For millions of PC gamers, Steam is currently the number one client for gaming thanks to its gigantic store, amazing deals, user-friendly UI, and many features such as catchy achievements and collecting cards. It united a platform of gaming in one place and convenience is what makes everyone so fond of it.
However, not everything can be all rainbows and colors – and Steam games can have a fair share of issues at times as well. So, we’ve troubleshot every useful method of fixing that problem and compiled it as a guide for you so that you can fix your problems as soon as possible.
Step 1 – Run as Admin
Yes, it’s a basic thing to do. But trust me, the amount of times people forget to generally do this and then realize it worked is insanely big. There are two ways to do this, the first one is to launch Steam itself as an admin.
The way to do this is to simply move your cursor on top of the Steam icon and right-click it, then click ‘Run as administrator’ and press ‘Yes’ in the message that comes next. Try running your game.
Alternatively, go to your Steam directory and find the individual game that isn’t launching. It should look something like this:
Once in there, the game’s icon should be easy to notice. Simply right-click it and run it as admin. Either Steam will naturally launch it or ask you to allow it first, just click ‘Yes’ on the prompt.
If your game works now, congratulations. If it doesn’t, let’s move onto Step 2.
Step 2 – Update your graphics card drivers
Another simple solution, but one of the most important ones. People often forget to update their graphics drivers because everything works fine at a time – but new updates to a game can often cause issues that are only fixed in a later update.
The way to do this varies based on your GPU manufacturer, but usually, you can just google the name of the manufacturer and write graphics drivers right next to it. Here are the Nvidia and AMD sites for example:
Most modern sites support both manual entries and automatic detection, so it’s fine even if you don’t know your exact models. This should fix your issue, but if the games still don’t run – onto Step 3.
Step 3 – Verify the integrity of your game files
Game files can often turn up missing or just be corrupted. An easy way to fix this is to verify the integrity of your game files on Steam. Here’s how to do that:
Right-click the game that isn’t launching and click properties.
Once the menu opens after you click on properties, click on ‘Local files’ and then ‘Verify integrity of game files. It will take a few minutes to complete the verification, and if there’s anything missing or corrupted it will be redownloaded. If your game still does not work, it’s time for Step 4.
Step 4 – Update your Windows
This one’s a bit of a handful, but recent Windows updates have been known to cause difficulties with running video games. Due to that, they release a second update which fixes those issues, but you unfortunately might still be on the one that causes your game to glitch. Here’s how to look for updates:
The way the Start button looks may differ for you based on your Windows version, but the first step is to press it. For most people, it is on the bottom left.
It opens a menu that always has ‘Settings’ present, click on it.
Open Update & Security. If it’s hard to find, just search for it in the search bar instead.
Once inside the Windows Update section which usually opens first anyway, just click on ‘Check for updates.’
If there are any, it will ask you to download them and you just have to click ‘yes’. If this also did not fix your issue, let’s try Step 5.
Step 5 – Antivirus and VPN
One common cause of games having difficulty in playing even unrelated to Steam can be your antivirus mistaking a random file as a problem. A quick way to diagnose this is to deactivate protection for a minute or two just to see if the game launches, and if that fixes the issue then you can re-enable your virus protection and instead add your game or Steam as a whole as an exception in your antivirus, so that it is not interrupted again.
VPNs on the other hand form an artificial connection, and that can affect your internet speed and Steam’s connection to its servers. Try disabling your VPN and then running the game, if it manages to run then that’s your issue. Either don’t use the VPN, try a different country in it, or try a different VPN altogether.
There are dozens of antiviruses and VPNs with their own unique user-interfaces, so I can’t provide any helpful pictures for this step. But these options are usually easy to find with things as simple as right-clicking the icons! Does it still not work? Step 6 it is.
Step 6 – Check the game’s requirements
Sounds too simple, but it can be a lifesaver since most games are refundable if you just haven’t played them enough. See what the game’s requirements are and they might have a detail or two that you missed which shows it wouldn’t run on your computer.
In case you do see such a thing, refund the game or wait until you have the right upgrades to play it at a later time – your choice. If the requirements match and you still can’t run it, Step 7 is the last destination.
Step 7 – Reinstall Steam (or Windows)
The most heartbreaking steps are when you have to reinstall an entire game, and reinstalling Steam forces you to redownload every single video game that you had previously installed.
But sometimes that’s the only way to fix things, and what you can do is try only reinstalling a single game and see if it works to save your time.
On the other hand, if programs besides Steam/video games are having evident problems too, then you might have a corrupted Windows as a whole. Sometimes the registry can be corrupted and at that point, any fix brings up 20 problems – so it’s better to just start over.
That should fix any problems you’ve had with Steam games not launching! If none of the seven steps helped you out then consult a professional as the issue could be hardware-based instead and you could have a dying GPU or a PSU issue to name a few examples.
We hope you found the guide helpful and that it solved your problems, if you have any questions let us know right away. While you’re around, make sure to check out some of the other helpful guides on our website too.