Pokemon Shield: Isle of Armor DLC freezes on startup

I recently started playing the Isle of Armor DLC for Pokemon Shield and, like many others here, seem to have managed to lock my game. Initially I was able to enter the DLC area, and though I did notice a significant increase in crashes, I noticed that keeping my camera pointed away from directions with high draw distance made a crash much less likely, and used that to my advantage to maneuver around the area a little bit. However, crashes were still very frequent, and in trying to figure out what to do about them, one support thread here related to the topic suggested trying to remove shader cache. Ever since I did that as instructed in the thread, whenever I boot the game and the environment loads after the intro, my game is frozen. Audio will continue to play in the background, and I can see a single still frame of my character standing where I left off in Loop Lagoon, but framerate immediately drops to zero and the game is completely unresponsive no matter how long I wait.

Usually when this happens, only the game crashes, but sometimes Yuzu itself crashes as well and I have to shut it down through Task Manager. On some rare occasions, my entire PC temporarily hangs as well, and if I have any audio playing, whether from Yuzu or something else, it will continue playing but become garbled and stretched. I’ve even had a couple good old-fashioned full PC crashes and needed to use the power button to reset.

I’ve generated a few different log files, but seem to get inconsistent results. The first log I looked at turned out to be 158 megs! But I wasn’t aware of the log file resetting upon booting Yuzu yet and lost the original, only keeping an abbreviated version of the file; however, the log was extremely repetitive after a certain point and I don’t think any critical information was lost. I haven’t been able to reproduce a crash that produces a log like that one. Of the other log files, one of them seems to have stopped logging information mid-word, and all other times the log file doesn’t seem to register at all that there’s been a crash. Keeping this in mind, I’ve attached three different kinds of logs in the hopes that at least one of them might be useful. They may appear to have slightly different settings as I was also experimenting with seeing if changing them would let me bypass the freeze. The first file represents my most stable combination of settings for this game, the one I was able to complete the main game with: Vulkan, async & multicore enabled.

My CPU is Ryzen 7 7300X and my GPU is ASRock AMD Radeon RX 5700XT Taichi X OC+. I have 16 gigs of RAM (one stick, about to upgrade to 2x16) and I’m on Windows 10. I’ve been watching my PC’s resource usage while this has been going on and never seemed to even approach capping out. I am always using the latest mainline version of Yuzu (as of right now, 462) and keep my GPU drivers updated (last updated today). I have not used any mods and have not edited or otherwise touched my save file in any way.

It will probably come as no surprise that my playthrough of Pokemon Shield’s base game was full of crashes as well, and I noticed that the likelihood of a crash was higher under certain conditions. I don’t know if this info is going to be useful at all for figuring this out, but in case it might be, I want to be as thorough as possible. Here are my observations on crashes in the main game:

  • The most common “unavoidable” context for a crash was start or end of a fight, cutscene, or map transition. Higher likelihood in locations with high draw distance (Wild Area), especially if either moving fast or doing a sharp camera turn. My game literally never crashed from just moving about in the menu screen or walking around inside an area with a locked camera. Always involved some kind of ‘transition’, for lack of a better word.
  • Crashes were more frequent if I alt-tabbed out of the game after booting it. Whether I had few or many other programs open in the background didn’t seem to affect crash frequency, only whether I tabbed out of Yuzu to in any way interact with them or not and how often I did that. If I tabbed out for a minute, even just to type a Discord message, a crash at the start or end of the next ‘transition’ was almost guaranteed.
  • Aside from the well documented network button crash, the most reproducible crash was related to character customization. The game would almost always crash when either doing clothes shopping or when customizing my character. Browsing rapidly through clothes options made a crash more likely, but even taking it slow, getting even a single clothing item swapped was only a matter of time and luck. Changing hair and makeup were also likely to cause a crash, but not anywhere near as likely as changing clothes.
  • Interestingly, if I had saved my game inside a shop and immediately went to customize my character after booting the game, the game would crash immediately exactly 100% of the time. But if I took the time to go out of the shop and wait until Yuzu finished with the shader cache and/or the screen flashed blue (which always happens exactly once after I load into the game and start moving about), the crash was no longer 100% guaranteed and I could take my chances with being able to put on individual items, backing out of customization, and saving in between.
  • Booting Yuzu as admin and in higher priority didn’t help one way or the other.
  • I know the latest version of Yuzu is only supposed to require a page file size of 10 gigs max, but following advice on older threads, I tried increasing page file size to an outrageous 50 gigs. It didn’t make the crashes disappear, but it did seem to somewhat reduce them (placebo?), so I just left it at that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope all this can be useful to someone.

yuzu_log_1.txt (785.8 KB) yuzu_log_5.txt (183.5 KB) yuzu_log_7.txt (159.3 KB)

Thanks for the very well documented experience.
So far we know that Pokémon hits some kernel problems. We’re working on this to see if we can fix it for good, but it will take time.

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I had blackscreen and crashes on pokemon lets go with latest yuzu ea builds. The RAM usage for vulkan api especially for amd users is at fault. When i checked the RAM usage for pokemon lets go using afterburner it was over 25000 which was atrocious which i think definitely caused the blackscreen and also the crash in pokemon sword and xenoblade 2 too. The RAM usage is too high , i have 32gb RAM with page file increased to 20000 which is quite a lot. Once the High RAM usage issue is completely solved the blackscreen should also disappear.

Vulkan right now lacks a way to destroy unused assets, so they will continue to pile up on VRAM, then RAM, until yuzu needs to be closed.

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Huh, I see. Thank you for the info. May I ask if there’s any kind of known ETA for the fix? By which I mean, are we talking about days, weeks, months…? Because if it’s on the shorter side, I don’t mind waiting around, but if it’s relatively long, I would prefer to take my chances with trying to change where my character’s location is with a save editor and see if I can’t go back to messing around with the main story’s post-game content instead.

Most likely months. The recent texture cache rewrite was intended to solve this, but during implementation we discovered that a video memory defragmentation routine is needed, and that’s not an easy job.

Alright, I see. I’ll look into the save editor stuff, then. Thank you for all your hard work!

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Hello all! Back with an update; I’m glad to inform you that with the latest version of Yuzu Mainline (500), I was able to finally load my Isle of Armor save and fast travel out of the DLC area. I’m so happy I could cry. Thank you to the Yuzu devs for all your hard work!!

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I was glad to read the comment, but try traveling to Isle of Armor and the game keeps crashing the same way. :frowning:

Ah, I’m sorry, I should have specified that I’m still only able to play the main game content and get frequent crashes in the DLC area. Sorry for giving you false hope :pensive: