How to Fix “Failed to Read PAK Vortex” in Baldur’s Gate 3

Key Takeaways
  • Baldur's Gate 3's "Failed to read PAK Vortex" error occurs when the Vortex mod manager struggles to read essential game files due to outdated or missing dependencies.
  • Common fixes include updating Vortex and LSLib, installing .NET 8, verifying game files via Steam, and reinstalling Vortex.
  • PAK files store critical game assets, and issues can arise from corrupted game files, outdated LSLib, or missing .NET dependencies.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is undoubtedly one of the best RPG titles released in recent times, and there are numbers to back this claim. The D&D combat experience, mixed with Larian’s take on modern CRPG, is precisely what made the game a global success, sweeping all major Game of the Year awards in 2023.

It’s no secret that Baldur’s Gate 3 is, for the most part, an open world. It is a massive game, to the point where a lot of sources even miscalculate the actual proportions of its main map. But even with such a gigantic exploration opportunity, there’s always room for more, and that is where mods come into play. This guide will go over a specific error — Failed to Read PAK — that comes up while using the Vortex mod manager for Baldur’s Gate 3.

Gale | Baldur’s Gate 3

What is “Failed to read PAK Vortex” in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Vortex — in simple terms — is a mod manager for video games that provides a nice little interface to manage and set up your mods. It’s mainly useful for titles listed on the Nexus Mods‘ website. In the context of Baldur’s Gate 3 and the described error message, it means that Vortex is having trouble reading the game’s PAK files, which are important for mods to function.

Failed to Read PAK | Vortex

Most users who’ve encountered the issue have reported on online forums that when this happens, the game fails to load and instantly crashes. This is because you have mods enabled in Vortex, but Divine, within LSLib, is having issues reading the mod (PAK) files. The section below will first address the purpose of each of these files, followed by steps to resolve the issue.

READ MORE: How to Disable Baldur’s Gate 3 Cloud Saves on PC [3 Steps] ➜

What are PAK Files?

The PAK file is an archive format mainly used in video games to compress multiple files within a single archive format. It is commonly used to store assets such as the game’s graphics, textures, models, and sounds, which are important if the game is to be modded since these files would then be modified with a different set of assets.

↪ Why Can’t Vortex Read Them?

There isn’t one answer that fits all to the reasoning behind the issue, but there are a couple of more common reasons as to why Vortex may be having trouble reading these files.

  1. Outdated LSLib or Vortex: LSLib, the external library Vortex uses to interact with game files, might be outdated. While this shouldn’t be an issue, the older versions might have some missing dependencies, which is why the software might have trouble reading the game’s PAK files.
  2. Corrupted BG3 Game Files: In most cases, the issue is attributed to Vortex, but it’s also possible that the PAK files themselves are corrupted or missing specific files needed to enable certain mods.
  3. Missing .NET Dependency: Newer versions of LSLib (1.19.4+) may require a more recent version of .NET installed. Vortex relies on .NET 6 for its core functionality. However, LSLib may require .NET 8, which might not be installed on your system.

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How to Fix the “Failed to Read PAK Vortex” Issue?

With Vortex, it is hard to single out the exact point where you went wrong. Perhaps you tinkered around with a file you shouldn’t have or recently updated Vortex or any of its dependencies. The section below aims to isolate and, subsequently, resolve the issue, which is why it is advised that you follow the guide stepwise, going through each of the solutions.

1) Update Vortex and LSLib

Your first plan of action should be to update Vortex before anything else. Usually, the app is programmed to update automatically, but it also shows a prompt when a new release is available. This way, you can manually update Vortex from within the app. However, if this prompt is dismissed, the updates are automatically installed in the background when the program closes.

BG Mods in Vortex

For most people, the main issue lies in updating LSLib. When updating to a newer version, the mods often don’t work, and Vortex is unable to read the game’s PAK files. In this situation, if you’re looking for an instant fix, try reverting to a version of LSLib older than 1.19.4, preferably 1.18.7. You can download LSLib from GitHub, courtesy of Norbyte.

2) Install .NET 8 for LSLib

All versions of LSLib above 1.19.4 require .NET 8 to work. Previously, the library worked with .NET 6, which Vortex uses for its core functionality. As a result, .NET 6 was installed alongside it. Users who updated LSLib and did not have .NET 8 were mainly the ones who encountered the aforementioned error. The simplest and most probable solution to the problem of Vortex being unable to read PAK files is to install .NET 8.

It’s not important to dive into the intricacies of this toolkit since it’s outside the scope of this guide, but if you wish to install .NET 8, you can do so by visiting Microsoft’s official website.

3) Verify Game Files

Before verifying game files, make sure you have installed .NET 8 on your system. Once done, it is crucial that you verify the game’s integrity by running a “Verify Game Files” check on Baldur Gate 3’s main game via Steam. This is crucial to ensure that no files from the main game, that are important for it to work, are missing.

Verifying Game Files on Steam

We have a separate, more detailed guide on verifying game files on Steam. It contains step-by-step instructions to not only fix a single title but also verify your entire Library folder. After verifying your game files, restart the game and check to see if the issue still persists.

READ MORE: How to Verify Integrity of Steam Game Files and Library 

4) Reinstall Vortex

If all else fails, your best bet is to reinstall Vortex. It’s possible that the problem lies with Vortex itself or one of its specific settings. In either case, try uninstalling Vortex, download a fresh version from the official website (preferably the latest version), and install it on your PC. After that, try installing the mods again and see if the game works.


While it is unlikely that you would run into the aforementioned error out of the blue, it is always a good idea to go through the patch notes to verify if there are any changes to the required dependencies. In most cases, the issue should be resolved via installing the newer .NET toolkit, but if it doesn’t, the problem most definitely lies in the game files.

The steps to resolve each issue systematically are already described in detail above within the guide. These aren’t situation-specific solutions but those that have worked for a wider range of people on the Internet.


Why can’t Vortex read BG3’s PAK files?

After LSLib’s recent update, the library required .NET 8 to work, which wasn’t a requirement on the older versions. Hence, the solution to this is to simply download and install the toolkit via Microsoft.

Why does Vortex need LSLib for Baldur’s Gate 3?

LSLib is designed to work with BG3’s specific mod files. It can unpack and understand the structure of these files, allowing Vortex to handle them properly during installation, deployment, and uninstallation.

Why are PAK files needed to mod BG3?

The .pak file format is used in video games to store important assets such as models, textures, graphics, sounds, etc. Modifying this will change certain elements of the game, depending on the version installed.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.