Gaming Features stub

Dark Souls III Crash Fixes: SLI Micro-Stutter, 60FPS Lock, Save Location

Posted on April 4, 2016

We've just posted an overall positive review of FromSoftware's Dark Souls III, a game which we found highly rewarding and challenging, but were critical of its PC port. Some of the issues disclosed in that review spoke of hardware and framerate issues.

Dark Souls III had crashing (CTD) issues, micro-stutter and choppiness in cut-scenes, an immutable 60FPS cap, and difficulties saving keybindings. We look at some fixes for these issues today while pointing-out graphics settings and save file locations.

Dark Souls III Micro-Stutter and FPS Drops

If you're seeing rapid flickering of graphics, almost as if it's being rendered stereoscopically and overlaid (but isn't), that might be “micro-stutter.” We encountered micro-stutter in Dark Souls III when using SLI and CrossFire configurations. We'd advise first updating GPU drivers to see if the issue has been resolved since this posting. It's best to perform a clean installation of the new driver set, rather than just installing new drivers on top of the old. This can be done by:

  • Download newest GPU driver for AMD or NVIDIA card

  • Download DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller)

  • Extract & run, accept prompt to reboot to safe mode

  • Remove driver which corresponds to your GPU

  • Boot, install new drivers

  • Restart

If micro-stutter persists in Dark Souls III, we'd next suggest disabling SLI or CrossFire and running on a single card. This is what we did in our pre-release review process, as we couldn't get SLI working on dual 980 Ti cards.

The good news is that the game is fairly simplistic in its graphical presentation, so most configurations will still run the game reliably.

Can't Save Keybindings in Dark Souls III

It was almost comical when, after fighting through menu navigation by using “Q” and “E” (instead of escape/exit), we couldn't even save the corrected keybindings. There's an option to change them – but the save button didn't work.

That was fixed in a day-one patch. If you have manual patching enabled, launch Steam (or appropriate service) and force the game to pull down the latest patch. In the top left of the System page, check that the game is on version 1.01 or later. This will resolve keybinding issues.

Dark Souls III Save File Location

The save file for Dark Souls III is located in the following Windows directory:


There will be an alphanumeric folder in the “DarkSoulsIII” directory. The save file is located therein.

Dark Souls III Graphics XML File Location & Default Settings

The Dark Souls III GraphicsConfig.xml file – used in some below steps – can be found in the same location:


If your graphics file becomes corrupted or tweaks have broken the game, you've got two options: (1) Delete the file (back it up first!) and use Steam's “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” button to re-acquire a fresh one, or (2) fix the file by restoring settings. You can find our file below (add < to the front of each line):


This is also where you can manually change windowed mode screen size for Dark Souls III.

Dark Souls III Crashing, CTDs, & Black Screens / Flickering

The day one patch resolved most of our game crashing issues on the 970M, 390X / AMD 300 series, and NVIDIA GTX 900 series cards. As above, force a pull-down of that patch if experiencing CTDs (“Dark Souls III Stopped Responding”). The next step would be to verify the integrity of game cache, as below:

  • On Steam Library page, right-click on Dark Souls III and choose “Properties”

  • Navigate to Local tab

  • Verify Integrity of Game Cache

Allow any missing files to be re-acquired (fixes most crashing issues).

If experiencing black screen crashes or screen flickering, first pull the latest drivers and cleanly install them (as above). Next, disable any multi-GPU technology and troubleshoot to see if the issue is resolved. If you've still got problems, it may be the case that the graphics file is loading settings which are inappropriate for the card or are throwing errors. Try deleting and re-acquiring the Graphics XML file (as above).

If you're experiencing other Dark Souls III crashing issues or bugs, post them below with any solutions you've found so that future readers may benefit! As always, consider helping us through our Patreon page if this content helped you.

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke