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Game Is Crashing / Game Won't Start (PC/Mac/Linux)

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2019 05:39PM PST
General Game Troubleshooting Guide

If you are having an issue that affects your ability to play the game such as major graphical issues, crashing issues, or performance problems, there are a few steps you can take before reporting the problem.

Video Memory:
Players with video cards under 256 MB will experience intermittent crashing issues (or not start) as Don't Starve requires video cards with at least 256 MB or over for Dedicated RAM.

Verify Integrity of Game Files on Steam
  • Missing Textures
  • Crashes

Often the problems that users are experiencing are a result of their local game files being either corrupted, or incompletely downloaded from Steam. These problems include missing textures or effects, or crashing when loading specific areas or items; while the rest of the game generally runs fine.

Fortunately there is an easy way to verify and fix these files.
  • Go to your Steam Library
  • Right-click on "Don't Starve"
  • Select "Properties"
  • Select "Local Files" tab
  • Click the "Verify Integrity of Game Files" button
  • When the process is complete, launch Don't Starve

(From Steam's online support:​)

Check your drivers - First, check to make sure that your drivers are up-to-date. Do some searching to verify that you have the latest driver versions available.

Check your system specs - Make sure your system meets the requirements. If it does not, you are still welcome to file a report; just make sure to let us know what the specs are.

Disable or Delete Mods - It could be that one or more of the mods you have installed is causing an issue with your game. Try disabling or temporarily deleting your mods to see if that resolves your issue. Also, please check that the mod you are trying to use is compatible with your version of the game. 

Security software - Unfortunately malware, firewall and virus protection programs can be a bit unpredictable at times. Try disabling anything you have running then try running the game again.

3rd-party software - Pop-up blockers, ad-blockers, and other types of software running in the background can sometimes cause problems. Turn off anything you have running in the background then try running the game again.

Dual-Card Setup - If you have two graphics cards installed, it may be that your integrated card is trying to run the game instead of your dedicated card. If you have an NVIDIA or AMD/ATI card installed, go into your NVIDIA or CCC Control Panel and force your card to run Don't Starve. It should be called the "Dedicated" card. 

RivaTuner /  MSI Afterburner - If your system is displaying a black screen when trying to launch Don't Starve, Check to see if RivaTuner Statistics server or the MSI Afterburner software are running in the background. If so, close down these software as they are known to conflict with the game.

Windows Administrative Permissions

Please ensure that your Windows User Account has been set to allow the Steam client (and the game .exe) the proper administrative permissions it needs to read/write to the hard drive. 

1) Run the Steam client as an Administrator 
- Fully close out of Steam and restart your computer.
- After restarting your computer, right-click on the Steam icon > select "Run as Administrator"
- If that does not work, go to step #2.

2a) Run Don't Starve as an Administrator (If you are on standalone)
- Run Don't Starve's .exe file (dontstarve_steam.exe) as an administrator in your game folders (\Steam\steamapps\common\dont_starve\bin\dontstarve_steam.exe)
- Right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator"


2b) Run Don't Starve as an Administrator (If you are on Steam)
- On your Steam game library list, right-click on Don't Starve and choose "Properties"
- On the Properties window, select the "Local Files" tab and click "Browse Local Files"
- On the Local Files folder for Don't Starve, go to Bin > right-click on dontstarve_steam.exe and choose "Run as Administrator"

You may want to try re-running installers if:
  • I can't start the game
  • .exe program crashes
  • I get a black screen

To re-install VCredist in folder:
  • C:\Program FIles\Steam\steamapps\common\dont_starve\VCRedist\VCRedist_x86.exe

To re-install DXSetup in folder:
  • C:\Progarm FIles\Steam\steamapps\common\dont_starve\DXRedist\DXSETUP.exe

After re-installing both VCRedist and DXSetup, try running the game again.

Configure NVIDIA Control Panel if:
  • You notice slow performance on your laptop using NVIDIA graphics
  • You encounter red outlines
  • You encounter a dark screen
  • Your game color turns green

Some laptops with NVIDIA graphics actually contain two graphics chips; an Intel integrated chip for power-saving and a dedicated NVIDIA chip for high-performance uses such as gaming. Your graphics driver will detect which chip to use based on the program that you're running, but may not correctly detect that the high performance chip is required to run Don't Starve.

You can manually set the game to run in high-performance mode, which can improve performance significantly by:
  • Going to the NVIDIA Control Panel by right-clicking on your desktop and choosing "NVIDIA Control Panel"
  • Select "Manage 3D Settings" on the left-hand list, and the "Program Settings" tab on the right-hand side
  • Under "1.Select a program to customize:" hit the "Add" button
  • From here, navigate to the folder when your Steam games are located
    Probably C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps\common\dontstarve\bin
  • Select "game.exe" and hit open
  • Then, under "2.Select the preferred graphics processor for this program:" open the drop-down menu and select "High-performance NVIDIA processor"
  • Finally, hit apply in the far bottom right corner.

​Your system should now use the high-performance graphics chip the next time you run Don't Starve.

Integrated Graphics
If you are running the game with integrated graphics, please make sure to check this option in the NVIDIA control panel as well. *Note that the NVIDIA Control Panel may display the name of the game incorrectly, but the icon should be identifiable as Don't Starve.

If you know that you have an NVIDIA or AMD Radeon card that meets Don't Starve's specs, but you're still unable to run the game, you may have to force your graphics card to run instead of your integrated card. Go to your NVIDIA Control Panel or Radeon Catalyst Control Panel and force your NVIDIA/Radeon card to run whenever you're playing Don't Starve. It should be called the "Dedicated" card.

Configure Radeon Card if:
  • You notice slow performance on a laptop with ATI graphics
  • Your game displays red outline 
  • You encounter a dark screen
  • or your game color turns green

​​In Catalyst Control Center (CCC) under "Use application configuration," check anisotropic filtering.

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