How to Fix "Fallout 3" Lag Spikes


"Fallout 3" is a sandbox action role-playing game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows-based computer systems. "Fallout 3" is a resource-heavy game, as your system must load and hold models and animations, textures, audio and other assets for your current area, and "Fallout 3" may lag and freeze at certain points as it processes all the data for the aforementioned assets. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players can clear their system cache to lessen impact performance, while PC players have a variety of options to reduce lag and improve performance, including upgrading their PC's RAM, lowering their display resolution and quality, and disabling mods they are currently using.

"Fallout 3" Lag Reduction Tips

  • Clear your "Fallout 3" memory cache. Hold the left and right bumpers and the "X" when starting "Fallout 3" to clear the memory cache of the Xbox 360 version. Hold the "L2," "R2" and "Square" buttons when starting "Fallout 3" to clear the memory cache of the PlayStation 3 version. Press the "`" key next to the number row of your keyboard while playing "Fallout 3," type "pcb" and press the "Enter" key to clear the memory cache of Windows versions of "Fallout 3."

  • Lower your display resolution and video quality settings in the "Fallout 3" video options menu. High resolutions with high quality settings require more work on behalf of your PC's video card and memory. Both of these components can cause your computer to lag while playing "Fallout 3" if they are insufficient to handle the resource demands of "Fallout 3."

  • Shut down any unnecessary programs that occupy large amounts of memory, such as Internet browsers. Open the Windows Task manager by right-clicking the task bar and selecting the "Start Task Manager" menu entry or by pressing the "Shift," "Control" and "Escape" keys at the same time. Click the "Processes" tag at the top of the Windows Task manager window to display all programs and processes currently running. Click on an entry that consumes a large amount of memory and click the "End Process" button to end the program or process.

  • Ensure that your gaming area is well ventilated and is not excessively hot. Video game and computer systems generate heat when in use, and a system in a hot or poorly-ventilated area will experience performance issues, including lag, freezing, and system damage. Open windows and remove obstructions to lower temperatures and ensure a constant air flow in your gaming area to allow heat to be dispersed away from the system.

  • Disable any "Fallout 3" mods that add large amounts of content. Your computer must load mod content on top of the base content included in "Fallout 3," and mods that contain large amounts of data will consume even more memory than "Fallout 3" already does.

  • Upgrade your computer's Random Access Memory, or RAM, to the maximum capacity allowed by your operating system. Increased RAM speed and capacity will allow your computer to store more "Fallout 3" resources and load these resources at a faster rate. "Fallout 3" requires a minimum of 1 gigabyte of RAM for PCs with Windows XP and 2 gigabytes of RAM for PCs with Windows Vista and Windows 7, but installing the maximum amount of RAM allowed by your system will improve overall computer performance in addition to reducing "Fallout 3" lag.

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