Duke Nukem Forever Crashes, Freezes, FPS, Lag, Performance Fixes

By   /   Jun 10, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever has finally been released, FINALLY. This means you can now play the game you first heard of in your childhood, atleast I did.

But due to long painful delay, there may be possible scraps of old code that still needs cleaning up, resulting in you experiencing graphics and performance issues, in case you avoid the random crashes plaguing the Duke’s launch. You can resolve these issues by following the instructions in this guide.

Note. Don’t forget to try the recommendations by the Gearbox Tech Support team in the first section of this guide.

What You Need

  • Reinstall your Microsoft C++ redistributable. You will need to install the C++ 2005, 2005 SP1, 2008, and 2008 SP1 versions to ensure compatibility.
  • Install DirectX 9.0c
  • Verify the game cache.
  • Run the game with administrator privileges.

Duke Nukem Forever Crashes, Freezes, Graphics, Low FPS, Lag Fix, Low Performance and Slow Loading Times

1# Duke Nukem Forever Crashes on Start Up
If your game crashes on running after you messed up the game’s config files, this workaround may help.
You need to delete DNF Config folder in Steam UserData

C:\[Steam Install Path]\userdata\10215801\ (10215801 could be a different number on your PC) and delete the Folder “57900”.

57900 is the DNF Game ID under Steam.

2# Duke Nukem Forever Textures Loading Problem
Most of the people using ATI video cards may come across this issue in particular, just set your ‘SmoothVision HD Anti-Aliasing’ to Use Application Settings to resolve the issue.

3# Black Screen, Rendering Problems, Messed Up Graphics
Some users may experience graphics issues such as a “hall of mirrors” effect, a black screen, or other rendering problems.

First, please update to the latest video drivers from your manufacturer’s website. You can find NVIDIA drivers here and ATI drivers here.

If you are using a NVIDIA video card, try the following:

  1. Close Duke Nukem Forever
  2. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel
  3. Under the ‘3D Settings’ category, select ‘Manage 3D Settings’ from the menu bar on the left
  4. Select the ‘Global Settings’ tab in the right-hand pane
  5. Set ‘Anisotropic filtering’ to ‘Application-controlled’
  6. Set ‘Antialiasing – Mode’ to ‘Application-controlled’
  7. Set ‘Vertical Sync’ to ‘Use the 3D application setting’
  8. Click ‘Apply’
  9. Re-launch the game
  10. If the problem persists, close the game, then try resetting to default settings by clicking the ‘Restore’ button near the bottom-right of the ‘Manage 3D Settings’ window and click Apply.

If you are using an ATI video card, please try the following:

  1. Close Duke Nukem Forever
  2. Open the ATI Catalyst Control Center
  3. Select ‘Gaming’ from the menu bar on the left
  4. Select ‘3D Application Settings’
  5. Under the ‘SMOOTHVISION HD:Anti-Aliasing’ section, make sure ‘Use application settings’ is CHECKED.
  6. Click ‘Apply’
  7. Re-launch the game
  8. If the problem persists, close the game, then try resetting to default settings in the Catalyst Control Center and click ‘Apply’.

If you still experience trouble:

  • Close all other applications before launching the game, it may just be the case of application conflict.
  • Verify your game data through Steam to ensure you do not have any corrupted files, or uninstall and reinstall the game. To verify your game data, open the Steam game library, right-click Duke Nukem Forever, select Properties, select the Local Files tab, then click Verify Integrity of Game Cache.
  • Try uninstalling your graphics driver, then install a previous driver version from the manufacturer’s website.

4# Duke Nukem Forever Slow Loading Times, Low Performance
Turn off V-sync and Set AA to medium/low, Post special effects and Film Grain off, and the game will run much smoother.

5# Duke Nukem Forever Low FPS
Uninstall all your video card drivers and re-install them. Try the previous version of the drivers and keep trying till you find a suitable driver version which works fine with the game. It’s a hassle but something to consider. Refer to #4.

6# Crash at Start Up – ATI Issue
Force Anisotropic Filtering on in Catalyst Control Panel to resolve these issues.


For those of you, who can’t resolve the random crashes, it seems the crashes occur when you have settings set to ultra or high but the game runs fine at medium or low settings. Also, you can try disabling V-sync to resolve some of these issues.

7# Duke Nukem Forever Constant Freezes

8# Problem Activating DLC
Instead of following the instructions on the DLC key card, activate it the same way as you do with Steam Games.

9# Can’t Change The Controls

10# Game Doesn’t Run
When you try to run the game, splash screen pops up but the game doesn’t run. Try disabling the Anti-Aliasing in your nVidia or ATI control panel.

10# Steam must be running to play this game
Log-out of the Steam and then log back in to resolve this issue.

11# Weird Graphics – Bugs, Error
Make sure you don’t have any anti aliasing settings forced on in Catalyst Control Center.

If you face any other issue, let me know in comments, and I will try to help you out.

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