Dark Souls PC Errors and Fixes Guide

Our guide is here to help with the common issues and their fixes for Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is a challenging RPG with great combat mechanics but sadly, it wasn’t given much polish for PC specific hardware. To make the best of the situation, we prepared this Dark Souls PC Errors and Fixes Guide.

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.

Dark Souls PC Errors and Fixes

Release of mods to fix the resolution and downsampling 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# Internal 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 download this ModFix by Durante to resolve that issue.

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# 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# 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# Crash To Desktop At New Game
Now open the task manager(CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) and go to the “Processes” tab. When “dxsetup” or “gfwlsetup” appear, cancel the process. (gfwlsetup appears for a brief time)

7# 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# 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!

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

13# 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.

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

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

16# 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.

17# 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.

18# 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.

19# 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.

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

21# 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!

22# Reading Summon Signs crashes the Game to Desktop

Open steam, open “Friends/Chats”. Click on the arrow next to your username and select “Edit Profile Name”. Chose any name with less then 16 characters and click confirm when done.

23# Controllers not Working

Uninstall the controller drivers and then reinstall them. If using 360 controller, use the driver “Wired and wireless drivers”. To disable any non 360 controller, open device manager and disable any other HID-compliant controller.

24# Manual save from gfwl version to Steam version

Open the save game folder located in “%USERPROFILE%\Documents\NBGI\DarkSouls\”. You will find a folder named after your GFWL profile. Open it and copy the file named “DRAKS0005.sl2”. Go back one level and paste said file into “%USERPROFILE%\Documents\NBGI\DarkSouls\”.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at SegmentNext.com but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...