Why Does Minecraft Crash?
From missing system files to Java errors, there are many reasons your Minecraft game may have crashed. Repeated crashes often have similar causes, but one-off game crashes may only need something as simple as a system reboot or game reinstall to rectify the problem.
In the next section, we’ll split the causes of Minecraft game crashes into two sections: Hardware & Software and Mods & Bugs.
Malware, Spyware and Antivirus
Having an antivirus program on your PC or Mac is highly recommended, even if you only use it to play Minecraft. However, when these programs run in the background they can take up valuable RAM and other components that will slow down or even crash your PC when playing games.
A game like Minecraft isn't (usually) resource heavy, but when Minecraft keeps crashing it can be worth investigating to see whether an antivirus program is stealing power.
Windows 10 is notorious for causing Minecraft crashes, with thousands of people flocking online to let Mojang know. However, sometimes a system update is both the problem and the solution when your game keeps crashing.
Sometimes, bugs integrated in the game itself can cause crashes when you launch Minecraft. A notable bug was the “ticking entities'' bug, in which mobs (e.g. villagers) became corrupted. If the game is unable to rectify the corrupted entity, it'll cause Minecraft to crash.
Java is the computer programming language Minecraft was first developed in. A Java crash can be caused by crashing of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), unresponsive Java launchers or a simple case of Java needing an update. Make sure you have Java installed when you first launch the game!
JVM crashes are most commonly caused by a large amount of blocks being moved or destroyed at the same time. TNT, anyone? Blocks with extreme data values (i.e. intensive on memory, such as overgrown wheat stems) can also cause JVM to crash.
Modifying Files & Missing Files
Messing with the game files or those of individual worlds may lead to Minecraft crashing. It's good practice to always have an up to date backup of your save file in case this happens, and may need a reinstall of the game to fix.
Following on from the last point, if you're unfortunately faced with Minecraft crashing issues and look for a way to fix them, a corrupted save file is probably the worst outcome.
This rarely happens on “vanilla” (non-modded) playthroughs, however it can occur.
Minecraft Updates & Patches
Updates can introduce bugs to the game but luckily the developers are usually quite quick to roll out patches to fix Minecraft crashes, as these are usually the most reported- and for good reason.
What Should I Do If Minecraft Crashes? - Fix Minecraft Crashing Issues
Restart your computer
Restarting your computer can be like a re-set, allowing the system to catch up to itself and allocate factors like RAM to programs that really need it- like Minecraft.
When a new version of a game releases, there are usually some bugs fixed and some that are (unintentionally) added. Updating to the latest version of Minecraft can fix Minecraft crashing issues, so be sure to keep an eye on the latest release of the game on whichever system you're using.
Simply go to the Microsoft store and click on check for updates.
Update Game Patches
Game patches are “mini” updates that often fix bugs or integrate small amounts of new content. In the case of Minecraft crashes, these can help to mitigate the effects of a dodgy update from the devs. Looking at the most recent patch notes for Minecraft 2.4.2 ( Patching new content in for the 1.19 release rendition) The Wild, we can see that they fixed a variety of bugs that caused numerous crashes.
If you uninstall then reinstall the game, it can help to repair corrupted system files that may be present, which will in turn replace any corrupted files in the Minecraft folder.
Creating a save backup is very important before you delete anything from your PC. Luckily it's a case of copy-and-paste to ensure the saves are kept safe (before uninstalling, remember not to delete the Minecraft launcher, you'll need this for a reinstall):
- Press the windows key + R to open the Run window
- Type %APPDATA%\.minecraft into the windows run box and hit ok, this will take you to the .minecraft folder
- Find the saves folder
- Copy and paste the saves folder to somewhere safe, e.g your documents- this allows you to restore your saved worlds after a reinstall
- Go back to the roaming folder (back asson)
- Right click and delete the .minecraft folder
- Double click on the Minecraft launcher to begin installing Minecraft again
- Close Minecraft once its finished installing and loading
- Open up the .minecraft folder again, click and drag your saves folder into it and confirm file overwrite- this restores all your saved progress into the new install
Look at your settings
Whilst most of the settings in Minecraft are fairly simple such as graphics quality, some video settings are more involved and can make a huge difference to your game.
VBO (or Vertex Buffer Object) is a setting that’s automatically set to “on” or “true” in Minecraft. It essentially decides where power is routed in terms of performance, and this is why this setting can cause Minecraft crashes.
There are two ways of turning this setting off to fix Minecraft crashing issues:
- Change VBO using IN-game settings:
- on the title screen, go into Settings - Video Settings - Change “VBOs ON” to “VBO’s OFF” - Save, exit and restart your system.
- Change VBO using the Minecraft options.txt file:
- Press the windows key + R to open the Run window - type %APPDATA%\.minecraft into the windows run box and hit ok, this will take you to the .minecraft folder- open the options txt file - change the useVBO line from “true” to “false” - Save, exit and restart your system.
Doing this will reroute workload to the CPU & GPU and whilst it may reduce overall performance, it can stop your game from crashing.
Look at your Minecraft Crash Report
In older versions of Minecraft, crash reports were generated for players to view. In the newer Java versions however, crash reports are located in the FTP file.
To access this, open up the game panel and log in. Take a look in the crash reports directory and you’ll have access to all the reports the game has generated.
Looking at a crash report can help you better understand what’s been going on and can also give you information that's useful when reporting issues such as bugs to the Minecraft bug reporter site (plus there's unique splash text at the beginning of each one- classic Minecraft).
Check Java Is Installed
Java is what Minecraft uses to launch and run, so having it installed when trying to play the Java version is pretty important!
From 2015 Minecraft came with Java as part of its install, so it should already be in place. To check Java is installed however, the ‘Run’ command is used:
- Press the windows key + R to open the run dialogue box
- Type cmd into the box and hit enter, this will bring up the command prompt
- Type in java-version and hit enter again
- The next text in the command prompt screen should read ‘java version “(your java version here)”’
- If the prompt instead shows 'can't recognise ‘java’ as an internal or external command, or batch script” this means java is not installed
Java can be downloaded by going to www.minecraft.net/download and searching for the ‘Minecraft.msi’, which should automatically download.
An update to Java may also help to fix Miinecraft crashes.
Remove all Minecraft Mods
The only way to find out which mod (if you are playing a modded game) is causing issues, or which are incompatible is to remove all mods and launch the game to first see if it runs.
If so, you can slowly start to re-introduce mods one at a time and run Minecraft to try to identify the problem mod.
Update Graphics Card Drivers
Outdated graphics card drivers are a common cause of crashes in minecraft, particularly on start up. Older graphics cards that are updated with the newest drivers can also cause crashes, but the former is much more likely to occur.
Go to the manufacturer of the card’s website (e.g. Nvidia) and search for the latest updated drivers. It's usually a simple download and install to update drivers manually, however there are programs that can help you do this, particularly if you aren't sure which graphics card is being used in your system.
Check your Hardware
Keeping your hardware in good condition, keeping the fans clean and free of dust and ensuring the temperature stays fairly cool will all help to keep your PC in good working order, an absolute necessity when wanting to play Minecraft.