Returnal fatal error - how to fix crashing and get back in the game

Returnal fatal error fight against boss

Returnal fatal error fight against boss

Sometimes fear creeps up on you when you least expect it. No, we're not talking about playing the latest horror title, but the fear of crippling bugs ruining your quiet night of gaming. This is what happened with the Returnal fatal error, the game crashing on many gamers without warning.

The game developed by Housemarque is indeed a third-person shooter with roguelike and bullet hell elements that has been turning heads and having gamers excited everywhere.

But the worst thing that can happen is having your Returnal experience crippled by a fatal error. So let's see what to do to fix it.

How to fix Returnal fatal error

Despite several updates to the game, the problem still seems to rear its ugly head. The first thing you could do is check the integrity of your Steam files, this is done by:

  • Opening your Steam Library, select Returnal;
  • Right-click on it and select Properties;
  • Head to the "Local files" tab and select "Verify Integrity of Game Files".

Check if Steam finds something weird in the files. If everything seems to be fine, you might try a little bit of a trickier fix, by switching to DirectX 11. This is how to do it:

  • Go into the Steam library again and right-click on Returnal;
  • Under "Properties" go into "Launch options" and add "-dx11".

This will force the game to run under DirectX 11 which will disable some visual effects, such as Ray tracing, but should make the error show up quite less than before.

Also, if your GPU is overclocked you might think about bringing it back to the base values. Finally, check that your latest video drivers are installed on your machine, as that also might fix some of the issues.

What is Returnal fatal error?

The crash seems to be difficult to explain and replicate. Basically, many gamers are reporting that Returnal is randomly crashing into various areas of the game, sometimes in the cutscenes, and other times during boss fights. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when or why it happens.

Luckily, Housemarque is already aware of the problem and is working on a fix, but until a patch has been released to address the specific problem, all you can do is try some of the fixes we have listed above.

That is all we have for you for Returnal fatal error. If you're looking for more info on the game, check if it's on Steam Deck, and the best settings.

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