How to Fix Black Screen When Launching World War 3?

Some World War 3 players are reporting that when launching the game, after the loading screen, the menu flashes before fading to black and getting stuck. This problem seems to repeat itself et every game startup preventing players from playing the game at all. This problem is confirmed to occur on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Black Screen Fix

After we’ve investigated this particular issue, we realized that there are actually several different scenarios that might be responsible for causing this particular error. Here’s a list of culprits that you should investigate in case you’re dealing with the same type of problem when attempting to launch World War 3:

  • Ongoing server problem – The first thing you should investigate when troubleshooting this issue is an ongoing server problem. This problem might occur due to an ongoing server problem that the developers are busy mitigating. There’s no fix for this particular scenario other than identifying the server issue and waiting on the devs to fix it.
  • The game opens in borderless or window mode – As it turns out, you can expect to see this game stuck in a black screen if your current WW3 settings force it to open in borderless or window mode. To fix this problem, you’ll need to add a parameter to your Steam setting in order to force the game to open in full-screen mode.
  • Corrupted data packets inside the HTML folder – According to several affected users, you might experience this problem in a scenario where the HTML folder inside your WW3 installation contains corrupted data packets that are interfering with the launch. To fix it, all you need to do is delete the entire HTML folder before re-launching the game.
  • Game is not launched from administrator account – Another reason why you might expect to deal with this problem is a scenario in which the Windows account that you’re using when launching World War 3 does not have administrative privileges. To fix this problem, you can either create a new administrator account or add admin rights to your current account.
  • MSI Afterburner or RTSS are enabled – An endless black screen when launching World War 3 is also associated with an interfering software like MSI Afterburner or RTSS. If you have one of these overclocking software installed and you’re not actively using them, try to disable or uninstall them temporarily and see if the problem is resolved.
  • Fast startup is enabled – According to a lot of community members, you might expect to deal with this problem in situations where your Windows installation is configured to boot in fast startup mode. Several users dealing with the same problem have confirmed that they finally managed to fix the issue by disabling Fast Startup and booting in normal mode before launching the game.

Now that we went over every potential scenario that might end up producing the black screen issue when launching World War 3, move down to

Checking for a server issue

If you’re just starting to troubleshoot this issue, our recommendation is to take the time and investigate whether this black screen is actually induced by an ongoing server problem that affects the dedicated game launcher.

This issue has happened several times in the past since the game entered early access – most of the time, the problem was addressed swiftly by the developers with a hotfix that ended up fixing the launch problem.

To investigate whether this problem is actually caused by a server inconsistency, our recommendation is to use a service, use DownDetector to see if World War 3 is currently affected by a server problem.

In order to do this, go to the DownDetector status page of World War 3 and investigate the page to see whether there’s currently an ongoing problem affecting the launch of the game.

Checking for server problems

Note: On the dedicated World War 3 page of DownDetector, move down to the bottom section and check out the comments – It will give you an idea if other users are currently facing the same issue as the one you’re currently dealing with.

In case you find other users complaining about the same type of black screen issue, the next thing you should do is check out the official Twitter account of World War 3 for any official announcement of a server problem.

Checking for official announcements on the Twitter account of WW3

Note: We’ve noticed that the World War 3 developers are usually fast in announcing ongoing technical issues affecting the game. Whenever you have a problem with the game, definitely keep an eye out on their official communication channel.

In case the investigations you just performed did actually reveal an ongoing server issue, you can’t really do anything else other than wait for the official fix to arrive.

If you want to be among the first to learn whenever a new fix is out, join the Discord channel of World War 3 and keep an eye out on the Technical Support chat.

On the other hand, if you found no evidence of an ongoing server problem, move down to the first potential fix below that solves the problem caused by a local antivirus or firewall suite.

Force the game to run in full screen via Steam (if applicable)

Once you’ve excluded the possibility of a sever-induced problem, the next thing you should do is to troubleshoot a potential issue induced by a scenario in which World War 3 is forced to run in borderless or window mode instead of full screen.

Several users dealing with the same kind of issue have confirmed that they managed to get the issue fixed in their case by re-configuring the launch options inside Steam so that the game is forced to open in full-screen mode.

Note: If you previously made some modifications to ensure that the game doesn’t open in full-screen mode, this method should allow you to fix the problem.

If this scenario is applicable, the way you’ll be able to do this is by opening the Properties screen of the game and setting ‘-fullscreen’ as the launch option.

For specific instructions on how to do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Start by signing up with your Steam account.
  2. Inside Steam, access the Library tab and right-click on World War 3 from the list of available games.
  3. From the context menu that just appeared, click on Properties.

    Accessing the Properties screen of World War 3 in steam
  4. Once you’re inside the Properties screen of World War 3, click on the General tab.
  5. From the General tab, click on Launch Options.
    Setting the Launch Options
  6. Inside the launch options, set ‘-fullscreen‘ as the launch option and make sure you don’t forget the ‘‘.
  7. Save the changes that you’ve just operated, then restart Steam and launch the game once again.

If you’re still unable to get past the initial black screen, move down to the next potential fix below.

Delete the HTML folder

As it turns out, you can expect to deal with this particular issue in a scenario in which some WW3 game logs containing information about a series of corrupted data packets are currently being stored in the HTML folder of the game.

A lot of community members that were facing this issue have reported that they’ve finally been able to fix the problem by deleting the HTML folder inside the World War 3 installation folder.

Note: As it turns out, this folder contains no data essentially to the game and the game’s internal launcher will automatically regenerate this folder after the next successful startup.

If the reason why you’re experiencing the black screen issue in WW3 is corruption inside the HTML folder, the instructions below should help you fix the problem:

  1. Start by ensuring that both Steam and the game + the game’s internal launcher are closed and not running in the background.
  2. Next, open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where the game is installed. By default, if you installed through Steam, you’ll find the game at the following location:
    C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\WW3
  3. Once you’re inside the correct location, right-click on the HTML folder and click Delete from the context menu to remove it from the game’s directory.
    Deleting the HTML folder
  4. Once the HTML folder is deleted, launch World War 3 once again conventionally and see if you are now able to get past the black screen.

If the same kind of issue is still ongoing, move down to the next potential fix below.

Upgrade to Windows Administrator account

As it turns out, another underlying reason why you might discover that World War 3 doesn’t launch on your PC is a scenario in which the current Windows account that you’re using is missing admin privileges.

This seems to be a requirement when launching the game while a new update is pending – unless you have admin rights on the current Windows account, you might find that the update will not install and you won’t be prompted to do so.

Fortunately, other community members that have faced a similar issue have confirmed that they managed to fix it by accessing the Account settings on their Windows computer and upgrading their standard Windows account to an administrator account.

Note: This fix is mostly reported to be effective in situations where the game was not brought to Steam and it’s being launched from the dedicated game launcher.

If you want to give this fix a try and you’re looking for instructions on upgrading your current Windows account to an admin account, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘ms-settings:’ and press Enter to open up the Settings screen.
    Accessing the Settings menu
  2. If you’re prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes to grant admin access.
  3. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, click on Accounts from the menu on the left.
    Accessing the Accounts menu

    Note: If the menu on the left is not visible by default, click on the action button in the top-left section to make it visible.

  4. From the Accounts menu, scroll down to the Account settings tab and click on Other users.

    Accessing the Other Users tab
  5. Once you’re inside the Other Users tab, click on the account that you’re currently using, then click on Change account type from the context menu that just appeared.
  6. From the next Change account type screen, change the drop-down menu to Administrator and click Ok to save the changes.
    Turning a Standard user into Administrator
  7. Save the changes, then restart your PC.
  8. Once the next startup is complete, sign in with the same account that you just turned into an administrative account and launch the game once again to see if you are able to get past the initial screen

If the same kind of issue is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Disable MSI Afterburner or RTSS (if applicable)

If you’re using MSI Afterburner and RTSS to overclock your GPU capabilities, you should know that this program will likely conflict with some game dependencies.

We’ve found a lot of user comments on the official WW3 discord channel complaining that this black screen issue only appears while MSI Afterburner and RTSS are actively running in the background.

Note: MSI Afterburner and Rivatuner (often bundled with MSI Afterburner) are two programs that will allow you to overclock your GPU directly from a GUI interface. Rivatuner is a freeware overclocking and hardware monitoring program for Nvidia video cards but also has limited support for AMD video cards.

Keep in mind that these two apps don’t have a turn-off option, so the only way to turn off the apps is to close them from the Task Manager.

Instead, what you can do is press the CTRL + Shift + ESC buttons to open the Task Manager, then search the MSI Afterburner process and close it.

Ending RTSS and MSI Afterburner

Note: Rivatuner program should close at the same time as the MSI Afterburner, but if it doesn’t, you can end the process manually from the same Task Manager menu.

When you’re done with this, launch World War 3 once again (conventionally) and see if the problem is now fixed.

If you’re still unable to get past the black screen, move down to the final potential fix below.

Disable Fast Startup

If you have fast startup mode enabled on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 installation, this could be the reason why you’re experiencing this black screen issue when attempting to launch World War 3.

Several community members have confirmed that the issue was finally fixed and they were able to get past the black screen after disabling the Fast Startup Functionaliryt and restarting their CP.

Note: Keep in mind that disabling the fast startup feature will mean longer booting up times for your Windows installation.

If you want to give this method a try and you are prepared to deal with longer booting times, here’s what you need to do to disable fast startup on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 installation:

  1. Start by pressing Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Next, type “powercfg.cpl” and press Enter to access the Power Options menu.
    Accessing the Power Options menu
  3. From the Power Options menu, go over to the left-hand side menu and click on Choose what the power buttons do.
    Choose what the Power buttons do
  4. From the System Settings menu, click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. This will grant you the ability to disable the fast startup feature.
  5. Next, move down below to Shutdown settings and uncheck the box associated with Turn on fast startup.

    Disabling the Fast Startup functionality
  6. Finally, once Fast Startup has been disabled, click on Save Changes, then shut down your computer and see if the black screen issue is addressed beginning with the next system startup.
Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

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