Borderlands 3 is an action roleplaying game which is a pre-sequel to Borderlands 2. The game was released quite recently with several platforms supported including PS4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One. The game lived up to its expectations and is now one of the fastest games climbing the ladder in the gaming industry.
Despite the series being relatively better in terms of stability as compared to other game expansions, we came across numerous reports of instances where the game crashed. The game crashed either randomly or during different gameplays inside the game. Here in this article, we will talk about all the reasons as to why this occurs and what the possible workarounds are to fix it.
What causes Borderlands 3 to Crash?
After receiving numerous complaints from users even though the game was just released, we started our investigation on our workstations and concluded that the issue occurred due to several different reasons. Some of them are listed below:
- System requirements: This might be ignored in several cases but if your computer doesn’t meet the requirements, you are going to experience frequent crashes.
- Screen size problem: There are numerous options for the user on how he wants to get his game displayed. It seems that displaying the game in fullscreen causes issues with Borderlands.
- Outdated/corrupt game: Borderlands 3 is relatively a new game as compared to others and there may still be instances where several patches are unstable. There may also be cases of game corruption.
- Bad graphics drivers: Graphics drivers are the main components that are responsible for communicating information between your OS and the graphics hardware present. If the drivers themselves are not installed properly, you will experience numerous issues.
- Outdated BIOS: BIOS is one of the main modules in any computer system. It controls the communication between the basic input-output devices. If your BIOS is outdated or somehow corrupt, you will experience issues.
- DirectX Version: DirectX is a very popular API used for graphics in numerous games. It is owned and maintained by Microsoft itself. However, we noticed that the 12th version doesn’t work well with the game.
- FPS Cap: Like many other games, Borderlands 3 also has a mechanism where you can control the maximum FPS the game can achieve. Usually, this is enabled to infinity; changing this seems to work in numerous cases.
- High graphics settings: This cause cannot be ignored. If you have high graphics settings set, there are chances where your computer will not be able to cope with the high requirements and hence crash. Lowering them helps the situation.
Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator before proceeding and have an active internet connection as we will be updating your game and other components.
Pre-requisite: Requirements for Borderlands 3
Before we start with the technical solutions, we will first check whether your PC’s hardware requirements even meet the game’s requirements. Even though the minimum requirements may work in some cases, it is recommended that you meet the recommended requirements.
Minimum Requirements: OS – Windows 7/8/10 (latest service pack) Processor – AMD FX-8350 (Intel i5-3570) Memory – 6GB RAM Graphics card – AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB) HDD – 75 GB
Recommended Requirements: OS – Windows 7/8/10 (latest service pack) Processor – AMD Ryzen™ 5 2600 (Intel i7-4770) Memory – 16GB RAM Graphics card – AMD Radeon™ RX 590 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB) HDD – 75 GB
If you do not meet the requirements, make sure that you launch your game in the lowest settings and if even that doesn’t work, try updating your hardware.
Solution 1: Verifying Integrity of Game Files
Before we start troubleshooting with other methods, we will first check whether the installation files of the very game are good and intact. If any file is damaged, the game will either fail to load or crash in-game. Since you have the game installed on Steam, we will navigate to Steam’s library, locate Borderlands 3 and then verify its integrity.
The verifying process will check the local files present against an online manifest. If some items are missing, it will download the latest version of them from the internet and replace it.
- Launch your Steam client and click on the Library button present at the top bar.
- Now, locate Borderlands, right-click on it and select Properties.
- Now click on the Local Files tab present and select Verify integrity of game files.
- Now, wait for the process to complete. Restart your computer and try playing again.
Solution 2: Updating/reinstalling the Game
Since Borderlands is a new game, there are numerous instances where bugs arise. These bugs are there because the iteration has just started and usually in the starting days, these issues occur now and then. To fix these issues, the developers release frequent updates to patch the game. If your game isn’t updated to the latest build, you will experience numerous problems.
The same goes for Windows; we’ve seen numerous accounts where outdated Windows further makes things worse for the game.
Note: You will be required to enter your credentials in some cases so make sure that you have them on hand.
If you have a Windows application, you can search for updates online or through the vendor through which you installed the game. If updating doesn’t work, we will move on to uninstall the game and see if a fresh install works.
Using Steam Client:
If you installed the game through Steam, follow the steps below.
- Launch Steam and click on the Library button present at the top.
- At the left pane, you will see your game. Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
- After uninstalling the game, restart your computer. Now log back into Steam and download the entire game again. Check if the issue is resolved.
Note: Before you download the game, make sure that you delete all the game files manually as well to make sure there are no remnants.
Using the Windows Store:
If you downloaded the game through Windows Store, follow the steps below:
- Press Windows + S, type “uninstall” in the dialogue box and open the settings as shown below.
Now search for Borderlands 3from the list. Click on the item once and select Uninstall
Solution 3: Changing Configurations of Borderlands 3
If none of the above methods work, we will move on and try to change the configurations of Borderlands 3 using the configuration file present. Each game creates a configuration file along with saves in your documents. Whenever it loads, it reads these files to determine on which setting it has to launch. We will be editing this configuration file and lower the graphics settings accordingly through it. Make sure that you keep a copy of the configuration file somewhere else just in case.
- Press Windows + E to launch the Explorer and then navigate to the following address:
Documents > My Games > Borderlands3 > Saved > Config > WindowsNoEditor
- Once in the directory, open the GameUserSettings through a notepad application.
- Now scroll down and find PreferredGraphicsAPI. Change the setting to DX11.
- Now, you should also check other graphics settings present up and lower them accordingly.
- Save changes and exit. Restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved for good.
Solution 4: Launching in Windowed mode
Another thing that we noticed was where users reported that they were able to fix the crashing issue by launching their game in windowed mode. Normally in full-screen, the processor gives undivided attention to the game. But in this case, it seems that the situation is the opposite. The crashing fixed when users played the game in windowed mode.
Now there are two ways through which you can change the settings; either through Steam (if you have installed through it) or in-game. If you are not using Steam, go inside the game and change the setting from the Video/graphics option.
- Launch Steam and click on Library to view all your games. Now, right-click on Borderlands 3’s entry and click on Properties.
- Now that you are in Properties, click the General tab and then select Set launch options.
- Set the launch options to “-windowed -noborder”. Press OK to save changes and exit.
- Restart your computer properly and try launching the game.
Solution 5: Updating Graphics drivers
As our last solution, we will attempt at updating your graphics drivers to the latest version. We came across numerous instances where because of the drivers outdated or missing, the game was crashing. Graphics drivers are the main components that transmit commands from your game to the computer.
Furthermore, if updating the drivers doesn’t work for you, you should consider rolling back the drivers to a previous build. It is not a surprise to know that newer drivers are sometimes not stable or conflict with the operating system.
First, we will attempt at uninstalling your current drivers completely and install default ones. If they don’t work, only then will we proceed to update them to the latest version.
- Install the utility Display Driver Uninstaller. You can continue without this step but this ensures that there are no remnants of the drivers.
- After installing Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), launch your computer in safe mode. You can learn how to boot your computer into safe mode by reading our article on it.
- After booting your computer into safe mode, launch the application which was just installed.
- After you launch the application, select Clean and Restart. Now your installed drivers will be removed and the computer restarted.
- After you have performed the above steps, reboot your computer in Normal Mode, type “devmgmt.msc” after pressing Windows + R. Most probably the default drivers will be installed. If not, right-click on any space and select “Scan for hardware changes”. Now try launching the game and see if the default drivers fix the crashing issue.
- Now there are two methods to update the graphics drivers; either you can update them automatically using Windows update or manually by browsing to the file where your graphics drivers are located. If automatic updating fails, you have to navigate to your manufacturer’s website and download the drivers first.
To update, right-click on your hardware and select Update Driver. Now select any one of the two options according to your case.
- Restart your computer after installing the drivers, launch the game and check if this solves the problem.
Solution 6: Updating/Resetting BIOS to Default Settings
Resetting/Updating the BIOS is a tedious and technical task which is why we have kept it at the end of our article. BIOS is the main component of your computer which gets loaded up first when you start your computer. It connects and loads all the input-output devices. After it has done this, it loads the OS.
We noticed that after updating BIOS or resetting it, the issue went away completely. Hence we recommend that you update the BIOS but if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, get a more technical friend to do it.
Note: It should be noted that interrupting or failing the update at any point might render your computer useless so proceed with caution. Here are some articles to help you: