Serious Sam

Fix Serious Sam 4 Crash on Startup, Not Launching, Stuttering, and FPS Drop

Fix Serious Sam 4 Crash on Startup

With the release of the long awaited fourth title in the Serious Sam series, players can embark on saving the planet from an alien invasion in the destructive fashion the game is known for. However, as with previous titles in the game, it’s likely users will encounter a range of issues such as the Serious Sam 4 Crash on Startup, Not Launching, Stuttering, and FPS Drop. Hence, we have created this early guide to help sort out the launch-day problems with the game.

But, before we proceed ensure that your system meets the minimum requirements to play the game.

OS: Windows 10 64-bitOS: Windows 10 64-bit (1909)
Processor: 4-core CPU @ 2.5 GHzProcessor: 8-core CPU @ 3.3 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAMMemory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 780/970/1050 or AMD Radeon 7950/280/470 (3 GB VRAM)Graphics: nVidia GeForce 1080/2060 or AMD Radeon Vega64/5700 (8 GB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 11DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 42 GB available spaceStorage: 42 GB available space
Additional Notes: Requirements are based on 720p rendering resolution at 30 FPS 

Fix Serious Sam 4 Crash on Startup, Not Launching, Stuttering, and FPS Drop

As the exact cause of the crash at startup in Serious Sam 4  cannot be identified, we have to attempt to fix the problem by trying a bunch of fixes. We suggest that you start with one fix at a time and between each solution check if the performance of Serious Sam improves.

Fix 1: Disable the Antivirus Completely

As the antivirus is the primary culprit, disable the antivirus or the Windows Defender and try to play the game. If the game works, you need to set an exception for the game on the respective antivirus software as you can keep the security software disabled for long.

Fix 2: Verify Integrity of Game Files

If the game itself is corrupted that could also lead to crash at startup or mid-game crash with Serious Sam 4. Here are the steps to check and repair corrupt files on Steam.

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. From the LIBRARY, right-click on Serious Sam 4  and select Properties

Fix 3: Launch the Game in Windowed Mode

It’s obvious running a game on fullscreen consumes more resources, therefore, try to run in the Windowed mode and the crash at startup may not happen. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. Go to Libraries and locate Serious Sam 4. Right-click on the game and select Properties
  3. Click on the General tab and click on SET LAUNCH OPTIONS
  4. In the field type or paste -windowed –noborder
  5. Press Ok and exit
  6. Restart the system and check if the Serious Sam 4  crash at startup still occurs.

Fix 4: Disable Steam Overlay

If the game crashes right after the intro video, the cause of the problem can be the Steam Overlay. This feature has been known to act up with some games. You can resolve the error by disabling the Steam Overlay. Launch Steam client. Click on Library and right-click on Serious Sam 4. Select Properties and uncheck Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.

Close Steam and check if the in-game crash or Serious Sam 4  crash at startup, freezing and white screen still occurs.

Fix 5: Installing Latest Microsoft Visual C++

Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Download and install both the x86 and x64 versions from the Microsoft website
  2. Restart the system.

Fix 6: Disable Discord Overlay

Disable Discord Overlay as a fix to resolve Serious Sam 4 crash at startup, freezing, and white screen. It has been noted on various forums that Discord overlay causes issue with the game. To disable the Discord Overlay, open Discord > go to User Settings > click on Overlay under the App Settings > toggle Off the Enable in-game overlay.

Fix 6: Update the Graphics Driver or Roll Back

If you have not updated the graphics driver for a while, visit the official website of the graphics card manufacture and download the latest update copy. Do not update using the GeForce Experience, uninstall the current driver, download a new copy, and install. Now, check if the error still occurs. 

If you have already updated the drier and the Serious Sam 4 crash started after the update, you can roll-back the driver to the previous version. Here are the steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager
  2. Expand Display adapters, and right-click on the dedicated graphics card and select Properties
  3. Go to the Driver tab
  4. Click on Roll Back Driver

Fix 7: Disable Shader Cache

For Nvidia users, you can disable the Shader Cache which is known to crash some games. Here are the steps to disable Shader Cache from the Nvidia Control panel.

  1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Expand 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings
  3. Click Add and select Serious Sam 4
  4. Under Specify the settings for this program, locate Shader Cache and select Off.

Check if the Serious Sam 4 crash at startup and crashes mid-game. If they do, try the next fix.

Fix 8: Remove Bad Sectors from the HHD

If you have bad sectors on your HDD, it could also be causing the crash. Although you could correct the corruption in the file system via CHKDSK on Command Prompt, here is a simple alternative.

  1. Right-click on C drive or the partition where you have installed the game and the launcher.
  2. Select Properties and go to Tools
  3. Click on Check and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Try playing the game.
  4. After the process completes, the window will auto-exit.

Now, try playing the game and check if Serious Sam 4 crashing error still occurs.

Fix 9: Change Nvidia Settings

In the next step to fix Serious Sam 4 crashing, stuttering, FPS drop, and performance issues, we will set the Nvidia for performance. Here are the steps.

  1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Expand 3D Settings and click on Adjust image settings with preview
  3. Check Use my preference emphasizing: Quality (for users who have a powerful PC, you can allow the app to decide and select Let the 3D application decide)
  4. Drag the bar to Performance (there are three options Performance – Balanced – Quality)
  5. Click on Apply to implement the changes
  6. Next, go to the Manage 3D settings under 3D Settings
  7. Click on Program Settings and select Serious Sam 4 (if the game is not in the drop-down list, click Add, browse and add the game)
  8. Under 2. Select the preferred graphics processor for this program: choose High-performance NVIDIA processor
  9. Under 3. Specify the settings for this program, set Power management mode to Prefer maximum performance and Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames to 1.

Fix 10: Configure Game Settings from the Registry

This fix will not just resolve your crashing, FPS drop, lag, and stuttering with Serious Sam 4, but with all other games and applications. However, before you proceed do take a backup of the registry. Here are the steps:

  1. Type Regedit in the Windows Search tab and select Run as administrator
  2. Click on Files > Export. Name the backup and save it at your desired location
  3. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER > System > GameConfigStore
  4. From the right panel, double-click on GameDVR_Enabled
  5. Set the Value data to 0, Base as Hexadecimal and click OK
  6. Next, double-click on GameDVR_FSEBehaviorMode
  7. Set the Value data as 2 and Base as Hexadecimal and click OK
  8. Go back and expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > PolicyManager > default > ApplicationManagement > AllowGameDVR
  9. From the right panel, double-click on value
  10. Delete 1 and set it to 0, click Ok and restart your computer.

Fix 11: Toggle Off the Game Mode on Window 10

Often times, the game mode that helps you capture and record game images and videos causes problems like FPS drop, and stuttering with Serious Sam 4. Turn it off, it does not have much use unless you are recording a video. To turn it off, press Windows Key + I > Gaming > toggle Off the switch below record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.

Fix 12: Set Windows for Best Performance

In the Windows search tab, type performance and select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. Check Adjust for best performance. Click Apply and OK.

Fix 13: Delete Temporary Files from Windows

Again, this is another general step to speed up the system and ultimately fix the Serious Sam 4 crashing at startup, FPS drop, stuttering, and other performance problems. Here are the steps you can follow to clear the temporary files for PC.

  1. Open the Run dialogue box by pressing on Windows Key + R
  2. Type %temp% in the field and hit Enter
  3. Press Ctrl + A and hit Delete (if you cannot delete some files, let them be and close the Window)
  4. Again, press Windows Key + R and type temp, hit Enter
  5. When prompted provide the permission. Delete everything in this folder as well.
  6. Again, press Windows Key + R and type prefetch, hit Enter
  7. Press Ctrl + A to select everything and hit the Delete key (skip files that do not delete)

After you are done with the above three processes, empty the Recycle Bin.

Fix 14: Install the Game on SSD

SSDs are faster than HDDs. So, if you have SSD on your system, you should install the game there.

Fix 15: Set Serious Sam 4  to High Priority

These settings are not permanent and you have to change the priority every time you launch the game. So, let’s go ahead the set Serious Sam 4  to high priority.

  1. Launch Serious Sam 4 and minimize it by pressing Window key + D
  2. Open Task Manager > Details tab > locate the game executable
  3. Right-click on it
  4. Go to Set Priority and select High.  

Fix 16: Terminate Unnecessary Tasks

Finally, before you launch the game, ensure all other unnecessary programs are closed. Have only the game and the essential programs running. You can terminate a task from the Task Manager. To complete the process, click on Windows Key + X and select Task Manager. Select one program at a time and click on End task.

We hope the above fixes have resolved your Serious Sam 4  crashing at startup, stuttering, and FPS drop.

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.

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