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How to fix Steam game not launching [FULL GUIDE]



4. Upgrade Rivatuner Statistics Server

If Steam games fail to launch on your Windows 10 PC, the issue might be related to third-party applications. Many users claim that Rivatuner Statistics Server was the problem, but the issue was resolved after updating it.

In case you don’t know, this application is a part of MSI Afterburner software, and by updating the Afterburner software you’ll update Rivatuner Statistics Server as well. This is a long-term solution, so if you’re having this problem, be sure to try it out.


6. Check for problematic applications

According to users, sometimes third-party applications can cause this and other errors to appear. If you’re having issues with Steam games, the culprit might be a third-party application.

Users reported that Razer Synapse caused this issue to appear, and to fix the problem, it’s advised to turn the application off before starting the game. However, you can still use the software if you start it after starting your game. Another application that can cause the problem is Logitech Joystick Utility, so you might have to disable it.

In some cases, the only way to fix the problem is to remove the problematic application. There are several ways to do that, and the best one is to use an uninstaller software since it will remove all files and registry entries associated with the problematic application.

If you’re looking for good uninstaller software, we recommend you try IOBit Uninstaller. Once you remove the problematic application with uninstaller software, the issue should be completely resolved.


Can’t open Razer Synapse? We have a solution for this problem.


7. Install the necessary Visual C++ components

If certain Steam games won’t run, the problem might be the missing Visual C++ components. Most games require Visual C++ Redistributables to run, and to fix the problem you need to install the missing Visual C++ components.

This is relatively simple to do, and you can do it by going to the game’s installation directory and looking for _CommonRedistvcredist folder. Once you inside of the vcredist directory you’ll see two setup files. Run them both to install the necessary components.

After the necessary components are installed, the game should start without any issues.


8. Verify the integrity of game filesSteam game failed to start missing executable

  1. Open your game library, and locate the problematic game. Right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
  2. Navigate to Local files tab and click Verify integrity of game files.
  3. The verification process will now start. Keep in mind that this can take a bit, so be patient and don’t interrupt the process.

After the verification process is finished, try to run the game again.

According to users, if Steam games won’t launch, you might be able to fix the problem by verifying the integrity of game files. Your files can get corrupted and that will cause issues with the game. However, you can fix the problem simply by verifying the integrity of game files.


9. Run the game in Compatibility mode

You can fix the problems with certain Steam games simply by running them in Compatibility mode. In case you’re not familiar, by using Compatibility mode you can fix various issues with older games and run them on your PC. Although this feature is intended for older games, it can also work well with newer games as well.

To run the game in Compatibility mode, you just need to do the following:

  1. Locate the game’s .exe file, right-click it and choose Properties.
    Steam game says running but won't open
  2. Navigate to the Compatibility tab and check Run this program in compatibility mode for. Select the desired version of Windows and click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Steam games aren't launching

After doing that, try to start the game again and check if the problem is resolved.


10. If your Steam games are not starting, start from scratch

steam games change download folder
  1. Start Steam and go to your Library
  2. Right-click on a game > Manage > Uninstall
  3. Repeat for all installed games
  4. Open Control Panel > Programs and Features
  5. Find Steam and uninstall it
  6. Reboot your PC
  7. Download the Steam client from the official website
  8. Install Steam and set up your game library directory by going to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders
  9. Reinstall your games

As drastic as this measure sounds, if there is something fundamentally wrong with your Steam library, the only way to fix Steam games not starting is to start over.

By reinstalling everything, you ensure that you are running the latest version of the Steam client and all your games are installed in the correct folders and have the latest patches applied.

We hope that this solution has been helpful to you, but if you need more information, we have also covered what to do when you’re unable to run Steam games on Windows 10, so make sure that you check it out.


FAQ: Common issues with Games not launching on Steam

  • Why wont my Steam games open

Because there might be a problem with the shortcut Steam has in your library, or a file is corrupted. To learn how to fix this, follow the steps listed in the guide.

  • Why do my Steam games keep crashing on startup?

Game crashes can have multiple reasons. Our full guide on how to fix crashes will allow you to find the cause and fix it.

  • Steam game doesn’t launch, what should I do?

Check that the game has been installed correctly by verifying the integrity of the game files.  Check out this article for a more in-depth guide.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2016 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



This post was written by Milan Stanojevic and was first posted to WindowsReport

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