Like just about every big AAA release on current-gen consoles, The Witcher 3 has its fair share of launch day woes–this time in the form of annoying glitches that refuse to load the game or even delete your progress.
Today we’ll be taking a look at the pesky “please wait” glitch on the Xbox One and some possible solutions that have worked for me, so they might work for you as well.
Everyone familiar with the glitch knows all too well what to expect: when firing up The Witcher 3 you’re stuck at the main menu with a permanently looping “please wait” notification spinning merrily away, driving you completely insane as a result.
A ton of Xbox One players have experienced this glitch, and CD Projekt RED knows what’s happening, but a patch fix won’t be available until as early as next week.
Now there have been two main types of glitches going around, both of which are related but different. For the sake of easy identification, we’ll call the glitches the “Please Wait Lock” and the “Saved File Wipe” respectively.
I’ve only had personal experience with the Please Wait Lock–that is the glitch that locks you in the beginning menu–and it’s worth noting that I haven’t attempted any of these methods to fix the Saved File Wipe. However various users have reported success with the steps below.
Below I have a step-by-step checklist to help you identify which version of the glitch I’ve had success fixing:
“Please Wait Lock” Step-by-step glitch identification
- Start up Witcher 3
- Get to main menu that shows Geralt in a meditation stance
- “Please Wait” shows up and it appears the game is loading, but really it’s frozen in place
“Saved File Wipe” glitch identification
- Resume your in-progress session with the Xbox One’s turn off and resume mode
- Notice that the game is running terrible, with obvious stutters, lag and serious performance issues
- You’re met with “you cannot save at this time” notification, preventing saves
- After you quit and start up the game again, you’ll be met with the Please Wait Lock glitch (see above)
- Upon the hard reset, you’ll notice that the progress you’ve made since your last unaffected save will be lost
The frozen loading screen can be circumvented with a simple hard reset. Basically you need to clear your local cache, and doing so is pretty simple and can be done in one of two ways:
- Turn off the Xbox One manually
- Unplug the power cord
- Wait 20 seconds
- Plug back in and start up The Witcher 3
- Close The Witcher 3 by going to the dashboard and pressing the menu button and selecting Quit
- Reset your console manually by navigating to Settings-> Power and Startup-> Restart now
- Start up the game, and if you’re still stuck, try the manual hard reset option above
“To fix localized Xbox One Xbox Live sign-in problems or games not starting (aka games hanging on the title screen), perform a full reboot of your system, also known as a powercycle or Full Reboot, cold restart or hard reset,” notes IGN.
No one knows the bug’s exact culprit, but the gaming sphere has gleaned that the Xbox One’s standby and resume feature has something to do with it.
Jim Sterling posits that it has something to do with bugged missions, but I’ve come to find that the bug is involved with how the game syncs up saved files and Xbox LIVE user accounts on the cloud.
Every time you save a game while you’re signed into Xbox LIVE, that save file is backed up to the cloud. This is a surefire way to make sure you don’t lose anything important.
The problem occurs, I think, when the game tries to sync up your local HDD saved file with the files on the cloud, somehow leading to a clash.
A NeoGAF member explains the possible dilemma in a forum post:
“I have a feeling it locks up your Xbox HDD and makes it incapable of reading and writing game save data.
“I was unable to save my game while playing Witcher 3 while it was “bugged” and when I quit and went back in, I was still unable to do anything. So… I feel like it’s borked the HDD or the Cloud Save system doing whatever it’s doing.
“What’s surprising is just how many people have experienced this and only within a couple of days of launch… This should be something that’s caught relatively quickly in QA if I’ve only played the game for 90 minutes prior to that and I’m already getting bugs.”
Fixing the glitch isn’t as important as making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Luckily you can take some preventative measures to ensure your saves aren’t wiped again, and I heartily recommend staying away from the Xbox One’s resume play feature.
Setting your console to Energy Saving mode via Settings -> Power and Startup -> Power Options should help, as you’ll always be turning your system all the way off and avoiding the suspend/resume feature. Plus you’ll be saving yourself some extra dollars on your power bill while in this mode.
Sure you’ll miss out on auto updates, but odds are you’ll be tackling Geralt’s adventures for quite some time–at least long enough until CDPR issues a new patch.
The benign (yet annoying) “Please Wait Lock” flavor of the glitch can easily be remedied with a hard reset without losing any data, and is pretty much repeatable as desired.