This is the FreeSpace troubleshooting FAQ. Before doing anything else, read through this thread!
In 9 cases out of 10, the problem/error you've encountered is a known issue and has already been answered here. Not to mention that it is really a lot faster if you read through this thread, find a solution and apply it compared to you asking about your problem and waiting for someone to tell you the same things that are explained in this thread.
The first post contains some useful general tips on what to do with different kinds of problems, as well as a list of the most common known problems, categorized under "General Issues", "Graphical Issues", "Sound Issues" and "Gameplay Issues".
The next four posts contain descriptions and solutions to those categorized problems.
The last post is extremely important if you are experiencing a problem that isn't included in this thread. The post contains instructions on how to create a file called fs2_open.log using the debug version of FSO. That file can be a tremendous help when us tech support lads try to figure out what might be wrong.
Also keep in mind that
- This board is for support of the games FreeSpace (FS1), FreeSpace2 (FS2) and FreeSpace Open (FSO). No other game is covered in this section.
- This board is specifically for problems and issues experienced while playing or installing the games FS1, FS2 or FSO.
- Questions about other games belong to Gaming Discussion.
- Questions about modding (eg. "what tools to use", "why doesn't my mod work" etc) belong to the Modding board.
- FRED questions belong to the FRED board.
- multiplayer questions should be asked at the multiplayer board
- Campaign/mod specific problems belong to the campaign/mod release threads (or boards, if they exist), though it is highly likely that whatever you're experiencing with, say, Ancient-Shivan War or The Babylon Project is actually a known issue and is listed here.
For a few Wing Commander Saga issues, see the Wing Commander Saga Troubleshooting Guide.
- General technical questions do not belong here. If you're wondering which new DVD burner to buy, please ask in the General Discussion board or do your own research on Google.
- Although FSO and the Source Code Project (SCP) are valid subjects for this section, bug reports and feature requests should not be submitted here. If you are experiencing bugs, please submit a bug report to Mantis. For further details on this, please see this topic.
- If you need real-time instructions or support, visit us at IRC: #hard-light @ EsperNet. If you don't know anything about IRC, you can use Mibbit. Mibbit is a browser-based application that can be used for IRCing. Basically just click this link, select a username and you're all set. You'll be automatically forwarded to the correct server and channel.
- If you've started a thread about a problem and the problem is solved, please Modify the first post and add "[Solved]" at the beginning of the topic. Without the quotation marks, of course. This will be helpful if other people search the forums about the same problem.
If your problem is about FS1, go ahead and start a new thread, as this FAQ deals with only FS2/FSO problems.
Before posting about a problem:
If you're playing FSO and do not have particular hardware limitations, always use either the latest official or the recommended build.
- Read through the common issues and solutions listed below
- Make sure all your drivers are up to date
- If you're using Windows Vista / Windows 7, make sure that your FreeSpace games are NOT installed anywhere under C:\Program Files\ , as both operating systems enforce heavy security measures to \Program Files\ and having the games there can cause all sorts of errors/problems. Also, if you happen to have FSO installed somewhere in \Program Files\ , you DO NOT have to reinstall it; simply cut-paste it to a new folder (like C:\Games\FreeSpace2\) and run the Launcher. It'll work.
- Make sure that you have a legitimate copy of FS2. That is, either an original copy from '99, or a digital download from Good Old Games. We won't give support to problems that occur if you've downloaded your FS2 from some other, shady source. If you have downloaded your copy from an "abandonware" or "free game downloads" site or whatever, just remove it, go buy a copy from GOG and then see if the problem persists. And if it persists, then contact us again.
- Check that you have all the retail files in your \freespace2\ folder. The retail .vp files are:
In addition to these .vp files, there are three .vp files that you can have in \freespace2\: FS2OGGcutscenepack.vp, multi-mission-pack.vp and multi-voice-pack.vp. They are not necessary, but won't cause any problems either.
No other .vp files can be placed to \freespace2\ as they will interfere with the game. They must be placed to subfolders according to the mod installation instructions in the other stickied thread on this board.
- The latest official and recommended build is currently 3.6.12 Final.
- The latest Launchers are also available from the two threads above (current Windows Launcher is 5.5g)
Whenever this FAQ mentions "the recommended build", it means the build above.Useful links:Mod Installation Instructions
(also covered in the manual installation instructions stickied on this board)Multiplayer InstructionsGeneral Issues
- "Web cursor bitmap not found."
- "OpenAL32.dll not found."
- "The launcher must be in the same directory as the binary you are tying to use."
- "IMPORTANT NOTE: There was an error while installing this section. You may need to run the Installer again in order to ensure that this section works correctly."
- "Ship/Texture/etc. not found."
- "FreeSpace/FRED cannot be run from a root directory."
- "FreeSpace was unable to find [n] ship classes while loading this mission."
- "Failed to save pilot file."
- "Freespace has detected that you only have n MB of free memory. Freespace requires at least 32MB of memory to run."
- When attempting to play a red alert mission, everything is black/the game crashes.
- The cutscenes won't play.
- The cutscenes show up only in the upper-left corner of the screen and won't scale up to fullscreen.
- The game freezes to the splash screen.
- "I can't get the mods to work" / "None of the custom campaigns show up in the Campaign Room"
- ""Can't open model file <S_Rockeye.pof>" when playing FSPort."
- "Error: mv_strings-lcl.tbm is corrupt"
- "Slowdowns in nebula missions in FS2."
- "Error: Could not load in main hall mask 'MainScreen-M'! (This error most likely means that you are missing required 640x480 interface art.)"
- "The game crashes on startup, without opening a window"
- "No sounds."
- "Simulated speech doesn't work."
- "There are no voices in <insert mod name here>."
- "Missing models / Missing textures / The game just crashes when trying to start/continue even the main FS2 campaign."
- "Game freezes when viewing ships in the Techroom database."
- "I have an ATI X1*** graphics card."
- "Unable to get proper pixel format for OpenGL W32!"
- "Invisible asteroids" / "Missing ship textures."
- "Black boxes around effects."
- "Severe slowdowns during gameplay."
- "The suns and other background elements move in a funny way."
- "Ships have black and white stripes all over them" / "Textures have a chessboard misplacement effect."
- "Unable to play in OpenGL."
- "There are no nebulas in the background, just stars."
- "The stars disappear whenever I am not moving."
- "No graphical updates, when trying to play the FS2 main campaign."
- "Shivan beams look wrong with the 3.6.10 MediaVPs."
- "Damage lightning looks weird."
- "Models are rendered partially invisible"
- "My Desktop is reflected on in-game objects"
- "DDS ERROR: Couldn't open 'somefilename' -- DDS is compressed but compression support is not enabled"
fs2_open.log / debug log
- "Some ships/weapons are missing even though I'm told that they'd be available."
- "No weapons" / "Only the Ulysses as a usable ship" / "One or more ships replaced by a Ulysses."
- "No Interceptor missiles during Advanced Training in FSPort."
- ""Error: Can't open model file <S_Rockeye.pof>" when playing FSPort."
- ""Error: Invalid ship/wing name." upon starting the mission "Training 4" (the mission after you were chasing the Iceni)"
- "In-game dialogue is missing"
Most of the issues and solutions apply to total conversions such as The Babylon Project and Wing Commander Saga, too.
If you have issues with mods, such as Derelict or Blue Planet, and if the issue isn't listed here, post in the release thread of the particular mod.
Finally, if you've spotted errors, outright inconsistencies, broken links, or if you have any information which you think may be useful and should be added to this thread, please PM The E about it.[/list]