Fix: Black Screen in Overwatch

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released on May 24, 2016, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. Described as a “hero shooter”, Overwatch assigns players into two teams of six, with each player selecting from a roster of 29 characters, known as “heroes”, each with a unique style of play, whose roles are divided into three general categories that fit their role.

Overwatch official

However, quite recently we have received a lot of reports of users experiencing a black screen when they launch their game. The game neither crashes nor plays and users are stuck with a black screen. In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons behind this problem and provide you with viable solutions in order to eradicate them completely.

What Causes the Overwatch Black Screen?

The cause of the problem is not specific and it can be triggered due to a number of reasons but some of the most common ones are:

  • Settings: Sometimes, the in-game settings can get misconfigured and the game might face issues starting properly. Overwatch has a glitch where it sometimes does not run on “Fullscreen” properly.
  • Missing Files: It is possible that the game might be missing important files that are required by the game during startup. Therefore, due to the unavailability of these files the game might be facing issues during the launch.
  • Corrupt Cache: The game cache when corrupted can cause issues with the startup of the game. In order to make the loading process faster, the game temporarily stores certain files on the computer as a cache but overtime this cache can be corrupted and cause issues with the startup of the game.
  • Game DVR: Game DVR is a windows 10 utility that allows the users to record, broadcast and take screenshots while playing the game. However, this utility can sometimes cause fps drops and even prevent the game from running properly. Also, it has been known that it sometimes causes a glitch where Overwatch runs but doesn’t launch.
  • Battle.net Tools: Outdated, corrupted, or missing folders or files can cause issues with the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app and game clients. This can also application error with Overwatch.
  • Background Programs: Also, be cautious of third-party programs that have certain overlays that display during the game. These programs can sometimes prevent the game from launching or cause it to crash. Therefore, you can try to launch Overwatch in clean boot and check if it launches.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the nature of the problem we will move on towards the solutions.

Before you Start: Try to just press “ESC” at the screen and leave the game it fixes the issue for you if you are the party leader or if you are playing solo.

Solution 1: Changing Game Settings.

Sometimes, the in-game settings can get misconfigured and the game might face issues starting properly. Overwatch has a glitch where it sometimes does not run on “Fullscreen” properly. The game tries to go into “Fullscreen” mode and ends up on the black screen to fix this:

  1. Open up the “Geforce Experience”
  2. Click on Games and select Overwatch from the left pane
    Opening the “Games” tab and selecting Overwatch
  3. Click on the “Custom Setting” icon
    Clicking on the “Custom Settings” Option
  4. Select “Borderless Window” in the Display Mode option.
    Selecting Borderless Window in the Geforce Experience
  5. After applying your settings, try to run the game and check to see if the problem persists.
  6. Also, make sure that your monitor is running in the correct response rate. For example, if it is a 60Hz monitor, make sure it’s running in 60 Hz.

Solution 2: Scanning and Repairing Game Files

It is possible that the game might be missing important files that are required by the game during startup. Therefore, due to the unavailability of these files the game might be facing issues during the launch. Therefore, in this step we are going to scan the game files and repair them if necessary through the Blizzard client for that:

  1. Open the Blizzard Client and click on “Games
    Clicking on “Games”
  2. From the right pane click on the overwatch icon
  3. Click on the “Options” button on the top left side.
  4. Select “Scan and Repair” from the list of options available.
    Selecting the Scan and Repair option from the dropdown
  5. Click on “Begin Scan” when the message prompts you to.
    Clicking on Begin Scan
  6. Depending upon your PC this might take some time wait for the launcher to finish the process
  7. When finished try to “Run” your game and check to see if the error persists.

Solution 3: Deleting the Game Cache.

The game cache when corrupted can cause issues with the startup of the game. In order to make the loading process faster, the game temporarily stores certain files on the computer as cache but overtime this cache can be corrupted and cause issues with the startup of the game. Therefore, in this step we are going to be deleting the game cache for that:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing “Ctrl+Shift+Esc
    Opening the Task Manager
  2. Click on the “More Details”  button to open up a detailed version of the program
  3. In the Processes Tab,  if an “agent.exe” or a “Blizzard Update Client” is running select it and press End Process button on the bottom of the program.
    Opening the Processes Tab and closing blizzard associated applications
  4. Now press Windowskey+R to open up the “Run Prompt
  5. Type “%Programdata%” in it and press Enter.
    Opening the Program Data  directory
  6. Delete the “Blizzard Entertainment” folder inside the directory
    Deleting the Blizzard Entertainment folder
  7. Restart the Blizzard client, run the game and check to see if the issue is solved.

Solution 4: Disabling the Game DVR

Game DVR is a windows 10 utility that allows the users to record, broadcast and take screenshots while playing the game. However, this utility can sometimes cause fps drops and even prevent the game from running properly. Therefore, in this step we are going to be completely disabling the application for which:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click on the Settings icon
    Opening Settings
  2. Click on “Gaming
    Clicking on “Gaming”
  3. Select “Game Bar” from the sidebar
    Selecting Game Bar
  4. Disable every option inside this.
  5. Select “Game DVR
    Selecting Game DVR
  6. Disable every option inside this
  7. Similarly, select “True Play” and turn it off.
    Selecting and Disabling True Play
  8. Run your game and check to see if the problem persists.

Solution 5: Deleting “Battle.net Tools”

Outdated, corrupted, or missing folders or files can cause issues with the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app and game clients. Therefore, in this step, we are going to be deleting the Battle.net files and the Blizzard Client will automatically reinstall them later for that:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing “Ctrl+Shift+Esc
    Opening the Task Manager
  2. Click on the “More Details”  button to open up a detailed version of the program
  3. In the Processes Tab,  if an “agent.exe” or a “Blizzard Update Client” is running select it and press End Process button on the bottom of the program.
    Opening the Processes Tab and closing blizzard associated applications
  4. Now press the Windows+R key to open up the “Run Prompt
    Opening the Run prompt
  5. Type “C:\ProgramData\” In the open field and press “Enter
    Opening the Program Data Directory
  6. Delete the Battle.net folder inside the directory
    Deleting the Battle.net client
  7. Run the Blizzard Client and check to see if the problem persists.

Solution 6: Disabling Background Task

In certain cases, background office tasks interfere with important components of the game and prevent it from being able to run properly which triggers the black screen. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling background tasks and then check to see if the issue persists.

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “taskschd.msc” and press “Enter”.
    Type taskschd.msc in the Run to open Task Scheduler
  3. Double-click on the “Task Scheduler (Local)” option in the left pane and then expand the “Active Tasks” option from the middle pane.
    Clicking on “Active Tasks”
  4. Here, search for the “OfficeBackgroundTaskhandlerRegistration” task in the active tasks list.
  5. Double-click on it and then right-click on it in the next window.
  6. Select “Disable” and then close the task scheduler.
  7. Check to see if the issue persists.
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.

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Fix: Black Screen in Overwatch

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