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How to Fix Fallout 3 Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

To fix Fallout 3 not launching, crashing, or freezing, you can try to update your graphics card, run the game as an administrator, or allow it in your antivirus.

You can also try to disable overlays/conflicting programs, repair/verify the game files, or update Windows.

Fallout 3 is a gigantic world with special combat, realistic visuals, and loads of characters.

Experience the sights and sounds of the Capital Wasteland and see the monuments of the United States.

The new human ability simulation allows you to customize your character.

There are lots of skills and perks to choose from, each with different effects.

You can use V.A.T.S. to pause time in combat, queue up attacks, and target specific body parts.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix Fallout 3 not launching, crashing, freezing, or having a white/black screen.

Fix 1: Update your graphics card

Update your graphics card:

Select “High-performance NVIDIA processor”:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel”.
  2. Click on “3D settings”, then “Program Settings”.
  3. Click on “Add”, and add both “Fallout 3” and “Fallout 3 Launcher” and choose “High-performance NVIDIA processor” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Start the game and it should work.

Fix 2: Run Fallout 3 as an administrator

  1. Navigate to the Fallout 3 application.
  2. Right-click Fallout 3 > Properties > Compatibility > Run this program as an administrator > Enable > OK > Launch the game.

Fix 3: Allow Fallout 3 in your antivirus

  • Open the Windows settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Manage ransomware protection > Allow an app through Controlled folder access > Add an allowed app > Browse all apps > select Fallout 3 of Thieves app > Open.
  • Open the Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall > Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall > Change settings > Allow another app… > Browse… > select Fallout 3 app > Add.
  • Turn off Real-time protection: Open the Windows settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Manage settings > Real-time protection > Off.

Fix 4: Disable overlays/conflicting programs

  • Unplug the Logitech or Thrustmaster racing wheel.
  • End the task for Razer Synapse or MSI Dragon Center.
  • Close all of your tabs to free up RAM and relaunch the game.

Fix 5: Repair/verify the game files

For Steam:

  1. Navigate to your Steam library.
  2. Right-click Fallout 3 > Properties > Local Files.
  3. Click on “Verify integrity of game files”.
  4. Launch Fallout 3.

For Epic Games:

  1. Navigate to your Epic Games library.
  2. Fallout 3 > click on the three dots.
  3. Click on Manage > Verify.
  4. Launch Fallout 3.

Fix 6: Update Windows to the latest version

  1. Search for “Check for updates” using Windows Search.
  2. Update Windows to the latest version.
  3. Launch Fallout 3.

Further reading

How to Fix Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

How to Fix Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

How to Fix The Sims 4 Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

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Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Tower of Fantasy, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.