Fix: KOTOR Crashing on Windows 10

Star Wars: KOTOR (Knight of the Old Republic) is a role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts, the game was released for the Xbox on July 15, 2003, and for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003. The game was later ported to various other devices and received nothing but praise from users and critics.

However, Windows users (especially Windows 10) have seen that the game is almost impossible to play; either with constant crashes occurring during the game or crashes right after the game is opened which prevent you from opening it at all. Follow the instructions below in order to try and fix KOTOR on your PC.

What Causes Star Wars: KOTOR to Crash?

There are quite a few reasons which cause the game to crash on a Windows 10 and it’s impossible to pin down a certain cause. Some people have complained that the game is a bad port for PC from the start, as well. Here are some usual causes for the crashes:

  • In-game graphics settings which were buggy from the release or which are simply not supported by your PC’s setup
  • Old drivers which can’t keep up with the game’s settings or which have lost support by your current version of the operating system
  • Introductory video files which are played as soon as you launch the game were problematic for quite a few players

How to Fix Kotor Crashing on Windows 10

Solution 1: Turn off Various Graphics Settings

If the game actually launches and you are able to start playing, the error is probably related to graphic settings which should be turned off to prevent the often crashes. Not all graphic settings are bad for your setup but certain graphics cards definitely struggle running certain features so try turning them off and check to see if the game crashes.

  1. If you have purchased the game using Steam, open up your Steam program by double-clicking its icon from the Desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu or the Cortana button (search bar) next to it (if you are using Windows 10).

  1. Navigate to the Library tab in the Steam window and locate Star Wars: KOTOR in the list of games you own in the library.
  2. Right-click on the game and choose the Play Game entry in the context menu. If the game is not installed through Steam, simply locate the game’s icon on your computer and double click on it.

  1. From the game’s main menu, scroll down and click on Options. Try and locate the Graphics Options section and click the Advanced Options button. Under this sub-section, locate the V-Sync option and turn it off. Besides that, you should try and turn off the grass, Frame Buffer, and softshadows options as that helped several users get rid of the crashing.
  2. Your issue should be resolved after running the game again.

Note: These settings should be turned off one by one with constant checking if the game now launches and plays properly as the game will look much uglier without these graphics options.

Solution 2: Update Your Graphics Drivers

If the game has been crashing for a while, especially since you have first installed it, you might want to blame it on the game’s video drivers as new games often require the latest Windows updates as well as the latest graphics card drivers in order to run properly. It’s also recommended if you have just updated the game and it used to work properly.

The other scenario is the one in which the crashes start to occur just after a driver update and that can be blamed directly on the new drivers which aren’t well optimized for the game or they use technologies not accepted by the game. Either way, the problem becomes easy to solve if you follow the steps below.

Updating the Driver:

  1. Click on the Start menu, type in “Device Manager” with Start menu open, and select it from the list of results by simply tapping the top result. You can also use the Windows Key + R key combination in order to open up the Run dialog box. Type in “devmgmt.msc” in the Run box and click OK in order to run it.

  1. Since it’s the graphics card driver you want to update on your PC, expand the Display adapters part by clicking the arrow next to it, right click on your graphics card and select the Uninstall Device option.

  1. Confirm any dialogues which may ask you to confirm the uninstallation of the current graphics driver and wait for the process to finish.
  2. Look for your graphics card driver on the card’s manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions which should be available on the site. Make sure you choose the latest driver. Save the installation file on your computer and run it from there. Your computer may restart several times during the installation.
  3. Try running Star Wars: KOTORagain and check to see if the crash still occurs.

Nvidia Drivers — Click Here!

AMD Drivers — Click Here!

Note: If you like to keep your operating system updated (and you should), latest drivers are often downloaded and installed with Windows updates so make sure you keep your computer’s operating system up to date at all times. Windows Update is supposed to be run automatically but anything, including you, might have turned automatic updates off.

No matter which version of Windows you are using, follow the steps below in order to update your PC since this method works for all versions of Windows:

  1. Open the PowerShell tool by right-clicking the Start menu and clicking on the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option from the context menu.

  1. If you see Command Prompt instead of PowerShell in this context menu, you can also search for PowerShell in the Start menu or the Cortana bar next to it. This time, make sure you right-click on the result and choose Run as administrator from the menu.
  2. In the Powershell console, type in “cmd” and stay patient for Powershell to change its interface to the cmd-like window which might appear more natural to Command Prompt users.
  3. In the “cmd”-like console, type in the command shown below and make sure you click Enter afterwards:
wuauclt.exe /updatenow
  1. Let this command do its thing for at least an hour and check back to see if any updates were found and installed on your computer.

Solution 3: Delete The Introductory Video Files

This method is aimed specifically at users who can’t run the game at all because it crashes directly on startup. This is often because of the game’s introductory video files which were not meant to be run on all screen sizes. You can follow the steps below to delete or rename them, causing them to be skipped the next time KOTOR is launched.

  1. Navigate to your KOTOR installation folder. If you haven’t made any changes during the installation part regarding the required installation folder, it should be Local Disk >> Program Files or Program Files (x86) >> Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
  2. However, if you have the game’s shortcut on the desktop, you can simply right-click on it and choose the Open file location option from the context menu which will appear.
  3. Locate the folder named Movies in the game’s root folder and double-click on it. Rename the following three files: biologo.bik, leclogo.bik and legal.bik. This way you can change their names to the old values if this process malfunctions.

  1. Try running the game and check to see if it still crashes often!

Solution 4: Run the Game in Compatibility Mode

Weirdly, running the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or 3) is able to resolve the crashing problem on its own. The culprit for this cause is that the game is really old and Windows XP was the most used operating system at that time.

  1. Locate the Star Wars: KOTOR shortcut on the Desktop or look for the original executable which is located in the folder where you have installed the game.
  2. You can also search for the game’s main executable by clicking the Start menu button or the search button next to it and typing KOTOR. Anyway, right-click on the executable and choose the Properties option from the context menu which will appear.

  1. Navigate to the Compatibility tab in the Properties window and check the box next to the “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” setting under the Compatibility mode section. Click the dropdown menu and choose Windows XP Service Pack 2 or 3 from the list.
  2. Click on either OK or Apply and restart your computer just to make sure the changes have been applied. Check to see if the game is now crashing as it used to.

Solution 5: Tweak the .ini File

This configuration file can be used to change some settings which can hardly be changed from within the game so it’s very useful if you can’t even get the game to launch. You should simply add several lines in order to try and solve your problem immediately.

  1. Navigate to your KOTOR installation folder. If you haven’t made any changes during the installation part regarding the required installation folder, it should be Local Disk >> Program Files or Program Files (x86) >> Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
  2. However, if you have the game’s shortcut on the desktop, you can simply right-click on it and choose the Open file location option from the context menu which will appear.
  3. Locate the file named “swkotor.ini”, right-click on it and choose to open it with Notepad.

  1. Paste the following line in this file under Graphics Options and save the changes by using the Ctrl + S key combination:
Disable Vertex Buffer Objects=1
  1. Run the game and check to see if it still crashes.

Note: You can also use these commands if the steps above have failed to produce useful results. Still, by following these steps, the game will now launch in windowed mode which can be switched to fullscreen either by clicking the Maximize button or by using the Ctrl + Enter key combination.

  1. Open the “swkotor.ini” in the KOTOR game folder as you did above and under the [Graphics Options] section, change “Fullscreen=1” to “Fullscreen=0” if the option is there

  1. Also, add the following line under just [Graphics Options]. Save the changes and run the game from Steam or by double-clicking its executable to see if it still crashes.
AllowWindowedMode=1

Solution 6: Reinstall the Game

Reinstalling the game can do wonders and there are even tutorials on how to save your current progress and just continue playing after the reinstall. Follow the steps below in order to uninstall the game completely and then install it again to see if it still crashes on your PC.

Uninstalling the game:

  1. Click on the Start menu button and open Control Panel by searching for it. Alternatively, you can click the gear icon in order to open the Settings.
  2. In Control Panel, switch to View as: Category at the top right corner and click on Uninstall a Program under the Programs section.

  1. If you are using the Settings on Windows 10, clicking on Apps should immediately open a list of all installed tools and programs on your PC.
  2. Locate KOTOR in the list either in Settings or Control Panel, click on it once and click the Uninstall button located in the respective window. Confirm any dialog choices to uninstall the game, and follow the instructions which will appear on screen.

Alternative for Steam Users:

  1. If you have purchased the game on Steam, open up your Steam client by double-clicking its icon from the Desktop or the Start menu.

  1. Navigate to the Library tab in the Steam client window and locate KOTOR in the list of the games you own in your library.
  2. Right-click on the game and choose the Uninstall option.
  3. Follow the instructions which will appear on screen and wait for the process to finish patiently.

In order to reinstall the game, you will either need to insert the disc you bought it on and follow the instructions within the installation wizard or you will need to download it again from Steam.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: KOTOR Crashing on Windows 10

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