This article covers the common causes and fixes for game crashes, hangs, and poor performance. Although some suggestions in this article may not apply to your specific issue, it is highly recommended to review the entire article and follow the suggestions that apply.
This article is organized into the following sections:
The game publisher usually provides the minimum and recommended system requirements for the game. While a system that only meets the minimum requirements may allow the game to run, the performance and playability will be limited. For the best gaming experience it is advisable to meet or exceed the recommended system requirements. To check whether your system meets the game requirements you may refer to independent websites such as; Can You RUN it
Game Patches and Updates:
Game developers may release patches and updates to address known issues and provide performance optimizations. It is important to obtain these patches and updates directly from the game developer. While updates are usually delivered through the game, you should also check the developer website. If you have installed third party mods and add-ons to the game, they may also need to be updated after applying the new game patch.
Operating System Updates:
It is essential the operating system is kept up to date with the latest service packs and updates. For Windows® OS systems, use Microsoft™ Windows Update.
DirectX is an application programming interface (API) required to run games. To ensure DirectX is updated on your system, use Microsoft's DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer. Some games require specific extensions for DirectX in order to run. These extensions are installed as part of the game installation package. If the required extensions are missing, the game will not run. In this case you will need to reinstall the game and the missing DirectX extensions.
While overclocking can improve game performance it may impact system stability. For example, increased heat output and power consumption from the overclocked hardware can lead to crashes and hangs. In this case, restore the system to its default clock and voltage settings.
Heat & Ventilation:
Running 3D games may fully utilize the GPU and CPU in the system which can generate higher temperatures. An excessive amount of heat in a system can lead to crashes, hangs, and/or poor performance. Ensure the system has good airflow, cooling, and proper ventilation. For example, rearrange cables to allow better airflow through the system and ensure that case vents and fans are dust-free and working properly.
Make sure the power supply unit (PSU) is adequate for the hardware components in the system. For more information please refer to the following guides:
- How To: Troubleshoot Potential Power Supply Issues
- How to determine if my system's instability is related to the power supply
Ensure that all hardware components are functioning properly. Follow a process of elimination to identify the affected hardware by replacing the suspected component, or swap it between available systems to see if the issue follows the hardware. In addition, software tools such as Memtest86 and Prime95 can be used to stress test the RAM and CPU respectively.
Graphics driver version conflicts may be the source of game related issues. Ensuring that the previous graphics driver was thoroughly uninstalled before installing a different version is important to prevent driver conflicts.
Please refer to the articles below for instructions on how to properly uninstall and install AMD graphics drivers:
- Uninstall instructions for AMD Radeon Software
- Install instructions for AMD Radeon Software
- Uninstall instructions for AMD Catalyst™ Drivers
- Install instructions for AMD Catalyst Drivers
If you encounter errors during or after installing the graphics driver, here is a guide for fixing common graphics driver problems.
Graphics driver updates are released periodically to address known issues. Please install the latest driver supported by the graphics card as may contain game fixes and/or performance optimizations.
For systems using Windows, AMD Driver Autodetect can help determine if the system is using the most current supported graphics driver. If a new driver is available, the tool will allow you to download and start the installation process. To manually search for a graphics driver visit the AMD Driver Selection page.
Depending on your GPU, running games at the maximum supported resolution, refresh rate, and at the highest level of graphics detail could over load the system. Lowering graphics and 3D setting may provide better performance and stability.
The following steps will guide you through restoring the default graphics settings using AMD Radeon Settings and AMD Catalyst Control Center. This can help rule out the possibility that graphics settings are the cause.
AMD Radeon Settings:
- Open the AMD Radeon Settings by Right-clicking on any empty space on the desktop and from the menu select AMD Radeon Settings
- Click Gaming
- In the Gaming section, locate and select the effected game.
Note: If it is not listed, then you may skip this step and move on to Game Graphics Settings section of this article.
- In the Profile Graphics section, click Reset located on the right.
- Click Yes to confirm.
- Repeat the above steps for other installed games you may be experiencing issues with.
AMD Catalyst Control Center (CCC) Settings:
- Set the 3D Application Settings in the CCC to their default values, or the "Use application settings" option.
Game Graphics Settings:
- If available, allow the game to automatically detect the system's hardware and choose the appropriate graphics options.
- Depending on the game, you may adjust the graphics and 3D settings to find the optimal balance between graphics quality and game performance.
Updating Motherboard BIOS and Chipset Driver:
BIOS and chipset driver updates for the motherboard can help resolve system crashes or hangs and improve performance and hardware compatibility. To obtain the latest update for the motherboard's BIOS and chipset, visit the motherboard's or system manufacturer's website.
A game may crash or hang because other applications are running in the background. Anti-virus and security software, remote desktop utilities, system monitoring or overclocking utilities, and messenger programs are examples of background applications. To rule out the possibility that a background application is responsible, you may consider temporarily disabling the application(s) before running the game. For Windows based systems follow the instructions provided by Microsoft: Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or program
Many games contain an online component that requires a network connection with sufficient bandwidth to carry the necessary amount of game data between the local computer system and the game's host server. Poor game performance can sometimes be attributed to high latency (the delay in the communication of data). For debugging help, consider the following:
- Contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to verify the internet connection is sufficient for online gaming.
- Contact the game developer for suggestions on in-game network settings.
- Contact the manufacturer of any router, hub or switch that is in use for configuration help.
Many games do an excellent job of utilizing the processing power of the graphics card. However, some games rely more heavily on the CPU, and this can become a bottleneck that leads to poor performance. Monitoring the CPU's usage while playing a game can help determine if the CPU is the bottleneck. A good indicator is when the CPU runs at a constant 100%.
The integrity of an operating system's registry and system files can be compromised over time. If the crash, hang or poor performance persists after all other troubleshooting and debugging steps have been tried, you may consider backing up your system, reformatting the hard drive, and reinstalling the operating system.
Forums are an excellent resource for troubleshooting advice. Many games developers provide a dedicated support forum with active and knowledgeable users that are often able to provide tips and solutions specific to the game.