How To Fix Starfield Building Shaders Error

You can fix the building shaders error by forcing the shaders to recompile, verifying and repairing any corrupted game files, updating your GPU drivers, and reinstalling Starfield.

The Starfield Building Shaders error has affected many players, including the ones with a strong Graphics card. This error forces the Starfield players to be stuck on the loading screen while the GPU is trying to compile the shaders. Normally, this should not take more than 15 minutes. But players who are affected by the building shaders error experience the loading screen for what seems like an eternity.

No error message pops up for the building shaders error, as players only experience an infinite loading screen
Key Takeaways
  • Many players are plagued by Starfield’s building shaders error. If you encounter this error, you will be stuck on an infinite loading screen.
  • This error can occur due to various reasons. These include corrupted or missing game files, unnecessary cache build-up, and outdated GPU drivers.

Follow these methods to fix the Starfield building shaders error permanently:

  1. Force the shaders to recompile by manually deleting the cache folders or by using disk cleanup.
  2. Verify and repair your game files using Steam’s built-in feature.
  3. Make sure your GPU’s device drivers are updated to the latest version.
  4. Ultimately, if nothing seems to be working, try reinstalling Starfield.

Reasons For The Starfield Building Shaders Error

Your PC might be unable to compile Starfield’s shaders for various reasons. Here is a summary of the culprits:

  • Some of the important game files required by Starfield might be corrupted or missing.
  • An excessive amount of cache build-up.
  • Outdated GPU drivers also lead to various errors.

Before continuing, ensure that everything in your system is up-to-date. This includes your OS, Steam, GPU drivers, and Starfield itself. Additionally, do the basic fixes first. Such as restarting your PC and Starfield to see if that fixes your problem. If the error persists, keep trying the more effective methods mentioned below for a permanent solution to the “building shaders” error:

Force Recompile Starfield’s Shaders

If the shaders become unresponsive, causing the compilation process to stall, your best bet is to force the shaders to recompile. The recompiling process includes getting rid of all the previous shader cache. Doing so will reset everything and likely allow the shaders to compile normally again.

You can use multiple methods to force the shaders to recompile. If one of them does not work for you, don’t panic and try the next one.

Here’s how you can force the Shaders to recompile:

  1. Navigate to the cache folder. The cache folder’s path differs depending on whether you use a NVIDIA or AMD GPU.
  3. Once in, press CTRL + A or manually select everything inside the folder.
  4. Now, delete all cache files. Do note that you might be unable to delete some folders/files. In this case, leave them and delete the ones you can.
  5.  Additionally, go to this folder: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Starfield\ and delete the “Pipeline.cache” file.
solutions for starfield building shader
Deleting Cache files (Screenshot by eXputer)

The next time you launch Starfield, the shaders will be forced to recompile.

If, for any reason, you encounter difficulties forcing the shaders to recompile using the above method, you can use the Disk Cleanup method instead:

  1. Press the Windows icon on your keyboard to open the start menu.
  2. Here, type Windows Administrative Tools and click on the first result. This will open a folder with all of Windows’ admin tools.
  3. From the list of tools, double-click Disk Cleanup
  4. Select your main drive. This will perform an automatic cleanup of the cache in that specific drive.
  5. After the disk cleanup process finishes, a dialogue box will open. 
  6. Here, check the box next to DirectX Shader Cache and click OK. This will directly clean the DirectX Shader Cache.
force shaders to recompile to fix starfield shaders error
Cleaning DirectX Shader Cache using Disk Cleanup (Image: eXputer)

Verify & Repair Game Files

Starfield stores its important game files on your system. These game files allow Starfield to operate normally. If even a single one of the essential game files get corrupted, you will encounter all kind of errors. Of course, this includes the Starfield building shaders error. Fortunately, Steam offers an easy and convenient solution to this problem.

Steam has a built-in feature that checks for any missing or corrupted game files. If it finds any problems, Steam automatically fixes them by replacing the game files with new ones.

Here’s how you can verify and repair game files on Steam:

  1. Launch Steam and move to your games library.
  2. From all the games in your library, locate Starfield.
  3. Once located, right-click Starfield and select properties. This will open a settings window.
  4. From here, click the Installed Files section located on the left side of the window.
  5. Now, click Verify integrity of game files.
  6. Steam will now run a scan to see if there are any corrupted game files. If there are any, Steam will automatically fix them.
how to fix starfield building shaders error
Verify the integrity of game files using Steam (Image by eXputer)

Other Potential Solutions

The solutions mentioned above will solve the Starfield building shaders error for the majority of the players. However, while not as effective, these other solutions will likely work for players who have yet to solve their errors.

If you have not tried yet, attempt to reinstall Starfield. During the initial installation process, a big issue that is preventing Starfield’s shaders from compiling likely occurred. A simple reinstall should fix this issue.

Additionally, update your GPU drivers. Many players use the device manager to check for updates for their GPU drivers. However, this method is inconsistent, as the device manager will not always alert you of potential updates. Instead, use your GPU’s official website to download the latest drivers.

Did You Fix The Starfield Building Shaders Error?

As we all know, Starfield is an extremely beautiful game regarding graphics. But that level of graphical prowess is not achieved out of nothing. There are exactly 7,308 different shaders that your GPU needs to compile so that it can achieve the beauty that Starfield has to offer. This is where most systems run into problems or glitches. However, if you have followed every method mentioned in this guide, you will no longer experience problems compiling Starfield’s shaders.


What does building shader cache mean?

Building shaders means that your PC is currently compiling and storing graphics shaders to optimize the time it takes to render visuals.

How can I fix the building shaders error in Starfield?

First, make sure your system and software are up-to-date. Try basic fixes like restarting your PC and Starfield. If the error persists, force the shaders to recompile and verify your game files using Steam.

How long should shader compilation take in Starfield normally?

Shader compilation usually takes no more than 15 minutes under normal circumstances.


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Ayyoun Ali

Ayyoun is a Senior Writer & Editor for Error Fixes and Game Settings guides on eXputer. He’s been passionate about games and technology since he got his hands on his first console, the PS1. He’s got a Software Engineering background and loves to play games for entertainment and understand them from a technical perspective. He has a knack for uncovering solutions for the latest games and older ones and presenting them in easy-to-follow guides for his audience.  Experience: 7+ years || Education: Bachelor's in Software Engineering || Worked For VeryAli Gaming and IGN || Written 200+ Articles || Senior Editor For Game Errors & Settings

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