No Man's Sky may well have been Steam's biggest launch of the year, but there's no denying it's having a litany of issues on PC. Everyone at RPS who's played it has had one problem or another, and clearly from the feedback we're receiving, so are many of you. So below we've collected together all the current fixes and workarounds for the game until next week's patch goes live.
And if you're very keen, there's now an experimental version of the game with untested patches applied. Details for how to access it are below.
Before we start, it's really important to make sure your machine meets the minimum spec for the game. They are:
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i3
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GTX 480, AMD Radeon 7870
Storage: 10 GB available space
*Requires OpenGL 4.5, Intel cards are not supported.
*Core 2 CPUs and below are not supported
And make sure you're graphics drivers are up to date. It's not worth starting to fix anything before you've done those two.
It seems fairly safe to say that beyond many AMD users' not being able to load the game at all, framerate stutters are the biggest problem with the game. And we're not talking, "Wah wah I'm only getting 59fps" tedium - we're talking the game freezing, or struggling to run smoothly even on systems way over spec. Hello Games report this appears to be an issue with shader caches (*nods sagely as if he understands*), and they're working on a fix. However, they say, the more you play, the better this gets. Which is admittedly an odd fix, but one I can report is true - I was having the game freeze for a couple of seconds every scan or landing on Friday, now it's far less common.
We've also found that lowering the game's Generation Detail to medium makes a big difference here, although that's a bummer of a setting to have to lower.
Others are finding the game is falling well short of the framerate limit they've set for it. The solution is - counter-intuitively - to boost the framerate limit way over what you're after. Try putting it to 90. I've set mine to Max, and it locks out at a perfect 60fps.
Even Worse Framerates And Texture Flickering
This, it seems, might be to do with Steam's overlay. If you're finding chunks of the world are flashing around you, hit Shift-Tab while in-game, and the Steam overlay should appear. Bottom middle is Settings, click that, then the tab for In-Game. In there you can untick "Enable the Steam overlay while in game". I think the game needs to be restarted for this to work. Hello also ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much info as possible if this is happening to you, as they're trying to figure it out with Valve.
The other possibility for suddenly abysmal frame drops is your graphics card running out of memory. At this point your PC switches over to your CPU RAM. Game not like that. If your graphics card is below spec, that's going to be the problem. If it's not, try lowering the resolution you're running the game at to see if that helps, or set the texture quality down a peg.
A universal issue is that the game doesn't seem to cope with being alt-tabbed out of while in full-screen mode. That's pretty unforgivable not to have been spotted in testing, as it's a strongly expected standard of Windows gaming. However, the game isn't lost when you forget and do it anyway (so many times, so many times). If you've nipped out to check that email and then slapped your forehead at the prospect of lost progress, fear not - you can get the game back either of these ways:
- Go to Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del or Win-R, then "taskmgr"), Click the down arrow next to No Man's Sky, then right-click on Application, and choose "Bring to front".
- Go to the game's Steam page, then click the Play button - it'll pretend it's launching it again, but then the game will pop up once more
Alternatively, you can run the game in either Borderless or Windowed mode, and then task-switching works just fine.
Game Won't Launch
This could be because your monitor settings have been incorrectly detected. To find out, you need to leap inside NMS's tummy workings by heading to:
[your Steam dir]/Steamapps/common/No Man's Sky/Binaries/SETTINGS/TKGRAPHICSSETTINGS.MXML
Open that file with Wordpad or whatever, and then change the line that reads:
so it reads
Or if you fancy it, you can enter the correct screen resolution into the other relevant lines. Then give it another go. You can also set the rest of the game's meagre graphics settings in here too.
However, if the game's crashing during launch, there's a good chance it's your graphics drivers. Make sure they're up to date, and keep an eye out for new ones hopefully appearing soon from both AMD and NVidia. Intel GPUs are not currently supported.
Finally, if you're an AMD user and the game's crashing on the Hello Games logo, then you're currently out of luck. It is apparently because "Currently older AMD Phenom CPUs do not support SSE 4.1". They're working on a fix, which should hopefully be rolled out early next week.
Might It Be A GSync Issue?
A Reddit thread is reporting huge improvements in running the game if Gsync (an NVidia feature) is switched off. To do this, follow the instructions above, but this time change the line
Big thanks to FurryLippedSquid.
Some are having icky sound problems. The reported workaround at the moment is to go to your Windows Sound options and set it to "DVD Quality". Like this:
- Control Panel - Sound; or right click on the speaker icon in your system tray and choose "Sounds"
- Right click on your Speakers, choose Properties
- Go to Advanced tab
- From the top drop-down box, pick "16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality"
Won't Launch At All
If you're getting "Error searching for MSVCR100.dll" or just nothing whatsoever when you launch from Steam, it was because of an issue with VC++ Redist 2010 (ah, that ol' one). It's fixed now! So you need to update the game on Steam. Quit out of it if you've left it running, go to your Steam library, then Downloads. In there you should see if any updates are waiting or scheduled, and bump them up with a click of the little up arrow. That should have the game add the patch that's already been released.
The other odd message is "Either Steam isn't running or you don't have a suitable license". I had this pop up when trying to recover from an early task-switch, and it seemed completely random then went away. However, if it persists it could be that your VC 2013 Redist is corrupt. What have you been up to? Easily fixed though - head here, and install that, and hopefully it'll fix the problem.
Try The Experimental Version Of The Game
If none of the above works for you, Hello are rolling out untested patches for people to try. That's awfully risky of course, and these could make your game far worse, but could also be worth a go. To access the experimental version of NMS, you'll need to go to your Steam library, right click on No Man's Sky, and choose Properties. You'll see a tab for BETAS. Click on that, and then in the box enter the code: 3xperimental
That done the dropdown box above should become active, and you can now select Experimental. Do that and the game should download a new update, and then run it. If it works, Hello wants to know! Email them via email@example.com and tell them what issue it fixed for you.
If none of your issues are resolved by the above, the best thing to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the problem, making sure to include all the details about your machine. The best way to do that is to use the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do that, hit Win-R, then type in "dxdiag". Hit enter and up it'll pop. There's a button called "Save All Information..." - click on that, and then choose a location you'll remember (it defaults to Desktop, which works), and then include that as an attachment in your email. This means Hello will have absolutely every bit of info they could need about your setup.
If you're just wanting to be able to play, but finding it too staggery or slow, then obvious fixes are just lowering the in-game graphics settings to medium or low, switching off v-sync or anti-aliasing, and just experimenting to see which might be causing your issue. It's tedious, because the game wildly annoyingly needs to restart for most changes, but this will likely let you at least identify which bit is causing trouble. And then hopefully next week's patch will resolve whatever that might be.
We'll let you know when the patch is out, and what improvements it brings. If you've found any other fixes or workarounds, please mention them below.