screen to something else to fix this issue. Another issue could be the missing files, so verifying the cache comes first.

9# Where To Find Save Files
Your Dark Souls save files are saved here – C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\NBGI

10# How To Disable Splash Screen
There is no immediate solution to this right now. If you have come across anything to disable the splash screen, let us know!

11# Error Creating Windows Live ID
N/A

12# Dark Souls GFWL Start-Up Crash
Uninstall GFWL and re-install, then login on ‘GFW Market Place’ (comes with the GFWL) and your issue should be resolved.

13# Crash To Desktop At New Game
N/A

14# Dark Souls Controls Fix
For those of you who don’t the default controls. Press “END” for the menu. Press “INS” and “DEL” for X and Y. Now to the more important issue, if you find Dark Souls PC controls annoying, you try the following control profiles.

Note. Works with Logitech F510 – F710 only!

You can download this profile that uses the mouse and keyboard with the aforementioned controllers in D-input mode. Result is smooth controls throughout the game but since it’s a third-party fan made fix, try it at your own risk!

15# Can’t Install Dark Souls – Installation Problems
N/A

16# Constant Screen Tearing
Try changing the frequency rate of the display in settings to match your screen.

17# Dark Souls FPS Fix – Random Drops/Low FPS
Basically the issue is with the Dark Souls game. It isn’t using the full-power of your video card. Instead of making it run at full frequency, it is forcing it to run at idle speed resulting in random performance drops. To fix this, you need to set up your 3D Profile Settings Profile to Dark Souls and set your clock-speeds to full.

You can do that by opening your Nvidia/Catalyst Control Panel and going to 3D Settings > Use Application Settings > moving all the sliders to right and setting V-sync and triple-buffering to off.

Alternatively, you can to set the game priority to high through the task manager. To do that, open the task manager, right click Dark Souls, select go to Process, right click DATA.exe*32, set priority to HIGH. Furthermore, turn off Motion Blur and AA.

18# Where To Find Dark Souls INI
Darksoul.ini – C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\NBGI\DarkSouls

19# Plugging Gamepad Crashes Dark Souls
You can fix it using Xbox Controller Emulator X360ce.

20# Dark Souls – How To Bind Keys
Press Enter to start rebinding, then hit the key you wish to bind. It will be difficult to bind all the keys on your keyboard though.

21# How To Change Language
Dark Souls checks the language settings used by Windows on Launch. To change the language, go to Control Panel > Region and Language > Choose the language you want to play the game in.

22# Dark Souls Crashes On Press Start Screen
It can be caused by the conflicting applications, especially if you have a 64bit and 32 bit version of the same program installed in your OS directory. It seems odd but uninstalling these applications might fix this issue. I will recommend closing all applications before you start Dark Souls.

23# Can’t Get Past Character Creation Screen
You might have missed a customization setting that is mandatory before you proceed like the name of your hero.

24# How To Use PS3 Controller With Dark Souls
You can only emulate an Xbox controller using your PS3 control pad.

25# Darksouls Freezes At Loading
Make sure you don’t have two hard-drives and especially an external second hard drive as a general program drive. If you have it and you are trying to install Dark Souls on your secondary hard-drive, edit the registry to make that drive your primary install location.

You can find the detailed instructions here to make Dark Souls work again!

Can’t find what you are looking for? Let us know in comments and we will try to help you out!

By Zawad Iftikhar

Zawad is the lead editor of SegmentNext. He primarily manages what gets published on the site. He is a finance student and PC games enthusiast.

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    • james gray

      hi im having kind of a strange issue whenever i start playing after a few min the starts this random beeping while is doing this every beep makes my game freeze up thanks for any help you can give

    • Almir Kofrc

      hi can anyone help me im really pis++++ off i start game im running game on Toshiba Qosmio gaming laptop last gen so my performance are very good but a soon i start the game and i walk in small house to speak with those 4 old ladies and when i need to recall my hero name a soon i press any button my game crash ….i cant find any topic about it so i would rly be thankfull for all help

    • http://twitter.com/johngaucher johngaucher

      I kept having a crash to desktop on the loading screen after you first create a character. I even downgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 7 (was planning on it anyway) and the only fix that would work for me was #6. I can’t believe the GFWL client that actually works is one from someone’s Skydrive and not the one included with the game or on the official Microsoft website. Games for Windows Live ruins yet another otherwise fantastic game. Cheers.

      6# Dark Souls Won’t Launch

      For those on Windows 8. Remove/Uninstall:

      Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable

      Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace

      After that, download gfwlivesetup from here and finally, Install it. Note. Don’t forget to uncheck Compatibility mode, if you checked it before.

      Read more: http://segmentnext.com/2012/08/24/dark-souls-pc-crashes-low-fps-fix-controls-errors-freezes-and-gfwl-fixes/#ixzz2KbfIs8r9

    • Mv4Got2Aim

      can someone please help me with number 8 since i had this error my screen is all black but i can still hear the sound i already reinstalled it and tried different things however to fix number 8 it here says: that i should change my display output or frequency of the screen
      my question is how and where do i do this i cant do it in game and i dont know where else
      PLZ help dark souls is such an awesome game dont make me lose it :(

    • Wibble000

      as soon as i get past the character creation screen, in the intro movie, the video goes for about 15 seconds then stops (not sure if this is normal or not) and then the text keeps going and when that finishes it just stays on that part of the cinematic, can anyone help?

    • BBJones

      Another possible performance fix:

      I tried #4 and #17 initially and I still had horrid performance issues (very low FPS, stuttering, barely playable).

      I’m running on an I7 quad core machine with a NVIDIA card. After trying literally dozens of configurations, I figured out that I have to limit the game to running on 2 processors. Task Manager => Data.exe => Set Affinity => Check only CPU 0 and CPU 1.

      This made a HUGE difference in performance. The game ran fast and fluid, no stuttering. But then sound became choppy and the game slowed down when a lot of sound effects were playing. I disabled my “HD sound” utility (can’t recall the name) and the sound was then perfect.

      Maybe this will help anyone who is having performance issues on machines that are more than capable of running this game. I just post it so it might save someone the hours of experimentation it took me to figure out the issue.

    • LiebHeart
    • LiebHeart

      any knows how to fix the message ?platmsg?, after kill taurus demon

      • http://segmentnext.com Ali Asif

        Some of the files may be corrupt. Have you tried checking the integrity of the game files or re-installing it?

    • Tim

      You can fix the splash screens by deleting or renaming all three files in the ‘\NAMCO BANDAI Games\DarkSouls\movWW’ folder. However, this will only work when you initially start the game, not when you exit the game via character. Don’t know why this is.

    • Jon
    • Rangerwolf

      my game is extremely slow and cant use online functions. The game give me a message that my frame rate is to low. ive tried fixing it by lowering res. no success. any help?

    • Karpae

      Ok, so my playtime is 5 hours, and i lost inet connection. When i get back into the game, the load button is gone, cant find my saved files? have tried to logout of my id and restarted the game etc.. anyone else got this problem?

    • Pirate Pete

      Issue:

      Video driver crashes at different points on the intro cinematic, requiring a hard system reset (ATI 4670 1GB)