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[Fix] Mass Effect 3 [ME3] Crash To Desktop, Crashes, Low Frame Rate, Freezing Fix, Origin Error, Direct X Installation Error, Multiplayer Fix

The highly anticipated release of the Mass Effect Trilogy ending game is a boon to fans of the series.  If you have been experiencing problems with Mass Effect 3, here is a collection of fixes, tweaks and modifications to alleviate the game’s problems with Origin, Direct X, crashes, and framerate issues.

Mass Effect 3 Crash To Desktop, Crashes, Low Frame Rate, Freezing Fix

First things first, make sure your PC can meet Mass Effect 3 minimum requirements:

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7/ Vista SP1 / XP SP3 PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.4GHz or equivalent processor
  • RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2 GB fo Vista and Windows 7
  • HDD: 15 GB free disk space
  • Graphics: 512 MB card
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c (with Pixel Shader 3.0 support)
  • Origin for Activation

Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7/ Vista SP1 / XP SP3 PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • CPU: Intel i5 2500K Core 3.2 GHz or equivalent processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 16 GB free disk space
  • Graphics: GeForce 460 GTX / Radeon 4850 or an equivalent video card with 1 GB memory
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Origin for Activation

Supported Graphics Cards:

If you meet the requirements, and are encountering problems be sure to run through the Generic Problem Fixes guide.

Fixing Mass Effect: 3 Crash To Desktop, Crashes, Low Frame Rate, Freezing Fix

If you are encountering Crash to Desktop [CTD], Intermitted Crashes, Low Frame Rates, etc make sure that you at least meet the minimum requirements.  If you do meet these and are still encountering problems:

For NVidia users:

  1. Open the NVidia Control Panel
  2. Go to 3D setting and select the “Manage 3D Settings”
  3. Click the “Program Settings” Tab
  4. Click the “Add” Button and locate the Mass Effect 3 executable, it’s usually found under:[shell]
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\Binaries\Win32\MassEffect3.exe
  5. Choose “Select the preferred graphics processors for this computer”
  6. Select High Performance NVIDIA processor”
  7. Press OK
  8. Restart Origin
  9. Restart Mass Effect 3
For ATI users:
  1. Open the Catalyst Control Center Panel
  2. Change the A.I settings to Performance
  3. Restart Origin
  4. Restart Mass Effect 3
If you’re still encountering problems, try disabling Origin in game:
  1. Launch Origin
  2. Go to Settings, click the In Game tab
  3. Uncheck Enable Origin In-game.
  4. Restart Origin
  5. Restart Mass Effect 3

If this doesn’t work simply browse through our laundry list of fixes and solutions.  If none of these work for you or if you have a solution to offer, don’t hesitate to post a comment.

Issue #1 Mass Effect 3 Direct X Install Critical Error Fix

If you are encountering errors when trying to install DirectX and a Direct X Internal Critical Error pops up:
Go to

C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\__Installer\directx\redist

and delete every file except the following:

  • DSETUP.dll
  • dsetup32.dll
  • DXSETUP.exe

The Direct X installation will no longer crash and halt with this error.

Issue #2 Mass Effect 3 Can’t Install – Origin Infinite Installation Loop

If your installation of Mass Effect 3 was successful but can’t run the game because you are encountering an error that says ‘Read To Install’ whenever you try to run the game, here’s the fix for that:

  1. Open regeditor [hit windows + R, type in “regedit” and hit enter]
  2. look for the value for:[shell]
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow 6432Node\EA Games\Mass Effect 3
  3. look up GDFBinary with the value being:[shell]
    C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\GDFBinary_en_US.dll
  4. Add another entry in regedit called Install Dir and add this as it’s value[shell]
    C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3

    Or which ever is your install directory

  5. Restart Origin, your Mass Effect installation will now run properly

Issue #3 Mass Effect 3 Error: “Load Failed AWC.Dll Exe Loader”

If you are experiencing the issue above then you don’t have the activation.exe on your PC or it isn’t functioning properly:

  1. Install Adobe AIR
  2. Open your Mass Effect 3 directory and do a search for [shell]
    EACore.dll and EACoreServer.exe
  3. If the files above aren’t found, search for the EAAccessInstaller.exe file
  4. Run EAAccessInstaller.exe with the following parameters[shell]
    EAAccessInstaller /s /dir “C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\binaries”

    if you changed your install directory, be sure to reflect it in the parameters above.

  5. If you have run it properly, you fill find the files in step 2 in your Mass Effect 3 directory
  6. Download: activation.air
  7. Launch the game.
source Bioware forums [the guide was modified to accomodate Mass Effect 3]

Issue #4 Mass Effect 3 crashes on Intro Movies

  1. Go to the following directory[shell]
    C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\Bio\Game Movies
  2. Remove or Rename the following files
    Mass Effect 3_720p_v2_raw.bik

Issue #5 Mass Effect 3 Performance issues –Lag and Choppy framerates

Mass Effect 3 has some problems whenever you have Anti-Aliasing enabled.  Disable this option from the Catalyst Control Center or the NVidia Control Panel.

Issue #6 Mass Effect 3 Performance issues –Slow performance even on a good rig

  1. Open the nVidia Control Panel  or AMD Catalyst Center
  2. Ensure that Mass Effect 3 is using a discrete video card and overrides the default GPU performance setup


If you have comments, suggestions or need to verify a few things, don’t hesitate to post a comment.

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