Steam Game Not Launching? Try These Fixes

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2024 by

Steam is a popular platform for purchasing and playing video games on your computer. However, like any software, it can sometimes encounter issues that prevent games from launching. This can be frustrating, especially if you were looking forward to playing a new game or continuing your progress in a favorite one. But don’t worry, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get your game up and running again. In this article, we’ll explore some common reasons why a Steam game may not be launching and how to fix them.

Common Reasons for Steam Game Not Launching

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why a Steam game may not be launching.

Outdated Graphics Drivers

One of the most common reasons for a game not launching on Steam is outdated graphics drivers. These drivers are responsible for rendering the graphics in your game, and if they are not up to date, it can cause compatibility issues.

Corrupted Game Files

Another common reason for a game not launching is corrupted game files. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as a sudden power outage or a failed update.

Antivirus or Firewall Interference

Sometimes, your antivirus or firewall software may interfere with Steam and prevent games from launching. This can happen if the software detects the game as a potential threat and blocks it from running.

Incompatible Operating System

Some games on Steam may not be compatible with your operating system. For example, if you are trying to run a game that is only compatible with Windows on a Mac, it will not launch.

How to Fix a Steam Game Not Launching

Now that we know some of the common reasons for a Steam game not launching, let’s explore some solutions to fix the issue.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

The first step you should take when troubleshooting a game not launching on Steam is to update your graphics drivers. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open your device manager by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting “Device Manager.”
  2. Expand the “Display adapters” section.
  3. Right-click on your graphics card and select “Update driver.”
  4. Choose the option to search automatically for updated driver software.
  5. If an update is found, follow the prompts to install it.

Once your graphics drivers are updated, try launching the game again to see if the issue is resolved.

Verify Game Files

If updating your graphics drivers did not fix the issue, the next step is to verify the game files. This will check for any corrupted or missing files and replace them if necessary. To verify game files, follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam and go to your library.
  2. Right-click on the game that is not launching and select “Properties.”
  3. Go to the “Local Files” tab and click on “Verify integrity of game files.”
  4. Wait for the process to complete and then try launching the game again.

Disable Antivirus or Firewall Software

If the above steps did not work, it’s possible that your antivirus or firewall software is preventing the game from launching. To test this, try temporarily disabling your antivirus or firewall and then launch the game. If it works, you may need to add an exception for the game in your security software or adjust the settings to allow it to run.

Check for Compatibility Issues

If you are trying to run a game on an incompatible operating system, there may not be a solution to get it to launch. However, you can check for compatibility issues by following these steps:

  1. Go to the game’s store page on Steam.
  2. Scroll down to the “System Requirements” section.
  3. Check if your operating system is listed as compatible.

If your operating system is not listed, unfortunately, the game may not be able to run on your computer.

Reinstall the Game

If none of the above solutions work, you may need to reinstall the game. This will ensure that all game files are fresh and not corrupted. To reinstall a game on Steam, follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam and go to your library.
  2. Right-click on the game that is not launching and select “Uninstall.”
  3. Once the game is uninstalled, go to the game’s store page on Steam.
  4. Click on “Install” to download and install the game again.

Preventing Future Issues

Now that you’ve fixed the issue with your game not launching, you may be wondering how to prevent it from happening again in the future. Here are some tips to help you avoid similar issues:

Keep Your Graphics Drivers Up to Date

As mentioned earlier, outdated graphics drivers can cause compatibility issues with games. To prevent this, make sure to regularly check for updates and install them when available.

Backup Your Game Files

If you experience a sudden power outage or a failed update, it can cause your game files to become corrupted. To prevent this, consider backing up your game files regularly. This way, if something does happen, you can easily restore your game files and avoid having to reinstall the game.

Check for Compatibility Before Purchasing

Before purchasing a game on Steam, make sure to check the system requirements and compatibility with your operating system. This will save you the frustration of purchasing a game that you cannot play.


In conclusion, a Steam game not launching can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as outdated graphics drivers, corrupted game files, or compatibility issues. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can fix the issue and get back to playing your favorite games. Remember to keep your graphics drivers up to date, backup your game files, and check for compatibility before purchasing a game to prevent future issues. Happy gaming!

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.