Common problems and resolutions

Ask here if you experience technical problems with X³: Terran Conflict, X³: Albion Prelude or X³: Farnham's Legacy.

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Common problems and resolutions

Post by CBJ » Mon, 20. Oct 08, 23:41

Post Subject: Common Problems and Resolutions

Game Crashes, Freezes or Lags.

There are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available under the Egosoft website Home, Support, FAQ, Technical Support tab for your game that advise what actions to take if your game crashes, lags badly or freezes and what to include when reporting such issues.

Checking your game installation and updates/patches.

For Steam-maintained game versions, there is an FAQ to assist you to check and possibly repair your game installation and updates. It is usually worth taking this action and trying the game again before reporting the issue.

For DVD versions, it is often worth downloading and installing the latest complete patch (eg 1.0.1 – 3.x) over the top of your current game to replace and repair all non-core gamefiles and all patches. This action might resolve a DVD installation issue such as failure to start or reportedly corrupt previous gamesaves. This action will also resolve any issues such as the game demanding a DVD in the drive, an update to a TAGES driver, or game loading issues when using certain makes of optical drive that have had issues with TAGES.

Combined AMD cpu/apu Users.

Users of the new combined AMD cpu/apu processors are advised to update their BIOS to the latest version (even possibly a Beta version) using the tools on the motherboard/laptop support disk. There are random CTD issues with X-games if using the original factory-set BIOS.

Illegible Text at High Resolutions

If text looks as if it is written on a tube with the top and bottom of the characters fading away, then look in your graphics card control panel under gaming 3D settings, and see if 'Morphological Filtering' is set to on. If so, turning it off may improve text legibility.

Codec Issues.

Codecs are pieces of code similar to drivers that ensure that video and audio are handled in a way that suits the application being used. The X-games are written to expect and use standard Windows Media Player (WMP) codecs. Many other applications, media players & converters and codec packs that you can install, sometimes without even knowing such as with film DVDs that auto-install players, bring along their own different brands of codecs. The well-behaved ones are used only by their respective parent applications but unfortunately some are written to appear as replacements for the WMP ones at all times, probably to save their applications having to use codec detection and management code.

Some codecs are known to cause issues with X-games by being called instead of WMP ones. These can cause blank screens at gamestart, no music and/or voices, garbled or noisy sound in-game, or lags and low frame-rates while playing. Some bespoke codec suppliers, like Ffdshow, can be set so as not to use their codecs with X-games and there is a Sticky Thread at the top of this forum to advise how to do that. Others can only be prevented from harming X-games by being removed through uninstalling the application or codec pack (eg k-lite, CCCP, etc) that installed them, else they will be reinstalled by the application if individually removed.

The list of known codecs harmful to X-games includes, but is not restricted to, Ffdshow, Haali, Nero, ULead, Cyberlink, MainConcept and Viscomsoft. Typically it is specific audio and/or video codecs that cause issues such as the MainConcept/Magix mpegin.dll.

At least one user has reported that the digital TV application ProgDVB and its codec to cause crash issues with X3AP.

At least one user has reported that the DivX media application causes short freeze issues when music changes in X3AP.

For XP Operating System (OS) users, it is usually advised to reinstall the latest version of Windows Media Player (WMP) after making any codec changes.

Surroundsound and EAX Issues.

X-games use DirectSound and EAX sound standards as recommended during the XP OS era. Unfortunately that sound standard is no longer supported directly in Vista or later OSs. Those with the newer OSs and older soundcards or even with modern onboard sound chipsets may find that using surroundsound 5.1/7.1 speaker layouts does not give a good output, typically with most sound appearing through the centre speaker only. In such cases experimenting with digital outputs or reverting to quadraphonic/4.0/4.1 speaker layout in the sound control panel (only for playing an X-game) may provide acceptable sound quality in-game. There are surroundsound and EAX emulation softwares available to overcome these issues (ALchemy for Creative and 3D SoundBack/Nahimic 2 for RealTek) but some users have reported game stability and performance issues when using these applications.

Turbo Key Mapping.

Several users have reported CTDs when, or shortly after, using the Turbo hotkey if mapped to a joystick or mouse button. These CTDs can be avoided by remapping the Turbo hotkey to a keyboard key as this method seems quite stable.

Repeatable Freeze at the Same Point in Game Time after Loading a Gamesave (Manual Trader).

If you experience a repeatable game freeze at the same point in game time after loading a gamesave, then check whether you have any traders set to manual trade. Under certain rare trading conditions, these can cause a game freeze at the time of docking and on trying to make the trade. Cancelling the trade command for all manual traders before the time of the freeze should determine whether or not this is the cause in your case.

Updating Device Drivers.

Besides keeping your OS up to date, it is recommended that you keep your graphics and audio drivers fully up to date to take advantage of current OS and Service Pack optimisations. For such peripheral devices, use the sites for your system manufacturer or the device/chipset manufacturer involved (the latter is usually the more up to date) to look for updates for your OS-version device rather than rely on Windows Update to try to keep you up to date.

If you have legacy or no-longer supported devices it may be time to consider upgrading if the outputs are not acceptable. Some specific issues with X-games may exist with some hardware device options (eg ASUS Xonar soundcard GX and its associated codecs) and these will be identified to you when you report the issue.

Problematic Display Applications.

Some users have experienced problems when starting X3AP through getting "Error opening video, check your display settings." messages. For some, these issues have disappeared when an application such as 'Duet Display' (an app that allows an iPad to be used as a secondary display) has been uninstalled.

Reinstalling the Game.

If you wish to reinstall the game, such as you suspect bad corruption through malware, external influences or editing, or you just want to remove 3rd party scripts or mods, then the following action is recommended. Uninstall the game using the uninstaller or Steam ‘delete local files’. Now navigate to the game program folder and manually delete the program folder specific to that game to remove all corrupt and 3rd party files that the uninstaller will not recognise and remove. Reinstall the game (or verify if Steam). Afterwards, consider clearing the virtual store in case of leftover cache files. There are FAQs under the Technical Support tab for your game explaining how to do Steam gamefile cache verification and how to clear the Virtual Store. You should now have an unmodified or vanilla copy of the game installed.

Do not forget to reinstall the latest relevant Bonus Packs (where previously used) to be able to continue your vanilla gamesaves. If your previous gamesaves were not vanilla then it is likely that they will not work with a vanilla reinstall but will need the same 3rd party scripts and mods installed to be used further.

<Updated by Alan Phipps, 08 Jan 2013, 17 Apr 2013, 02 Feb 2017, 10 Mar 2017, 06 May 2018 & 08 Sep 2018>


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