Bill Tarling

First Steps for Crashing or Major Graphic Issues

6 posts in this topic

If your are experiencing frequent crashing or significant graphics issues, try the steps below.


  1. Go to your steam library
  2. Right click on The Long Dark
  3. Select "Properties"
  4. Select the "Local Files" tab
  5. Press "verify integrity of game cache"



The game now defaults to DirectX11 (from DirectX 9). Not all systems and graphic cards/chips are compatible with the more current DX11 displays. If needed, players can still run in Directx9 mode by running tld_dx9.bat or passing -force-d3d9 as a command line parameter when launching the game.

  1. In the Steam interface, click on "LIBRARY".
  2. In games list, right click on "The Long Dark".
  3. Choose "Properties"
  4. Click "SET LAUNCH OPTIONS..."
  5. Paste into text box "-force-d3d9" without the quotes
  6. Click "OK".
  7. Click "CLOSE".

This will run the game in DirectX 9 instead of 11. It may not completely fix the issue, but it can sometimes significantly improve the results.



Windows users: Check to see if you are might be missing this package:

This is the Visual Studio C++ 2013 Redist package that Steam should have installed with the game. If Steam didn't install it, you may need to download it manually from Microsoft and see if this helps with the issue.



Many graphics cards have scaling systems that help older games display on newer monitors and operating systems. However in recent updates GPU scaling can sometimes interfere with newer game's ability to display correctly.

GPU scaling can be disabled from your GPU Control Panel. 

For example, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card you would open your NVIDIA Control Panel, find the Adjust Desktop Size and Position page, and change "Aspect ratio" to "No scaling."




Without any info on your full system specs, there's no way to tell if there's a hardware or setting conflict without further details. Please attach your debug output log if you need the devs to check for game compatibility issues.

You can email your debug log file to with details about the issue you are experiencing. If you posted about it on the forums, include your username and a link to the thread.

  • The debug log location on a Windows PC was updated spring 2018, here are the new steps to find it: 
    •  In Windows, open File Explorer
    • At the top of the window, switch to the View tab
    • Go to the Show/Hide section and check the Hidden Items box
    • On the left side, Scroll down to This PC and click on the C drive
    • Navigate to the following folder: 
      (Note that your Windows username will be the name of the USERNAME folder)
    • Inside TheLongDark folder you will find a file named output_log.txt . This is your game debug log.
  • For Mac, the debug log is written to: ~/Library/Logs/Unity/Player.log
    • Note that ~ above is your home folder (little house icon).
    • It's possible the Library folder will be hidden. You can make it show up by typing the following into Terminal: chflags nohidden ~/Library
  • For Linux/Steam OS, the debug log is here:
    • /home/username/.local/share/Hinterland/TheLongDark

To attach a file on the forum, use the Full editor. At the bottom there is an attach tab. (See image below.)

Please Note: There is a limit to each file size for individual attachments. Some screenshots may need to be saved as a JPG, or resized to fit within allowed upload file sizes.



  • The debug log gets overwritten each time you play, so remember to send it along before starting up the game again.
  • Some 3rd party software, touchpads, and game controller drivers [e.g. Vjoy] can conflict with the game controls. Disabling the trackpad or controller driver may fix some display and navigational issues.
  • While save games from previous versions may work in newer updates, it doesn't guarantee 100% compatibility. Some settings, locations, landscapes, item code names and values, and mechanics may conflict when trying to use older/newer updates data. During the alpha stage, it may be necessary to start a fresh current version run in order to minimize encountered bugs or glitches.
  • You can also submit your debug and save game files to


  • Upvote 1

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Thanks for posting these steps Bill. Should help people on their way more quickly when they run into big issues.

This should be stickied if it isn't already.

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Will packages for visual studio 2015 work, or do they specifically need to be the 2013 version? The 2013 version doesn't list Windows 10 in the system requirements, but 2015 does. I don't know if I'm barking up the wrong tree here, or overthinking this, but I've some pretty persistent and gnarly graphical glitches and crashes to try and sort out. 




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on win 10 you have issues? I have played 600+ hours on a surface book (which is win 10) and other than the occasional fps skips and known drawing issues the game runs fabulous.


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The forcing DirectX9 suggestion solved my longstanding graphics issue with footprint/snowshelter shaders not rendering properly. Many thanks!

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