Elite: Dangerous Crash Fixes – Black Screens, Tearing, Stuttering, CTDs

By Published December 18, 2014 at 12:00 am

The world of space simulators has experienced major throwbacks to the 80s and 90s lately, with the return of Chris Roberts (Star Citizen, Wing Commander, Freelancer) and David Braben (Elite) to the scene. Elite: Dangerous just went gold and started shipping in a finalized state earlier this week.

As with most modern games, Elite: Dangerous players are experiencing crashes to desktop, black screens, tearing, stuttering, server authentication issues, and FPS drops. We've got a few solutions in this guide.

Elite: Dangerous Crashes to Desktop

If Elite: Dangerous crashes to desktop (CTD) when clicking “play” or during the startup movies, it could be a couple of issues:

  • Codec conflict in the movie player.
  • Corrupt game files.
  • 3D settings enabled in GPU control panels.
  • Outdated drivers.

In the case of the game crashing during cinematic, pre-rendered movie sequences, moving all video files located in the \Elite Dangerous\EDLaunch\Products\FORC-FDEV-D-1001\Movies directory to another directory (i.e. ..\Movies\Old) will help. This will ensure that the startup movies do not play, so you'll be greeted with a black screen while the menu loads. Any codec conflicts should be resolved in this capacity.

Corrupt game files must be reacquired through the launcher, unfortunately. If you're unable to validate that the files are functional, we'd suggest moving the game installation to another folder temporarily and re-downloading the files. Delete the old files once you've reacquired Elite: Dangerous.

Some crashes can be caused by changing the 3D management options in AMD's Catalyst control panel. Resetting to the default options and disabling 3D Vision or AMD's version of 3D may eliminate crashing.

Outdated drivers, of course, are the number one culprit to any game crashing, flickering, tearing, or going black. Update to the most recent AMD Catalyst Omega drivers and NVIDIA *.75 (or newer) drivers.

Texture Flickering, Tearing, & Stuttering

While benchmarking Elite: Dangerous (publishing soon), we found that enabling VSR and DSR through the AMD & NVIDIA control panels (respectively) caused severe texture tearing issues. The textures would “scan” vertically on the screen with higher resolutions supersampled, but reverting to the screen's native resolution resolved these issues.

If you're getting tearing without VSR or DSR enabled, try updating the drivers and alternating the V-Sync setting.

Server Unavailable

Unfortunately, due to the relatively high load of the servers during launch week, we've had issues logging in and playing anything but the combat simulation. The only solution is to retry every few hours – you'll get in once the server load reduces.

Alternatively, it could be a firewall setting. When first launching Elite: Dangerous, you'll be prompted by Windows to add an exception for the game to the firewall. Make sure you've allowed Elite: Dangerous in the firewall and in anti-virus software.

Port Forwarding for Elite: Dangerous

In the event neither of the above resolves server connectivity issues in multiplayer, try forwarding ports in your router. Access the router (normally in your browser) and log in. Once there, ensure UpnP (Universal Plug-n-Play) is enabled. Older routers will need to manually forward the ports.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on January 02, 2015 at 12:00 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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