Dark Souls 3 Bug Makes Bonfires The Deadliest Threat

Dark Souls III [official site] launched last night and is, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn, a mite wonky for some players. Problems reported include controllers not working, lower performance than expected, and the game crashing at bonfires. It’s not clear how widespread these problems are, and publishers Bandai Namco haven’t addressed them specifically yet, but for now players have figured out workarounds for some. Or, you know, it might be fine and dandy for you. Life is full of surprises.

Bonfires crashing the game seems especially cruel, given that they’re meant to be the safest places in the game. But for some players, simply approaching them is enough to make the whole dang game crash. Some players report that popping into the settings menu and turning the Lighting down to ‘Low’ will fix it. Or, er, wearing a helmet which conceals your character’s entire head might do it.

As Bandai Namco haven’t collected and shared information on things yet, here, folks on the DS3 subReddit are doing a fair job of it, with potential fixes for controller issues too. Hopefully Bamco will shift into gear soon and get those patches rolling, or at least acknowledge some of this.

How’s Dark Souls III going for you so far?

If you can’t play DS3 yourself, do read Wot Adam Thinks of it – which is light on spoilers. Or there’s this here launch trailer, which Bandai Namco warn has spoilers:


  1. Petuko says:

    I haven’t been able to actually play because this ruddy game won’t run on my GTX 560 :C

    I’m so upset. Literally every other game I have can run at playable FPS. I may have to lower the settings but they still run, even relatively recent stuff.

    Not Dark Souls 3. I get ~18 fps with everything on low at my native res (1920×1200, which letterboxes anyway THANKS GUYS :|), and even if I drop it down to 800×600 it still only gets 23 fps or so. Playing souls at that framerate would be an exercise in frustration.

    I’m incredibly bitter about this.

    • IJC says:

      You have my sympathies but in all fairness, if your system is below the recommended specs you can hardly blame the game for not running well.

      • Petuko says:

        I can blame the devs for making their game have arbitrarily high reqs when it doesn’t even look any better than similar games which run flawlessly at 50-60 fps. That’s poor optimization.

        • derbefrier says:

          Arbutrary high requirements based on what? As someone who just replaced a 560 because newer Gen games were starting to have difficulties even maintain 30fps on medium settings. You gambled and you lost that’s not anyone’s fault but your own.

          • derbefrier says:

            Seriously though you are on borrowed time with that thing, time to start saving for a new one. It might get you by but when you are below the recommended specs you should expect issues regardless of your personal opinion there is a reason they are there.

        • Hexcaliber says:

          What, developers should hold back from adding improved graphical features until you can afford an upgrade? Your having a laugh; upgrade or accept that many games released in future simply will not work at acceptable frame rates and resolutions.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Maybe it is poorly optimized, but you need to accept responsibility for putting down money on a game that you knew wouldn’t run on your system.

        • Kiodrin says:

          I actually agree with its optimization. I have a GTX 970 and I can’t reach 60fps even on lowest settings (though the framerate doesn’t change much on any setting so I leave it at max). I haven’t dropped below 30 though, so I’m not too upset. I wish my controller would work, however!

          • Alucard_616 says:

            I have the same video card and it works perfectly on my system.

          • Alucard_616 says:

            oh yeah and I have it on highest settings.

          • Kiodrin says:

            Maybe my other hardware is bottle necking my performance. Tis a shame though.

          • Alucard_616 says:

            Yeah that sucks. I’ve heard people say that Dark Souls 3 is pretty heavy on processors. So maybe that’s it. I really wish it was optimized better because my friends can’t play it.

      • idewdev says:

        last year in December the minimum spec was quite low i.e GTX 465 …
        link to rockpapershotgun.com
        its strange that FROM changed the min spec to GTX 750 Ti last month.

    • akstro says:

      Comments on the subreddit suggest installing 314.22 drivers and people have said it fixes the issue on the 500 series.

      • Hexagonal Pensioner says:

        I was just about to say the same thing. Here is a link to the drivers:

        link to nvidia.com

        • Hexagonal Pensioner says:

          And these ones are good for those using Win10 link to nvidia.com

          From link to reddit.com

        • Petuko says:

          Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to give that a try!

          • Petuko says:

            That did seem to help a bit, the game is at least now at the bare minimum of playable framerate. Hopefully that will tide me over until I can afford an upgrade; I need to be saving up for a new monitor right now, not a GFX card (I do color sensitive work and my old one died. Currently stuck with a hand-me-down).

          • fish99 says:

            Apparently the upcoming 1.1 update is supposed to improve framerates on PC.

    • moon_frogger says:

      Hey! apparently people on reddit have had success with installing older drivers for the 400-500 series nvidia cards. Might want to look into that. Some people have had dramatic frame increases, as much as 20 or 30 fps. Good luck. Hopefully from software and nividia works this out soon.

    • Gryz says:

      And how are you so sure it’s your graphics-card that is causing low fps ? I think there’s a fair chance it’s your CPU that is causing low framerates.

      • SnowCrash says:

        If you are running multi core and its not stacking everything on a single one it should not be a problem. What you might want to check or force is for it to run on a core thats not the same one thats getting used by say your windows. Some games are really shit at doing that.

    • Crimson_Reaper says:

      Have it both for my ps4 an Pc runs great on both. 0 crash’s 0 fps lost.

      As far as I know people that use Gforce cards on my friends list have issue’s, I use a Radeon 6gb video card cause from my what I know over the years Gforce always had some problems when a new game comes out the odd time, not always but a lot of the time they do, they are also better when I do 3d animations/modeling.

      My full specs on my pc is ic7 3770k core, Radeon HD7990 6gb video card with 32gb ram, on a asus gaming board, never have any issues with any games.

      Also for those that using ps4 controller on steam for darksouls that use DS4 for the controller in the settings if its not working click Hide DS4 controller an that should allow you to use the ps4 controller.

      Well for those that have issues I feel sorry for ya’s but hope it gets fixed one way or the other cause DS3 is a great game I’m already about 3,000 players killed since yesterday on steam ;p

    • boot says:

      try this mate if you havent, saw it eariler

      Download the 314.22 Nvidia driver: link to nvidia.com

      Steam discussion: link to steamcommunity.com

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It’s a bug or driver problem. I was getting almost unplayably low fps at any settings with my 570, then I rolled back to the much older drivers and it’s fine. The opening area is a little choppy when outdoors, but everywhere else runs smooth as butter now.

    • KiSs0fd3aTh says:

      There probably is something wrong with the game. You cannot possibly only gain 5fps by moving from 1080p to 640

  2. Rizlar says:

    Only problem I’ve had so far was extreme lag when summoned by another player, probably to be expected with the servers overheating on launch day.

    Also my character’s face looking incredibly messed up due to the wonky but kind of amazing character creator.

  3. aliksy says:

    It wouldn’t recognize my trusty USB gamepad that I’ve used on DS1 and DS2 for years. Fortunately I had an xbox wired pad, and that worked without any problem. It looks like the M+KB controls might actually be useful (I think you can sidestep!), but I didn’t feel up to learning a new game and new control scheme at the same time.

    I’ve also had some framerate drops (gtx770, i7-something, but only 8gb of ram and no SSD). They seem to happen mostly when entering new areas, and pretty infrequently.

  4. Tinotoin says:

    When the article mentioned wearing a helmet that conceals the head I totally thought it was a joke about lowering the light levels for your character, until I saw the reddit thread:

    “starting with the Knight class and keeping the helmet on seems to prevent crashing to an extent.”

    Oh how foolish I feel…

  5. Synesthesia says:

    Getting the bonfire bug too. My heart is broken. I don’t want to turn the lights off, i’d like for dark souls to stay pretty.

    FROM, giff patch pls.

  6. BiggaWhat says:

    I’ve fortunately had the opposite experience, zero bugs, zero performance problems. Game is actually running much better than I expected it to given I only have an HD 7950

    • sansenoy says:

      Same here, 5820k@4.4 + 280X, not sure what everyone’s on about… Also, it’s just incredible how playable the game is at 40fps, which is what I get when maxing out at 1440p, superb frame pacing.

      • HothMonster says:

        Anything over 30 fps should be fine, as long as it is not fluctuating, because that is what ps4 version is capped at.

        • sansenoy says:

          But it’s fluctuating all the time, 35 to 55, according to the steam fps counter, and it’s still more fluid than anything I’ve played under 60. Maybe it’s the overclocked i7, this is the first game I’ve ran on the new rig. I can’t get a locked 1440p@60 no matter how low I go, but for the first time, I’m perfectly fine with it.

          • sansenoy says:

            I meant for a forced vsync game, the best sub-60 vsynced experience ever, hands down

    • Al Bobo says:

      I have Radeon 7950, too,(+3570K@4.0Ghz) and the game is buttery smooth 60fps all the time. I have everything on high and textures maxed. Motion blur I turned off, because I dislike it. After 7 hours of gaming, I had to stop just before the 3rd boss fight, so that I won’t be half-dead at work tomorrow.

  7. Unsheep says:

    Come on you guys, its not as if they’ve had at least a month to test these things o…

  8. funkstar says:

    Wow that trailer shows basically every boss and miniboss :o

    • Wowbagger says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ve somehow managed to get this far without spoilers.

  9. LacSlyer says:

    For those having controller issues, make sure the controller you’re using it the only one plugged in, or the first recognized by Windows. This has been an ongoing issue with the Souls games on PC and continues now unfortunately.

    • Herr_C says:

      Yep, I had that issue ever since I bought my new mouse and Windows decided to classify it as a gamepad.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Yeah, if you’re running Windows 10 you have to do the same trick to get a Dualshock 4 to run in exclusive mode with InputMapper as you did with Dark Souls.

  10. The Algerian says:

    Also random crashes not linked to bonfires but hair.
    Just cover your head with a helmet or something if you get random crashes.

    • sansenoy says:

      Honestly, that’s the most hilarious launch day bug I’ve ever witnessed. Not to mention it only manifests next to a bonfire, it’s like something out of a 90’s securom pirated game.

      • The Algerian says:

        It’s a good game, and educational.

        It shows you that fire can be very bad.

        Don’t play with matches.

      • Murdock says:

        haha, true.
        Honestly, my game is running beautifully as a knight. But this bug just make things even funnier. I will purposely take off my helmet to have some laughs tonight.

  11. Gordon Shock says:

    How about the Steam Controller?

    I’ve played DS2 and it was absolutely flawless.

    • Tinotoin says:

      Steam controller worked fine for me, and has useful mappings too.

      However I didn’t like using it over a regular PS/360 pad though, as I lean towards the ‘claw’ grip when playing From games of late.

  12. Ml33tninja says:

    I have fortunately avoided any really problems on my system but I do know that felling when a game just would not work(looking at you Evil Within). I wonder if the class you pick has anything to do with the crashes.

  13. Distec says:

    Awww… I was hoping something else was going on other than crashes.

    Like, bonfires accidentally turned into PVP zones or bosses were chilling out having tea parties around a flame.

  14. thebigJ_A says:

    Oh, that explains it.

    I just started playing, and as soon as I walked near the very first bonfire I got a “display driver stopped responding” ctd

    I didn’t understand it since my 770 isn’t overclocked

    I hope they fix it soon. I wanna play

  15. Hobbes says:


    Use these, should solve your problems.

  16. Sailordude9980 says:

    GTX 980 TI SLI, 144 HZ monitor. Game crashes within minutes. Game controller regardless of type, doesn’t work period.

    This is the first time that I have gone against my better judgement and preordered a game. I won’t make that mistake again.

    • dazman76 says:

      Try turning off SLI, rather than absconding from all future pre-orders :) You don’t need it here, not even remotely – and it’s caused problems with lots of new games since it was invented. It may or may not be the cause, but it certainly should be on your checklist.

      I have an i5 3570 overclocked, alongside a 960 OC 4GB – I’ve had one crash during an NPC invasion after about 4 hours of play, and it was likely the bonfire bug as I was right next to the one that I lit seconds earlier. Other than that, I’m getting 60fps almost constantly in 1080p, with all settings on high. Even looking out from some of the viewpoints into the far distance, with gorgeous detail in the whole scene – the lowest spike I see is 50fps, and it’s still smooth as hell. I have a slight hitch when exiting some ingame menus, but it isn’t really a problem.

      DS3 looks like FromSoft’s best PC port, by a long way. These initial problems are annoying and it’s a shame for sure – but I hope you you get to enjoy the whole game, because it’s pretty damn awesome and beautiful so far :)

  17. bakaohki says:

    Playing on ps4 here, I do not trust From’s ports at all or the infinite amount of cheaters. On ps4 the game is around 30fps, but it easily gets way below that, giving me a headache pretty fast. After ds2, ds1 and BB the whole formula feels a bit tired to me.

  18. Sascha23 says:

    No issues on my end. I’m getting killed at 60fps with mostly maxed settings. Huzzah!

  19. OmNomNom says:

    No surprises here. Fun but same old.
    Not a bad game but why is Dark Souls always the ‘hard game for people who don’t like hard games’ game?

  20. fish99 says:

    No crashes yet, and solid 60 fps on a 970, but I have seen little stutters or micro freezes every so often, sometimes when something dies or you pick up an item, like the game is waiting for the server to respond or something.

    • Floflo81 says:

      I have those too. I think that happens whenever the game is saved automatically.

      • Tinotoin says:

        Yeah I get them when entering a new area as it’s saving. I thought having it installed on my SSD would eliminate that – mind you the same thing happened with Firewatch, so hoping a patch resolves it soon.

        Still though, a very minor quibble IMO.

        • SnowCrash says:

          I think its because the game is trying to do smooth chunk loading and failing at it a little bit.

          • fish99 says:

            I thought it might be network related because I’ve also seen the stutter just as the game loads in new player messages on the ground. I might try it offline to see if it’s still there.

            It shouldn’t be happening though, my PC outperforms a PS4 in every way and the PS4 doesn’t stutter.

    • Chiefy says:

      I am having that identical micro stutter, im on a gtx 980 ti 6gb.

      not entirely sure what it is or what causes it, all my games are on SSD so i wouldn’t have imagine loading but someone saying the auto save, that would potentially make sense but strange an auto save would cause it

  21. saluki says:

    I had the bonfire crashing bug, but i was able to “fix” it by setting lighting to low in the advanced graphics options. Since then, no crashes, although for whatever reason the setting isn’t persistent — I have to change the lighting back to low every time I start the game.

    • Black Dow says:

      I had the same problem. Fixed it by turning setting lighting to low and turned off auto detect graphic settings (or something like that) in the advanced menu. Ran fine for 4 odd hours. Praise the sun!

      • Silvarin says:

        I changed my character to bald and it fixed it, for the first bonfire at least. It’s also the only bonfire i lighted thus far, so don’t know if it is a reliable fix.

  22. Tobberoth says:

    I had some performance issues immediately after the release of the game, but now it runs flawlessly on my system outside of some minor drops when sitting at a bonfire (which I assume is because of loading).

    Hopefully From will release a patch soon to fix it for everyone else, the game is fantastic when it’s running properly.

  23. Chiefy says:

    game has ran flawlessly…

    rarely for what reason im not aware it will dip to 48 fps then straight back to 60. nothing changes on screen and it feels like loading, but the game is on SSD so not sure what causes it

    Otherwise its been a perfect solid 60 fps with all settings maxed out. Don’t think its fair to scream bad port or poor optimisation so easily.. I am all for hating on poor ports but this does not appear to be one of them, I hope the minor drop to 48 for one second gets ironed out though even if it is pretty rare

  24. REDDGrrr says:

    Game runs perfect. Not a single crash and flawless framerate in first two zones, no matter in which direction I am looking or what is going on in the scene.

    GeForce G1 970
    intel i5 4690K
    8GB Ram
    Windows 7

    Just shame that I am such a noob at this game.

    • REDDGrrr says:

      Note – All details set to fullest, including light and what not.

  25. Devilon says:

    Not sure it will help those people with issues but I’ve experienced zero problems. Running the game at a capped 60fps with no fps dips/crashes on this system:

    Windows 10 Core x64 build 10586.63
    Intel Core I5-6500 CPU
    MSI H170A PC Mate – (MS7971) motherboard
    Crucial 8gb DDR4 RAM 2133 @ Timing 15-15-15-15-2T
    MSI Geforce GTX 970 4G Gaming Edition
    Creative labs X-FI xTreme Gamer on PCI-E
    Dell 24″ U2412M IPS Monitor :native1920x1200 16×10
    Logitech G510S Keyboard & Finalmouse 2016
    Boston Accoustic BA-635 Speakers
    Using a PS4 controller with InputMapper.

    • Devilon says:

      Oh, and it’s installed on a SSD so that might help with the micro-stutters some people experiencing even with systems similar to mine.