Known bugs and known workarounds

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JoelFB

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Frozenbyte
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#1
I'm starting this thread mostly for myself to keep track of some bugs that tend to happen from time to time, mostly stuff that we discuss in Discord. And more importantly only bugs that have solutions that we haven't yet fixed in the game. We have a couple of internal ways to track bugs as well but it's harder to open them publicly. We'll see if this evolves into something else later. We'll probably integrate some kind of a FAQ into the Feedback Tool at some point, or provide some website for the same.

# General bug reporting information
We highly prefer the ingame Feedback Tool (press F1 ingame) for bug reports. That said, sometimes there's stuff to discuss in e.g. Discord or email or otherwise. In that case, here's a quick list of things to include in a bug report:
* Your computer specs (namely CPU, GPU, RAM, and Windows version)
* What build number # you are on (see main menu and the bottom-left corner for e.g. "Build 200")
* What game branch (are you using the Beta "candidate" branch in Steam client settings)? If not, the answer is main branch.
* Check %APPDATA%\Starbase\starbase.log for any lines with ERROR ("TrophyManager is nullptr" is normal until we initialize Steam Achievements)
* Include the above starbase.log file in your bug report

# General troubleshooting for strange technical issues
* Restart Steam
* Restart the computer
* Uninstall/reinstall Starbase

# Can't see any other players in the universe / "Shadowrealm" (SOLVED most)
On rare occasions, it's possible that you don't see other players in the universe (the "Social" tab in menus is completely empty) - essentially meaning that it's a singleplayer game. There can be a couple of reasons for this, but at least one has been confirmed:
## Wrong computer clock time - We've had cases where the computer clock was off by 1 hour, and by 1 day, and by 3 hours (clock was correct but Windows wanted to use -3 hours compared to EST time zone). In the first two cases, returning to normal time solved the problem and logging in showed all players again, and in the third letting Windows use automatic time even if it was wrong for the user's timezone solved the problem. We have fixed most of this issue in December 2020 and it shouldn't be happening as often anymore.
## The other case is more difficult - from our investigations it seems that some players are not able to connect to our servers for more than a few seconds, and don't really show up in our data. This could be caused by network connectivity issues. Some possible solutions or things to try: 1) Try the game on a different computer/network
, 2) Try VPN or WiFi/mobile network, 3) Try a different internet/network router, 4) Check all firewall options and antivirus programs if any.
If any of our Alpha Testers run into more information/other solutions, please DM a CM on Discord or ping a CM or JoelFB in #alpha-tech-problems.

# Random crashes - check that pagefile.sys is enabled (SOLVED)
If you're getting random crashes in Starbase, there can be a myriad of reasons - however, if you have disabled pagefile.sys (see e.g. How-To Geek's article for more information), then that might be a possible culprit. Try enabling pagefile.sys again or increasing its size and see if that helps. Typically crashes related to this have similar characteristics: 1) They will not bring up the internal crash dump reporter, 2) starbase.log file may have lines like "ERROR: - Assertion failed: (, 137)", and the crash dumps are e.g. 500-800 kB in filesize, 3) crashes can be pretty serious, like black screen crashes or freezes, possibly even requiring computer restart.

For further information - Starbase can reserve a lot of memory (optimizations will come in later). Check the recommended system specs on Steam. In addition, Windows may duplicate GPU VRAM to the pagefile, meaning that a static pagefile, even if it's large, may not be enough for the system to not run out of memory. There's a post on NVIDIA Developer forums for those curious about this.

# Random crashes - insufficient disk space
This can be related to the pagefile above. We've had cases where the disk (SSD or HDD) has been running out of disk space, causing random crashes, with a crash message. Crashes can happen before the game window even appears on screen, in the main menu, while loading into the universe, or while in game. Try freeing up some additional disk space on your main drive (not necessarily the same drive the game is installed in).

# Multi-monitor crash
Starbase supports up to 8K resolution. After 8K there may be problems, such as the game crashing at startup. This can happen with e.g. a three display setup with 3x 4K monitors, or 2x 4K and one 1440p monitor. Also note that supersampling also affects this, so if supersampling is enabled, you'll hit the limit earlier. If you have a multi-monitor setup and experience a crash at startup, try using a lower resolution and disable supersampling if used (it's off by default). This problem will be fixed at some point during Early Access.

# Gamepads, joysticks, HOTAS
As of December 2020, Starbase has only rudimentary support for gamepads/joysticks. Starbase will recognize some control devices and it may be useful in e.g. flying spaceships. As of December 2020, there's some quality of life issues but you can go to Settings, click on the secondary control field for an action, and map the controller action (except the triggers and some of the Start/Menu buttons). The secondary field will remain empty visually but the bind may work regardless (same for the ship custom controls). Please note that all controller binds get deleted upon restart until a future update.

If you cannot bind your controller properly ingame or the quality of life issues get in the way, there are also generic third party programs available, including commercial and free options. One option is the shareware JoyToKey (free to try without limitations), and for a more commercial option there's e.g. reWASD. Better support for gamepads and joysticks in Starbase is coming gradually but in the meantime these software may help in specific cases. Additionally, regarding HOTAS and other joysticks, we plan to support them in the long term future but they're not a high priority yet. In the meantime, you may be able to use a HOTAS with each controller's own software. For example, Thrustmaster has T.A.R.G.E.T that can configure and control the controllers.

# Steam download stuck at 99%
Sometimes when we do an update, Steam can get stuck at 99% and the network and disk seem to be idling. This is a generic Steam issue that sometimes happens and is most likely related to Steam's content propagation, and gets fixed on its own in a few hours. But if you're itching for the update, and the 99% issue happens to you, one fix that has helped a lot of Starbase users is to switch the download region to a different one (Steam > View > Settings > Download). For example, "UK - London" has often worked well, same as a different region U.S. server. This should only be done temporarily, so remember to switch back after the download is complete or the next day etc. Whether or not any of this has an actual, factual effect can be debated. Normal Steam tricks are to restart the client, reboot the computer, verify the installation files, etc.

# Closed Alpha: Custom Steam artwork
Starbase ALPHA doesn't have a proper artwork on Steam because Steam doesn't support it for unreleased games. However, here's how you can set your own:
1. For the client background and logo, right-click the empty black space and choose "Custom Background" or "Custom Logo". You can find some materials on our Press page.
2. For the Library artwork, right-click the game -> Manage -> Set custom artwork to choose a custom artwork. We have a 6x9 size artwork here that you can use.
 
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JoelFB

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Frozenbyte
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#2
Continuing with helpful tips (to be added later in some guide, whether it's dev or community made):

# Ship Designer: Major lag when moving/rotating objects etc
Problem description "Still having that issue where moving or rotating isolated unbolted parts, bolted parts, bolting, unbolting, cabling, piping, or uncabling, unpiping freeze my screen for 5-10 seconds, making Ship Designer almost unusable for me."
Solution: Most likely caused by a setting. Go to Settings > Spaceship Designer > Transform Tools > Highlight overlapping objects and DISABLE it.

# Game doesn't start anymore
See if you have anything that could interfere, for example GeForce / Shadowplay or other graphics driver stuff. For example, a user in Alpha had the game crash, and after the crash the game wouldn't start up again. No music was playing (music could indicate the game is running on e.g. another display). The game had to be shutdown from the Task Manager. Restarting the computer or reinstalling the game didn't help. Solution was to disable Shadowplay.

# Graphics card/GPU issues
If your GPU "deactivates" and isn't detectable by BIOS/UEFI and/or Windows, or you get an error Windows has stopped on the device due to reported problems. (Code 43), you can try rebooting/re-enabling the GPU via Windows Device Manager (right-click the Start button in Windows 10 and choose "Device Manager", right-click the GPU and turn it off and back on again) . If that doesn't help, it might be worth shutting down the computer, switching the power off from the PSU, and taking the GPU off from the computer and waiting a while, and plugging it back in.

# Where are crash files and logs located
Crash files (dumps) and logs are located in your Steam Library folder, i.e. typically where your Steam is and then in the folder SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Starbase ALPHA\log

# Graphics malformations
There's a known issue where graphics get malformed for certain things. This is somewhat rare but happens every so often. The likely cause is related to memory and is possibly a bug in the game. A simple restart will most likely fix the issue. If you experience this, please let us know in #alpha-tech-problems and detail what you have been doing in the game (how long have you been in the game/playing, what you did last) and what your computer specs + GPU are. This can take many forms (certain objects only or more), but here is one screenshot:
starbase_closed_alpha_2020_graphics_malfunction.jpg

If this happens more often, it might be useful to increase the Page File size - see the above post for the tips regarding pagefile.sys. Try e.g. 32-64 GB fixed size instead of automatic sizing.


# Graphics malformations #2
Driver issues can also cause various graphics bugs. Here's an image of a bug that is caused by old drivers from a MSI laptop GE72VR with a GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB). This can also happen after a game update (if we do any renderer changes).
starbase_closed_alpha_pixelization_2020_11_19.jpg

The solution is most likely updating your graphics drivers. Might also want to check the specific computer manufacturer if there's other general driver updates available, in addition to the graphics card manufacturer drivers.

# Game turning to blackscreen
If you start experiencing the game turning to blackscreen this could be an issue with refresh rate programs such as Gsync. Disabling that should help as the immediate remedy, and more than likely the problem will not manifest again when you re-enable it. Symptoms are basically just that the screen turns black for a couple of seconds, either with some user input (like doing stuff in the Ship Designer) or even completely randomly/time-related. Rendering should come back after some seconds (monitors may take an extra time to show up, so give it some extra time and check that your monitor hasn't switched inputs while not getting the rendering signal).

# Enabling the "Candidate" beta branch
We sometimes have an older (or newer) version of the game available in a special "Candidate" beta branch. This can be useful to check some errors or issues that suddenly pop up in the main game. Enable this by launching Steam, right-click on Starbase ALPHA and choose Properties, click the Betas tab, and choose "candidate - Alpha Candidate Test Universe" from the available Beta branches. Then close the Properties window and let Steam update the game to the candidate version, and launch.
starbase_beta_branch_candidate.png

Remember to change back to the normal branch (NONE) after you're done testing.

# Game runs slow / tips on improving framerate
If you suspect the game runs slower than it should, here's a couple of possible culprits:
  • The game could be using the wrong GPU (in case you have e.g. a laptop with an integrated Intel graphics chipset and an NVIDIA GPU): Try forcing the better GPU to run the game in its driver control panel
  • In Starbase -> Settings -> Graphics, switch between Windowed / Borderless Window / Fullscreen and see if they make a difference. Monitor refresh rates may affect the Windowed modes and thus not run the game at maximum speed.
  • In Starbase -> Settings -> Graphics, check the "FPS limit enabled" checkbox and set the limit to 30 frames per second. This may help stabilize a fluctuating framerate and help in any overheating problems. (You may be able to set the limit to lower than 30 in the game settings file in %APPDATA%\Starbase\options.txt by searching for "FramerateLimit" and setting it to a number and saving the file.)
# Laptop framerate tips
Laptops are suspect to a variety of framerate issues when gaming. Make sure that you have the power cord plugged in to give the laptop the most power possible. Also double check that you are not using a power saving mode, or switch to the best available, and make sure there's no "automatic switching" enabled. Try searching online for your specific laptop model and a keyword. For example, here's an example thread of a curious case on a HP Omen 15 laptop dx0xxx (one takeaway is to try setting the maximum processor state to lower than 100%). Remember to try the generic tips above as well.

# Resolution scale for improved framerate
Starbase has experimental support for "resolution scale", which may be helpful in certain situations. What it means is that it keeps the user interface rendering resolution at e.g. your monitor's native resolution (meaning the user interface is crisp and clear), and renders the game at a lower resolution, so it doesn't take as much system/graphics resources. To enable resolution scale, go to %APPDATA%\Starbase\options.txt and modify the line setOption(rendererModule, "RenderResolutionScale", 1) from 1 to e.g. 0.5, save the file, and see how it looks and performs.

# Framerate capped to 60 despite FPS cap being off in Settings?
Currently Starbase caps framerate in borderless window mode to the monitor refresh rate, which in many cases is 60. If you want to unlock full framerate, try Fullscreen (Starbase -> Settings -> Graphics, Fullscreen).

# Network card crashes when playing Starbase
Starbase works on a P2P/server hybrid model, meaning that players will be connected to each other during gameplay. This can cause a lot of connections on the computer. Modern computers and network cards (whether integrated on the motherboard or separate actual cards) should be able to handle this well, however older cards might have some trouble. If your network card is exhibiting symptoms, such as getting disabled temporarily, try checking if there's any updates available by Windows or by your motherboard manufacturer (either for the motherboard or for the network card itself).

# Enable mouse cursor to go over to another display
If you have multiple displays and would like to use them in addition to playing Starbase, first make sure you have Starbase running in Borderless Window mode (Settings -> Graphics) and then exit the game. Then go to %APPDATA%\Starbase and open options.txt and find the line setOption(inputModule, "DisableExclusiveMouse", false) and change it from false to true, and save the file, and launch the game again.

# Manually creating a crash dump file
Sometimes we may ask you to manually create a "crash" dump file. Here's the instructions: Open Task Manager, right-click on starbase.exe and choose "Create dump". It will take a while - might be up to a 10 GB file. It will then tell you where in the %APPDATA% folder it created the dump. This dump can then be zipped to cut down up to 90% of its size, and uploaded somewhere where we can download it (one such option being WeTransfer).

# VPN causing connectivity issues
Some users are experiencing major connectivity issues if they use VPN to play Starbase. We are not yet sure if this is a problem with the game or just some general issue - Starbase uses P2P connections more than some other games, so it may behave differently compared to many other games. The problems manifest in A) problems in logging in, B) "waiting for servers (I)" upon exiting the game, C) any kind of inventory running into problems, including station storage inventory. The surefire solution is to try playing Starbase without VPN.

# Not being able to connect to servers
If you can launch the game but get stuck in the main menu in "Waiting for servers" and it doesn't seem to be making any progress, there's probably something wrong with the permissions of the game - perhaps a firewall is preventing the game from making connections to our servers. Check our any antivirus and firewall software you have running and make sure the game is allowed to make connections (incoming and outgoing). If you have an extra firewall or a router-level firewall with strict restrictions, remember to check those as well!
 
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JoelFB

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Frozenbyte
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#3
# "My game is really blurry when moving?!"
Turn off Temporal anti-aliasing and Fidelity FX Sharpening in Settings -> Graphics.

# Multiplayer - P2P traffic optimization
Starbase uses a hybrid server/P2P model, which causes a lot of traffic for the network. Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) handle this better than others. If you're experiencing a lot of issues such as high packet loss but only with Starbase (or gaming in general), it may be worthwhile to try another ISP if you have the opportunity. Some VPN providers also provide special P2P servers, and while we do not generally recommend the use of VPNs, they may be helpful in some cases.
 

Cavilier210

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#4
I often got the graphics malformations from insurance transferring. Its been awhile since I got that bug, but that may have had something to do with it.
 

JoelFB

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Frozenbyte
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#5
I often got the graphics malformations from insurance transferring. Its been awhile since I got that bug, but that may have had something to do with it.
The cause is going over the allocated memory for objects, so using Insurance Transfer is not the direct cause, but obviously when you go from one place to another you'll load in a lot more "new" stuff, and the memory is filled. We know the fix and will implement later in development.

Also this thread was supposed to be closed to replies (mainly just my listing of usual issues), so I've made it so now. :cool:
 
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