Fix for AMD Driver Crash? [Solutions inside]

Issue / Problem

AMD Driver crashes, OS freezes or similar issues when running Unreal Engine.


All the Solutions below have been tested by one or more human beings with access to the same or similar hardware. Solutions may differ in results for everyone, so keep that in mind.

Change your AMD Driver

Check what Graphics Core Next version your GPU has (List on Wikipedia) and downgrade to the respective Driver version. This fixes it for most people, but may break catastrophically if you update Windows.

Update: I personally recommend upgrading to 16.3.1, you will get a serious performance boost from it.

Change Shadow Quality

I don’t exactly know why it happens with shadows enabled, but turning them to low solves the Driver crashes. Keep in mind that this turns of dynamic shadows and could actually not work for you.
Update: Just turning of r.Shadow.PerObject seems to work perfectly fine too.

#Tutorial: Changing AMD Drivers

Graphics Drivers are one of the most complex things to clean up without breaking something completely. That’s why we’ll use Tools given to us by others that have proven to work: AMD Clean Uninstall Utility and Display Driver Uninstaller.

##Steps to downgrade

  1. Close all programs so that only the OS remains.
  2. Run AMD Cleanup Utility, wait until it is done (it will tell you). Do not restart.
  3. Run Display Driver Uninstaller and let it reboot into Safe Mode.
  4. Once in Safe Mode, wait for Display Driver Uninstaller to load.
  5. Set it to clean AMD Drivers and click “Clean and Restart”.
  6. Wait until Display Driver Uninstaller is done and you’re back in Normal Mode.
  7. Install the Driver you wish to downgrade to and restart one last time.

#Original Question

Issue: AMD Driver crashes with UE4 (since 4.8)
Version: 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11-preview-4

Is there a fix for this yet, or even better, is it known which console variable I need to change to longer have the driver crash? Turning shadows to low fixes it, but it’s not an ideal solution.

I have an R9 285 (According to the BIOS on the GPU, it’s an underclocked R9 380) and it’s affecting me badly, the driver doesn’t even bother recovering. Tried going back all the way to 15.7 (the first driver that “supported” R9 285/R9 380) but it didn’t help.

Unfortunately, I’m dealing with customers here - so a quick solution (turning something off, etc.) works better than telling my customers to yell at AMD and buy an NVidia card.

Good point… If you can figure this out, you will be the hero of a lot of people.

Check this thread out… He installed the new beta driver and it looks like its been fixed: Amd Driver Crash? - Community & Industry Discussion - Unreal Engine Forums

I’ll be testing this later, haven’t thought about going back to catalyst with the newer crimson versions yet. Maybe it fixes, maybe it doesn’t.

15.11.1 Catalyst (after AMDCleanUpUtility and DDU) is now installed, so far the Editor has been running without a single driver crash. Not sure about games yet though.

For simplicity, this content has been moved into the Question.

Reporting back with success, no crashes in any game that uses shadows so far. I also figured out something else by using my mainboards debugging port: It’s a corrupt shader causing the crash.

Excellent work!!

Hey ,

I’m not sure why it wasn’t updated earlier, but I’ve added AMD Crimson Drivers to our Software Conflicts page and I’ve left a link there to your instructions.


Hey ,

I’ve modified it a bit because yours seems specific to that GPU and we do have other users experiencing widespread issues with Crimson Drivers on a variety of cards. There are now two different entries, one for yours and the general issues we’ve been having with Crimson drivers. Both lead back to the instructions in your post.


Hey ,

I wasn’t aware that there was more than one issue with the AMD drivers, so thanks for fixing my mistake. Managed to reproduce the driver crash on R9 280X and R9 380, though I’m not sure if it’s the same issue yet. Will continue testing though, maybe AMD pulls themselves together in the future and fixes their drivers.

(We can hope. Hope never dies.)

Is there a whitelist or blacklist of GPUs for UE4 somewhere? That would be extremely useful.

One day…

Hang in there

Anything that meets these requirements SHOULD run the editor relatively well. We don’t “blacklist” hardware, but occasionally stray drivers will cause issues.

I may have isolated where the crashes come from on two of my machines (R9 280X, R9 380). Which means I’m back to square one that it only happens on a R9 285.


starts singing “Another one bites the dust”

Edit: Is that a bug that it keeps getting unmarked as accepted? I’ve never seen that happen before…

Also, questions become unaccepted when non-moderator accounts comment on them. There is an assignment system for mods and the issue only shows back up when it is unanswered. In some cases like this, it may be undesirable, but in most cases we would rather it show back up in the queue by default.

I’ve simplified the Solutions and Instructions so that End-Users can follow them too and marked this as a community wiki entry. If you know of other Drivers, add them as a comment with your full GPU name.

Hey ,

I have a question that could possibly be a solution. What does r.Shadow.PerObject actually do in terms of rendering? I have turned that off and was able to crank shadows up to epic without crashing.

Edit: Working settings so far:
r.Shadow.PerObject = “0”
r.ShadowQuality = “5”
r.LightFunctionQuality = “1”
r.Shadow.MaxResolution = “2048”
r.Shadow.DistanceScale = “1”
r.Shadow.RadiusThreshold = “0.03”
r.Shadow.CSM.TransitionScale = “1”
r.Shadow.CSM.MaxCascades = “4”
r.DistanceFieldAO = “1”

How would I go about changing these settings? Where can I find the shadow settings in Unreal engine (Sorry I’m relatively new) I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be worknig for me.