Troubleshooting guide/Startup and launching problems

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Error message on launch[edit]


DLL is missing from your computer[edit]

Copy DLL to folder
  1. Make a note of the name of the missing .dll.
  2. Go to %WINDIR%\SysWOW64 (or %WINDIR%\System32 if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows).
  3. Find the .dll that has the same name as the missing .dll but with an additional x in the name (e.g. if the game can't find dplay.dll, look for dplayx.dll).
  4. Copy that .dll into the game's installation folder (do not move it).
  5. Rename the copy to the name of the .dll that was missing (so dplayx.dll becomes dplay.dll, etc.)
  6. The game should now see the .dll and play normally.

This app can't run on your PC[edit]

See Installation and download problems for solutions.

Access Denied - Please login with administrator privileges and try again[edit]

Retail games using SafeDisc copy protection do not work due to SECDRV.SYS support being disabled on Windows 10[2] and also by the MS15-097 update for Windows Vista and later. Any versions sold digitally are not affected.
Some games have SafeDisc removed in a later patch (refer to the individual game pages for details). Protected games can be played on Windows 8.1 and earlier with the workaround covered on MS15-097 (this method does not work on Windows 10).

StarForce Protection driver blocked due to incompatibility[edit]

Older versions of StarForce are not compatible with newer versions of Windows. Supported versions can be updated with SFUPDATE.[3] See StarForce support for further details.

Tages Protection driver is blocked due to compatibility issues[edit]

Use TagesSetup to update Tages.[4]

A required security module cannot be activated. This program cannot be executed (8016)[edit]

This SecuROM DRM issue occurs on Windows 10 systems with an Intel Skylake CPU. Some games have been patched to fix this issue.[5] This problem can also be solved by updating the BIOS (if available).[6]

DirectPlay games do not work or prompt for DirectPlay feature/DLL[edit]

DirectPlay is disabled by default on Windows 8 and later due to this feature being deprecated.
Enable DirectPlay
  1. Open the Start menu/Start screen, type OptionalFeatures.exe and press Enter.
  2. Expand Legacy Components.
  3. Check DirectPlay.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.


If problems persist copy dplayx.dll from %WINDIR%\SysWOW64 to the game's installation folder and rename it to dplay.dll.

256 color error message[edit]

Set compatibility mode
  1. Go to the game executable location.
  2. Right click the executable and choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab.
  4. Choose Reduced color mode (8-bit) or Run in 256 colors.
  5. Click OK to apply the change.

macOS/OS X[edit]

PowerPC applications are no longer supported[edit]

The PowerPC translator (Rosetta) is not available on OS X 10.7 (Lion) and later.[7] Some developers have released patches to make their games work on modern systems.

Classic app does not start[edit]

Classic apps are not supported on Intel-based systems and/or OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later. Some developers have released patches to make their games work on modern systems.
If this error occurs on a PowerPC-based system running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or earlier, ensure Mac OS 9 is installed.[8]

Game closes when launched (no error message)[edit]

Install Nvidia PhysX[edit]

Games using Nvidia PhysX will close without any error message if PhysX is missing or not up to date.
Download missing DLLs[9]
  1. Install the NVIDIA PhysX System Software.
  2. Install the NVIDIA PhysX Legacy System Software.
  3. If PhysX was the issue the game should now start up and play.


Some older games may need additional AGEIA PhysX DLLs; refer to the refer to the individual game pages for details for details.

Install Media Feature Pack (N/KN versions of Windows)[edit]

N and KN versions of Windows may have issues starting when not using the Media Feature Pack (XP/Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10).

Check error logs[edit]

Many games will generate a log file in the installation folder or configuration file location containing details of the error that occurred.

Override localization (Linux)[edit]

Some Linux games expect localized file names in ways that fail on certain languages (e.g. Turkish). This may prevent the game launching or cause other issues.[10] Launching the game from the terminal with the LC_ALL=C prefix may work.

Dependencies install at every launch (Steam)[edit]

Delete install VDF and redist folder
  1. Go to the game's installation folder.
  2. Delete or rename the install.vdf file beginning with the game's numeric app ID.

Game switches to windowed mode or minimises when launched[edit]

This is usually caused by another program stealing focus, e.g. antivirus (some antivirus programs have a "game mode" that can be used to prevent this). Identify the program, then adjust its settings or disable it. Samsung Magician is known to cause this behaviour.[11][12]

Games may also switch to windowed mode if an unavailable resolution has been chosen in the game or specified in a configuration file.