Horizon Zero Dawn

Fix Horizon Zero Dawn Black and Blue Screen Error (BSOD)

It’s been a week since the launch of Horizon Zero Dawn on PC and arguably the game wasn’t ready for PC yet due to the range of performance issues, those who could bypass the error testify the amazing experience. HZD is truly an amazing game. One of the error users have been facing since the launch day is the Horizon Zero Dawn black and blue screen of death (BSOD). There are several causes of the error and to fix the issue you must first update the GPU, increase the virtual memory, and stop any overclocking or optimization software.

Read though the post and we will share with you all the possible causes and the solutions you can try to resolve the black and blue screen in HZD.  

Fix Horizon Zero Dawn Black and Blue Screen Error (BSOD) 

Fix 1: Update the Graphics Card Drivers

As a first step to resolve the error, you must update the graphics card driver software to the latest. Both Nvidia and AMD release new updates fairly regularly, so ensure the driver is up-to-date. Whenever you encounter performance issues with games that’s the first place you should look.  

Fix 2: Increase Virtual Memory

Most problems with the game occur on low or medium range PC even when the system meets the minimum specifications. It’s caused as the game tried to load the Shader cache. Increasing the virtual memory can prevent or reduce the black screen. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Right-click on My Computer on Win 7 and This PC on Win 10, select Properties
  2. Click on Advanced system settings
  3. Under Performance, click on Settings
  4. Click on the Advanced tab
  5. Click on Change under Virtual memory
  6. Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drivers
  7. Select the drive with the HZD install files
  8. Toggle on Custom size and enter the values
  9. Click on Set and Save the changes.

Once you have done the above, restart the system and try launching the game. Horizon Zero Dawn Black and Blue Screen Error (BSOD) should not appear.   

Fix 3: Set Exclusion on Windows Defender for HZD Folder

Sometimes the Windows Defender or the Virus & threat protection on Win 10 can cause problems with the game launching. As such, you must provide exclusion to the Horizon Zero Dawn folder in the security software. Here are the steps:

Press Windows Key + I > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Under Virus & threat protection settings, click Manage Settings > click Add or remove exclusions > click Add an exclusion > select Folder and browse to the HZD folder and set the exclusion.

Fix 4: Disable Overclocking Software and Revert Overclocking

If you are using a software to overclock the GPU, it could be causing problems. It’s best that you disable all such software before you launch the game. Here are the steps to disable everything before launching the game.

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type msconfig
  2. Go to the Service tab
  3. Click on Hide all Microsoft services
  4. Click on Disable all
  5. Save the changes and exit.

Now, play the game and the black screen error should be fixed.

Fix 5: Run Steam as Admin

Finally, if nothing else has worked, it might be a permission problem. As such, you must provide admin permission to Steam. Windows by default does not provide admin permission to any application. To provide the permission, right-click on the desktop shortcut of Steam > select Properties > Go to the Compatibility tab > check Run this program as an administrator.

That’s all we have in this guide, we hope you were able to fix the BSOD in Horizon Zero Dawn. You can browse through the game category for other error guides and game tips and tricks.  

Harsh Clif
He is caught in a loop between writing about games and playing them. It's a vicious cycle. Although he's biased towards PC, you can occasionally find him on the PS5. He does not own an Xbox Consoles but plans on getting one soon.


  1. What VALUES???

    1. More than what’s currently set.

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