Borderlands 3 Unplayable on PC For DirectX 12 Users

Published: September 13, 2019 9:00 AM /


borderlands 3 claptrap

The Borderlands 3 PC release arrived with a game-breaking bug primarily affecting those using DirectX 12. Those attempting to run it on PC are running into a problem where the first loading screen after intro splash screens never loads. It's a load screen of Borderlands character Claptrap dancing.

More than one mega-thread on the Borderlands subreddit is already being flooded with people encountering the DX12 loading bug. It's possible it affects DX11 too, but most people are switching to DX11 as a solution. However, for those stuck on DX12 and unable to get away from the loading screen, two solutions are below.

Before trying either, according to others, DX12 isn't always broken but often takes longer to load than DX11. One user commented on Reddit that it takes five minutes to load in DX12 over 20 seconds in DX11.

How to Fix Borderlands 3 DX12 Loading Bug

A simple way to fix the DX12 loading bug and get past that dancing Claptrap screen involves editing a file manually. We have a step by step guide of how to get to your the folder containing the file you need to edit. Otherwise, enter the following string into your run window by pressing the windows button and R simultaneously. Before you copy and paste the file location below, make sure to edit in your PC username.

C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My games\Borderlands 3\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor

Skip to step 7 if you entered the above file location.

  1. Access your Documents folder.
  2. Access My Games folder.
  3. Find the Borderlands 3 folder.
  4. Access the Saved folder.
  5. Access the Config folder.
  6. Finally, access the WindowsNoEditor folder.
  7. Edit the GameUserSettings file and find "PreferredGraphicsAPI=DX12". You can easily search for it by using CTRL+F.
  8. After finding this line, change DX12 to DX11 and save the file.

After replacing DX12 with DX11, Borderlands 3 should run correctly on PC. If you continue to have issues loading, let us know below.

Other Borderlands 3 DX12 Loading Fix

If the above solution doesn't work, another fix others are sharing on the Borderlands subreddit is to delete the "Saved" folder. This is only recommended if you haven't played Borderlands 3 yet as I personally don't know what information is located here. The file path is similar to the above fix and is located below.

C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My games\Borderlands 3\Saved

A step by step walkthrough is available below as well.

  1. Access your Documents folder.
  2. Access My Games folder.
  3. Find the Borderlands 3 folder.
  4. Access the Saved folder.
  5. Delete the Saved folder.

If you continue to have issues loading, let us know below.

Pre-Launch DX12 Issues

Before Borderlands 3 became accessible to the public, Polygon briefly mentioned the developer or publisher asking them to not play on the DirectX 12 version. Ben Kuchera, Senior Editor at Polygon, wrote the following.

They asked us to stay away from the DirectX 12 implementation, for example, and told us that our progress in these builds may or may not carry over to the final game

It's likely there were issues before launch and it's possible those problems followed through to release. PCGamer also wrote a performance analysis feature mentioning DX12 having issues pre-launch. These problems include resolution issues, a loading screen problem, and lower framerates.

If you notice any issues running on DX12 that you think could be related, let us know in the comments.

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Jeffrey Lerman Avatar
| Staff Writer

Jeff loves to write, stream, and make content about video games, pursuing his passion for the industry. He's a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes,… More about Jeffrey

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Borderlands 3
Game Page Borderlands 3
Gearbox Software
2K Games
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date
September 13, 2019 (Calendar)
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