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Horizon Zero Dawn - How to Fix Crashing Problems

Written by xDTrammell   /   Aug 9, 2020    


I was getting constant crashing issues when playing the game primary during cut-scenes. This is how I fixed my problems.

Guide to Fixing Game Crash



NVIDIA Drivers



I did a clean driver install of GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 451.85 which can be found here:


This driver was released on July 24th and is newer than the version that will download through GeForce Experience.



This will also force the game to recompile the shader cache.

Seldom Crashes Due to Game Trying to Write to Nonexistent Memory Address



  • Open <path-to-game>\HorizonZeroDawn.exe in a hex editor.

Search for:

  • C7 04 25 00 00 00 00 A7 DC EA 0D

And replace all instances with:

  • 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90

Make sure to select Hex-Values and not Text-String.




Save the changes.

Special K



  • Download Special K from here.

After downloading and extracting the Special K files open SKIF.exe.

Start the Special K service by clicking on Global Injection > Start Service.



Go back to Steam Game Management tab and scroll down to Horizon Zero Dawn.



Click on the logo to launch the game.

The game wont open the first time because you have to make a few changes to the INI file to get special K to work but you have to run the game with it once for it to generate the INI file.

The ini file is located in:

  • %USERPROFILE%.\Documents\My Mods\SpecialK\Profiles\Horizon Zero Dawn

You need to change these in the INI file,

  • [API.Hook]
  • LastKnown=64
  • d3d11=false
  • d3d12=true

  • [Render.FrameRate]
  • TargetFPS=60.0
  • SleeplessRenderThread=true
  • SleeplessWindowThread=true

add this to the INI file I added it above the Render.FrameRate section.

  • [Macro.FPS]
  • Ctrl+Shift+1=TargetFPS 60
  • Ctrl+Shift+2=TargetFPS 45
  • Ctrl+Shift+3=TargetFPS 30
  • Ctrl+Shift+0=TargetFPS 0

The person that put out the changes for the INI file to get this working with Horizon also added this note but I could not get the game to work properly in full screen mode.

Fullscreen Exclusive mode is absolutely necessary for sane framepacing in this game. The engine uses double-buffered VSYNC and crashes if you attempt to add additional backbuffers using SK's swapchain settings.

  • Here is the source for the Special K information.

From now on you will launch the game through the Special K launcher.

Important: no OSD is yet available, to know Special K is loaded pres CTRL+SHIFT+T, you should hear an achievement sound.

In-Game Settings



These are my in game settings.


Written by xDTrammell.