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Troubleshooting Video Errors

Common Video-Related Errors
  • System crashes or locks up when attempting to load a game
  • Blank, black screen when attempting to load a game
  • Distorted graphics in-game
  • Video lags in-game


There may be other factors causing your games to lock up - please review the Using a Firewall with Steam topic and the Programs which interfere with Steam topic to ensure a firewall or background applications are not interfering with Steam.

If you see purple checkerboards, missing weapon models, or missing world models, especially in Valve titles, please review the Verify GCF Cache Files topic for troubleshooting instructions.


Troubleshooting Steps

The following steps may help troubleshoot video and/or display issues in most games:

  1. Update Drivers

    See the Updating Drivers topic for instructions to ensure your system is using the appropriate/ drivers for your current video card.

  2. Check DirectX Settings

    Check DirectX settings and update DirectX to improve graphics display quality.

  3. Reset Video Settings and Force a Video Mode

    Note: The following process is only compatible with Valve titles. The commands will not have any effect on third party titles.

     See the Reset Video Settings and Force a Video Mode topic for instructions to use autoconfig and experiment with resolution and refresh settings - it is recommended that you start with the lowest resolution your video card and monitor will support, then work your way up until you find a video mode which displays correctly without straining your system's resources.


Unsupported Video Cards

While the following video cards are listed as having DirectX 7.0 hardware support, (the minimum requirement for running Source-engine games) they are not supported:

  • 3DLabs Wildcat VP560
  • XGI Volari V8 Ultra
  • Matrox P750
  • Matrox G400-550
  • SiS Xaber 400


Left 4 Dead Video Errors

 Please see the Left 4 Dead Video Errors article.


Problem with Steam?

Contact Steam Support
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