Crysis Tweak Guide

[Page 3] Troubleshooting Tips

This section contains specific troubleshooting tips which address many of the common problems experienced by players. I can't stress enough the importance of taking the time to go through the checklist of advice below if you're having a problem with the game.

Click to enlarge

Official Support: The first place to look for official support details is in the Readme.txt file in your \Program Files\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Support directory, as it contains important details like the minimum hardware requirements for the game, as well as known issues. Next, you should check the Official EA Support Site for more details of known issues and solutions. Finally, you can get community tech support via the Official Crysis Forums, as well as fan sites such as the InCrysis Forums.

Patch Problems: Some users are having problems installing the latest patch, such as seeing Error 1334 - this appears to be a bug in the installer. The main solutions include changing your Crysis introductory movie files back to their original names and location before patching (See Conclusion section for the intro movie file names and locations), and also uninstalling Crysis completely, rebooting and then reinstalling it again and attempting to patch. In particular see this thread for official solutions from Crytek for all patch-related problems.

The Latest Graphics Drivers: One of the easiest ways of gaining performance in Crysis, as well as resolving any problems you may be having, is to use the latest available graphics drivers for your system. See my ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide or Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide for details on where to download the latest graphics drivers and how to install them 'cleanly'. Given the overwhelming and continuing popularity of Crysis and Crysis Warhead, major hardware manufacturers are well aware of its importance and are willing to constantly optimize their drivers to perform as well as possible in Crysis and Warhead, and quickly fix any outstanding bugs, so always grab the latest ones, even if they're beta drivers.

32-bit vs. 64-bit: Crytek have specifically mentioned that Crysis should run better under a 64-bit environment, and the streaming texture system is automatically disabled under 64-bit since it can manage larger amounts of memory. Most people and official benchmarks agree that Crysis runs at least 10-15% faster under 64-bit. Fortunately if you have a 64-bit operating system installed, such as Windows 7 64-bit, then the Crysis shortcut installed in Games Explorer will launch the 64-bit version of Crysis by default. If you attempt to manually launch Crysis64.exe directly, it won't work - the correct link to launch the 64-bit version of Crysis is the Crysis.exe file found under the \Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Bin64\ directory. Alternatively, if you want to launch the 32-bit version instead, you can either create a new Desktop shortcut to \Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Bin32\Crysis.exe, or edit the Games Explorer shortcut using the instructions in the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion.

SLI/Crossfire Setups: The Crysis demo does not properly support multi-GPU setups like SLI or Crossfire, but the full version of the game does as long as you use the latest graphics drivers and importantly, also use the latest patch (See page 4). You can try experimenting with the r_MultiGPU command in the Advanced Tweaking section to see if disabling or forcing multi-GPU support on your system has any benefit.

Lag: If you are getting a 'laggy' (unresponsive, or delayed reaction) feeling when playing Crysis, consider the following: in almost all cases lag is caused or exacerbated by low framerates. In either Singleplayer or Multiplayer, check your FPS using either the r_DisplayInfo 1 command, or FRAPS, and if it is often dipping below 15-20 FPS, or even more, especially during heavy combat or around certain special effects (e.g. ice), you will usually experience some lag. The only solution is to lower your settings and adjust command variables until your FPS rises. If you're experiencing lag only in online multiplayer, then press the TAB key and check your Ping value, shown in the far right column next to your player name. This value represents the total time in milliseconds for the game data to be sent to the server and back to your machine - the higher the value, the more laggy your online gameplay will be, so always choose servers with Ping times lower than around 100 if possible.

Defragmenting: Crysis is a large game, and as with most games these days, it is very important that you run a defragmentation program after installing the game (and after any patches or drivers) to reduce stuttering and loading issues. The normal Windows defragmenter is fine, however to get an even better result consider a commercial defragmentation package. More details are in the Drive Optimization chapter of the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion. Defragmenting is a critical step in reducing in-game stuttering.

Background Programs: The game's developers recommend that you disable all background applications - especially virus, trojan and spyware scanners and messaging utilities. These applications can and do use up valuable CPU resources, take up precious RAM, cause memory conflicts and crashes to desktop, but most importantly they interfere with read/writes to your hard drive effectively slowing it down and causing in-game stuttering. Full instructions on how to identify your startup programs and services and how to correctly disable unnecessary ones are in the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion. This is an important step you should not miss as it has a major impact on the smoothness and stability of the game.

Overclocking: Crysis can be sensitive to overclocking. If you've overclocked any components on your system and are having problems such as crashes, reboots and graphical anomalies, the first thing to do is set everything back to default speeds and try running the game. If you don't experience the same problems at default speed, or they're reduced in severity, then your overclock is the primary culprit. Either permanently reduce your overclock and/or increase cooling to regain stability. Don't assume that because other games run with stability at a particular speed that Crysis will do the same.

Heat Issues: Because Crysis is such a complex and stressful game, even if you don't overclock your system you will have to keep an eye on temperatures to make sure that your system doesn't crash or experience graphical anomalies through excessive heat. Most crashes that I've seen are to do with overheating systems - you will need to ensure plenty of air runs through your case so all your components can remain cool, and that any dust is cleared out regularly.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to follow the advice on this, and the previous page. Make absolutely sure that you take the time to go through the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion, because that alone will make the biggest different to the stability, performance and smoothness of Crysis. I realise most of you are after a patch or a tweak which will make all these steps unnecessary, but the reality is that Crysis is still an advanced game which is so demanding, it requires an optimized system to run smoothly and without issues. It may be boring to go through the TGTC for example, but it will give the biggest rewards to those who do, both in terms of performance and stability.

The remainder of this guide goes into more specific settings and tweaks which can help you better understand how the game works, and in turn improve your performance and customize it to suit your needs.