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Borderlands: Pre-Sequel Crash Fixes – Black Screens, Lag, Tearing, & Low FPS Drops

Posted on October 15, 2014

The release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel saw our staff benchmarking the game's framerate performance across various graphics cards, as always. We'd already previewed the gameplay mechanics of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel at PAX, but now that the game's released, it's time to resolve some of the most common crash fixes. This is something we do regularly for major releases, including Watch Dogs and Titanfall in previous launch cycles.


As with most major launches these days, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel suffers from some flickering, crashing & CTDs, black screens, freezes, and PhysX issues. This guide will help resolve a few of the issues we've uncovered thus far.

Hidden Mouse Cursor – Mouse Doesn't Show Up in Borderlands

We discovered this issue upon initial load of the game. If a gamepad is connected to the system at time of launch, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will hide the mouse cursor in favor of analog stick movement. Disconnect USB-powered controller devices to reveal the cursor.

Black Screen when Launching Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel

We sustained one black screen when launching Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel in our GPU benchmarking. The following steps were conducted to resolve the issue:

  • Verify the integrity of the game cache in Steam (right-click the game > Properties > Local Files > Verify Cache).
  • Update to the latest beta drivers for AMD or nVidia, depending on your video card.
  • Re-launch the game.

If you're still having issues and you're running a CrossFire or SLI setup, consider disabling CrossFire/SLI and running the game on a single GPU instead.

Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel FPS Drops, Low FPS, & Lag

If you're experience video lag (not network lag) in BLPS, it's possible that the drivers need to be updated or that the video device is not supported by BLPS. Borderlands will run on almost any video card, as we tested in our benchmark (even the $75 R7 250X does fine). Still, it'll struggle with IGPs (like Intel's HD4000/4600) and other similar low-end devices.

If you're running on a low-end device, we'd recommend the following settings to partially resolve framerate drops (assuming 1080 resolution):

  • Framerate max: Unlimited is fine.
  • Anisotropic Filtering: Off (0x).
  • Bullet Decals: Low.
  • Foliage distance: Near/close.
  • Texture Quality: Lowest possible. Try medium if you can run it.
  • Game detail: Low.
  • AO: Off.
  • DOF: Off.
  • FXAA: Off.
  • (If available) PhysX: Low.
  • View Distance: Medium (if possible) or low.

Micro-Stuttering in Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel

If using CrossFireX, it's possible that you will encounter some micro-stuttering or texture flickering while playing Borderlands. SLI should be working perfectly fine at this point, thanks to profiles by nVidia. Make sure you've updated to the latest drivers to support SLI.

If still experiencing micro-stuttering with a multi-GPU array, the only present solution is to disable the array and run single-GPU.

Borderlands Multiplayer Network Negotiation Issues

There may be some NAT or failures to connect to multiplayer with Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel. Short of using Hamachi to create a virtual LAN and piggyback off a friend's connection, make sure your router's firewall is making exceptions for Borderlands, forward relevant ports, and make exceptions in anti-virus software.

Previous ports used by the Borderlands series include 6500, 7777-7787, and 27900-29900 on TCP & UDP. We are yet unsure of the Pre-Sequel ports, but they're likely the same or similar.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel PhysX Doesn't Work

First make sure that PhysX actually isn't working. The first few missions won't really see use of physical effects in game, so you won't truly know the difference until you've secured yourself some rocket launchers. If PhysX is not an available option, it's because you're not using a compatible nVidia video card to play the game. Integrated graphics processors and AMD devices are not compatible with PhysX, and so the option will be unavailable to users of such devices.

If you have an nVidia device and it's still not there, make sure the latest drivers are installed and ensure that you're on a compatible PhysX nVidia GPU. If using a laptop, it may be the case that your IGP is being used to play Borderlands instead of the discrete video card, given the high performance of the game. You'll have to force the dGPU to be used in this instance.

Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel Won't Launch (Steam)

Steam has an issue with games sometimes where it won't properly install DirectX and other Microsoft libraries prior to launch. If this is the case, you'll need to manually update DirectX. Try deleting the game's BIN folder and verifying the integrity of the cache with Steam; this will reacquire the folder and should prompt an install of Dx or other libraries.

Borderlands NPCs Stuck, NPC Disappeared, & NPC Stuck in Elevator

We had issues in the tutorial (and later levels) where NPCs would get stuck in objects (like elevators) when escorting them. We've also had issues with Jack and other NPCs disappearing upon getting stuck or re-loading the game. Sometimes we were able to resolve this by quitting and re-launching the game, but other times the bug still persisted; in order to fix it even when persisting, I'd go get myself killed and re-spawn, which seemed to get the NPC unstuck or re-drawn.

Let us know if you find any other issues that you need help with!

- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.