Fix Warhammer 40000 : Darktide Long Load Time Issue on Windows 2024

Warhammer 40000: Darktide is the new co-op action RPG game from Fatshark set in the popular Warhammer 40k universe. The game transports players to the chaotic Hive City of Tertium where they join the ranks of the Inquisition to fight back against hordes of enemies.

However, many players have been experiencing long load times when launching or transitioning between missions in Darktide. This can be incredibly frustrating as you get stuck staring at load screens for several minutes before the action starts. In this guide, we’ll discuss the main causes of this issue and explore various solutions to fix Warhammer 40000: Darktide’s long load times on Windows PCs.

Main Causes of Long Load Times in Warhammer 40000 

There are a few key factors that can contribute to the long load times in Warhammer 40000: Darktide:

Hardware Limitations

One of the biggest causes of long load times is having underpowered hardware that doesn’t meet the minimum or recommended system requirements for smooth gameplay. Darktide is quite demanding, so having an older or lower-end GPU, CPU or not enough RAM can bottleneck performance.

Some examples of the minimum and recommended system requirements:

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD equivalent
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6600 or AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: HDD with 50GB free space

So if your rig is rocking something like a GTX 1050 or a dual-core CPU from 5+ years ago, it could struggle with the improved visuals and physics in Darktide leading to slower load times. Upgrading to a modern mid-range or better GPU/CPU and having 16GB of RAM can help significantly.

Large Game Files and Assets

Another factor is the sheer size and amount of data that needs to be loaded when starting or transitioning between missions. Warhammer 40000: Darktide is a beefy game coming in at over 50GB at launch.

This means long initial load times as it copies and unpacks game files. Then there are long level load times as high-resolution textures, detailed 3D models, physics objects, particles, lighting data, and more get loaded into memory. There’s a lot of stuff being rendered in those visually impressive levels!

Having the game installed on a fast SSD rather than a slow-spinning HDD can help improve load performance. But the large game size and assets still mean load times will be noticeable even on SSDs.

Connection Issues

Since Darktide is an online co-op-focused game, another factor is internet connection quality and bandwidth. Slow speeds or poor connections will increase load times as it communicates with the game servers.

Other network issues like packet loss, high ping, or latency variance can also cause delays when transitioning between missions as you sync up with the server and other players. Using a wired ethernet connection over WiFi helps here.

Solutions and Fixes for Long Load Times

Now that we understand the key factors causing long load times in Warhammer 40000: Darktide, let’s explore solutions that can help mitigate or resolve the issue on Windows PCs:

Upgrade Your Hardware

The most impactful fix is to upgrade your hardware if it’s outdated or underpowered. Getting a better GPU, CPU with more cores/threads, and extra RAM will give you a big boost in load times.

For example, upgrading from 8GB to 16GB of RAM gives the game more memory overhead to pre-load assets in the background. Switching from a hard drive to a fast NVMe SSD also speeds up load times significantly.

Adjust In-Game Graphics Settings

If hardware upgrades aren’t an option currently, you can also tweak in-game settings to reduce load times:

  • Lower Graphics Quality preset from Ultra/High to Medium or Low. Less visual effects means less stuff to load.
  • Reduce Resolution from 1440p or 4K down to 1080p so less texture data needs to load.
  • Turn off Motion Blur, Depth of Field, and other advanced graphics options as they are performance-heavy.

This eases the load on your hardware and can provide noticeable improvements in load times when starting missions or transitioning between levels and maps within the game.

Update Drivers, OS, DirectX, and Tweak Nvidia Settings

Make sure you are running the latest GPU drivers, Windows version, and DirectX runtimes, and perform optimizations for maximum performance:

  • Update to the newest GPU drivers from Nvidia or AMD. New optimizations and fixes can improve game load times.
  • Update Windows to the latest version like Windows 10 21H2 or Windows 11 for gaming improvements.
  • Install the latest DirectX runtime from Microsoft to ensure you have DX12 optimizations.
  • Set the Nvidia Control Panel setting to “Prefer Maximum Performance” for the game and disable Vertical Sync for faster loads.

These basic software and driver updates can resolve any compatibility issues while giving you better hardware utilization for faster-level loads.

Verify the Integrity of Game Files

Corrupted or missing game files can also lead to problems loading into levels properly in Darktide. Steam provides an option to verify the integrity of game files to check for any issues.

  • In Steam, right-click on Darktide and go to Properties > Local Files tab > Verify Integrity of Game Files.

This scans and fixes any corrupt game cache files. If significant issues are found, you may need to reinstall or repair the game fully to restore any missing assets.

Improve Your Internet Connection

As mentioned earlier, connection quality also impacts load times in online co-op games like Darktide. Try these tips:

  • Use a wired Ethernet connection for lag-free low latency rather than WiFi if possible.
  • Port forward TCP/UDP ports on your router for improved matchmaking.
  • Enable UPnP in router settings to automatically handle port forwarding.
  • Consider a gaming VPN service to route your traffic for a lower ping and less latency variance.

With a faster and more stable internet connection, you’ll have smoother online performance and faster syncing between missions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common hardware limitations that can cause long load times?

  • Older GPUs like the Nvidia 900 series or AMD 200/300 series
  • Dual-core CPUs without hyperthreading
  • Only 8GB of RAM
  • Standard HDDs instead of SSDs

How can I verify the integrity of game files to fix issues?

In Steam, right-click Warhammer 40000: Darktide, go to Properties > Local Files > Verify Integrity of Game Files. This scans files and repairs any corrupted/missing ones.

Will upgrading my internet speed help with long load times?

Yes, having a faster stable wired internet connection allows the game to communicate with servers more smoothly and sync faster between missions.

What in-game graphics settings should I lower to improve load times?

Lower the overall Quality presets, reduce Resolution, and turn off Motion Blur and Depth of Field effects to reduce the load on your hardware.

Should Darktide be installed on an SSD or HDD?

Installing the game on an SSD rather than an HDD will significantly improve initial launch times and level load times due to the faster read speeds.


In summary, Warhammer 40000: Darktide’s long load times can be frustrating but there are a variety of solutions covered here to help speed them up significantly. Upgrading your hardware with a new GPU, CPU, RAM, and SSD makes the biggest impact if possible.

Tweaking in-game settings, updating drivers/software, verifying game files, and improving network connections can also help optimize load performance. With these fixes, you can get back to purging the forces of Chaos in the grim dark future of the 41st millennium without staring at endless load screens. Enjoy vanquishing the enemies of the Imperium!

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