Gaming Features stub

Assassin's Creed Unity Crash Fixes: Black Screens, Lag, Stuttering, & Low FPS Drops

Posted on November 12, 2014

There hasn't been a game release lately that didn't warrant a “crash fixes” post, to include Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Watch_Dogs. Assassin's Creed Unity now joins the ranks of buggy game launches, though it's not nearly as bad as some of the previous titles we've worked with. While reviewing the game and performing our GPU benchmark, we revealed several PC-centric errors and crash fixes that needed swift resolution.


This quick guide will look at Assassin's Creed Unity's black screen crashes, minimizing to desktop, CTDs, lag, stuttering, network connectivity issues, and FPS drops.

Our Other Assassin's Creed Content

Before getting started, here are our most relevant ACU articles:

Assassin's Creed Unity Won't Download

We had recurring issues when using uPlay to download Assassin's Creed Unity, including frozen downloads and low bitrate (1.3KB/s) downloads. As the game distances itself from launch, the servers will continue to increase in speed and downloads should speed up. If your download freezes, we found that completely closing and re-opening uPlay helped resolve this issue; it was sometimes necessary to log off of the Windows user account and log back in, completely killing any remnant uPlay processes.

It may also be the case that you've got a bandwidth cap in the uPlay settings, which would be desirable in the event your ISP limits the amount of data consumed each month. ACU is nearly 50GB, which may be enough to trigger some bandwidth limits.

Assassin's Creed Unity Won't Launch or Goes Black

My first experience testing ACU was met with failure to launch. I clicked “play” in uPlay, the game presumably launched, and then it instantly minimized itself and was impossible to restore. First, you'll have to kill the game's process in task manager (search for “acu.exe” in the processes tab). Once killed, restart uPlay and try to launch the game again.

If Assassin's Creed still launches unsuccessfully, verify the integrity of the game's cache through the uPlay interface.

Still failing? Try updating your video card device drivers to the most recent version and ensuring your system specs match the requirements.

Assassin's Creed Unity Random Frame Drops

For those experiencing “random” frame drops even on high-end video cards and hardware, it's possible that the game hasn't yet fully completed its download. UPlay will allow players to launch Assassin's Creed Unity before the download has fully completed. The idea is that you'll be allowed to play up until the point that files are missing, but it doesn't always work properly. Frame stuttering and framerate drops / video lag will occur if the game is downloading and unpacking files critical to the scene you're currently occupying. The only solution to this is patience.

If frame drops are still occurring and the game isn't downloading anything, we've found that AMD devices on the 14.11.11 beta drivers (and 14.9) struggle with sporadic, brief freezes (less than a second in duration) and stuttering. There is no known solution for this at the time of writing.

Try disabling anti-aliasing and lowering the shadow settings and texture resolution; it's possible that video cards with lower VRAM capacity will exhibit framerate drops if caching-out of memory.

Assassin's Creed Unity: “ACU.exe has stopped working” freeze / crash

To fix ACU.exe not responding errors, first verify the integrity of the game's cache using the uPlay (or Steam) interface to ensure that the file is not corrupt. Try navigating to the Assassin's Creed Unity install folder and renaming (or deleting) ACU.exe, then verify the cache to re-acquire the file. This will help in the event ACU.exe was corrupted during the download.

If that doesn't work, try disabling the in-game overlay in uPlay or Steam, then launch the game again.

Random Crashes & CTDs

We had a few driver crashes when testing certain video cards with Assassin's Creed Unity. All issues were resolved by performing a full, clean installation of the newest drivers after first removing the old drivers.

If you have other issues and have found other solutions, please sound off in the comments below so that other users may benefit from your experiences!

- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.