My Solution To Overwatch Crashing My Computer

by Sunny Hoi


Since the McCree and Blackwidow nerf patch, my computer has entirely crashed multiple times while playing Overwatch. This typically occurs during the first few minutes of a match, but can also occur after one or two flawless matches. More significantly, sometimes the computer doesn’t crash after playing many matches in one single day until the next day. Sometimes, the game would drop to ridiculously low FPS and then proceed to crash completely. Many people have also experienced this exact same problem as shown here. For many other players and me, the issue starts with the game crashing, resulting in a completely black screen, which also leads to the sound of an unpleasant loopy noise through the computer’s speakers. During this state, the player is unable to do anything on the computer. No clicks or shortcuts to the Window’s task manager work. Nothing responds when you try to do something. Therefore, this forces the individual to hard reset the computer.

Judging by the official thread, there also appears to be another variant of the same issue: The PC automatically shuts off itself within three to four seconds after the game crashes. This implies that there may be multiple causes to a common problem. Players have pointed to power supply problems, graphic card issues, RAM issues, graphic drivers, Windows Updates as the root causes of the crash. However, many people have also tried this on a completely new computer, and the issue still occurs.

Before the June 14th patch, the game ran smoothly on my computer with no lag whatsoever. However, after applying this patch, the crash exhibited by my computer convincingly looked like a hardware issue.

My first attempt at finding the solution was to update to the latest Windows updates. I applied those updates, restarted my computer, and started Overwatch. But the problem persisted. My computer completely crashed within the first three minutes of the game, forcing a hard reset on my end.

My second attempt was to update to the latest NVIDIA graphic drivers. I did this and restarted my computer. Played Overwatch, same crash.

My third attempt was a solution proposed by a player from the thread above. The solution was to launch Overwatch through Program Files rather directly from the Launcher. The player said doing so fixed the issue for him or her. I did this, the game crash still occurred.

With all of these attempts at finding a solution failing miserably, I was still not convinced that the cause of the issue was hardware-related. I am able to play other Blizzard and Steam games without this issue being replicated. Thus, I went to take a look at my in-game settings. Everything in the in-game settings was exactly the same before the patch arrived. This lead to my fourth and final attempt, which proved successful.

My solution is this:

1. Open NVIDIA GeForce Experience. If you don’t have this program installed, you should install it from here.

2. Go to the Games Tab and then find Overwatch in the list.

3. When you see the message: “Game is not optimized.” Click on the green button on the right side. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are unable to optimize the game, proceed to find the directory of where Overwatch is in so the NVIDIA GeForce Experience can automatically apply these in-game settings for you. This failed to work for me. Hence, I had to adjust manually the settings in-game to match those of the NVIDIA GeForce Experience optimal settings. However, I was later able to optimize it automatically through the program, but this wasn’t necessary for me.

4. After this, check that your current settings match the optimal settings within the NVIDIA GeForce Experience application.

5. Proceed to launch Overwatch from the Launcher. Play a match and see if the issue is reproduced. If issue does not occur, keep playing to see if it will reappear.

The steps above completely solved the issue for me. I no longer experience any crashes during matches in-game and no drop in FPS occur anymore.

Alternative Solutions (UPDATED on 07/03/2016 and 07/06/2016):

If the above solution does not work, please try the troubleshooting steps outlined below.

1. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the default settings for your card.

– Right click on Nvidia’s program icon (Black and Green) in your system tray.
– Select and open the Nvidia Control Panel from this right click.
– At the top left of this window, you will see 3D Settings.
– Below that, click on Manage 3D settings
– In the upper-right corner, you will see the title “Manage 3D Settings” in a light blue box. Click Restore Defaults.

2. Make sure Nvidia’s control panel is using the high powered video card on your computer.

On your right of your Manage 3D Settings, select the tab “Preferred graphics processor” and then select “High-performance NVidia processor”. Apply these settings.

3. Roll your driver back to a 364.72 driver to see if this will resolve your issue.
Follow these instructions:

You may use the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to remove your current driver first:

4. Run the Repair Utility within the application; To repair your game, follow these instructions:

5. Delete your cache! Sometimes, a corrupted cache folder can mess things up. Deleting this folder may fix issues caused by outdated files. For instructions on how to do this, refer to

6. Delete your tools folder. Delete the folder when you have the ProgramData folder open on your computer (which is from the 3. instructions above)

NOTE: You may receive a notification from the desktop application to install your game again. But the application should be able to find your game automatically.

UPDATE (07/06/2016):

If you are still experiencing crashes while playing Overwatch, consider trying these troubleshooting steps below:

1. Try altering the sound settings in the Settings_v0.ini file in your Documents folder: C:\Users\myName\Documents\Overwatch\Settings

Step 1. Make a backup of your original Settings_v0.ini file.

Step 2. Run Overwatch and go into the Options menu, then click on Sound.

Step 3. Change the Master Volume to 42 in-game. NOTE: Not the volume on your desktop.

Step 4. Exit Overwatch.

Step 5. Open the Settings_v0.ini file with Notepad or any other simple text editor.

Go to the last section and you should see this:

MasterVolume = “42.000000”

Step 6.

At the end of the second line from Step 5, add this line below:

PreferXAudio2 = “0”

Step 7.

Save the Settings_v0.ini file.

Step 8.

Launch Overwatch again and set the Master Volume back to what it was before.

Additional Notes:

The line PreferXAudio2 = “0” forces the Sound system to use WASAPI instead of XAudio.

If you change the number to “2” in the line above, you will force it to DirectSound.

To revert to default settings, delete the line and save the file.

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