Solutions for SND: Error, XACT: Invalid arg, XACT3DApply failed


Table of contents:

§1 Fixing disappearing sound:

  • Known conflicts with software
  • How to apply a possible solution

§2 Fixing crashes related to sound - SND: Error, XACT: Invalid arg, XACT3DApply failed

  • Comprehensive guide that covers everything known about it

§1 Fixing disappearing sound:

If your sound goes silent after a certain time or early in the game - Make sure you have the following sound settings (without any other effects):

Stereo - 16bit - 44100 Hz

Following software are known to cause conflicts with Supreme Commander:

  • Steel Series GG software suite

To apply the changes to the game, you will need to delete your Game.prefs file located at:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Gas Powered Games\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance\Game.prefs

Please be aware that this will also erase your user configuration, including any enabled mods, settings, and build templates.

After deleting the file, run Forged Alliance from Steam/GOG to recreate your profile and generate a new Game.prefs file (start a sandbox game once, then exit). With this new file, FA will recognize your stereo environment, and the audio will work correctly.

It's important to note that Forged Alliance was developed before 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound technologies became available, and as such, they are not compatible.

Example to change it:


§2 Fixing crashes related to sound - SND: Error, XACT: Invalid arg, XACT3DApply failed

Verify that the issue is related to your sound, and make sure the game does not crash with disabled sound. Make sure the issue is not caused by a UI or SIM mod.

How to disable the sound properly:

FAF Launcher ⇾ Options ⇾ Forged Alliance Forever ⇾ Command Line Format for Executable ⇒ add /nosound behind the "%s"


Possible fix:

  1. Uninstall FAF and Supreme Commander completely and remove any leftover files, so we can begin with a 100% working environment.

Make sure no leftover files are in: (Path may be different, if you have the GOG version, or you have selected a different installation path.)

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance

C:\Users\%username%\Documents\My Games\Gas Powered Games\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance


%LOCALAPPDATA%\Gas Powered Games\Supreme Commander Forged Alliance\
  1. Install the latest release from FAF from here:
    Install Supreme Commander via Steam or GOG

Try if the sound issue is gone with a fresh installation, if not then:

  • Make sure your windows is up to date.
  • Set your sound card to stereo only.
  • Make sure your sound card is using 44100 Hz / 16 bit.
  • Try with 44100 Hz / 24 bit as well, if 16-bit crashes
  • Disable all sound enhancements for your current sound card.
  • Disable every sound device which is not related to your current sound card (Restart PC).

For example - I have a USB sound card Focusrite and a ton of other stuff. I have disabled the NIVIDIA and Waves SoundGrid; For testing purpose, you disable everything except your sound card.

If you are not using your on-board sound card, then you need to deactivate the on-board sound via BIOS. Consult google or your main board manual to do so.


  1. If it is still not working - I know it can be frustrating, but it boils now down to his:
  • Try a different/new USB sound card, if you still have sound issues, then reinstall Windows, do not install any third-party software (maybe insert_random_software causes the sound error somehow). Go only with FAF and Supreme Commander and hope for the best.


The cause of the disappearing sound error is unknown and there is no guaranteed solution, even after many years. It may be related to numerous factors, which makes it difficult to determine the root cause, but it is related to the sound card or other software that affects sound in some way.

For most people, following step 1 and 2 usually resolves the issue. However, in some cases, these steps may not be effective, and step 3 may be the only option available.

If you need any guidance, please make your own thread here:

Additional note:

There are headphones or sound monitors which come with their own software, or your PC already has some pre-installed software for sound enhancements, 96000+ Hz / 32 bit or other stuff that could cause the issue. For testing purposes, just uninstall the software and only use the drivers.

Also, try "regular" pair of headphones/monitors that plug in the stereo output, as opposed to those using USB.

When you have found any information that could solve the sound issue, which is not listed here, please PM me about it, and I will add it. Thanks in advance.