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Info Needed Fallout Crash Guide

kinggath

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I'm starting to put together a guide on everything I've learned about the different types of crashes that can occur with Fallout.

As many of you have probably noticed, I hit the breaks on my bi-weekly patches, this is why. The number of folks having crashes is just too damn high! So I'm gathering tons of intel and have already made several major improvements to Sim Settlements for the next version.

Not all of the crashes folks are experiencing are caused by SS, but any that are, I want to identify and resolve. I'm also improving the SS code based on what I'm learning to make it less likely to trigger these issues.

Below are some of the different types of crashes, how you can test if you have that crash, and what you can do to try and fix it.


1. System Overload Crash:

Your game is just overwhelmed. These are the types of crashes many Xbox players experience in Downtown Boston. There's just so much stuff loaded into memory that the engine gives out.

This can happen in settlements as well, especially those using Sim Settlements, because the build limit is being ignored and many objects are being created while you're away.

Test: If this is the type of crash you have, it will be very inconsistent, sometimes when you repeat steps it won't still happen.

What Can I Do?: Check out the Improving Performance guide which has a lot of potential changes you can make to reduce the load on your game. https://simsettlements.com/web/wiki/index.php?title=Performance



2. Physics/LOD Crash:

The game is struggling to process something such as updating the LOD models to show you the higher detail as you approach, or some sort of moveable object has gotten stuck in a spot where it's processing the physics infinitely.

Test: If you're experiencing this crash, it will be repeatable from a save as you approach a particular area.

What Can I Do?: Fast travel away from the area as far as you can and then return (if you're playing Survival, there are mods to enable it you can use temporarily). Usually this is enough for the engine to load the assets in a different order and avoid the crash.


3. AI Nav Crash:

The game can't find completable paths for your NPCs that are trying to reach a target and continues to try forever to find them one.

Test: If you're experiencing this crash, it will be very intermittant, but will usually be foreshadowed by your FPS dropping to a crawl right before it happens. On PC, running the tai console command will turn off AI, doing so before you enter a problem area will prevent this issue if it was this type of crash.

What Can I Do?: If the issue is in your settlements, you can send some of your settlers to other settlements so that you don't have so many in the same spot.

If you're using Place Everywhere, check that you didn't sink any of your assignable objects too low.

If you're using Scrap Everything and have removed any major structures, you will end up with not only problems in the navmesh, but also tons of extra stress on your system. I've seen so many issues with Scrap Everything, that I've quit using it altogether. Using a settlement expansion or re-design mod is a much safer way to gain extra space without these issues. The All Settlements Extended and Clean and Simple mods are fantastic alternatives.


4. Load Order/Bad Mod Crash

The game is struggling to deal with some sort of conflict between mods.

Test: This will be a very repeatable crash, you should be able to follow a particular series of steps to make it happen. If you're experiencing this crash, disabling all of your mods will make this go away (just uncheck them in the load order screen, or the plugins tab of NMM, no need to actually uninstall them!).

What Can I Do?:
PC users, try using LOOT to see if the actual order your mods are loaded is the problem.

Try the half-split method to identify the particular mod that's causing your issue. To do this, enable exactly half of your mods, then load your game and attempt to repeat the crash. If you can still crash the game, you have loaded the "bad half", otherwise, your other mods are your "bad half". Now load half of the "bad half", try crashing the game again and identify the "bad half" of the first "bad half". Keep repeating this until you find the problem mod. This will only take a max of 8 tries.

Once you've identified the problem mod, try placing it at the top of your load order, now test again, if that still doesn't work - move it to the bottom. If it works in neither place, either disable it for this character or check the mod's page to see if they have any advice on load order.


If you find Sim Settlements to be your problem mod and you happen to be on PC, you've got a priceless piece of research material on your hands! Upload your .fos save file to dropbox.com, then send a link to the save to me through the forums along with a description of what I can do to replicate the crash.


5. Corrupt Save

The save file has had something go horribly wrong. Most often this is caused by removing mods in the middle of a playthrough, but can also be caused by a mod that did something it shouldn't have, or just having a series of unfortunate sequences occur. There's a reason Bethesda warns you to use mods at your own risk and why I encourage everyone to save as much as possible!

Test: A corrupt save crash will not only be repeatable, but will still happen if you disable all of your mods.

What Can I Do?: PC Users, you can use Fallrim Tools to try and clean up the obsolete data. Xbox users.... it's time for a new character.




If I missed or incorrectly reported anything, please let me know and I'll try and keep this updated to help folks out.
 
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damanding

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6. Corrupt mesh or texture

This is more likely to be encountered by mod authors who are adding new content but it does occasionally get past mod authors quality control and published.

Test: If it is a workshop item you will consistently crash when approaching any settlement that has that item built in it either on foot or traveling via fast travel. It is harder to diagnose a corrupt mesh or texture in other parts of the game, however it will be a consistent crash when approaching any spot that has that item.

What Can I Do?: The easiest thing to do is use the same half split method used for detecting load order/mod issues that are due to reasons other than a corrupt mesh or texture. If the item is a workshop item it makes it easier because you only have to use the half split method on settlement building mods. Once you've identified the problem mod you can also identify which particular item is causing the issue but this requires knowledge of how to unpack ba2 files and how to manually install/uninstall loose mod files. Once you've unpacked any ba2 archives you can use the half split method to install the loose mesh, texture and material files to find the corrupt file. If you do identify a mod with a corrupt mesh or texture file the polite thing to do would be to send a PM or file a bug report with the mod author and explain the half split process you used to identify which file is an issue (this lets the mod author know you did due diligence in identifying the problem versus simply blaming the last mod loaded).

7. Papyrus Logging

I personally got hit with this one just recently. I had a stable game with no issues for weeks, then all of a sudden I started having crazy high amounts of crashing. I literally couldn't go 10-15 minutes without crashing. Point is that it may start randomly for no apparent reason.

Test: Start a brand new game with no mods loaded. If you're still crashing and you have papyrus logging enabled, this is most likely the cause.

What can I do?: Disable papyrus logging. Leave it off unless Kinggath or a member of the support team requests papyrus log files or you are a mod author in active mod development and need the info.
 
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Drask

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Is anyone else getting a fallout4.exe/MSVCR110.dll error in their event viewer after the crash? It would be under Windows Logs-Application-Error(marked in red).

Post system specs if you do please.
 
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drizzan

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6. Corrupt mesh or texture

This is more likely to be encountered by mod authors who are adding new content but it does occasionally get past mod authors quality control and published.

Test: If it is a workshop item you will consistently crash when approaching any settlement that has that item built in it either on foot or traveling via fast travel. It is harder to diagnose a corrupt mesh or texture in other parts of the game, however it will be a consistent crash when approaching any spot that has that item.

What Can I Do?: The easiest thing to do is use the same half split method used for detecting load order/mod issues that are due to reasons other than a corrupt mesh or texture. If the item is a workshop item it makes it easier because you only have to use the half split method on settlement building mods. Once you've identified the problem mod you can also identify which particular item is causing the issue but this requires knowledge of how to unpack ba2 files and how to manually install/uninstall loose mod files. Once you've unpacked any ba2 archives you can use the half split method to install the loose mesh, texture and material files to find the corrupt file. If you do identify a mod with a corrupt mesh or texture file the polite thing to do would be to send a PM or file a bug report with the mod author and explain the half split process you used to identify which file is an issue (this lets the mod author know you did due diligence in identifying the problem versus simply blaming the last mod loaded).

If corrupt meshes or textures causes crashes it is time to start making sure everyone is on the latest patch, this is from the latest patchnotes:

1.10.50

  • Fixed corrupted textures related to reflections
  • Updated script functions to support new Creations
  • Removed Report button from Mods (Users should report Mods on Bethesda.net)

Everyone that is on an earlier patch than 1.10.50 is gonna have random crashes to corrupted textures in the vanilla game, even without mods.
From what I have read on the nexus, there are lots of people that are still on the patch before the CC, 1.9.4.
 
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Catallaxis

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The number of folks having crashes is just too damn high! So I'm gathering tons of intel and have already made several major improvements to Sim Settlements for the next version.
So what's the prognosis, Doc?

It seems like Rise of the Commonwealth is very much pushing the limits of what can be achieved with Sim Settlements. On that note, as an Xbox player, I expect the level 3 city plans to impact performance somewhat, but I'm curious to know if all the level 3 settlements have actually been tested on Xbox to ensure they are at least playable (not accounting for additional mods, of course). Am I better off just playing without RotC and building cities myself?
 

damanding

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If corrupt meshes or textures causes crashes it is time to start making sure everyone is on the latest patch, this is from the latest patchnotes:

1.10.50

  • Fixed corrupted textures related to reflections
  • Updated script functions to support new Creations
  • Removed Report button from Mods (Users should report Mods on Bethesda.net)

Everyone that is on an earlier patch than 1.10.50 is gonna have random crashes to corrupted textures in the vanilla game, even without mods.
From what I have read on the nexus, there are lots of people that are still on the patch before the CC, 1.9.4.
Which works great if the corrupted texture or mesh is from Sim Settlements specifically, however there are other published mods that are known to have corrupted meshes and textures that haven't been fixed, so its a relevant issue for other mods as well.
 

drizzan

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Which works great if the corrupted texture or mesh is from Sim Settlements specifically, however there are other published mods that are known to have corrupted meshes and textures that haven't been fixed, so its a relevant issue for other mods as well.

True, but I think it is important to ask which patch the basegame is at for every user that experiences crashes, since if you are running the game on older patches the CTD could be caused of the vanilla corrupted meshes. Because Sim Settlement uses many vanilla textures it is very important that everyone is on the latest patch 1.10.50 as of this date.

Obviously the official patch only helps for vanilla textures so mod textures are still affected. But a user running 1.9.4 is gonna have problems with both vanilla textures and mod textures, where as the user running 1.10.50 has the fix for vanilla textures atleast.

This is for PC only, since I'm guessing if you are on Xbox you don't really have a choice to not be on the latest patch. =)
 
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kinggath

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So what's the prognosis, Doc?

It seems like Rise of the Commonwealth is very much pushing the limits of what can be achieved with Sim Settlements. On that note, as an Xbox player, I expect the level 3 city plans to impact performance somewhat, but I'm curious to know if all the level 3 settlements have actually been tested on Xbox to ensure they are at least playable (not accounting for additional mods, of course). Am I better off just playing without RotC and building cities myself?
No, they definitely haven't all been checked on Xbox. Testing on Xbox is incredibly difficult (no console commands, no ability to share save files, no log files, etc). We instead have someone with a really crappy PC that tests them to make sure they don't just outright crash.

I actually have an "optimization" system in place that we haven't made use of yet, which will allow us to cut items on Xbox and lower end PCs from the City Builds so they don't overwhelm them. That will most likely be made use of in a patch down the line.

Right now, I'd recommend Xbox players keep city upgrades to Manual, then make a save before you trigger any upgrade so you can make the decision if it works for you or not as far as FPS is concerned. Now that there are three different Xbox models available, I don't want to blanket remove the city building from Xbox or anything. I'm on the middle version and the few cities I've taken to L3 work fine, others have told me they've had no problems on the new Xbox. Players on the original Xbox One though... going to get dicey.

The other option you have no on Xbox, is that I uploaded the 2.1.8 build of Sim Settlements, which is incredibly stable, to the Work-in-Progress section on Bethesda.net, favoriting it there will make it available on your Xbox. You can't downgrade from 3.0 on an existing save, but if you decide you don't want to be a pioneer and would rather wait for all of the quirks to be worked out, you could roll a new character on that version. That version still works with Industrial Revolution, so you would basically be playing with the same content you had available on December 28th.

I imagine I will have all major issues worked out by the end of the month, if that helps inform your decision.
 

Drask

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Could yourself or some of the testers post their system specs Kinggath? Might be helpful for some of us to troubleshoot. For instance, if people have hyperthreading capable cpu's and amd vs nvidia gpu's.
 

kinggath

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Sure. My test machine is this:

Intel Core i5-6400 @ 2.7 GHz
16 GB RAM
GTX 970 12 GB
Game is on an SSD drive

Pretty much everyone involved in testing has a pretty strong machine, probably that good or better - they're hardcore gamers after all. We have a couple of folks running this on systems running at or near minimum specs for Fallout, which we relied on to ensure the settlements would be passable - one of those people was in charge of optimizing our settlements so that the FPS wouldn't be completely unplayable.

What I'd like to do at some point, is set up a VM to represent a basic Xbox One for testing things myself - just never enough time!
 

BurntHostage

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Thanks great guide!

Also maybe this?
7. Gigantic save file (>100M:cool:

Large save file might cause intermittent crashing/freezing. This isn't from any particular mods - it's from having a long playthrough since you installed the game. In my case, I've been playing my character Sheeana now for over 50 gaming days. Happens most often approaching large settlements or other large-construct areas.

I've loaded and unloaded mods all this time too, BUT I had repeated crashing since running latest SS. After going thru papy logs, it was found that Endless Warfare & Whirlygig Sentry apparently go active script 'apeshit' with latest SS versions (or maybe the existing lag is more noticeable with updated/added SS features).
 
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drizzan

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Sure. My test machine is this:

Intel Core i5-6400 @ 2.7 GHz
16 GB RAM
GTX 970 12 GB
Game is on an SSD drive

Pretty much everyone involved in testing has a pretty strong machine, probably that good or better - they're hardcore gamers after all. We have a couple of folks running this on systems running at or near minimum specs for Fallout, which we relied on to ensure the settlements would be passable - one of those people was in charge of optimizing our settlements so that the FPS wouldn't be completely unplayable.

What I'd like to do at some point, is set up a VM to represent a basic Xbox One for testing things myself - just never enough time!

I moved my game over to a SSD some time ago (way overdue) and the game has generally felt more stable, is it possible that the game can't keep up with all textures and everything else having to load in when having the game on a HDD, along with maybe using a couple of texture heavy mods/official texture pack, making it crash in the end?

Testing on an installation with HDD aswell probably helps aim more towards console stability since afaik most consoles don't have a SSD. I could be wrong here though since I don't own one.
 

Catallaxis

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I imagine I will have all major issues worked out by the end of the month, if that helps inform your decision.
Thanks for all the info.

I'm less concerned with the bugs, because I expect you'll work those out, or at least reduce problems to tolerable levels. I'm mostly concerned with the system overloads, since there isn't much that can be done about them that doesn't degrade the overall experience, e.g. performance options in the holotape.

Your experience with the Xbox One S is reassuring, since it's only a little bit faster in the CPU than the base Xbox One.

On that matter, does anyone know if scrapping items in a settlement improves performance? For example, if I took a level 3 settlement like in Sanctuary Hills and scrapped all the vanilla items I could, especially when using a mod like Scrap That Settlement, would that improve performance? In theory, it should, but it's never obvious with these things. I'd much rather scrap a bunch of superfluous stuff--things not connected to the city plan--to eek out a slightly better performance than start stripping down the city plan itself.

In theory, my external harddrive is faster than my internal. It should marginally speed up loading times and perhaps mitigate certain kinds of crashes. However, for no obvious reason, some games don't seem to like being installed on external harddrives. Guess I might test it some time.
 

damanding

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Thanks for all the info.

I'm less concerned with the bugs, because I expect you'll work those out, or at least reduce problems to tolerable levels. I'm mostly concerned with the system overloads, since there isn't much that can be done about them that doesn't degrade the overall experience, e.g. performance options in the holotape.

Your experience with the Xbox One S is reassuring, since it's only a little bit faster in the CPU than the base Xbox One.

On that matter, does anyone know if scrapping items in a settlement improves performance? For example, if I took a level 3 settlement like in Sanctuary Hills and scrapped all the vanilla items I could, especially when using a mod like Scrap That Settlement, would that improve performance? In theory, it should, but it's never obvious with these things. I'd much rather scrap a bunch of superfluous stuff--things not connected to the city plan--to eek out a slightly better performance than start stripping down the city plan itself.

In theory, my external harddrive is faster than my internal. It should marginally speed up loading times and perhaps mitigate certain kinds of crashes. However, for no obvious reason, some games don't seem to like being installed on external harddrives. Guess I might test it some time.
By using a scrapping mod to get rid of items not possible in vanilla you may actually exacerbate problems by causing #3 to happen, problems with nav pathing.
 

drizzan

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Thanks for all the info.

I'm less concerned with the bugs, because I expect you'll work those out, or at least reduce problems to tolerable levels. I'm mostly concerned with the system overloads, since there isn't much that can be done about them that doesn't degrade the overall experience, e.g. performance options in the holotape.

Your experience with the Xbox One S is reassuring, since it's only a little bit faster in the CPU than the base Xbox One.

On that matter, does anyone know if scrapping items in a settlement improves performance? For example, if I took a level 3 settlement like in Sanctuary Hills and scrapped all the vanilla items I could, especially when using a mod like Scrap That Settlement, would that improve performance? In theory, it should, but it's never obvious with these things. I'd much rather scrap a bunch of superfluous stuff--things not connected to the city plan--to eek out a slightly better performance than start stripping down the city plan itself.

In theory, my external harddrive is faster than my internal. It should marginally speed up loading times and perhaps mitigate certain kinds of crashes. However, for no obvious reason, some games don't seem to like being installed on external harddrives. Guess I might test it some time.

Scrapping normal vanilla items such as all scrappable trees, benches and whatnot should increase performance, I always do that for both performance and resources.
Scrapping items that normally aren't scrappable like large buildings etc with a mod can be dangerous since those mods usually edit precombines meshes, which makes them stop working and you actually lose performance because of that, and there will be other problems aswell. The unofficial patch team decided not to mess with precombined meshes at all so noone should do that if they don't.

The only scrap mod I would ever consider using is "Place Everywhere" and that is a F4SE plugin that doesn't mess with precombined meshes. I would argue that F4SE plugins are by far the safest mods to use since they don't affect your save. You can usually install and remove these mods at will unless the author states otherwise and the game edits something in the base game.
Sadly console users don't have the option to use F4SE so they can't use the Place Everywhere mod afaik. Since it looks like you are playing on a console I would stay away from scrap mods altogether if I were you.
 

Catallaxis

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By using a scrapping mod to get rid of items not possible in vanilla you may actually exacerbate problems by causing #3 to happen, problems with nav pathing.
I'm mostly talking about scrapping small things, like trash, rubble, bushes, small trees, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces that settlements are full of but aren't necessarily scrappable in vanilla. I would avoid scrapping anything large or structural.
 
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Catallaxis

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Scrapping items that normally aren't scrappable like large buildings etc with a mod can be dangerous since those mods usually edit precombines meshes, which makes them stop working and you actually lose performance because of that, and there will be other problems aswell. The unofficial patch team decided not to mess with precombined meshes at all so noone should do that if they don't.
Scrap That Settlement doesn't touch precombines or previs. The authors claim that it has no noticeable performance impact. In fact, they also have a mod called Scrap That Commonwealth that is far more comprehensive and makes similar claims about performance, though it remains is beta for now.

I know that Scrap That Commonwealth doesn't touch previs data, for example, because I tested it once by removing buildings in Concord, and the game continued to render the scene as though the buildings were still there, i.e. culling everything behind them. It's kind of fun to do just to see the system at work.
 
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drizzan

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Scrap That Settlement doesn't touch precombines or previs. The authors claim that it has no noticeable performance impact. In fact, they also have a mod called Scrap That Commonwealth that is far more comprehensive and makes similar claims about performance, though it remains is beta for now.

I know that Scrap That Commonwealth doesn't touch previs data, for example, because I tested it once by removing buildings in Concord, and the game continued to render the scene as though the buildings were still there, i.e. culling everything behind them. It's kind of fun to do just to see the system at work.

Well if nothing in the scrap mod messes up the precombs in the cell, your performance should be increased by removing objects yes. I'm too much tinfoil hat though with this so I'm going the F4SE plugin route myself with Place Everywhere. You also still have the navmesh issue that Damanding mentioned above.
 

Drask

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I haven't had a scrap mod at all and am getting CTD's. The precombined meshes .ini edit can cause issues though, as Kinggath has noted.
 

damanding

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Scrap That Settlement doesn't touch precombines or previs. The authors claim that it has no noticeable performance impact. In fact, they also have a mod called Scrap That Commonwealth that is far more comprehensive and makes similar claims about performance, though it remains is beta for now.

I know that Scrap That Commonwealth doesn't touch previs data, for example, because I tested it once by removing buildings in Concord, and the game continued to render the scene as though the buildings were still there, i.e. culling everything behind them. It's kind of fun to do just to see the system at work.
Actually all evidence indicates the author of that mod is either outright lying or just doesn't know what they're doing. Tests to see if the mod is breaking precombines on xbox shows that it does (you can see it by changes in material swaps). The mod author has refused to explain how they're doing it and has been unable to explain the evidence indicating broken precombines to people that are experts in the precombine system.
 
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