Returnal is an excellent PlayStation exclusive that has made its way to PC. The game is demanding in terms of PC hardware. However, performance is not the only aspect that is bothering players. Returnal PC players are experiencing Fatal Error crashes, and the following are the fixes and workarounds.

Last updated on March 7th, 2023 at 08:15 pm

Returnal Fatal Error Fixes You Can Try

As mentioned, Returnal needs a reasonably powerful PC to run at max settings with a 60 FPS lock. With the game’s launch on PC, there are some noticeable improvements like better image quality with upscaling tech like DLSS. Returnal used checkerboard rendering to upscale that, compared to PC, resulted in lost image quality.

However, that is the topic of discussion here as PC players are reporting Fatal error crashes with Returnal. The following are the fixes and workarounds.

Fatal Error Fix

Returnal PC players are reporting that they are experiencing a Fatal Error. Some players report that the game crashes with the Fatal error message popping up, other experience is while trying to play multiplayer. There are multiple reasons why Fatal Error is occurring, and the following are the fixes.

Switch DirectX

Returnal requires a DirectX 12-compatible GPU. However, DX12 can sometimes cause a Fatal error, and since Returnal is using the unreal engine, there is chance players can switch the game to DirectX 11 and fix the Fatal Error. Right-click Retunal in Steam library > properties > type -dx11 under Launch options. Launch the game, and this command will force the game to switch to DirectX 11 if supported, and the Fatal error will be fixed. Note that if the game switches to DX11, you won’t be able to use Ray-Traced effects in-game.

Disable Ray Tracing

One of the benefits of Returnal coming to PC is the inclusion of Ray-traced effects. However, these Ray Traced effects can cause the game to crash with a Fatal Error. Disable ray tracing. The Fatal error will be fixed.

Troubleshoot Compatibility

Some players report that Running the game in a compatibility mode fixes the Fatal error crash. Right-click Returnal in Steam library > Manage > Browse local files. A new window will open with the game files, right-click Returnal.exe > properties > Compatibility tab > click “Rum compatibility troubleshooter” > let Windows do its thing > click Try recommended settings and apply them. Launch Returnal, and it won’t crash with a Fatal error.

Revert Overclock

Overclocking your GPU is a known reason behind Fatal Error crashes, and Returnal might be crashing. If you have overclocked your GPU, revert it to its default GPU clocks. However, in many cases, GPU is factory overclocked. I suggest you look up your GPUs default clocks and set them as the base and boost clocks for your factory overclocked GPU using MSI Afterburner. This will fix the Returnal Fatal Error crash.

Limit Max FPS

Often PC players run video games at an uncooked FPS. This reduces latency and increases the game’s smoothness. However, uncooked FPS can also cause a Fatal error. Returnal is a game that plays better at a high FPS; however, this might be causing the Fatal error crash in the game. I suggest you cap the game’s max FPS which will reduce the GPU and CPU load and will fix the Fatal Error crash. Open Nvidia Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings > select Returnal > in the list, look for Max Frame Rate > enable it and set a value. Don’t just input any FPS value; the value you input should for 1/2,1/3rd, and 1/4th of your refresh rate. This will fix the Returnal Fatal error.

Remove Third-party Peripheral/Software

Usually, PC players have plugged in a third-party peripheral with their driver/software or even third-party tools like MSI Afterburner, RGB software, and more. These thirty-party peripherals or software can cause games to crash with a Fatal error message, and Returnal is no exception apparently. Disable any third-party tool you are using, unplug any third-party peripheral, disable or delete its driver/software, and Returnal Fatal error crash will be fixed.

That is all for our fixes for the Fatal error crash in Returnal. If you are facing errors and issues with other PC games or your PC, see our hub for commonly occurring PC errors and their fixes.

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