Returnal Fatal Error Solution [How To Fix]

Rise Above the Glitches by Overcoming the errors and turning your frustration into fun.

Many players have reported facing Fatal Error while playing Returnal. The error usually occurs during the start or mid-game that, displays a command prompt, and crashes the game. The reason for the error may vary for each case, as it could happen due to missing files, compatibility issues, outdated drivers, or settings optimization. To overcome the issue, you can try some general methods that are most likely to solve your problem.

Key Takeaways
  • A new Fatal error has been reported by several players that crashes Returnal while playing.
  • The reason of error could be different and might get solved with different possible solutions.
  • You can fix the Returnal black screen bug by performing the following fixes
    • Verify Returnal Files Through Steam
    • Check if the system meets the Returnal minimum requirements to run.
    • Disable Steam Overlay while playing the game
    • Update your Graphic Card drivers.
    • Switch your DirectX version. 
    • Limit your max FPS limit if you have a low-end setup.
    • Run a compatibility scan for your system and check for any errors
    • Reinstall the game and Reboot your PC.
  • You can always contact the official support team or wait for the official game patch if no solution is working out for you.

Returnal Fatal Error Solution

There is no one specific solution to the error; however, if you follow the general approach and try out some alterations in your system and software, you may get rid of the error. The most common reason for the error is either your game file are corrupted, or some content is missing from the directory. Here are some solutions that you can apply and see which one works for you.

Check Retunal PC System Requirements First

Before we dive into technical solutions, you should check out if your system is powerful enough to bear the game load. Your PC should meet the following requirements in order to run Returnal.

Minimum PC System Requirements

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6400 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 60GB HDD (SSD recommended)
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

With this configuration, you will be able to play Returnal on 720p Settings at 60 FPS.

Medium PC System Requirements 

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 / AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 60GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

If your PC meets the configuration, you will be able to run Returnal at 1080p 60FPS on Medium settings.

Recommended PC System Requirements

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super / AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 / AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 60GB SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

These requirements are most optimal for Returnal as you will be able to enjoy it at 1080p 60FPS on High Settings. 

Add Engine.ini Commands

Before you try any of the methods, you should start by checking your Engine.ini file and giving it the right commands, as the error mostly occurs due to incomplete .ini files. So start with opening the Run command by pressing Windows and typing %AppData%. Now, in the AppData, go to tab> Local. And open the following directory.

\Returnal\Steam\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor. From there, open the Engine.ini file and copy and paste the following command.

  • [SystemSettings]
  •  r.Streaming.Boost=1
  •  r.FastVRam.EyeAdaptation=1
  •  r.bForceCPUAccessToGPUSkinVerts=1
  •  r.Streaming.HLODStrategy=0
  •  r.Streaming.LimitPoolSizeToVRAM=1
  •  r.Streaming.MaxEffectiveScreenSize=0
  •  r.Streaming.UseFixedPoolSize=1
  •  r.Streaming.PoolSize=6144
  •  r.Streaming.MipBias=0
  •  r.Streaming.DefragDynamicBounds=1
  •  r.HLOD.DistanceScale=1.5
  •  r.HLOD.MaximumLevel=1
  •  r.MaxAnisotropy=16
  •  r.ViewDistance=2
  •  r.ViewDistanceScale=2.0
  •  r.LandscapeLODDistributionScale=2
  • r.LandscapeLOD0DistributionScale=2
  • foliage.MaxOcclusionQueriesPerComponent=128
  • foliage.MinInstancesPerOcclusionQuery=65536
  •  grass.DensityScale=0.75
  •  foliage.DensityScale=1.0
  •  r.Shadow.MinResolution=2048
  •  r.Shadow.MaxResolution=2048
  •  r.Shadow.FadeResolution=2048

This is most likely to solve your game crashing. If not, you can try the other methods.

Verify The game files

Verify Integrity of Game Files
Verify your Files [Image credit: eXputer]
If your game is not loading up and crashing right from the start, it might be due to missing file configurations. To counter the problem, you can verify your files for Returnal. To scan your files, you can follow the following steps:

  • Open the Steam application.
  • Open your Library from the top left corner of the screen and select Returnal.
  • Select the Properties option from the settings and open the Local Files tab.
  • Select the Verify game files integrity option; the system will run an automated scan and give you the result.
  • After the scan is complete, try running the game and see if the issue is resolved.

Disable Steam’s Overlay

Returnal fatal error solution
Disable Steam pop-up [Image by eXputer]
Sometimes, the fatal error may occur due to interference of Steam pop-ups during mid-game, which causes the game to crash. To counter that, you can disable your Steam pop-up window. 

  • Open Steam client. 
  • Select Returnal from your game’s library. 
  • Open the Launch Options tab from the settings.
  • Now, uncheck the “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game” option and save the changes.
  • Run the game and check If the error is resolved or not.

Update GPU Drivers

Returnal fatal error solution
Check for Updates [Screenshot by eXputer]
If the above-mentioned solutions don’t work for you. Then you should try checking out your graphic drivers’ compatibility, as outdated drivers can cause issues while running the game. So, make sure to visit the NVIDIAAMD, or Intel official websites to check for any updates on your specific Graphic Card.

You can also download the official applications for your relevant card from the store, which will keep you updated with new updates and features.

Switch DirectX Version

Returnal usually runs on DirectX 12 version, but sometimes, the game uses the Unreal engine to run when the system is not compatible with DX12. So, you can try switching your DirectX to see if it resolves the error.

To change your DirectX version, open Returnal properties from Steam and type “-dx11” in the launch search bar. It will force the game to switch to DirectX version 11. If it does not resolves the issue, make sure to switch back to the latest version, as you will not be able to experience Ray Traced effects in version 11. 

Troubleshoot Compatibility

Run Compatibility Troubleshooter
Compatibility Troubleshooter [Screenshot by eXputer]
Sometimes you get the Fatal error due to compatibility issues, as some file configurations are not compatible with your current system. To run the Compatibility troubleshooter,  

  • Select return from Steam Library. 
  • Go to the “Manage” option from settings and select “Browse local files.
  • A new pop-up menu will appear with game files. Select Returnal.exe from the displayed option. 
  • After that, right-click on the icon, go to the properties, and select the “Compatibility” tab, which is the last option in properties. 
  • From there, select “Run compatibility troubleshooter” to let the window scan for every file and preset compatible settings. 

Limit Your Game’s FPS

If your game is often crashing mid-game, then it might be due to unstable FPS. An outdated setup may cause stuttering and cause a lagging effect if the FPS limit is set too high. So, we recommend you put a limit to your FPS meter according to your system specifications. 

To set the FPS limit, open your graphics card settings and select Returnal to customize its settings specifically. When you will select the game, your Graphics Card settings will show you several options to alter. Look out for the “Max Frame Rate” settings and set a limit in the given bar. You can set the FPS limit somewhere between 40-60 if you have a low-end PC.

Reboot Your PC

Sometimes, the solution to an error is just as easy as rebooting the system. When you restart your setup, it refreshes all the temporary alterations or third-party configurations that might cause an error in running heavy games. So, save your session, give your system a couple of minutes, and boot it again. 

Also, make sure to turn off any unnecessary software and third-party applications running in the background while playing the game. The software may include any kind of firewall, anti-virus applications, or VPN applications. 

Reinstall The Game

If no solution works out for you, then the last hope is to re-install the game and try it out with default settings. Sometimes deleting and installing the game again wipes away small bugs and glitches that cause the game to crash. So, once you clear all the game files and download them again, you get fresh files that are not corrupted due to unknown reasons.

Wrapping Up

With the discussed solutions, we hope that you will be able to overcome the fatal error problem in in the game. Returnal is a great third-person game packed full of thrilling and immersive adventures. However, just like any other game, Returnal is also prone to minor bugs and glitches.

You can try to overcome your issue by following the above-mentioned solution. Still, if nothing works out for you, you can try contacting the game’s support team and submitting a support ticket. The support team can assist you in troubleshooting your error and providing relevant solutions.

If you want to have a detailed review of the game, then you can check out our Returnal Review. Also, make sure to learn about repair efficiency to prolong your survival and get better at fights. Lastly, if you want to increase your Scout Rank in the game, we have a detailed guide on it as well. 

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Huzaifa Malik

Huzaifa Malik is a Mobile Games Writer on eXputer who’s been playing FPS games like Call of Duty as far back as he can recall. He also loves to invest his time in mobile games and write about them in detail for his audience on eXputer. He has several years of experience writing for games. By following his passion for games, he chose eXputer as his hub to deliver information-rich articles. Feel free to get more familiar with Huzaifa on his gaming profiles on Steam. Experience: 3+ years || Published 100+ Guides

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