How To Skip Far Cry 4’s Unskippable Launch Animations

This seems like the sort of thing we need to be writing for every game of late. Where the narcissism of publishers sees them fail to allow the player to just skip past their opening vanity screens, and you frantically click and stab at every key, certain that they surely can’t be this vain? Fortunately, the superb fun of Far Cry 4 can easily be more quickly reached, without having to dig out the individual obscurely-named video files from the depths of your hard drive.

I think it’s fair for such clips to play out the first time a game is launched. Tedious, but fair. But after that, of course you should be able to click past them. Far Cry 4’s intro stings aren’t the worst I’ve seen this year, but when people are encountering bugs and have to restart, they can become particularly egregious. And it doesn’t help that after being glacially informed of the publisher, the engine, and a graphics card manufacturer, you’re then shown an entirely superfluous animation announcing the name of the game. Um, yes, I’m the one who launched it. And then, nrrrggghhh, it delays things further to tell you – every time – not to blow up the local power grid when a whirling animation is playing. It’s as if game publishers looked at the horror of obligatory DVD intro screens and thought, “We can go bigger.”

If you bought the game via Steam, it’s as easy as a pre-bought pie. Find the game in your library, right click on it, and hit Properties. In the box that pops up is an option for “SET LAUNCH OPTIONS”. Click that, and in the field that appears, put in “-skipintro” (without quotes, and no space). Now, when you launch the game either from Steam, or from the not-actually-a-proper-shortcut it put on your desktop, the game will jump straight to its options screen. Ahhhhh.

If you installed the game from a disc (caveman), then you’ll have a more proper desktop or Start menu shortcut. Right click on the icon or Start entry, and choose “Properties”. Here you should see a box called “Target:”, and in there a spiel that tells it where to find the game. On the end of it all, paste in ” -skipintro” (again, without those quotes, and the space is important), and click “OK”. It should look like this, but obviously the opening location stuff depends where you installed it.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\games\Far Cry 4\bin\FarCry4.exe” -skipintro

If it doesn’t work still, try “-skip intro 1”.

Now double click on the icon/hit the Start entry, and you should be swooshy-animation free.

And if you launch via Uplay, first have a good long look in the mirror, and then find where the game is installed on your machine, look in the /bin folder for the .exe that launches the game, and right click on it and tell it to make a desktop shortcut. Then follow the instructions above and launch it via that in future.

Sadly we’ve yet to find a way to skip the in-game cutscenes, which FC4 so astonishingly doesn’t let you jump. This is especially fun when an arbitrary mission fail restarts you back in front of a meandering conversation through which you have to twiddle your digits over and over. Ubisoft, please, patch this in, you monsters.

58 Comments

  1. Frosty840 says:

    If there are any Ubisoft social media peons reading this article, wondering if John is using any hyperbole in this article, rest assured that he is not.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Paraquat says:

    Now we just need a way to get rid of “press any key to begin”.

    • Cinek says:

      And that super-long super-boring in-game cinematic at a beginning of the game.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    My first thought after starting Dragon Age: Inquisition for the first time was “Oh good. They’re showing publisher and developer in the same screen. That saves time!”

    What purpose does this serve anyway? Do they really think I’d otherwise forget who made and published the game? Dragon Age: Inquisition was made by Treyarch and published by Paradox Interactive! Why would I ever forget that?

    • MartinWisse says:

      Why would I care?

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        Bluerps says:

        Yes, that too.

        • Noxman says:

          Don’t forget the double-long disclaimer screen that a lot of games don’t seem to have making me think it is not a requirement.

          And then the “This game uses an autosave feature, when you see this ‘O’ don’t turn off the console”, regardless of playing on PC. And then after all this a loading screen…

          • cpy says:

            I find it very helpful, because i have habit of randomly pulling power cord out of wall socket just for the kicks.

          • barrkel says:

            I’m now convinced this is a contractual requirement somewhere along the lines. There’s no other explanation for its simultaneous ubiquity and pointlessness in PC games.

      • Sakkura says:

        In the case of Ubisoft, it lets you know that this mess is from Ubisoft and that you should avoid Ubisoft games henceforth.

      • noodlecake says:

        The same reason you might care why a director made a film you like, or why an author wrote a novel you enjoyed.

        “Hey! Have you seen that new Quentin Tarantino movie?”

        “Who?”

        “You know… That guy who’s directed every single one of your favourite films!”

        “Don’t tell me the director’s name! I don’t care!!”

        • pulseezar says:

          It’s not really the same though, is it? I mean how often do you watch the start of the same film? Also, at least credits are sometimes overlaid on something else going on on screen.

          • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

            There are some people who watch the same film over and over again; I assume they watch the intro. Plus DVDs have splash screens that can be worse than a game’s, it’s just that most people who aren’t total cinemaphiles switched to streaming these days.

        • KenTWOu says:

          That would be a more appropriate analogy:

          – Hey! Have you seen that new 20th Century Fox logo?
          – What?
          – You know… That company which cancelled every single one of your favourite TV shows!

      • Field Marshal Wildboar-Smith says:

        Publisher hubris. They’ve convinced themselves that they’ve built a relationship with you, the consumer and consequently you’ve bought their game because of that great relationship that they’ve built when you saw their branding on the webpage/box.

        Not that you read or deduced that the game might be fun and bought it. Consumers don’t have opinions, just brand allegiance.

    • OrangyTang says:

      “What purpose does this serve anyway? Do they really think I’d otherwise forget who made and published the game?”

      Yes, they do.

      Unfortunately, many publishers and 3rd party technologies (engines, physics libraries, media libraries) have clauses in their contracts that if you use their stuff you must display their logo for X second at startup (something with the additional clause that no other logos can be on screen at the same time).

      It sucks, but blame the publishers and tech companies, not the developers.

      • darkhog says:

        Fine, display it for X seconds, but let player press ESC to skip it!

    • AyeBraine says:

      It will sound stupid, but I like this about Borderlands 2. It allowed me to skip these screens instantly… and more than that, it DID tell me about the save icon, BUT it said: “If you see this icon, the game has been saved”. It may look similar, but the message about the power is absurd (at least on PC) and near-useless in practical terms (“being saved”). But this message is both concise and useful (I know that if I see the icon, the save was already created; and can utilize the exact same spot to “manually save” later, confident in the icon/sound effect).

      It’s such a trifle, but it made me feel good towards the people who made that game.

  4. LionsPhil says:

    General answer: consult PCGW. It’s normally pretty good for documenting how to do this.

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    basilisk says:

    I’d just like to point out that the PC Gaming Wiki (which is quickly becoming my favourite resource) has instructions on how to skip intro videos for pretty much every recently released game. It’s usually just finding and deleting/renaming a .bik file, which is not a particularly complicated thing to do.

    I’ve been doing this automatically for so long that I forgot some people might not know about it.

    • Cinek says:

      From that site: “Impossible Options menu has a “mouse acceleration” setting and slider. However, even if disabled, there is still a heavy amount of mouse acceleration. ” – wow… now THAT explains A LOT. I knew this game feels weird, I even went to the menus to check if there’s something wrong with mouse acceleration, but it was turned off, so eventually I gave up and went on playing – now I know what the heck was going on. Thanks for the link man. Seems like they even got a tutorial how to turn that shit off. Really helpful website!

  6. Pemptus says:

    Yes, use PC Gaming Wiki, people!
    Also, their stuttering fix and the mouse acceleration fix both work beautifully, and turned a chugging, wheezing mess of a game into a fairly fluid experience.

  7. DanMan says:

    Ah yes, the classical FAIL. One to put on the Do’s and Don’ts list, even though it’s probably already on there.

    This is just being too lazy to program interactions with the logo slideshow. Like this they can just queue up videos and don’t have to program any logic (press button => skip to next).

  8. Blackcompany says:

    Thanks for this. Those intros were turning me off to the game so much that I simply left myself at the main menu whenever I took extended breaks on a weekend, simply so I could bypass the intros when next I had time to play. Much appreciated.

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    FailX says:

    This is the kind of things that QA usually points out (at least I used to), so it really is a conscious decision to make these unskippable, which I find absolutely terrible.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      This is the kind of things that QA usually points out

      You really think QA are running the game without the launch options which skip these things in the first place?

      I’ve seen QA have no idea hard crashing bugs exist because they’re running their Virtual Machines with UAC off while using accounts with Administrator privileges then having the audacity to argue that “we don’t use ‘Run as Administrator’ so we don’t know why we didn’t see this happen”.

  10. bonuswavepilot says:

    This sort of thing really is obnoxious, but I think it offends me more than most, judging by the strange looks I get when I rage about it happening on a DVD player. Seriously though, the only reason I need to watch this fucking unskippable anti-piracy bollocks is because I am watching a genuine disk! If I’d ripped n’ burned it myself I’d have removed it. Arrgh!

    • DanMan says:

      It’s also great when the intro crap, before it gets to the menu, shows you the decisive scene in the movie. Like in The Ring. Great idea folks. You just made me regret BUYING your DVD.

    • LionsPhil says:

      One of the things I love about VLC as a DVD player is that it seems to automatically skip sections marked “unskippable”, presumably on the basis that if the disk author wanted to force you to watch it, you probably don’t want to watch it.

    • Luke Nukem says:

      Stop – Stop – Play on remotes will often skip straight to the start of the movie.

  11. SuicideKing says:

    Wait, you’re making it sound like you don’t need Uplay to launch the game? Also, I thought it didn’t get released on Steam in the UK?

    • Werthead says:

      I’m assuming it’s for the benefit of the great unwashed majority of the planetary population who do not dwell with us here in Cameron’s Utopia.

      However, if there is a way to start the game without descending through the eleventh circle of hell known as “UPlay”, I will be all over that. Aside from the comically ludicrous price, the only thing stopping me getting FC4 are nightmarish flashbacks to playing FC3 through UPlay and losing the will to eat or breathe.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Haha! Yeah I tried FC3 coop via Uplay. Horrible. Though I’d say that about it even without Uplay.

    • Luke Nukem says:

      For FC3 I own it on Steam and can launch through Steam, so that’s where you would modify the launch. Uplay is still required and opens in the background. I assume FC4 is similar.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yeah that’s what I thought (Steam->Uplay->Game). I got confused because the article made it sound like the shortcut or Steam versions were skipping Uplay (because the way I was thinking was that you’d only edit launch parameters to the program that would actually launch the game, in this case Uplay).

        I had a retail copy of FC3, so I just used Uplay.

  12. Core says:

    Thank G-d you most games have a startup command to skip those videos. Back in the day you had to make dummy 1kb versions of the unskippable video files to get rid of them.

  13. Eebahgum says:

    Well I love flash screens, cutscenes and launch animations. It really annoys me when I watch fellow players play and they skip through them. Grrrrr. Patience is a virtue.

    • thedosbox says:

      Wow. Just, wow.

      Seriously, if there’s one thing that is ridiculous to get annoyed about, it’s that other people might not like the same things as you.

  14. JeepBarnett says:

    I don’t see any other devs piping up, so I’ll be the one to point out that some of these are often required to be unskippable by contract. So for middleware X they might want, “3 seconds unskippable fullscreen intro splash,” as an advertisement to other developers. So it’s anti-customer but not necessarily the dev’s choice.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      It’s an Ubisoft game on PC, so by definition some of the anti-consumer decisions are the publisher’s fault. I’m pretty sure most of us are aware of how much control AAA publishers have over AAA devs, and how if the devs even speak up against crap like long unskippable splash screens that they’re quite likely to be fired.

      But none of it matters because ever since I accidentally bought Blood Dragon before I remembered it used UPlay, I’ve been vigilant about avoiding Ubisoft on PC. I’ll buy Rayman games on console, for example, but no Ubi on PC. I’ll buy old Ubi games on GoG, but no newer ones. I hate stick controls in FPS, so I won’t buy any version of FC4. And I’m fine with that.

  15. sinister agent says:

    Seriously though, this kind of ancient, entry-level bad design should get any game that does it an automatic, instant 0/10. I’m not joking. It’s nearly 2015, for christ’s sake. There’s no excuse for it and there never was.

  16. noodlecake says:

    Kind of annoying, but luckily in the case of FC3/FC4, the writing, character design and voice acting is superb.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Not sure if serious.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I wouldn’t say superb, but the voice acting is nicely naturalistic, and Pagan Min’s dialogue is often quite good. I am baffled as to why they’d hire Naveen Andrews to play Sabal and only give him boilerplate “go here, do this” dialogue. Biggest waste of a fine genre actor since Peter Dinklage in Destiny.

      Overall, it’s decent videogame pulp that’s uncommonly well-acted and imitates Tarantino with a little more competence than most games which try it. If you took Pagan Min and the smart music cues out of the picture, I don’t think there’d be much worth talking about.

      Side note: we can groan all we like about Troy Baker being in everything, but you can’t say the guy hasn’t earned it. Even when his role is basically “violent man with stubble (tragic past optional),” he brings a level of craft to his performances that is almost unheard of in videogame VO. I think most people who say they like FC4’s narrative bits are really saying they like hearing Baker cutting loose and tearing into some nice meaty monologues. One of the pure joys of the game’s first hour is listening to Baker do more with the phrase “Crab Rangoon” than most videogame villains do with an entire game’s worth of lines. You can see why they put his character on the box.

      • SuicideKing says:

        The Hindi NPC barks sound stupid as hell.

        (I mean, post translation; I’m Indian).

  17. ffordesoon says:

    I really do think a big part of the reason mobile games are so popular is because they’re not front-loaded with the unskippable horseshit you find in AAA releases. I reject the accepted wisdom that mobile players don’t want “hardcore experiences.” I play mobile games, and I’m as hardcore as they come. What most mobile players don’t want is the barrier to entry that comes with “hardcore” games – be it price, complex controls, or – and this is the camp I’m in – the hour (or hours!) of unmitigated bullshit that comes with loading up your typical AAA title. Given that they’re the masters of cramming meaningless garbage into their games, it’s no surprise that Ubisoft games are some of the worst around in this regard.

    If you follow the industry as closely as I do, you might have heard Mark Cerny use the phrase “time to triangle.” I’m not nearly tech-savvy enough to explain its specific meaning, but as I understand it (and I probably don’t), it’s the amount of time between the moment you start porting something to console and the moment you have a playable console build. I think we should start using a similar phrase to describe the amount of time from startup to gameplay – “time to gameplay,” perhaps, with a variant for tutorial length (“time to unassisted gameplay?”).

  18. soopytwist says:

    I can’t comment?

  19. soopytwist says:

    Oh, okay I can. Why then does what I want to say not appear?
    EDIT
    So, um typing a launch command here for the Steam launch options makes my comment not appear. What’s up with that?

    • Ex Lion Tamer says:

      RPS launch screens are unskippable. Do not attempt to circumvent. Your actions have been noted in your file.

  20. BaronVonUmbreon says:

    I played through the tutorial twice, both times crashing before the first checkpoint. Their banal “charismatic” psychopath du jour was bland and forgettable the first time around, insufferable after the third (although still not as bad as Vaas and his playground tough-guy persona). I’m going to wait until a skip option is patched in, officially or not. Hopefully we’ll see a Ziggy’s Mod for FC4.

  21. guygodbois00 says:

    “…he superb fun of Far Cry 4”.
    Eh

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yep, I thought that was funny too. But then, I think he’s part of the FC2 was GENIUS crowd as well. So, consistent at least, and thus useful as a reviewer…..

  22. w0bbl3r says:

    I have retail version, uplay only.
    This was working, but now uplay just updated, the game directory has moved. It is no longer in the game launcher folder, far cry 4 has it’s own folder now in the ubisoft directory.
    I make a shortcut from in there, but all it does is start uplay. I can’t skip the intros, or even launch the game from there at all. Once uplay is running I can click the shortcut again and the game will start, but the intro videos are there.
    This is insane, what the frig just happened?

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      Sihoiba says:

      It appears they disabled the skipIntro option in the latest patch.

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    phuzz says:

    Annoyingly if you have the UK version that doesn’t use Steam, then the latest uplay update disables -skipintro.
    Thanks Ubisoft, I really needed to watch that nVidia commercial again.

  24. Wabafet says:

    Good info to have. Kind of ironic that the first half of the article, before getting to the info the reader is after, is the writer complaining about how long it takes to get into the game.