XCOM Enemy Unknown Errors, Crashes, Freezes and Fixes


XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a descent turn based strategy game that allows players to think of various strategies in their own way. Freedom is what many gamers like, and XCOM’s latest iteration does exactly that. It was released on PC today and already; many are experiencing different errors and other game breaking issues that require developer’s immediate attention.

If you have been facing any trouble in running the game properly or even start it, you can refer to the following list of common issues and their probable solutions/fixes.

#1 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Nvidia Physics Issue
If you are using an Nvidia Card and want phsyx to work properly, you should install these optimized drivers.

#2 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Corrupt Files Game Fix
You can resolve this game breaking issue by exiting steam and restarting it. It’s that simple. If that doesn’t work, update the game.

#3 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Black Screen Issue – Can’t change resolution
You should try minimizing the game to the windowed mode (Alt+Enter) from where you can change the resolution to the one supportable by your screen.

#4 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Game Crash Fix
You need to re-validate the game files to resolve the issue.

#5 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Restarts My Computer
The issue can be related to the outdated chipset/bios drivers. I will recommend an update but make sure that you are cautious enough as Bios update can damage your system (if not done properly, that is).

#6 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Camera Stuck on the Tutorial
Unplug your controller to resolve this issue.

#7 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Stuck At 100% Downloading
If it’s taking forever (I will recommend that you wait for it a little longer) to download, go to where your steam files are and delete the clientregistry.blob file in there. This should complete the download.

#8 XCOM Enemy Unknown- Disk IO Failure
If you have verified the game cache and tried re-installing the game, you can try out the following work around:

  • Backup the game files on an external drive. You can find the files in the steam folder, under “depotcache”.(Should be about 12 GB of files)
  • After you’ve backed them up, delete the local content.
  • Then copy the depotcache files back onto the original directory (where they were before).

#9 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – The Game Won’t Start, Exits With Error Message
You need to restart steam and verify the game cache to resolve the issue.

#10 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Bad Textures ‘Laptop’ Fix
This issue arises due to your laptop switching between on-board graphics chipset and nVidia/ATi graphics card. Disabling switchable graphics option in your bios settings should resolve the issue. If you are on PC and are experiencing the same issue, disable anti-aliasing and filtering in your in-game video settings.

#11 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Startup Crash Fix
Some users are experiencing crashes after installing Enemy Within expansion. There are few things you can do to resolve the issue:

  • First, try re-validation your game’s cache.
  • If that doesn’t help, try disabling the cloud save option from Steam.
  • If you have any antivirus installed like AVG, try disabling it.
  • You should also try playing the game in offline mode. It has helped some users to dodge the crash. Hopefully, a proper fix will be rolled out soon.

If you come across any other issue, let us know in the comments and we will help you out!

By Ali Asif

Being the managing editor, Ali manages a lot of the editorial duties as well as publishing stories for you. A long-time gamer, his favorite game series is the Gears of War but when he's not gaming he likes to kick back with a few popular animes like Naruto.


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    • Ian

      My game starts, then quickly brings me back to my desktop. The game is still running, and I can here it starting, but when I try and switch back to it the game brings me back to desktop.

      • rattlesnake_906

        Is it after before the EW update?

    • Reuben

      ok so disc 1 installed fine, then steam started downloading it from my internet (about 80kb/second) as you can imagine this isnt quite what i wanted. So i popped disc 2 in and it has no idea what to do with it. The little message pops up and says “open folder to view files” but thats it. It wont install, meanwhile behind it steam is telling me to wait another 2.5 days for it finish downloading. How do I fix that?

    • Alf

      I get a “stripped” screen (i had been thinking it was shutting down the computer) however it comes up in a few minutes (might be exaggerating – at least the ammount of time forthe aliens to move) still frustrating tho. All drivers were updated!

    • Krantzstone

      I had that problem with corrupt game files: after revalidating and saying it would reacquire, it didn’t do it right away. I had to wait a bit, and might have involved restarting steam/rebooting computer but eventually it did say the game was fixed.

      I’ve had problems where the game would crash back to desktop, would freeze (while still being able to click on some parts of HUD as others pointed out, you couldn’t actually do anything even though it was your turn, and couldn’t hit escape to get to the main menu to save/reload) so I had to close the game or kill the process, and of course, I didn’t realize that there was a limit to the number of save games you can have or it wouldn’t actually save: I ended up having to go and save over older save games or delete them.

      All in all a very buggy game: reminds me of Baldur’s Gate II in some ways, in that it’s fun but the bugginess really kills it. I’m glad I got it on sale but I’m starting to think even $24.99 on GameFly was a bit much, let alone the $59.99 they’re still charging for it in stores. I can’t really recommend the game until they fix these issues.

      /written after 5th reload-retry of same mission where game freezes :(
      //stupid mech mission :(

    • XCOM specialist

      Hi all ! I finished XCOM ( on easy mode and even not finished all reserch … ) in about 1,5 week , with 2 hours gameplay daily , so in total about 25 hours . REALLY THE GAME WAS TO SHORT !!!!!! I played all 3 old XCOM games , and they were far long from story line point of view , finlay more ‘long’.
      This new XCOM has a very good grafic and gameplay , but the story was too SHORT – i expected more weapons , crafts , alien bases , more alien species to encounter in missions etc .
      Maybe some one from game designers will read this , and maybe they will increase the story line . An remake on TFTD or APOCALYPSE also will be apreciated !!!!!

      • XCOM specialist

        one more thing : much of the time was lost during loading and reloading saved missions , to not loose or wound my operatives or even die …..

    • Mark

      hey guys, i dont know how to fix the texture problem. i tried everything. i cant see my soldiers or any character when i go up close. even whn trying to edit my soldiers. all i see is a black figure. help pls..

    • bear

      i have a issue when i find the alian base and attack it, when i arrive the game crashes and a message comes up saying ran out of vide memory, im running it on a 1 gig 5870 asus video card

    • Tygrak

      I just downloaded XCOM and if i try to start it in steam it does nothing :( help.

    • Me2D

      Stuck on delivery van

      Two guys stuck in a van, hole made by plasma and they got there in panic. Unfortunately one of them is Thomas Hutch, so I can’t finish the mission. And, of course, I play Ironman mode… Anyone solving/solved the problem?

    • w1k

      solution for freezing:

      delete (make backup) file in dir CookedPCConsole – SN2473546944_SF_LOC_INT.upk

      then game will continue.. :)
      i copy back that file and game works

    • Frodo

      Suddenly realized most of my saves are gone, and I can’t make new saves (not playing Ironman) I press save and it says saving. But when I try to load or save again my latest saves arn’t there.

      My god this game is packed with bugs.

      • Aniki

        Exactly the same problem on my third game, after about 50 hours of careful play I really don’t think I can be bothered going back. Have tried clearing the cache, removing and then copying back saves, verifying the install via steam… Think I’ll leave it until at least some of the bugs are fixed.

        • Forge

          Saves are not gone. For me there was a limitation for the number of save games listed. Delete the old ones and you should be fine. I have problem with alien activity freeze!

    • Tim

      I disconnected from my internet before running the game and now it runs fine…as long as I am not connected to the internet. I figure this is something wrong with Steam or my system having a problem with Steam, but it works. When connected to the internet, the game starts and then crashes just as it starts to load up the game menu. If I disconnect the internet before I start the game from Steam, I can play the game but if I reconnect the internet, it crashes after I finish a mission.

      (Of course, just to finish the install I had to be connected, so that Steam could do it’s thing. Right after it finished the install but before the game fully loads, I disconnect from my wireless and all is well.)

    • Serhio

      My soldiers are stuck “on mission” There is 10 soldiers that have status “on mission”. And I cant put them on a task. (I have only 3 active left)

      Is smb knows how to solve this problem?

    • DMFW

      My problem is that I get absolutely no sound in the game (even in the opening credits). I have a 64 bit Vista system with an on board RealTek sound controller. Have updated the driver and reverified the installation of DirectX and the game itself but not a peep out of the game which makes it pretty useless at the moment… [The sound is fine on other games I have installed, just this one has a problem and I have read elsewhere that other people with 64 bit operating systems have seen the same thing]

    • Alec

      I meant to send this a a comment to what ” Alex” said…
      since i have the same problem

    • Drew

      For Xcom: Enemy Unknown…I am playing a mission and trying to beat it. Only one problem is that it freezes up and my troops are standing their. I would like for developers to get away from Steam and play off the disc because there will be bugs that will be on the servers affecting everyone trying to do certain missions. I will try to delete that save file and restart from a previous save file. NO MORE STEAM, play off the disc more.

    • Alex

      I got another issue during combat when I reached the missions with green fat aliens. When they had their turn, the game freezed. I tried everything, selected different mission, but each time these green guys appear on a mission, the client crush

      • Gleb

        Same problem here. Waiting for a fix.

        • Maciek

          Same here, when 3x mutons show up during alien activity -the game freezes

          • Dmitri

            Encountered a solution on one of the russian forums:

            You can copy file SN2473546944_SF_LOC_RUS.upk from russian localization (located in \XComGame\CookedPCConsole\RUS\), rename it to SN2473546944_SF_LOC_INT.upk and put to (XComGame\CookedPCConsole) folder. After that load the game, kill the beasts – everything works :) At least, it solved my problem…

            Btw, file which definetely works is available on following location:
            http://rghost.ru/40934381

            • Alec

              where do you have that all from?? i have the russian version too but i don’t see a file like that and i don’t have those locations to put them on???

            • Shiraume

              I don’t have a /RUS in the /CookedPCConsole folder. The only /RUS folder is in /XComGame/Localization :/

              However I tried the file you offered in the download, and it indeed does get me past the freezing, but right after the little mini movie that plays when they spot you and run away (They do run away and hide and the game keeps running like normal) the assistant err tactical guy’s icon shows up to show that he is/is going to speak.

              However for me, that is where nothing happens. No audio, however the game is still running and I can even select a few things on the hud. But I cannot issue orders or break the turn or select another soldier. Basically cannot continue with the mission and the icon of the guy is still there. So I guess his audio speech is what the game is waiting for/waiting for to end, before it lets me do something.

              Yet the audio doesn’t play haha. Any suggestions?

            • Shiraume

              @ Dmitri
              I don’t have a /RUS in the /CookedPCConsole folder. The only /RUS folder is in /XComGame/Localization :/

              However I tried the file you offered in the download, and it indeed does get me past the freezing, but right after the little mini movie that plays when they spot you and run away (They do run away and hide and the game keeps running like normal) the assistant err tactical guy’s icon shows up to show that he is/is going to speak.

              However for me, that is where nothing happens. No audio, however the game is still running and I can even select a few things on the hud. But I cannot issue orders or break the turn or select another soldier. Basically cannot continue with the mission and the icon of the guy is still there. So I guess his audio speech is what the game is waiting for/waiting for to end, before it lets me do something.

              Yet the audio doesn’t play haha. Any suggestions?

            • Dmitri

              2Alec you can use file from my previous comment… parh should be something like:
              …\XCOM Enemy Unknown\XComGame\CookedPCConsole…

              2Shiraume
              I would try saving right after mutons appear and changing file back to original – suppose it should help…
              Anyway, it’s not official solution but just a workaround somebody has figured out :) for me it completely solved the problem, but there is no 100% guarantee it would work on other system…

            • alma

              It is enough if you just delete this file. The game works fine, freeze bug disappears.

      • MUKO

        3x mutons Waiting for a fix.

      • Cristian

        I’m having the same problem, but on another mission. I’m completing the mission so far by killing certain aliens that seem to trigger this bug. But now I can’t even finish it because of an Alien that I couldnt get in time. Game freezes on ‘Alien Activity’ and I can’t issue any order or do anything.

        PS: The fix from Dimitri didn’t work for me, any other clue?

        Thanks

        • Laszlo

          It does not works for me aswell :/

      • MuttonMan2

        To fix the 3x mutton:
        Go into \XCOM Enemy Unknown\XComGame\CookedPCConsole
        Copy two other SN files (I randomly chose SN2492424187) overtop of the corrupted SN2473546944 files
        You will need BOTH files, the original poster only posted one.

        Example:
        Copy and rename SN2492424187_SF.upk to SN2473546944_SF.upk
        Copy and rename SN2492424187_SF_LOC_INT.upk to SN2473546944_SF_LOC_INT.upk

        Issues:
        This will not cause the doctor to tell you about the Mutons, but should allow you to go forward.

        • n0e

          you saved my life man, thanks a lot

        • XCOM specialist

          Yeah thx man , Hope to work .
          I meet 2 times the problem with the 3 Muttons – once in a mission on Tokio , and once in mission in Sydney . Everytime is freezing in ALIEN ACTIVITY .
          I reinstalled the game , and i will check if will happen , if ies , i will try your suggestion !

          • Jay

            TNX a lot. got stuck with muttons bug at the first alien base, you saved my life too! Just deleted the god damned files and everything worked!

        • XCOM specialist

          HELLO ALL .

          IT WORKS !!!!! I did what MuttonMan2 says and it works .
          I can play now the game !!!!

          THX MAN .

    • bob

      I just had it get stuck IN a mission, can’t select a unit and it’s my turn, can’t end turn either.

      Good game though, I guess until it’s had a few fixes applied it’s best to save often.

      • MastaBlasta

        HI ALL!
        I KNOW HOW FIX XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN 2012!!!
        FREEZING IN MISSIONS IS CAUSED BY HAVING TOO MANY SAVEGAMES!!!
        !!!DELETE UNUSABLE ONES!!!
        WORKED FOR ME AFTER DELETING ALL AND LEAVING JUST COUPLE! ;)
        GOD BLESS US ALL!

        • cornelius

          nope, this doesn’t work. actually none of the ideas (update physix, delete saves, give up laser guns, click the right down corner, clear cache etc.), but thanks anyway.

    • Alice

      Well I have number 9. When I validate the cach it says one item failed and that it has to redownload it so it does but the exact same thing occures and validating finds the same problem yet again.

    • Philip

      My game lags so much and I have a strong computer. got a Nvidia card but did the update as you said but nothing helped.
      Any help please?

    • plzHoldSteady

      Same exact thing, cant even get the game to load. Cant run install script

    • jeff

      I start loading and it says it is installing components then I get a pop up that says Cant run install script.

    • mike

      Same thing. Anybody resolved this shit?

    • hunter

      Im totally stuck in the tutorial, and the manufacturing part after i got the arc thrower.. i can build stuff, but cant get out of the manufacturing area :(

      So frustrating!!!

    • Tony

      I shot down an UFO in Australia and sent my Skyranger, once the Skyranger reached the location, my view suddenly zooms into an Earth view of northeast africa and sticks there. It seems like everything is working (music is playing, clouds over earth are moving), but the view is just stuck and I can’t do anything.

      • Ryan

        My problem is the same. After completing a mission, it zooms in on the globe (Africa), and is just stuck there. Have you had any luck?

        • Thorex

          It’s the bug when two interceptors are launched at once… Very annoying bug…

        • Orlet

          Same thing happened to me as well… And it was an Ironman game! I’m stuck there until a fix/workaround is found…
          Help!

      • Pat

        same here

        • Ads

          Yeah I’ve got the same problem. Fix?

      • Kaelse

        Firaxis just announced a new patch for that exact issue, I guess we just have to stick it out : / Nice to know they care though : )

        Source: http://games.on.net/2012/11/xcom-enemy-unknown-to-receive-second-patch-easy-mode-to-get-easier/

    • Dale

      These instructions are incomplete. I’ve found how to “Verify Integrity of Game Cache…” from Steam, but I haven’t found any commands to:
      “Update the game” (item 2)
      “Revalidate the game files” (item 4)
      “Verify the game cache” (item 9)

      Verifying the integrity of the game cache usually says “1 files failed to validate and will be reacquired”. I have no idea how to make it actually do so.

      • Eric

        I agree on the “update the game” … ?

        trying to execute the game again after verify finds a bad file seems to make it.. download.. something? doesn’t solve the problem though.

        • Ruck

          same problem, can’t get an answer from Steam – very frustrating. I uninstalled and reinstalled the game and still have the issue.

          • DiggyDog

            Same issues. Was about to try to reinstall, but it looks like that probably won’t help.

            Anyone figure this out yet?