A Philosopher's Blog

Getting Fallout 3 to Work

Posted in Technology by Michael LaBossiere on November 2, 2008

As I mentioned in my last post, I had trouble with Fallout 3. I finally got it working. Sort of.

If you have having problems with the game, try the usual steps:

1. Update your video card and sound card drivers.

2. Make sure that any firewall and anti-malware software are set to allow Fallout 3 to run properly. Such programs often pop up request windows that are not visible when Fallout 3 (or other games) run. So, the fix might be as simple as running Fallout in Windowed Mode. This will allow you to see such popup windows and allow Fallout 3 the permissions it needs. To run Fallout 3 in Windowed Mode, launch Fallout 3 and click on Options. When the options window comes up, check Windowed in the Mode section. Now click on Play. If the warning pop ups appear, give Fallout 3 the permissions it needs.

3. Run a check on your system with anti-malware software (something that should be done anyway). Also, run a check on your disk (right click on the icon for the drive, select properties,  select Tools and then click on the button to start the error checking. You can also try a registry checker, if you have one.

Even after doing all of this, Fallout 3 might still fail to run. If you are getting a black screen and a a lock up when you try to play the game, run Fallout 3 and then select Options. I was able to get the game to run by checking the Windowed Mode option, setting the Screen Effects to None, the Antialiasing to 8, the Ariristosropic Filtering to 8, the Aspect Ratio to 16:10, and the Resolution to 1280X800. This might not work for you. If you have the patience, try changing a setting and then running the game. Keep doing this until it works or you get sick of it.

Of course, if you get the game to work and spend too much time playing it, your significant other might send you one of these.

6 Responses

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  1. Kernunos said, on November 6, 2008 at 11:25 am

    My Fallout3 worked flawlessly upon install. No quirks or bugs at all. I think all of the Liberal writing has rendered your computer flacid and uneffectual.

  2. […] game. However, it has some serious glitches. As I noted in a previous post, I can only run it in windowed mode. Once I got it running, I ran into crashing problems when using the VATS. Interestingly, it seems […]

  3. Rob said, on November 9, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I am also experiencing a whole host of problems with this so-called “game”. I’ve tried all of the things you have recommended here and am seriously concidering calling up the company and waiting in limbo until i could get something, anything to work. I feel at this point I should just take the game back to the retailer and exchange it for a refund.

  4. Axel said, on February 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Same problem. I solved it by disabling ZoneAlarm and played it while disconnected from the net. It ran flawlessly except I couldn’t earn points with GFW Live. Which means I have to pay if I want to play Operation Anchorage.

  5. Jakx said, on March 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    How do you even get it into windowed mode, im using a pc and i have no idea…

  6. Michael LaBossiere said, on March 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

    To run Fallout 3 in Windowed Mode, launch Fallout 3 and click on Options. When the options window comes up, check Windowed in the Mode section. Now click on Play. If the warning pop ups appear, give Fallout 3 the permissions it needs.


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