Battlefield 3 has stopped working (with fixes)
I was originally getting this message after playing for 2-3 Hours or “Battlefield 3 is not responding” even a hard lock every now and then. I believe the biggest fix to the issues I was experiencing was a combination of updating the BIOS which I hadn’t done in a couple years as well as using EVGA Precision to increase the fan speeds on my GPU. I cover off some other possible solutions lower in this post.
So the most anticipated first person shooter in many years has also become the biggest headache I’ve had in many years. The problems with a game of this magnitude are expected, however as usual EA has done an extremely poor job of communicating issues or even admitting that they are having issues for that matter. It’s not for a lack of resources either, EA has had plenty of time to promote the growing international sales of Battlefield 3 in markets such as Russia, meanwhile those of us that already purchased it get to enjoy random lag on servers and the occasional unexplainable crash or even a kick from a server (if you are lucky enough to get connected to one).
Nonetheless when you do actually get to play a map the game is everything we wanted it to be and more, so we will continue to persevere and connect to servers in the hopes of having some memorable Frags.
Obviously most of the issues with servers and BattleLog are out of your control but here are a few things you can try if you continue to have issues with the game crashing/freezing.
Common Fixes - Battlefield 3′s Frostbite 2 engine pushes computers to their limits, here are some possible fixes if your computer can’t take the heat.
- Update your BIOS to the latest version – This can increase stability when your system is under load by ensuring things like your CPU voltages and RAM timings are set correctly.
- Update all drivers – Most people know to update their graphics drivers from NVIDIA or ATI but other drivers can cause stability issues as well, ensure you are running the latest audio/network and motherboard drivers on your system to improve performance and reduce crashes.
- Monitor your temperatures – Since Battlefield 3 requires everything it can get out of a modern computer you need to ensure your CPU and GPU temperatures aren’t climbing to dangerous levels. Most GPU manufacturers supply utilities for monitoring your card and adjusting fan speeds, I use EVGA Precision on my GTX285 and it works wonders. You can also use a utility like Real Temp to monitor your temperatures while you game http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/ some of these utilities provide a OSD so you can overlay your temps on top of BF3 or do as I do and put them on a second monitor. The general rule of thumb is to not let your temps exceed 80C the lower the better. If you can manually adjust the fan speeds on your case/cpu/gpu turning the fan speeds up to 80-100% will help ensure you don’t overheat.
- Reduce the clockspeeds on your GPU – If after monitoring your temperatures and adjusting fan speeds you continue to have issues this may be a viable option to increase the stability of your system. Many graphics cards ship pre-overclocked from manufacturers, this does not mean that the card can run at 100% for extended periods without having issues so reducing the clockspeed of your GPU (even by as little as 5-10Mhz) can make a big difference when it comes to temperatures and stability.
- Clean your computer – It is always a good practice to clean the dust out of heatsinks to ensure they are operating at their maximum efficiency so pick up a can of compressed air and clean your computer!
- Re-Apply Thermal Paste – If you have followed all the steps above and you continue to have temperature issues you may need to re-apply thermal paste, make sure you use a quality thermal paste like Arctic Silver and only use a small amount for maximum cooling efficiency.
- Re-Install Windows -If the above steps provide you with no relief then re-installing Windows might be the solution, I have heard reports from multiple people that were having issues with BF3 crashing to desktop or simply not running at all that had to re-install Windows. This may be something you want to consider, especially if it has been quite some time since you last performed a re-install.
- Update Punkbuster – Lots of BF3 players have been getting kicked from servers the last couple of days, if this has happened to you try updating your PunkBuster manually by going here.
If you have any other suggestions for improving the BF3 playing experience please feel free to share your comments.