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[Fix] Civilization V Crashes, Direct X issues, Black Screen

After playing with Civilization 5 for quite awhile (and found a fix to skip that annoying intro movie), the next logical step is to fix some of the most common problems encountered when playing the game: Civilization V Crash.

More often than not, Civilization 5 will crash to Desktop or give you an empty Black Screen if your computer cannot handle the game, your PC lacks the proper software to run it or has an error during installation.  Here’s a few quick tips to help you fix the game’s intermittent and annoying crashes.

Like most of the current games, you need to make sure your computer can handle the game so be sure to check out the Civilization V requirements listed below:

Minimum Requirements:

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo @ 1.8GHz / AMD Athlon X2 64 @ 2.0GHz
Memory: 2.0GB
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 7900GS / ATi HD2600 XT / Intel Core i3 integrated graphics
DirectX: DirectX 9.0c

Recommended Requirements:

CPU: Quad-core processor @ 1.8GHz
Memory: 4.0GB
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 9800 / ATi 4800
DirectX: DirectX 11

Once you’ve made sure that your PC can run Civilization, check your drivers.  Make sure you’re running the latest stable versions of the drivers for your Graphics Card.  If you don’t know where to find them, here’s a list sorted according to manufacturer.

A bit of warning, if you’re on an Intel Integrated Graphics, don’t expect smooth performance from the game.  Your GPU simply isn’t meant for this sort of stress.

Fixing Civilization V crashes:

List of common Civilization V crash symptoms:

  • Civilization V crashes in build mode
  • Civilization V randomly crashes in game
  • Civilization 5 black screen
  • Civilization V does a crash to desktop (CTD)
  • Civilization 5  hangs
  • Civilization 5 causes a BSOD

Multiple Monitors

Civilization 5 works fine on multiple monitor setups but there is one annoying bug that you will encounter, that is, whenever you are in-game, your cursor will LEAK to your other monitors.  I’m currently looking for the work around (there’s one from reddit but I couldn’t find it in time of pressing the publish button but I will update you guys on how it goes). Just wait for the patch :)

Civilization 5 Problems

Civilization 5 freezes/hangs/crashes at random

Some users experience freezing at seemingly random times.  This occurs in DX10 / DX11 mode and surprisingly not in DX9 mode (lucky XP users).  Possible solutions are listed below:

  • solution Wirapuru of Steam
    Running DxSetup.exe that came with the game, inside its folders, gives some stability. As such, most of the problems seem to steam for Direct X incompatibilities (thanks again Microsoft). If you experience crashes and are sure your all your software is up-to-date, refer to the next item

Important Note: If your computer shuts down or BSODs during game play, check your hardware for signs of overheating before trying to turn on your PC/playing the game again.

Direct X incompatibilities
Due to inconsistencies with Microsoft’s Direct X libraries, the game could be suffering indirectly from this fragmentation. To fix this, download the latest direct X version and Visual C ++ runtime libraries.  To update:

  1. Navigate to your Civ 5 installation directory – default is
    C:\Program files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\
  2. To update your VC++ libraries
    C:\Program files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\VCRedist\vcredist_x86.exe
  3. To update your DirectX
    C:\Program files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\DirectX\DXSetup.exe

If you don’t want to mess with your directories, just download the latest Direct X runtime from here.

While 2k says that Civilization V supports multiple DirectX versions including DX9, DX10 and DX11, it’s not the case.  If you encounter any crashes, BSOD, black screens, try running the game in a different DirectX mode.

Can’t select DirectX 10/ 11 upon launching the game
solution bigden of 2Kgames forums

  • Quit out of Steam.
  • Right-click on the Steam.exe application (found in the Steam installation folder) and select “Properties”, then select the “Compatibility” tab.
  • At the bottom of this tab is a button called “Change Settings for All Users”. Click it.
  • Change the compatibility mode to AT LEAST “Windows Vista Service Pack 2″.
  • Relaunch Steam.

Error Code: -5009 : 0x8000ffff

I found two solutions for this problem:

  • Clean out the temp folder. If you have a utility program like CCleaner, just close the game and run the cleanup feature.
  • Now if that doesn’t work, you have a bad/corrupted version of the Install Shield files.  Go to
    C:\Program Files\Common  Files\InstallShield\Professional\RunTime

    and delete or rename IsProBE.tlb then re-run the game’s installer (no other way to fix this but to reinstall I’m afraid)

Black Screen Out of Range Error

This happens because your monitor does not support the default resolution.  The fix is easy :)

  • Right click on ‘Civilization V’ in Steam
  • Click Properties
  • Click Set launch options
  • Enter “-w 1024 -h 768 -refresh 60″.
  • Run the game then change the resolution to whatever you prefer.

“Out of Memory” Error

Two things will trigger this error, either the game detects that your computer is running the game sluggishly or detects your hardware wrongly.  It’s not an actual error but simply a warning (similar to what Blizzard put into play on StarCraft II).  To prevent the out of memory error from popping out again, here’s a couple of fixes:

  • Reduce the graphic settings of Civilization 5
  • Edit the Civilization V configuration (ini) file and set HideOutOfVRamWarning = 1

Reducing your graphics to a lower setting may solve this problem.  If it doesn’t, and you feel comfortable messing with your computer, find this value in the config(ini) file, “HideOutOfVRamWarning” and set HideOutOfVRamWarning = 1 using notepad. This should remove the warning message.

ARGHHHAH I STILL CAN’T RUN IT WHAT DO I DO!?!?

2kgames has detailed some of the fixes that will make it to the upcoming patch. You can read all about that here.

If these items didn’t help, your best bet at acquiring help are the following resources:

If you however, you feel that you have other solutions to fix Civilization 5 Crash and any other problems that players are experiencing, post it here in the comments.

Important Note: If you like this post, please consider linking to it and/or spreading it to your networks.

Important Note: If you have information that you want to be added to this guide, please post it in the comments. I’ll put them up for everyone to see. Also if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to put them in the comments as well :).

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Comment ( 1 )

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  1. lucky-luk March 16, 2011 Reply

    My game was crashing frequently, in most of the cases on the same turn (huge earth maps in most of the cases). I was trying many tips and sometimes it was working specially going in to the windowed mode. But after 340 turn it nothing helped. So i was trying to change almost every setting in the game and i found it: Tesselation to minimum and it is working perfectly so far.
    My rig:
    i7 4Ghz
    6GB RAM
    4TB HDD raid 0
    2x ATI Crossfire 4890

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