Counter-Strike 2: Game Not Launching [Fixed]

This guide will help you troubleshoot and fix launching problems with Counter-Strike 2.

Counter-Strike 2 Not Launching
Counter-Strike 2 Not Launching | Credits: Gamesual

The new Counter-Strike 2 has developed a problem of not launching. You must be familiar with the common launch issue if you have played any previous Counter-Strike titles. This was mainly a problem with CSGO. Unfortunately, this plague has returned with CS2. This guide will help you get rid of this curse.

Key Takeaways

  • Counter-Strike games in the past have been plagued with launching, black screen, and crashing issues, and Counter-Strike 2 is no different.
  • Make sure your operating system and graphics drivers are up to date.
  • Verify the integrity of game files through the Steam library to detect and redownload any corrupt or missing files.
  • Run the game .exe file as administrator to make sure Windows is not preventing access to Counter-Strike 2.
  • Free up memory by exiting unnecessary programs, and ensure you have at least 8GB of RAM.
  • If you have overclocked hardware, return them to default settings to prevent instability.
  • Reinstall the game, and if it still doesn’t work, wait for Valve to do some bug fixing and update the game.

If you are reading this guide, chances are that you are facing some issues while launching Counter-Strike 2. These may be the game refusing to launch and showing an error, a black screen upon launch, or crashing a few seconds into the game. Unfortunately, no clear-cut solution exists, as these signs could mean anything.

This guide will help you troubleshoot different parts of your system which may be causing the problem. After trying one of the steps, try launching Counter-Strike 2 and entering a Deathmatch. If the game runs fine, there is no need to continue with the other steps. However, do try the most common troubleshooting step: restart the game, restart Steam, and finally, restart your PC. If it still doesn’t work, then continue.

Update OS & Graphics Drivers

You should ensure that your OS is current and your graphics drivers are also at the latest version. To check if your Windows 11 OS is up to date, go to Settings, then the Windows Update tab on the left, and finally click Check for updates if it already hasn’t prompted an update. Let Windows complete the update. It may require a system restart in most cases, so save your work before starting it.

Windows 11 Update
Updating Windows 11 | Credits: Gamesual

To update the Nvidia graphics drivers, go to the GeForce Experience app and click the Drivers tab; an update should await you. Click Download and then Express Installation. Alternatively, if there is no update, click Check For Updates to confirm that your drivers are up to date.

Updating Nvidia Graphics Drivers
Updating Nvidia Graphics Drivers | Credits: Gamesual

Similarly, go to the AMD Radeon software, Settings, and the System tab for AMD graphics cards. Then click Download to update the drivers.

Updating AMD Graphics Drivers
Updating AMD Graphics Drivers | Credits: Gamesual

Verify Game File Integrity

Verifying game file integrity has been one of Steam’s best features for a long time. Anyone who has ever faced game problems on Steam must be familiar with verifying the integrity of one’s files. A lot of time, the errors are due to some corrupt or missing game files. With this feature, Steam verifies the files and downloads any required ones.

Counter-Strike 2 Verifying File Integrity
Counter-Strike 2 Verifying File Integrity | Credits: Gamesual

To verify the integrity, go to your Steam Library and select Counter-Strike 2 from your games. Next, click on the little cog wheel icon on the right side to open a drop-down list. Select Properties, and a new window will open. Click on Installed Files and select the Verify integrity of game files option. Let Steam do its thing, and after it is done, try launching the game.

Run As Administrator

Running a .exe file as an administrator is one of the simplest solutions. To run Counter-Strike 2 as administrator, go to your SteamLibrary folder, steamapps, click on common and go to the Counter-Strike folder. Then, go to the game folder, bin, and win64.

Run Counter-Strike 2 As Administrator
Run Counter-Strike 2 As Administrator | Credits: Gamesual

There, you will find the .exe file for Counter-Strike 2 named cs2. Right-click this file and select Run as administrator. This will launch your game with admin privileges only once. Alternatively, you can permanently run it in admin mode by right-clicking the file and selecting Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab, check the Run this program as an administrator option, and click OK.

Disable Fullscreen

If you are facing the issue of a black screen on startup or the game crashing when entering a match, try disabling fullscreen. You can use the ALT + ENTER shortcut to toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode.

After doing this, go to your video settings and set it to Fullscreen Windowed. This should fix the black screen problem.

Free Up Memory

One of the reasons for the failure to launch the game or the crashes could be the lack of free memory. According to the Steam store page, Counter-Strike 2 requires a minimum of 8GB RAM, so make sure you at least have that.

Moreover, if the issue persists, try closing background applications such as Discord, Wallpaper Engine, or any other third-party applications that are not necessary. You can check which application takes up the most memory by going into the Task Manager and sorting by Memory.

Refrain From Overclocking

One thing that can cause instability in your system is overclocking your hardware. If you have overclocked your CPU or GPU, return them to the default settings and try launching the game. Moreover, if you have an AMD AM5 CPU paired with DDR5 RAM, lower the clock speed of the RAM, as this pair has been known to be unstable.

Reinstall Game

Uninstalling and reinstalling the game is one of the worst things you can be told to do, especially if you have a slow internet connection. However, sometimes reinstalling the game is known to solve many problems. Also, it’s not like you have any other choice if you try the above methods.

Have you tried everything, and Counter-Strike 2 is still not launching? Well, there is nothing to be done except wait. As this is the first public full release of Counter-Strike 2, Valve will need some time to iron out all the bugs and glitches. The best thing you can do is wait for Valve to fix bugs and update the game.

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