Fallout 3 (and New Vegas): Video/Display Freezes, sound keeps going

Please Note: Even though this was written with Fallout 3 in mind, it also works for Fallout New Vegas. Enjoy!

Ever since Bethesda came out with the 1.1 patch for Fallout 3, I couldn’t play the game anymore. Once I got into the game and started wandering around, I’d randomly “freeze” up… the video would stop updating, but the sounds/music would still play. Keyboard clicks and mouse clicks did nothing, requiring me to ctrl+alt+del and kill the task manually.

It looked like I was stuck until the next patch, but I found some help online:

The game engine has some issues with processors that have more than 2 cores. You can force the game to only use two of them and it will stop the freezing. I haven't had it freeze once since I did this several days ago.

Open up the fallout.ini file in: My Documents\My Games\Fallout3

Find the line:


change it to:


Add another line after it and insert:


This will limit the game to 2 cores and prevent the engine bug from causing the game to freeze.

Surprisingly, this worked like I charm. I do indeed have a quad core processor, so it sounds like this was the culprit. Why 1.1 broke the game for me.. I have no idea. It sounds like Bethesda needs to do some better testing on multi-core processors.

Hopefully this helps someone else out there!

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