Fortnite Season 5 brought a number of updates, but also what appeared to be a series of issues.
Whilst the game works well for a large number of people, there are a small number who may experience “black screen” crashes when the game loads up.
There are a number of causes of this problem – from faulty graphics driver (unlikely) to having issues within Fortnite itself.
For the most part, the black screen crashes problem seems to be caused by the way in which the new update has lead a number of files to become damaged or corrupted – preventing the operating system from being able to load the files it requires to run the game.
As with many software applications, there are many *potential* causes of the problem (in the absence of a specific error code, it’s generally the case that a number of issues can be at the root of the problem).
To this end, whilst BattlEye and the faulty movie files are the likely causes, the following represents the full list of issues:
- BattlEye faulty
- Faulty movie files (Season 5 only)
- Graphics driver problems
- Windows outdated/errors
- Fortnite errors
- Registry problems with Windows
It’s important to note that “black screen” crashes typically indicate problems with the graphics. This is the same across the entire spectrum of modern computing.
If you’re unable to get Fortnite working after applying the steps below, there may be more specific issues with Windows, or the game itself.
To resolve the underlying issues, there are a number of steps to walk through…
1. Uninstall BattlEye
The first step to follow is to get rid of the BattlEye expansion for the Fortnite game.
BattlEye is a third-party “anti-cheat” package used with Fortnite, PUBG (and others) to provide extra support for the system. It’s important, but we can just repair the installation to ensure that it doesn’t cause any more errors:
- Press “Windows” + “E” keys on your keyboard
- Browse to “C:/Program Files/Epic Games/Fortnite/FortniteGame/Binaries/Win64/BattlEye”
- Select “Uninstall_battlEye.bat” and let the screen process the command
- Once complete, load up the Epic Games Launcher
- Select the “cog” icon on the left of the green “Launch” button
- From the drop down, select “Verify”
- Let the verification process run
- After it completes, restart your system
Upon the restart taking place, you should try loading up Fortnite again.
If it works, you should consider the problem solved.
2. Remove Faulty Movie Files
This was a newly discovered patch by someone in the Epic Games forums – it seems a number of Fortnite “movie” files were actually damaged or corrupted.
To do this, you can follow the steps here:
- Press “Windows” + “E” keys on your keyboard
- Browse to “C:/Program Files/Epic Games/Fortnite/FortniteGame/Content/Movies/SRT”
- Delete everything in that folder
- Next, go back to the “movies” folder
- Look for the 3 “FNBR” movie files and delete them all
- From here, load up the “Epic Games Launcher” again and bring up the “Verify” process
If it works, the issue can be considered resolved.
3. Re-Install Graphics Driver
The next step (if the above two don’t work) is to reinstall your graphics driver.
This might seem extreme, but is actually relatively straight-forward – and should solve the majority of problems with respect to any games causing problems.
To do this takes a little bit of time, but is worth it:
- Firstly, browse to your preferred search engine + look for “DDU”
- You should find a website called Guru3D with reference to the “Display Driver Uninstaller” it created
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the application via one of the links
- Save the file to your system (you’ll need it after restarting)
Once you’ve downloaded, you need to load up Windows into “Safe Mode”.
This differs depending on which version of Windows you’re running:
- In Windows 7, restart the system and press F8 continually before Windows loads. A black screen should appear – use the keyboard’s number keys to select “Safe Mode”
- In Windows 10, press on the “Start”, select the “Power” button (left “charms” menu) and then hold SHIFT and press “Restart”
- This will load up a blue “Windows Recovery Environment” screen, from which you need to click “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “Startup Settings” > “Restart”
- This will restart W10 into Safe Mode (yes, it’s annoying but that’s the way it is)
Once in “Safe Mode” (in either system), you need to click onto the DDU application you downloaded previously…
- Loading the application, you simply need to press the top button, it will perform its work and then restart your system.
- From here, you should allow Windows to install the graphics driver again (or if you are intent on using the full driver, you’ll want to go to the manufacturer’s website and download it)
- Let the driver install, restart your PC again and then try loading up Fortnite again
4. Update Fortnite
Next (if the problem persists), you’ll need to update Fortnite.
This will guarantee a new set of files for the system, allowing you to get the most out of the game.
To make sure this works properly, you should follow these steps:
- Load up the “Epic Games Launcher”
- Select the “Settings” option from the top-right
- Click onto “Update”
- Let the application run its update process
- After the update completes, restart your system
5. Clean Out Registry
Lastly, you may wish to clean out the “registry” of your system.
This has become somewhat notorious in recent times (due primarily to the over-promotion of “registry cleaner” tools) – but is still a relatively effective way to cure core Windows problems.
- Download an effective registry cleaner tool (the only one worth using in 2018 is CCleaner – which is free)
- Run the cleaner and let it scan through all the files / settings of your system
- When it shows the files it wants to clean, let it clean them
- Restart your PC when done
This will give you the best chance of having a system that’s actually able to run the Fortnite application smoothly and effectively. Further issues suggest a more deep-set problem.
If you’re still experiencing problems, it often means you’ll have some underlying problem with the core of your system. Without direct access to the various files / packages which may be leading the error to persist, it’s difficult to speculate on what the problem might be.
To this end, if you want to resolve the issue directly, you may be better seeking support from a number of parties who have specific knowledge of your system.
Reddit is a good source of support, as is SuperUser and Microsoft Answers. If you really were in difficulty, it may be worth talking to someone on Fiverr (who have a lot of “paid” support for this type of thing), as well as looking for any support service (local or remote) that may be able to get to the core of the issue.