Dark Souls 2 Graphics Problems - How to fix HDMI, Black Screen Crashes

Dark Souls 2 Graphics Problems - How to fix HDMI, Black Screen Crashes

Posted in games

Dark Souls 2 is plagued with graphics problems, not to mention the countless controller problems. If you're one of the unlucky players that's affected here's a list of graphics fixes that should help you get the game running. It's early days and a fix will eventually be released but for now try these.

Problems seem to be the usual suspects; dual monitors, graphics drivers but ultimately a badly written game that wasn't ready for a PC release.

Several problems currently exist, they are:

  • Game not working on dual monitors, TV's
  • Crashing on startup, black screen
  • Tearing, black shapes and missing graphics
  • Resolution restricted

Intel HD Graphics

Particularly concerning the Intel HD Graphics 4000 series where graphics don't show up correctly. Tearing, missing objects and laggy gameplay are all symptoms. Try this solution:

1. Download the latest Intel driver for your graphics card:


2. Install and restart if necessary

3. Open the graphics Control Panel (found either in the systray or right clicking the desktop)

4. Locate or add Dark Souls 2 exe

5. Change the setting from Balanced to Performance.

This should force the game to use enhanced graphics rather than the onboard crap.

Game crashes on startup - HDMI Problem

Tests have revealed that in some cases trying to output to HDMI can cause the game to crash on startup, or not even start at all. If you have this issue try:

  • 1. Output to VGA cable
  • 2. Start the game
  • 3. Switch to HDMI once the game starts

If you don't have the VGA cable, start the game in Steam. Then unplug the HDMI cable and press Enter to load the game. You won't see anything but wait a few seconds and plug HDMI back in.

The point at which you switch to HDMI is vital, make sure you wait long enough for the game to load successfully before switching.

Dark Souls II has stopped working

The classic Windows error message which immediately kills the game, kicking you out of your session. Can be caused by a variety of things but usually a graphics issue.

AMD Graphics (7 series)

  • 1. Open Catalyst
  • 2. Digital flat-panel
  • 3. Properties
  • 4. Enable GPU scaling

Radeon video cards

  • 1. Open Catalyst Control Center
  • 2. Gaming
  • 3. 3D Application Settings
  • 4. Turn off "Surface format optimization"

Nvidia and cloning

If you're cloning your laptop to your flatscreen TV, try disabling cloning/duplicate and use extend only (or whichever option is second screen only).

Change desktop resolution

Another fix worth trying - start at a low res and then resize once the game starts. This one is particularly useful if the HDMI trick or upscaling doesn't work.

  • 1. Set your screen resolution to 720p (1280x720)
  • 2. Start game
  • 3. Adjust screen resolution to high-res

More than one monitor

  • 1. Start DS2
  • 2. At white screen press Windows key+P
  • 3. Select Duplicate or monitor 2 (depending on your rig)
  • 4. Screen goes black, dark souls 2 will launch
  • 5. Press Windows key+P again
  • 6. Select extend
  • 7. In game - go to video settings change it to windowed and you should have all your resolutions.

More fixes coming soon..