[FIX] Cannot Launch LOTRO on Windows 10

LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) is one of the most beloved MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) and it’s a bummer that a lot of Windows 10 users are unable to play it on their PC. Most affected users are reporting that despite the fact that the launcher opers successfully and they are able to log in with their account, nothing happens when they attempt to launch the main LOTRO client. – There is no error message, no feedback.

Lord of the Rings Online not Launching on Windows 10

After investigating this particular issue thoroughly, it turns out that there are several potential causes that might end up triggering this particular problem on a Windows 10 computer. Here’s a shortlist of the potential culprit that might cause this behavior:

  • Incompatibility with Windows 10 – As it turns out, you can expect to see this issue occurring because a recent Windows 10 windows ended up making this legacy game incompatible. One quick fix that should allow you to get around this problem is to force the main game’s executable to launch in compatibility mode with Windows 7.
  • Missing admin rights – Every once in a while, LOTRO’s devs will release an update that makes changes to the game dependencies. In this case, you need to ensure that the launcher (that’s updating and patching the game) has admin access in order to make the necessary changes.
  • Missing Dynamic Link Library files – Keep in mind that Windows 10 systems are built to favor DirectX12 by default when rendering LOTR. However, this can create issues if certain DLL files are missing from your computer. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by installing the missing DirectX files using the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer.
  • Incompatible Graphics Settings – In case you tweaked the graphical settings in LOTRO before launching the game for the first time, chances are a setting is causing the game to crash. If this scenario is applicable, you should able to fix the issue by resetting the LOTRO graphics settings by using the options menu on your launcher.
  • Missing key VIsual C++ Redist dependency – According to some affected users, this problem can also occur if your Windows installation is missing a key dependency needed to render the game. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by installing the missing redist pack from the official page.
  • File corruption inside LOTRO’s installation – Whether you’re running the game through Steam or you’re using the standalone launcher, file corruption can cause this type of problem on Windows 10. If you’re using Steam, you can fix the problem by checking the integrity of LOTRO files and replacing corrupted instances with healthy equivalents. In case you’re using the standalone installer, you need to reinstall it using the official channels.
  • The game attempts to run on the integrated GPU – If you’re seeing this error while attempting to run the game on a dual-GPU setup, chances are the game attempts to use the integrated GPU instead of the dedicated one. In this case, you can fix the issue by disabling your integrated graphics card.

Method 1: Running in Compatibility Mode with Windows 7

One of the most common fixes for this particular issue is to run the game in compatibility mode with Windows 7. Keep in mind that this game was created years before Windows 10 was even announced, so the base architecture was not designed with this OS in mind.

Sure, the developers have since patched the game to work on Windows 10, but every once in a while, a new Windows update comes around that ends up breaking the functionality of the game.

Fortunately, there seems to be an easy way to fix incompatibility issues related to Windows 10. All you need to do is configure the game’s main executable or the shortcut you use to launch it to run in Compatibility mode with Windows 7.

If you don’t know how to do it by yourself, follow the instructions below:

  1. Start by opening File Explorer and navigate to the location where you installed LOTRO. Unless you installed it in a custom location, you should be able to find the game installation folder here:
    C:\Program Files\Lord of the Rings Online
  2. Once you arrive at the correct location, right-click on the main executable (lotroclient.exe) and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
    Right-clicking and selecting “Properties”.

    Note: Additionally, you can modify the game’s shortcut instead, but this approach is future proof.

  3. Once you’re inside the Properties menu of lotroclient.exe, click on the Compatibility tab from the vertical menu at the top of the screen. Next, check the box associated with Run this program in compatibility mode. Next, choose Windows 7 from the drop-down menu that just appeared.
    Running installer in compatibility mode
  4. Click Apply to save the changes, then run the LOTRO game normally and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Running the Launcher with Admin Access

According to some affected users that were also having the same problem when attempting to run LOTRO from the main launcher, this can also be a permission issue.

Depending on your UAC (User Account Preferences), it’s possible that the main LOTRO launcher is unable to update the game to the latest available version because it’s missing admin access. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by opening the main game launcher with admin privileges.

To do this, simply right-click on the LOTRO’s launcher and choose Run as Administrator from the context menu that just appeared.

Run LOTRO’s launcher as administrator

See if this allows you to launch the game normally. If the game now runs just fine, you have successfully confirmed that the problem was previously occurring due to missing permissions. In this case, you can ensure that the same problem doesn’t repeat in the future by following the instructions below:

  1. Start by ensuring that the game is not running in the background.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where the game is installed, right-click on the game’s launcher, and choose Properties from the context menu.
    Open Properties of the game’s launcher
  3. Once you’re inside the Properties screen, go ahead and access the Compatibility tab from the ribbon menu at the top, then move over to the Settings menu and check the box associated with Run this program as an administrator.

    Configuring the game’s executable with admin rights.
  4. Click on Apply to make the changes permanent, then enjoy running LOTRO on your Windows 10 computer without encountering the same problem.

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Installing the Missing DirectX files

As it turns out, one of the most common instances that will trigger this issue on Windows 10 is a DirectX issue. If you have the GPU to support it, your system will default to DirectX12 when playing LOTR – This is not a problem by itself, but some Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files that the game uses are not included by DirectX 12.

If this scenario looks applicable and you’re missing certain dependencies that are not present with DirectX 12, you’ll need to install older versions of DirectX in order to ensure that you have the necessary files.

By far, the easiest way to do this is to use the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer to install every missing DirectX package and make sure you have every required dependency. This operation was confirmed to be successful by a lot of affected users that were previously unable to launch LOTRO.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of updating your local DirectX installation with the missing dependencies:

  1. Open any browser on your Windows computer and navigate to the download page of DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer. 
  2. Once you arrive at the correct page, click on the Download button and wait for the process to initiate.
    Downloading the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer
  3. Once you get to the next screen, uncheck every bloatware that Microsoft tires to push by clicking on No thanks and continue with DirectX End-User Runtime Web installer button.
  4. Finally, wait for the main dxwebsetup.exe to be downloaded, then double-click on it (click Yes at the UAC prompt if necessary) and follow the prompts to update your current DirectX installation with the missing dependencies.
    Installing DirectX End-User Runtime
  5. This utility will scan and install every missing DirectX pack. All you need to do is restart your computer once the operation is complete.
  6. After your computer boots back up, launch LOTRO once again and see if the issue is now fixed.

In case you’re still unable to launch LOTRO on Windows 10 and you encounter no error message, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Resetting LOTRO Graphics Settings

According to a handful of affected users, this problem can also originate from a graphical preference that the game is forced to use. If you modified the graphical settings inside Lord of the Rings Online before launching it the first time, chances are you’ve forcibly enabled a setting that your GPU is not comfortable with rendering.

Keep in mind that having a powerful graphics card has nothing to do with it – There are certain legacy graphics settings that newer GPU models have a tough time rendering.

If you find yourself in this particular scenario, you might be able to fix the problem by reverting the graphical settings back to their defaults. This method was confirmed to work by several affected users.

To do this, you need to access the LOTRO graphics settings via the launcher menu – Down Arrow > Options > Repair. Once you’re inside the correct menu, click on Graphics and click on Revert Graphics before clicking on Accept to save the changes.

Reverting LOTROs graphics settings back to the defaults

After you do this successfully, attempt to launch the game normally and see if the problem is now fixed. In case you are now able to run the game without issues, you can experiment with different graphics settings until you find the correct configuration for your rig.

Method 5: Installing the Missing Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Packs

As some affected users have pointed out, this problem can occur if your Windows installation is missing a very important dependency brought about via Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 package.

Keep in mind that since this is an older iteration, your Windows 10 will not automatically update and maintain this Redist. package for Visual C++. Fortunately, you can download and install this missing dependency manually from the official download page.

Installing Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable

Simply download the executable, run it, then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation before restarting your computer.

Once your computer boots back up, launch LOTRO again and see if the problem is now fixed.

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 6: Checking the Integrity of LOTRO’s Files (if applicable)

If you’re launching the game through Steam and you’ve only started to experience this problem after an unexpected shutdown or something similar, chances are you’re experiencing this due to some type of corruption that is affecting the game files.

Several affected users finding themselves in a similar scenario have reportedly managed to fix this problem by using the built-in Steam settings menu to check and fix the integrity of the LOTRO’s game files.

IMPORTANT: This potential fix is only applicable if you’re launching the game through Steam.

If you haven’t tried this fix yet, follow the instructions below:

  1. First things first, open your Steam client and make sure you are signed in with your account credentials.
  2. Next (once you are signed in), click on Library and right-click on LOTRO from the menu on the left. Then, from the newly appeared context menu, choose Properties.
    Open Properties of LOTRO in the Steam Client
  3. Once you’re inside the Properties screen, click on Local Files, then click on Verify Integrity of Game Cache.

    Verifying the integrity of game files
  4. Confirm the integrity check, then wait for the operation to complete.
    Note: Before starting an integrity check, it’s important to ensure that LOTRO is completely closed.
  5. After the integrity check is complete, launch the game once again and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case you’re still unable to launch the game even after doing an integrity check or this method was not applicable, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 7: Clean installing LOTRO outside Steam

As it turns out, some affected users that were previously unable to launch the game have finally been able to launch the game without issues after uninstalling the current Steam version and downloading the game from the official website.

According to a lot of users, this workaround has successfully allowed them to finally run the game – This seems to suggest that the problem is somehow related to something inside the Steam ecosystem.

If you haven’t tried reinstalling yet or you only reinstalled the steam version, follow the instructions below to uninstall your current Steam version of LOTRO and then reinstall the game from the official launcher:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features menu.
    Type appwiz.cpl and Press Enter To Open Installed Programs Page
  2. Once you’re inside the Programs and Features menu, scroll down through the list of installed programs and locate your LOTRO installation. When you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the newly appeared context menu.
    Uninstall LOTRO in Programs and Features
  3. After you’re inside the uninstallation prompt, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation, then restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
  4. Once your computer boots back up, visit the official LOTRO website and click the Download button in the top-right corner of the screen.
    Accessing the Download page of LOTRO
  5. Once you’re inside the Download page, click on the PC Download button and wait for the executable to be downloaded.
    Downloading the standalone LOTRO installer
  6. After the standalone installer is successfully downloaded, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of LOTRO, then launch the game normally and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case the same problem is still occurring on your Windows 10 computer, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 8: Disabling Integrated GPU (if applicable)

If you’re using a dual-GPU setup, chances are LOTRO is insisting on running using the integrated graphics card, which might not be capable enough to run the game. This problem was reported to occur with both Nvidia and AMD motherboard, and the only viable fix in most cases is to disable the integrated GPU.

One way of fixing this problem is to use the Nvidia Control panel or AMD Catalyst Contol center to force LOTRO to use the dedicated GPU, but this is not always sufficient according to some affected users.

As it turns out, the best thing you can do to ensure that LOTRO is using your most powerful GPU is to disable the integrated equivalent, leaving the game with only one option (to use the dedicated GPU).

Here’s a quick guide on disabled the integrated GPU using Device Manager in order to force LOTRO to use the more powerful GPU:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘devmgmt.msc’ and press Enter to open up Device Manager.
    Opening Device Manager
  2. Once you’re inside Device Manager, go ahead and expand the drop-down menu associated with Display Adapters.
  3. After you’re inside the Display Adapters drop-down menu, right-click on your integrated GPU and choose Display Device from the newly appeared context menu.
    Disabling the integrated GPU
  4. After you successfully manage to disable the integrated GPU, launch LOTRO once again and see if the issue is now fixed.

If disabling the integrated GPU didn’t do the trick for you or this scenario was not applicable, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 9: Pasting the missing DLL files Manually

If none of the potential fixes below have worked for you, chances are you’re dealing with this problem after something went wrong with the initial installation. If you don’t want to do the reinstallation all over again, there’s also the option of replacing the files that are most likely to become corrupted with healthy equivalents.

We’ve managed to find a user that was kind enough to upload the .dll files most likely to go bust in a Drive archive. We’ve checked every file for malware, adware, or spyware and they are completely clean – Even more, a lot of affected users have used this archive to fix their LOTRO installation on Windows 10.

However, keep in mind that you will need to replace potentially corrupted DLL files in 2 separate locations:

  • C:\Program Files\Lord of the Rings Online
  • C:\Program Files\Lord of the Rings Online\x64Note: This is only true if you installed LOTRO in the default locations.

If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on replacing the missing or corrupted DLL files, follow the instructions below:

  1. Ensure that LOTRO is successfully closed and no background process associated with it is running in the background.
  2. Visit this Google Drive archive here and download the two folders (x64 and x86).

    Downloading the healthy DLL files
  3. Once the 2 folders are successfully downloaded, open My Computer or File Explorer and navigate to the first location:
    C:\Program Files\Lord of the Rings Online
  4. Once you’re inside the correct location, paste the contents of the x86 folder inside. It’s important to paste the files without the folder.
  5. After you have successfully replaced the DLL files present in the first location, make your way to the second:
    C:\Program Files\Lord of the Rings Online\x64
  6. Inside the second location, paste the contents of the x64 archive, and override the existing files.
  7. Finally, after you have successfully replaced the supposed corrupted files with the healthy equivalents, launch LOTRO once again and see if the problem is now fixed.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

[FIX] Cannot Launch LOTRO on Windows 10

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