Trouble Shooting

SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
edited October 2012 in Technical Support
Game not working? Check here for some solutions.
* Before you continue I want to direct your attention to this news post
QUOTE ("Max")
Game immediately exits after start up
This is a problem that some people have been reporting for a while. Often I see these people say that since we haven't fixed the problem we don't care about. Not true! I wasn't able to reproduce this problem, so I scratched my head a lot and then guessed that it was due to the graphics card not supporting the 1280x800 resolution that the game starts up in by default. I fixed that in Build 156 (Beta) but I haven't seen much feedback on whether or not it's been fixed.

If you are still having this problem in Build 156, please e-mail me at max@unknownworlds.com.

The game looks incorrect in full screen mode but works in windowed mode
This are the types of issues that can be really tough to figure out, especially with a small team like ours. On a mega-million dollar main stream game you would have a big team devoted to just testing compatibility. We have something better, which is our community. If you run into a problem like this, first try updating your graphics drivers. If that doesn't fix it, run dxdiag.exe, save off the result and post it on Get Satisfaction. That will give me the information I need to figure out which hardware is acting up.

--- How to do a DXDIAG?
Here is a quick rundown or watch the video:
  1. Click on your Windows Desktop Start menu.
  2. In winXP you want to find "RUN", in Vista/7 you want the search bar at the bottom of the menu.
  3. Type in DXDIAG and hit Enter
  4. A window pops up, Either a Diagnostic will auto run or you need to click on a button: Run DxDiag now ~something similar to that.
  5. When the progress bar is done, Click on the "Save All Information" button, Now your ready to mail that off to Max.



Document Covers:
  • Start up & Graphical Issues.
  • Game Stutters
  • My Server List is Empty
  • Can't Connect to server.


If you are having issues here are some things to try that have worked for some people.
Lets get some useful info out the way to help you with applying some fixes or tweaks you may need to do:


Important: Have you installed the DirectX NS2 Redistributed Pack & PhysX?

DirectX
If you are having problems running or launching the game, Try running the following installer:
C:\....????....\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2\redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

It's half way down the huge list of .cab files.

PhysX
PhysX is still used for some aspects. Download Installer


Where is the NS2 Configuration & Log files?
Firstly you are looking for Options.xml and there is different ways of finding it, Here are 2 of them:
Depending on your Operating system, The place to start looking is either in:
XP: C:\Documents & Settings\
Vista/7 : C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Natural Selection 2

You also need to enable View hidden files because you are looking for a hidden folder "appdata" where you may need to goto "Roaming" folder and find "Natural Selection 2".

You could just type into the local address bar: %appdata%\Natural Selection 2


What can I do to try to get my game running?

I have written everything that may apply to you in the order you should try to do them first.

Community Solved issues
--- Check these links out for confirmed fixes ---

ATI - My Game is pitch black
Resolved - GetSatisfaction Article

ATI - Turn off Catalyst A.I.
Resolved - Flickering Lights


Correct Quality Settings
You may want to change the the Quality Setting to Medium or Awful if the game has some glitches, If you cant load the game acess the config mentioned above.
Some users have experienced issues that are indicators of being "Out of Video Memory".
Here is a guide to what quality setting you should be using according to the Texture Memory available, 32bit systems have a memory mapping issue I will talk about below:
  • < 512 MB - Bloody Awful
  • 512MB - 756MB - Medium
  • > 756MB - High

    Windows 32Bit

    The Common Problem
    32Bit systems can only Map a total combination of 4GB of System Dedicated RAM & Video RAM. : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605
    This means if you have 4GB of System RAM & a GPU with 1GB of Video RAM your 32Bit system will map less System RAM and some of your Video RAM not always all of it.

    The Solution
    This is a problem for all games and the work around provided by all game engiens is to load only what it needs & unload resources that are no longer in use in order to try and run smoothly with the reduction of available memory caused by the 32bit system or simply a lack of it installed to begin with.

    * The Spark Engine still has lots of features and functions yet to be written into the engine including efficient memory management, this may stop graphical artifacting and may vastly lower stuttering as you move through a level depending on your system specs when it is fully implemented.
    If you notice artifacts in other games or stutters, this could be be your potential problem if you have a 32Bit system with 4GB Ram installed. The other cause is if you simply don't have enough Video Ram on your GPU in the first place for that game to run properly.

    Here are some things to try (Let me know if it works) but at some stage you should consider buying a 64Bit system running a 64Bit OS.
    * Got 4GB of RAM & 1GB GPU?, You could remove 1GB of RAM so your system can try & map all your Video memory.
    Only do this if your a confident system builder, poor handling & storage of a chip and exposure to static will damage it.

    * In your GPU settings panel, Lower the number of Pre-Rendered frames to 1 or 0
    (Results vary on systems changing this setting up and down will get rid of or create problems like: Input Lag & Stuttering)


Can't run game or get past menu screen.


Next is a couple of things to try, some users have found that their update/download is corrupted or missing files, Steam has had fun recently doing this.

Check Integrity
Steam has a Verification tool for game integrity and will replace old/miss matched/missing files.

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Reinstall the game
Yes because this really truly does work in some cases, Should Check Integrity actually fail try this just in case because something this silly can solve your problems.

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GPU Drivers & Settings
The most obvious one to try as always repeated is make sure your drivers are up to date, otherwise:
  1. Reset all configuration data back to Defaults. (This really has worked for some people.)
  2. Turn off Catalyst A.I. (ATI Cards)
  3. Disable Crossfire/SLI
  4. Re-Install Drivers.
    Fully un-install the drivers, Then if you really want; Get someone with experience if you not got it your self to use Driver Sweeper to really clean old driver data and system entries that may cause any issues.




-edited post, added C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Natural Selection 2 -Zaggy
Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    edited October 2012
    Connection Issues & Empty Server List


    Community Solved issues
    --- Check these links out for confirmed fixes ---

    Can't Create a Game / Connection Issues
    Resolved - Launch NS2 Directly

    Game Overlay
    Some users believe that gameoverlay.exe causes some connection issues and an empty server list. This is Steams In-Game overlay.
    You can give disabling this steam feature a go by turning it off in Steam's Settings and see if it solves any related problems you may have:

    *I can confirm that this may well be for many? users the cause for empty server lists and connections issues after trying this on a machine with this issue and getting an instant result after disabling the Steam Overlay.
    Do let me know if this works for you too! Thank You.


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    Windows/Other Firewalls
    Ensure that NS2.exe is added to your windows firewall and allowed access to your network & internet (Same applies to any 3rd Party Firewall Applications you may be running)

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    Open Ports on your router
    Make sure you open the following ports:
    TCP Ports
    27000-27100
    UDP Ports
    1200,27000-27100

    Or follow any Half-life2, yes HL2 configuration guides because ns2 uses the same ports as source.
    Some HUBs have configurations built in for games, Enable Half-Life 2 & Half-Life.

    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • AvalonAvalon Join Date: 2007-03-04 Member: 60224Posts: 239Members
    This is good stuff and will help out a fair amount of users, good work Barlow!
  • SnougarSnougar Join Date: 2007-12-31 Member: 63301Posts: 173Members
    This needs to be stickied!

    Top notch stuff :)
    formally known as "MaLaKa"
    Natural Selection 2 UK (NS2UK) - Click HERE to join!
    Natural Selection 2 Europe (NS2EU) - Click HERE to join!
  • steppin'razorsteppin'razor Join Date: 2008-09-18 Member: 65033Posts: 786Members, Constellation
    Excellent work mate!
    QUOTE (pSyk0mAn)
    Whats you're point ?
  • PaiSandPaiSand Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33487Posts: 418Members
    Nice guide, but you forget about installing Physic on AMD/ATI card systems. Is more important than the DirectX. If you have your system up to date you don't need to mess with DirectX, but you do need to install Physic if you don't use an nVidia card.
    image
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    I need to check with Max first on that, I not sure if PhysX was totally removed, The provided pack with NS2 was removed.
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Posts: 1,883Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited November 2010
    I have been getting messages concerning 'flash' something or other can't be found in console. I thought that was removed as well?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • MrYiffMrYiff Join Date: 2004-08-24 Member: 30867Posts: 168Members, NS2 Playtester
    QUOTE (SgtBarlow @ Nov 20 2010, 04:00 PM) »
    I need to check with Max first on that, I not sure if PhysX was totally removed, The provided pack with NS2 was removed.


    I think its still there, they just use a dll file that is in the NS2 game folder rather than needing the full package installed on the PC.
    image
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    edited November 2010
    QUOTE (Runteh @ Nov 20 2010, 05:04 PM) »
    I have been getting messages concerning 'flash' something or other can't be found in console. I thought that was removed as well?



    Not all of it, its an on going process.

    Things still using flash:

    Some prop consoles.
    Some weapon ammo counters.
    Alien Commander.
    Marine Commander.
    Alien Gestation Menu.
    Armoury Menu.


    use the following command to disable a majority of the flash however bare in mind that this does not turn it compleatly off so in game there is still a hit & a bigger hit once on a team.
    Enter the command in the main menu before you load into a game: r_flash false


    Here are two shots from my system:

    Flash True - 33 FPS
    image


    Flash False - 66 FPS
    image
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Posts: 1,883Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Thread needs a bump.
  • InsaneInsane Anomaly Join Date: 2002-05-13 Member: 605Posts: 3,835Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Pistachionauts admin
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    Stickeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


    Just a quick update, PhysX is still used for some things. Updated top of first post with download link.
  • meowsmeows Join Date: 2008-10-14 Member: 65201Posts: 10Members
    Flash true - 33fps

    Flash false - 66fps!

    Simply OMG ;3
    - Drunkenmeows

    Mew :3 Mew :3
  • thecowsaysmoothecowsaysmoo Join Date: 2008-02-02 Member: 63557Posts: 204Members
    edited November 2010
    I have used this guide, and can now join and play in online server, although I believe I should not have to open ports on my router to play a video game.

    edit: I tried the r_flash false thing and didnt do anything for me :\
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    Why should you not have to unblock ports that the built in firewall on your router is specificaly design to block by default untill someone tells it to open them?
    What is any game developer supposed to do about something entirely out of their control that has been done by your routers manufacturer or a software developers firewall you are running that blocks it?

    Thats like, Why should I have to take the packaging off this book I bought from you to read it?
    It was applied to protect it so its not damaged before it gets into your hands.

    A firewall on the router protects your computer from attacks and a vendor just goes "bugger it just block everything then the user can open the ports they need"...

    For some reason, Donno why but its very nice of them to do it.. My BT HUB has a huge list of games that is kept up to date, I just add the game to the connected computers allowance list and thats it, the profile for that game opens all the ports for me.

    image

    If ports did not need to be opened vendors whould not provide API's for you to open them.. It's part of owning a PC having to do stuff like this sometimes.


    Turning flash off wont give you a boost in gameplay where some flash calls are still made, it does not much for me either, only in the readyroom where nothing is called.
    Other than that there is lots of optimization work to be done, untill it's all finnished there maybe an apsect that slows things down more so than the flash does.
    Different things run at different speeds and eveything will run as fast as the slowest thing will let them, they have to find the slowest thing and speed it up untill that runs faster than the next slowest mechanic, then is the game running fast enought now? No, okay lets speed this up and see what happens next. Its a slow & difficult process.
  • thecowsaysmoothecowsaysmoo Join Date: 2008-02-02 Member: 63557Posts: 204Members
    edited November 2010
    QUOTE (SgtBarlow @ Nov 27 2010, 03:38 PM) »
    Why should you not have to unblock ports that the built in firewall on your router is specificaly design to block by default untill someone tells it to open them?
    What is any game developer supposed to do about something entirely out of their control that has been done by your routers manufacturer or a software developers firewall you are running that blocks it?

    Thats like, Why should I have to take the packaging off this book I bought from you to read it?
    It was applied to protect it so its not damaged before it gets into your hands.

    A firewall on the router protects your computer from attacks and a vendor just goes "bugger it just block everything then the user can open the ports they need"...

    For some reason, Donno why but its very nice of them to do it.. My BT HUB has a huge list of games that is kept up to date, I just add the game to the connected computers allowance list and thats it, the profile for that game opens all the ports for me.

    image

    If ports did not need to be opened vendors whould not provide API's for you to open them.. It's part of owning a PC having to do stuff like this sometimes.


    Turning flash off wont give you a boost in gameplay where some flash calls are still made, it does not much for me either, only in the readyroom where nothing is called.
    Other than that there is lots of optimization work to be done, untill it's all finnished there maybe an apsect that slows things down more so than the flash does.
    Different things run at different speeds and eveything will run as fast as the slowest thing will let them, they have to find the slowest thing and speed it up untill that runs faster than the next slowest mechanic, then is the game running fast enought now? No, okay lets speed this up and see what happens next. Its a slow & difficult process.



    I've played maybe 25-30 pc games in my life, probably 20 of those online multiplayer, I have NEVER once had to open a single port to get the game to work.(until ns2)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Shatner's BassoonShatner's Bassoon Join Date: 2010-11-18 Member: 74999Posts: 12Members
     
    QUOTE (Max @ Nov 20 2010, 04:15 PM) »
    Game immediately exits after startup
    This is a problem that some people have been reporting for a while. Often I see these people say that since we haven't fixed the problem we don't care about. Not true! I wasn't able to reproduce this problem, so I scratched my head a lot and then guessed that it was due to the graphics card not supporting the 1280x800 resolution that the game starts up in by default. I fixed that in Build 156 (Beta) but I haven't seen much feedback on whether or not it's been fixed.

    I had this problem this week and it went away after installing another game that included the Visual C++ redistributable files.


  • Malachai13Malachai13 Join Date: 2010-11-09 Member: 74845Posts: 12Members
    my hardware is more than adequete, (unless a 500 some-odd megabyte card in the nvidia 8000 family isnt good enough), but i still ahve horrid lag, even when alone on my own server, ill try the flash false thing and get back here (ps. HALP?)
  • slayer20slayer20 Killed a man once. Join Date: 2007-12-13 Member: 63157Posts: 863Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Figured this would be the place to ask...

    When trying to build a material using the builder, it gives this error: "The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect."

    I've googled a bit and it says that this is caused by illegal characters in file names.

    These are my directories:
    C:\Users\Mathew\Desktop\Input (just contains a materialsrc and my psd file)
    C:\Users\Mathew\Desktop\Output

    Any idea why it's doing this?
    I killed a man once.

    Check out my YouTube Channel showing off short videos of the level I am working on.
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    Try this:

    Backup Folder: Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2\utils

    Download & Install: http://developer.nvidia.com/object/texture_tools.html

    Copy all files from: (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\NVIDIA Texture Tools 2\bin

    Paste in: Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2\utils

    Run Builder.
  • LongratLongrat Join Date: 2010-12-08 Member: 75549Posts: 2Members
    edited December 2010
    Hey guys, I've pre purchased this game a while back, and I've been waiting hopefully for the performance to improve. However, it's been several months and my game is still running terribly terribly slow, on a fairly good machine. I'm running the lowest graphics options and the game still runs very poorly.

    I've updated my drivers, and did all the stuff that needs to be done according to this article, and it still doesn't work.

    Attached is my dxdiag, please help me out :)

    txt
    txt
    DxDiag.txt
    27K
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    edited December 2010
    Have you got onboard sound and have you got the audio drivers for it installed, looks like you just got some Microsoft compatability stock drivers for your sound installed.
    Ineffeicint sound drivers may result in higher CPU usage and choke performance.

    Also goto the nVidi control panel and set pre rendered frames to 0, try the game, then set to 5 and try again see if you notice any differance.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • slayer20slayer20 Killed a man once. Join Date: 2007-12-13 Member: 63157Posts: 863Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    QUOTE (SgtBarlow @ Dec 8 2010, 10:52 AM) »
    Try this:

    Backup Folder: Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2\utils

    Download & Install: http://developer.nvidia.com/object/texture_tools.html

    Copy all files from: (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\NVIDIA Texture Tools 2\bin

    Paste in: Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2\utils

    Run Builder.


    Didn't work. I still get the same error.
    I killed a man once.

    Check out my YouTube Channel showing off short videos of the level I am working on.
  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    Since today I haven't been able to join any NS2 games (always timeout message), and when I tried to play LFD2 I couldn't join the server in that game either. How the hell do I fix this problem?
  • PaiSandPaiSand Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33487Posts: 418Members
    edited December 2010
    Fix your internet connection. If you have the same problem with more than 1 game then it's on your side.
    Try restarting your computer and the modem/router.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    I restarted the internet connection and did the verify cache thing in steam...now I can join servers. Cheers!
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,119Members, NS2 Developer
    1st post has been updated with a couple of things:

    Added to: Community Solved issues

    Changed: Correct Quality Settings, now explains graphical artifacts to explain the problems & what games have to do to work around it.
  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    edited December 2010
    I've realised the problem is Kaspersky: when it's on I can't connect to servers, and when it's off I can. Anyone know how to make Kaspersky allow steam games to connect to servers?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • PaiSandPaiSand Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33487Posts: 418Members
    You need to allow the ports for each game to be able to play online.
    I assume you are using the firewall too, go there and add the appropriate filters so it allow the game to use the ports needed.
    image
  • DerAndereDerAndere Join Date: 2010-12-21 Member: 75815Posts: 8Members
    First of all: Thank you for that great holiday offer. Turned on my computer in the morning and only 5 minutes later a friend sent me the key.
    Problem is i get this message at game startup: "Couldn't initialize the physics system"
    So i cleaned my nvidia drivers, installed the latest (260.99 - which gave me some issues before) and tried again. Same result.

    'Though my system is totally outdated, it meets the requirements stated in the faq. Is there a more up-to-date list of system requirements?

    Nvidia PhysX only supports GPUs starting from the GeForce 8 seris. Seems i won't be able to play NS2 for a while. I am kinda broke! :(
    AMD Sempron 2800+ (2Ghz)
    XP Professional (5.1, build 2600)
    1 GB ram
    GeForce 6200 / 512 MB
    Nothing says 'I love you' like purchasing NS2 for a friend !
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