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

  • A comprehensive guide covering all known solutions

§3 User-Contributed Suggestions

  • Users share their experiences and additional solutions.


§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 applying any filter/sound enhancements to "make it sound better"):

Stereo - 16bit - 44100 Hz

Following software are known to cause conflicts with Supreme Commander:

  • Steel Series GG software suite
  • Steel Series and Corsair driver packages
  • Creative speaker drivers
  • Killer audio/networking
  • Citrix Systems

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 sound as the root cause, test the game without sound (shouldn't cause crashes), and inspect for UI or SIM mod issues.

How to disable the sound properly:

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


2.1 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\

2.2 Install the latest client release from FAF: (Or go to

Install Supreme Commander via Steam or GOG

Test for sound issues with a new installation. If problems persist:

  • Ensure Windows is updated.
  • Configure sound card to stereo mode.
  • Set sound card to 44100 Hz / 16 bit; consider 44100 Hz / 24 bit
  • Disable sound enhancements for your sound card.
  • Deactivate unrelated sound devices (restart PC).

If you have a USB sound card like Focusrite and other devices, disable everything except your primary sound card (e.g., NVIDIA and Waves SoundGrid). If you're not using your onboard sound card, consult Google or your motherboard manual to deactivate it through the BIOS.

Example: In this image NVIDIA and Waves SoundGrid were deactivated:


§3 User-Contributed Suggestions

- 3.1 Uninstall Sound Software & Try Alternate Speakers for Testing

Consider using other audio devices, such different pairs of headphones/speakers or audio hardware. Uninstall any additional software that applies filters or effects to your sound and stick to using basic drivers to avoid potential problems. Avoid high frequencies and bit depths (Example: 96000+ Hz / 32 bit).

- 3.2 Delete Sound Files Responsible for Crash

Head into your steam folder for SupCom:FA and delete both music files (The .xwb and the .xsb)

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

- 3.3 Reinstall Everything

Reinstall Windows do not install any third-party software and try only with FAF and Supreme Commander.


The cause of the disappearing sound error is unknown (Well, it is a ~20-year-old game engine) 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.

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

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. Thank you in advance.