Entertainment, Games, Overwatch, Tutorials

My Solution To Overwatch Crashing My Computer

June 28, 2016

Introduction

Since the McCree and Blackwidow nerf patch, my computer has entirely crashed multiple times while playing Overwatch. This typically occurs during the first few minutes of a match, but can also occur after one or two flawless matches. More significantly, sometimes the computer doesn’t crash after playing many matches in one single day until the next day. Sometimes, the game would drop to ridiculously low FPS and then proceed to crash completely. Many people have also experienced this exact same problem as shown here. For many other players and me, the issue starts with the game crashing, resulting in a completely black screen, which also leads to the sound of an unpleasant loopy noise through the computer’s speakers. During this state, the player is unable to do anything on the computer. No clicks or shortcuts to the Window’s task manager work. Nothing responds when you try to do something. Therefore, this forces the individual to hard reset the computer.

Judging by the official Battle.net thread, there also appears to be another variant of the same issue: The PC automatically shuts off itself within three to four seconds after the game crashes. This implies that there may be multiple causes to a common problem. Players have pointed to power supply problems, graphic card issues, RAM issues, graphic drivers, Windows Updates as the root causes of the crash. However, many people have also tried this on a completely new computer, and the issue still occurs.

Before the June 14th patch, the game ran smoothly on my computer with no lag whatsoever. However, after applying this patch, the crash exhibited by my computer convincingly looked like a hardware issue.

My first attempt at finding the solution was to update to the latest Windows updates. I applied those updates, restarted my computer, and started Overwatch. But the problem persisted. My computer completely crashed within the first three minutes of the game, forcing a hard reset on my end.

My second attempt was to update to the latest NVIDIA graphic drivers. I did this and restarted my computer. Played Overwatch, same crash.

My third attempt was a solution proposed by a player from the Battle.net thread above. The solution was to launch Overwatch through Program Files rather directly from the Battle.net Launcher. The player said doing so fixed the issue for him or her. I did this, the game crash still occurred.

With all of these attempts at finding a solution failing miserably, I was still not convinced that the cause of the issue was hardware-related. I am able to play other Blizzard and Steam games without this issue being replicated. Thus, I went to take a look at my in-game settings. Everything in the in-game settings was exactly the same before the patch arrived. This lead to my fourth and final attempt, which proved successful.

My solution is this:

1. Open NVIDIA GeForce Experience. If you don’t have this program installed, you should install it from here.

2. Go to the Games Tab and then find Overwatch in the list.

3. When you see the message: “Game is not optimized.” Click on the green button on the right side. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are unable to optimize the game, proceed to find the directory of where Overwatch is in so the NVIDIA GeForce Experience can automatically apply these in-game settings for you. This failed to work for me. Hence, I had to adjust manually the settings in-game to match those of the NVIDIA GeForce Experience optimal settings. However, I was later able to optimize it automatically through the program, but this wasn’t necessary for me.

4. After this, check that your current settings match the optimal settings within the NVIDIA GeForce Experience application.

5. Proceed to launch Overwatch from the Battle.net Launcher. Play a match and see if the issue is reproduced. If issue does not occur, keep playing to see if it will reappear.

The steps above completely solved the issue for me. I no longer experience any crashes during matches in-game and no drop in FPS occur anymore.

Alternative Solutions (UPDATED on 07/03/2016 and 07/06/2016):

If the above solution does not work, please try the troubleshooting steps outlined below.

1. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the default settings for your card.

– Right click on Nvidia’s program icon (Black and Green) in your system tray.
– Select and open the Nvidia Control Panel from this right click.
– At the top left of this window, you will see 3D Settings.
– Below that, click on Manage 3D settings
– In the upper-right corner, you will see the title “Manage 3D Settings” in a light blue box. Click Restore Defaults.

2. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the high powered video card on your computer.

On your right of your Manage 3D Settings, select the tab “Preferred graphics processor” and then select “High-performance NVidia processor”. Apply these settings.

3. Roll your driver back to a 364.72 driver to see if this will resolve your issue.
Follow these instructions: http://www.nvidia.com/object/driver_rollback.html

You may use the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to remove your current driver first:http://www.wagnardmobile.com/DDU/download/DDU%20v15.7.5.2.exe

4. Run the Repair Utility within the Battle.net application; To repair your game, follow these instructions: http://us.battle.net/support/article/6572

5. Delete your Battle.net cache! Sometimes, a corrupted cache folder can mess things up. Deleting this folder may fix issues caused by outdated files. For instructions on how to do this, refer to http://us.battle.net/support/article/6141

6. Delete your Battle.net tools folder. Delete the Battle.net folder when you have the ProgramData folder open on your computer (which is from the 3. instructions above)

NOTE: You may receive a notification from the Battle.net desktop application to install your game again. But the application should be able to find your game automatically.

UPDATE (07/06/2016):

If you are still experiencing crashes while playing Overwatch, consider trying these troubleshooting steps below:

1. Try altering the sound settings in the Settings_v0.ini file in your Documents folder: C:\Users\myName\Documents\Overwatch\Settings

Step 1. Make a backup of your original Settings_v0.ini file.

Step 2. Run Overwatch and go into the Options menu, then click on Sound.

Step 3. Change the Master Volume to 42 in-game. NOTE: Not the volume on your desktop.

Step 4. Exit Overwatch.

Step 5. Open the Settings_v0.ini file with Notepad or any other simple text editor.

Go to the last section and you should see this:

[Sound.3]
MasterVolume = “42.000000”

Step 6.

At the end of the second line from Step 5, add this line below:

PreferXAudio2 = “0”

Step 7.

Save the Settings_v0.ini file.

Step 8.

Launch Overwatch again and set the Master Volume back to what it was before.

Additional Notes:

The line PreferXAudio2 = “0” forces the Sound system to use WASAPI instead of XAudio.

If you change the number to “2” in the line above, you will force it to DirectSound.

To revert to default settings, delete the line and save the file.

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  • Chris

    It didn’t work for me.

    I had 100+ total hours in-game before the Widow/McCree patch. And never had any issues until this patch as well. This is when my computer started to crash.

    The new competitive patch seems to have made the issue worse. Appears to be more frequent FPS drop in-game now and this occurs consistently throughout every match along with the random crash.

    Sometimes my computer starts to crash during the 1st match, but more often it is the 2nd match or 3rd match. It never seems that I can go beyond 3 matches in a row with a complete crash.

    • Sunny Hoi

      Can you try these troubleshooting steps outlined below?

      1. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the default settings for your card.

      – Right click on Nvidia’s program icon (Black and Green) in your system tray.
      – Select and open the Nvidia Control Panel from this right click.
      – At the top left of this window, you will see 3D Settings.
      – Below that, click on Manage 3D settings
      – In the upper-right corner, you will see the title “Manage 3D Settings” in a light blue box. Click Restore Defaults.

      2. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the high powered video card on your computer.

      On your right of your Manage 3D Settings, select the tab “Preferred graphics processor” and then select “High-performance NVidia processor”. Apply these settings.

      3. Roll your driver back to a 364.72 driver to see if this will resolve your issue.
      Follow these instructions: http://www.nvidia.com/object/driver_rollback.html

      You may use the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to remove your current driver first: http://www.wagnardmobile.com/DDU/download/DDU%20v15.7.5.2.exe

      4. Run the Repair Utility within the Battle.net application; To repair your game, follow these instructions: http://us.battle.net/support/article/6572

      5. Delete your Battle.net cache! Sometimes, a corrupted cache folder can mess things up. Deleting this folder may fix issues caused by outdated files. For instructions on how to do this, refer to http://us.battle.net/support/article/6141

      6. Delete your Battle.net tools folder. Delete the Battle.net folder when you have the ProgramData folder open on your computer (which is from the 3. instructions above)

      Note: You may receive a notification from the Battle.net desktop application to install your game again. But the application should be able to find your game automatically.

      • Chris

        Nice, the game seems to be running smoothly for me now. Can finally play more than 3 matches without crashing in any. FPS doesn’t drop like before. Must have been the changes in the Manage 3D settings, but no way of telling for sure. Thank you for your help.

        • Sunny Hoi

          Cool. No worries.

  • Gregory

    Pressing the green “Optimize” button worked! The game no longer crashes for me now. Just in time for competitive mode too. Thanks a lot, Sunny. 🙂

    • Sunny Hoi

      Glad I could help.

  • Anthony

    Doesn’t work, I still crashed every 5-10 minutes into a game.

    • Sunny Hoi

      Try to choose a different in-game display resolution, particularly one that that has an asterisk (*) which means that it matches your native desktop resolution. Choosing one of these resolutions with an asterisk will typically provide you a better experience.

      I assume you tried all the solutions in the article. If you did and the problem persists, then you should contact Blizzard Support.

      • Anthony

        Thanks for the reply, but the problem continues

  • Jeroen de Bonte

    Yep, Blizzard is screwing something up. I’ve been facing random reboots, only happening when playing Blizzard games. Trust me, I’ve tested / replaced everything. Stresstests and other applications can run for months without crashing my machine… and the twats dare to say there is ‘something wrong with my machine…’… the nerve.

    The funny thing regarding the ‘fixes’ above: It only works for a little while. For me it was setting my Nvidia Physx adapter fixed to Geforce GTX or CPU, instead of automatic selection… Or so I thought.

    Several months later, yet another reboot.

    The only thing that works: Stop playing blizzard games.

    • Daniel De Tomasi

      Thanks!!!!!
      Selecting Physx adapter instead of automatic worked for me!

  • Vishal Rooplall

    So my problem, whenever i launched the game the minute i click play or options pc just shuts down, i’ll then have to flip my psu switch off and then back on before the system can start up other than that my pc won’t start up. I honestly don’t think its my gpu or psu cause i’ve been playing other games that OW. This use to happen before and i taught my cpu was overheating so i ended up getting a all in one liquid cooler played the game for a few days then this started happening i’m currently trying some of these steps, can’t seem to mess with the game settings since whenever i try it shuts my pc down, i’ll try changing it thought nvidia G experience

  • Aiden

    Hey sunny Hoi so I did every solution but the problem is still here some times it works for 1-2 hours but other times it freezes mid game my temperature of my pc is about 60 ish and i have a nivida will there he any other solution? Thanks

    • You should do a clean install of your Windows operating system and check your power supply unit for any issues.

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