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Watch Dogs Freezing – Hanging – Black Screen

Watch Dogs is an open world video game set in fictionalized city of Chicago where the player can roam freely. It comes under “Action adventure third-person” genre. The game was developed by “Ubisoft Montreal” and published by “Ubisoft”. It was released worldwide on 27th May, 2014 for Microsoft Windows and few other gaming platforms.

Watch Dogs Freezing

The game has a third-person perspective. You can roam freely in the open world on foot or by different vehicles. You can also play the game in online multiplayer mode under cooperative and competitive game play which allows maximum of eight players.

While launching the game “Watch Dogs″, the gamers may face some freezing/hanging or black screen issues. If the game is freezing, hanging, performing slow, having a black screen or a white screen etc., then you may find your solutions in this article.


Watch Dogs Freezing!!

First Check:

Make sure your system passes the minimum requirements of the game. Visit the link given below to check out the minimum as well as recommended system requirements for the game.

Watch Dogs- System Requirements


Congratulations!!

If you have passed the above check, i would like to recommend you to go through the link below which mentions basic solutions. You can resolve most of the issues related to freezing of the game using general fixes.

General Solution for Watch Dogs


If you are still here, it means your game is still freezing, hanging or stuttering. So, lets go through Watch Dogs freezing /hanging and black screen issues in detail:


Watch Dogs Freezing /hanging

This section covers the solutions related to the freezing issues. If the game freezes or hangs-up on the main menu, on the loading screen, while playing the game or while exiting the game, try these fixes:


1) Update:

Try updating the game with the latest patch. It may automatically solve the freezing issues in the game.


2) Windowed Mode:

Try playing the game in Windowed mode. Press “ALT+Enter” in the game to switch to windowed mode. If that doesn’t work, try these steps:

  • Go to the location:
    “C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Watch_Dogs\GamerProfile.xml”
  • Open the file using notepad or any other text editor.
  • Search for the line “WindowMode”.
  • Press “Ctrl+F” and type “WindowMode” in the search box. Press “Find next” and it will point you to that line.
  • Change the value of the parameter to “0” or “1” so that it would look something like this:
    WindowMode=”1″ or WindowMode=”0″
  • Save and close the notepad.

If your game is always starting in Windowed mode even after changing the settings. Try changing the value to “2“.


3) Interference:

If you have softwares like Dxtory, FRAPS etc. installed on your system, try uninstalling them. The interference of the game with these softwares may also cause freezing/hanging.


4) Safe Mode Uplay:

Try running the game in the “Uplay” safe mode. To do that, click the arrow next to “Play Game” and select “Safe mode”. It may solve the freezing issue.


5) Multicore CPU:

You may also try enabling/disabling the CPU (cores), if your system is a multicore one (quad-core or dual-core). Try disabling all the CPU except CPU0 or CPU0 and CPU1 (Making the system single or dual core). Click the link below to know how to disable cores/CPU.

Disable/Enable CPU cores on multicore processor


6) Graphic Tweaks:

Try lowering down the graphic settings from the graphic card control panel as well as in-game graphic settings including Antialiasing, Anisotropy. Also try Enabling/disabling Vsync. You may try turning off the Anti Aliasing fully at first. Also, set “GPU Rendering” setting to “1“.


7) Overheat:

As the game is quite heavy on the resources, make sure the graphic card or the CPU is not overheating. The rise in temperature beyond permissible limits may also cause freezing. Check if the fan of your system is working properly.


8) SLI/Crossfire:

Disable SLI/Crossfire for Nvidia/ATI cards if using. It may help in fixing the freezing issue in the game.


9) RAM:

Make sure your system has a minimum of 6 GB RAM installed. At least that much is required to play the game.


10) Configuration file:

Try deleting the configuration files of the game but make sure to make a backup of the files before deleting.

  • Go to the location:
    “C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Watch_Dogs\GamerProfile.xml”
  • Delete this file to reset all the settings to default.
  • The file would be re-created once you launch the game again.

11) GPUs:

For Nvidia graphic card users, try updating your GPU to Nvidia GeForce 337.88 drivers optimized for Watch Dogs. For AMD graphic card users, try updating your GPU to AMD Catalyst 14.6 drivers optimized for Watch Dogs. If that doesn’t work, try rolling back the graphic drivers to the stable versions and then try running the game.


12) Dual Cards:

If your system has a dual graphic card, try disabling one of them. Use only the high performing GPU. Some people have reported the crash due to dual Graphic cards on the system.

  • Open “Nvidia control panel” from the notification area or control panel.
  • In the left pane of the window, expand “3D settings”.
  • Click “Manage 3D settings” in the left pane of the window.
  • In the right pane, switch to “Program settings” tab next to “global settings”.
  • Click “Add” and browse to the location of the “. exe” file of the game. Click “Add selected Programs”
  • Next to it is the choice of the preferred graphic processor. From the drop down menu, select “High
  • Performance Nvidia processor” and click “Apply”.
  • Now, try running the game.

The similar process would be for AMD graphic cards.


13) Editing Configuration file:

Try editing the setting in the configuration file of the game.

  • Go to the location:
    “C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Watch_Dogs\GamerProfile.xml”
  • Open the file using notepad or any other text editor.
  • Search for the line “DeferredFxQuality“.
  • Press “Ctrl+F” and type “DeferredFxQuality” in the search box.
  • Press “Find next” and it will point you to that line.
  • Change the value of the parameter from “console” to “PC” so that it would look something like this:
    DeferredFxQuality=”PC”
  • Save and close the notepad.

14) Threaded Optimization:

If you have a Nvidia graphic card installed on your system, you need to experiment by enabling/disabling the “Threaded optimization” from the Nvidia control panel. To do that, follow the steps:

  • Open “Nvidia” control panel (You may open it from the notifications).
  • In the left pane, expand “3D settings” and click the “Manage 3D settings”.
  • Now, in right pane, Switch to “Global settings” (for every process) or “Program settings” (for the game only)
  • In “Global settings”, scroll down in the settings and look for the “Threaded Optimization”
  • Click it and open the drop down menu. In the menu, select “On/Off“.
  • Make sure you click “Apply” after changing the option.
  • Similarly, try turning on/off the “Clamp optimization”.

15) VRAM:

Try increasing the Virtual RAM/ Paging file size of the system. Steps are given in the link below:

Increase Virtual RAM


16) Hardware:

If you are using a controller/game-pad to play the game, try disconnecting it before starting the game. Once the game is fully loaded, connect it again. If that doesn’t solves the problem, try playing the game with the mouse and keyboard.


17) Cloud save:

Try turning off the cloud save feature in the game using UPlay client. For that,

  • Click the “gear” icon on the top-right side of the Uplay client to open the “Settings”.
  • Switch to the “General” tab.
  • Now, uncheck the check box against “Enable cloud save synchronisation for supported games”.
  • Click “save” to save the settings and try playing the game.

18) Controller:

If the game is freezing or stuttering while using a controller, then go to the display options in the game and set “Max Pre-Rendered Frames” setting to “1”. The playing experience will improve.


19) Texture Setting:

If the game is stuttering while driving/turning vehicles in the game, you need to lower down the texture setting from the display options in the game. Set it to “Medium” or “Low“.


20) Developer:

If you are playing the game on steam client, you may try adding the parameter
” –disablepagefilecheck“. For that, try these steps:

For Steam version:

  • Open the Steam library and right-click “Watch Dogs″.
  • Select “Properties” from the menu.
  • Switch to “Set Launch Options”
  • Add “ -disablepagefilecheck” so that it would look something like this:
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Watch Dogs\ WatchDogs.exe” -disablepagefilecheck.
  • Press “Ok” and try launching the game.

21) GeForce Experience:

For those having Nvidia graphic card, try installing “GeForce Experience” and then select “Watch Dogs” profile. It may help in resolving the freezing issues.


Watch Dogs : Black screen

While launching the game or loading the game, sometimes the screen goes black and nothing is visible. Although, you can hear the background sounds sometimes, the display is black or even white sometimes. To resolve this problem, you may try the solutions given in this section.


1) Graphic Tweaks:

Try lowering down the graphic settings from the graphic card control panel as well as in-game graphic settings including Antialiasing, Anisotropy. Also try Enabling/disabling Vsync. You may try turning off the Anti Aliasing fully at first. Also, set “GPU Rendering” setting to “1“.


2) Configuration file:

Try deleting the configuration files of the game but make sure to make a backup of the files before deleting.

  • Go to the location:
    “C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Watch_Dogs\GamerProfile.xml”
  • Delete this file to reset all the settings to default.
  • The file would be re-created once you launch the game again.

3) Windowed Mode:

Try playing the game in Windowed mode. Press “ALT+Enter” in the game to switch to windowed mode. If that doesn’t work, try these steps:

  • Go to the location:
    “C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Watch_Dogs\GamerProfile.xml”
  • Open the file using notepad or any other text editor.
  • Search for the line “WindowMode”.
  • Press “Ctrl+F” and type “WindowMode” in the search box. Press “Find next” and it will point you to that line.
  • Change the value of the parameter to “0” or “1” so that it would look something like this:
    WindowMode=”1″ or WindowMode=”0″
  • Save and close the notepad.

If your game is always starting in Windowed mode even after changing the settings. Try changing the value to “2“.


4) Game files:

Try verifying the game files using “Uplay” client. Follow the steps given below to do it:

  • Open the “Uplay” client.
  • Click on the “Games” tab in the top menu and look for the “Watch Dogs” game in the game list.
  • Click the “down arrow” icon next to “Play” and click “Verify game files”.
  • After the verification is complete, try playing the game.

If using Steam version of the game, try verifying the game cache in the options.


5) Safe Mode Uplay:

Try running the game in the “Uplay” safe mode. To do that, click the arrow next to “Play Game” and select “Safe mode”. It may solve the black screen issue.


6) SLI/Crossfire:

Disable SLI/Crossfire for Nvidia/ATI cards if using. It may help in fixing the black screen issue in the game.


7) In-Game overlay:

Try playing the game with UPlay in-game overlay off or if on steam, disable steam in-game overlay. To do that, do these steps:

For UPlay:

  • Click the “gear” icon on the top-right side of the Uplay client to open the “Settings”.
  • Switch to the “General” tab.
  • Now, un-check the check box against “Enable in-game overlay for supported games”.
  • Click save and try playing the game.

For Steam:

  • Right-click the “.exe” file of the game in the Steam.
  • Click “Properties”  and go to the settings of the Steam.
  • Un-check the check box “Enable Steam Community In-Game”.
  • Save the settings. Check if this has fixed the problem.

8) Reinstallation:

Try installing the game as well as UPlay client in “C:/Program Files” directory instead of “C:/Program files (x86)” directory.


Hope the article helps in solving the Watch Dogs Freezing, hanging and black screen issues.

jayant

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