Video Troubleshooting

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While 3D hardware acceleration often brings greatly enhanced levels of performance to Active Worlds, it may also bring some annoying complications, due to the enormous number of different 3D video cards out there. Some video cards might have bugs which adversely affect performance, cause bizarre rendering errors, or in extreme cases cause Active Worlds to crash or even the entire PC to lock up, requiring a reboot. Each video card also has many different possible software driver versions that may be installed on a particular PC, and some drivers may work better than others. The latest driver available for your 3D video card has the best chance of working well with Active Worlds or for that matter with any software on your computer in Direct3D and/or OpenGL modes.

This is why we cannot stress enough the importance of making sure you have the latest drivers for your video card installed. The vast majority of problems reported with Active Worlds 3.4 are fixed simply by updating the video driver!

Keep in mind that even if you have a brand new PC, it may not have shipped to you with the latest drivers installed.

Render mode guidelines for all OS:

  • Recommended is Direct3D render mode, in particular for Mac OS-X and Linux based system.
  • Only select another render mode than Direct3D for special purposes.


If you are trying to run Active Worlds in Direct3D or OpenGL accelerated mode and are experiencing problems, there are several things you can try:

  • Update your video driver - this simple procedure fixes the vast majority of problems that people might experience.
  • Try changing your display depth to 32 bits - most video cards work better when your screen is set to 32 bit color (also known as "true color".) To change your display depth on Microsoft Windows, right click on the Windows desktop, select Properties..., and click on the Settings tab.
  • Windows XP SP3: Since Microsoft has ended lifetime of Windows XP no Windows Updates are available.
  • Windows Vista and later: Direct3D 9 and later have been shipped with your system.

Alternative OpenGL

Some cards may require separate drivers for running in OpenGL mode.

Important Note!

In some cases installing new drivers can cause problems on some PCs, and even prevent some systems from running. In particular, installing the wrong driver for your video card can cause severe problems. If you choose to update your video drivers, you accept full responsibility for any problems that may result from doing so. Activeworlds Inc. is not responsible for any problems or damages that occur as a result of installing new drivers. If you are unsure about whether or not you should install a particular driver on your system, always contact the video card manufacturer before proceeding!