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Games may not launch for a number of reasons, most of which are hard to diagnose due to the number of unique hardware and software configurations users have. When it appears games aren't launching this is because they're crashing immediately after launching for various reasons, many of which can be self-solved.

 

The information in this article is written as a general guide to help rule out common issues and should be proceeded by a restart of your machine. If the information here does not help we recommend reaching out to the game's developer for in-depth support. It may also be necessary to see a local PC technician for help with your individual configuration.

Windows users

 

Update your Windows install

Please visit Microsoft's How to keep your Windows computer up-to-date page and make sure your version of Windows is fully updated. This also includes the Microsoft .NET framework (all versions) that is available through Windows Update, as ATI drivers and certain games require the framework to be installed and fully updated.

Update drivers for your computer

Make sure you have the latest drivers for the various components of your machine. Our Updating Drivers article has detailed instructions for updating your video, audio, and other drivers. Please be sure to install the "Other Drivers" which include DirectX, PhysX, and Visual C++ from the bottom of the page.

Verify your Game Cache files

If a game won't launch, this is often caused by corruption in your extracted game files. Please see our Verify Integrity of Game Files article for instructions on verifying your game cache.

Disable non-essential software

Games may not launch if you're running software which inteferes with Steam. Please see our Programs Which May Interfere with Steam article for detailed information on software conflicts you may be experiencing.

While the article may be long, the information included is helpful in eliminating common software conflicts which may prevent games from launching.

Check the game's system requirements

Games may not launch if your machine is just at or below the game's system requirements. Please compare your machine's specs against the game's system requirements on the store page, and note that a machine at or near system requirements may experience performance and/or launch issues when playing.

Mac OS users

 

Update Mac OS

If you're running an older version of Mac OS there may be conflicts with the game you're trying to run. To update Mac OS:

  • Click on the Apple in the upper left corner of the screen
  • Select Software Update...
  • Any updates available will be listed and are recommended for all Mac OS users.

Verify your game cache files

As with Windows, if a game won't launch this is often caused by corruption in your extracted game files. Please see our Verify Integrity of Game Files article for instructions on verifying your game cache.

Disable non-essential Mac applications

Please disable non-essential background applications that may be interference with Steam.

Some common Mac software that is known to interfere with Steam includes Little Snitch, Peer Guardian and Norton/Symantec Internet Security.

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