Ground Branch Won’t Start on PC? Try These Fixes

Ground Branch made a lot of waves in the tactical FPS community back when it first entered early access. And although the developers have managed to build a faithful community around the game, there are still a lot of technical issues that are taking away from the experience. One of the most common problems with the game is that for some players, the game simply refuses to start when launched from Steam.

Ground Branch Won’t Start on PC

We’ve investigated this issue thoroughly and realized that there are actually several different reasons why you can expect to deal with this problem. Here’s a list of scenarios that might be the underlying cause of this problem:

  • Missing admin access – The first thing you should investigate when troubleshooting this issue is a case where Steam is missing admin privileges. This scenario will prevent the launcher from updating the game which means that you won’t be able to get to the in-game launcher.
  • Outdated Steam or game version – If you’ve taken some steps to prevent Steam from launching, you should be able to resolve the issue by forcing the launcher to update, then making sure that the game is updated to the latest available version.
  • Game file corruption – It’s not uncommon to see this error occurring in situations where some of the Ground Branch game files are affected by corruption (either due to a false positive or due to an interrupted update). In this case, triggering an integrity check via Steam’s menu should fix the problem.
  • Conflicting Steam Download Cache data – If you only started to get this error after unsuccessfully trying to download an update, there’s a chance you might be able to fix the problem simply by clearing the Steam Download cache.
  • Beta Participation Channel is not enabled – According to a lot of affected users, you might ve able to fix this problem entirely by choosing to opt into the Steam Beta Participation channel. This can be done from the Steam Settings menu.
  • Corrupted HTTPChunkInstaller folder – As it turns out, the HTTPChunkInstaller folder is the most prone to being affected by corruption. Fortunately, affected users have discovered that you can actually delete it and the game will launch and run normally.  After you do this, the game will automatically regenerate the folder and the issue will be resolved.

Run Steam with admin access

The first thing you should investigate if you notice that Ground Branch is no longer starting is a potential permission issue.

If there’s a version mismatch, Steam will be unable to update the game unless you force the launcher to open with admin access.

Several affected users have confirmed that once they forced Steam to run with admin access, the launcher finally launched with no issues and they were able to play the game normally.

If you’re not certain whether Steam runs with admin access, follow the instructions below to ensure that admin access is given every time Steam is launched:

  1. Start this process by closing Steam and by making sure it’s not still running in the background (by checking your taskbar menu). 
  2. Next, go over the Steam icon that you use to launch it and right-click on Steam.
  3. From the context menu that just appeared, click on Run as administrator from the context menu that just appeared.

    Running Steam as administrator
  4. Once you completed step 3, launch Ground Branch once again and see if you can get past the initial screen.
  5. If you are now able to launch the game normally, congratulations! You just identified the culprit.
    Note: Now you just need to make this behavior permanent to ensure that the permission issue does not repeat in the future.
  6. To do this, right-click on the Steam icon and click on Properties from the context menu.

    Accessing the Properties screen
  7. Once you’re inside the Properties screen of Steam, go to the Compatibility tab using the horizontal ribbon at the top. 
  8. Next, move down to the Settings section and check the box associated with Run this program as administrator.

    Forcing the executable to run as administrator
  9. Now all that’s left is to make the behavior permanent – click Apply before attempting to launch Ground Branch once again and see if you can get past the initial screen.

If the same kind of issue repeats, move down to the next potential fix below.

Update Steam + Ground Branch

Now that you’ve ensured that the launch problem with Ground Branch doesn’t occur due to a permission issue, the next thing you should do is to make sure that both Steam and the game are running with the latest versions.

Depending on your settings, Steam might be inhibited from updating itself without any user intervention. On top of this, a bad Windows 10 update is also known to glitch the Steam update function.

If you think this scenario is applicable, what you should do is update Steam automatically by restarting the app. In case the update doesn’t start this way, you can also force the store to update by going to the ribbon bar at the top and clicking on Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates.

Updating Steam

If this doesn’t work, follow the instructions below to uninstall your current Steam version then update a fresh version from scratch:

  1. Start by pressing Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Next, type “appwiz.cpl” and hit Enter to open up the Programs and Features window.
    Open up the Programs and Features menu
  3. Once you’re inside the Programs and Features screen, locate the Steam installation, right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the context menu.
    Uninstalling Steam
  4. From the uninstallation screen, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation. After the operation is complete, restart your PC.
  5. After your PC boots back up, visit the official download page of Steam.
  6. Inside the Steam download page, click on Install Steam and follow the instructions to reinstall the digital store.
    Downloading the latest version of Steam
  7. Once Steam is reinstalled, sign in with your account once again and ensure that Ground Branch is updated to the latest version before launching it again.

In case the game still refuses to launch, move down to the next potential fix below.

Verifying the game files in Steam

If none of the methods so far have been effective in your case, you should start troubleshooting for a potential corruption issue that’s affecting the Ground Branch installation folder.

A lot of community members have confirmed that they were finally able to launch the game normally after triggering an integrity check on Ground Branch.

Note: This operation will scan every game file for corruption and replace any corrupted file with a healthy equivalent. If an inconsistency is found, the utility will automatically replace the corrupted files with healthy equivalents.

If you haven’t checked the validity of the game files with an integrity check yet, follow the instructions below to do so:

  1. Start by launching your Steam client, then sign with your account credentials.
  2. After you signed in with your Steam account, right-click on the listing associated with GroundBranch from the Library tab, then click click on Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
  3. Inside the Properties screen of the affected games, go ahead and click on Local Files, then click on Verify Integrity of Game Cache.

    Deploying an integrity check
  4. Click Yes at the prompt to confirm the integrity check and wait until the operation is complete.
  5. Once the operation is finished, reboot your computer if you’re not prompted to do so automatically.
  6. Once your computer boots back up, start Ground Branch via Steam and see if the game launches normally this time around.

If the same problem is still persisting, try the next method below.

Clear the Steam Download cache

Keep in mind that reinstalling your Steam client will not actually clear the download cache that the launch accumulates over time.

You’ll have to perform this action manually and doing this might just fix your launch problem with Ground Branch.

Some Ground Branch players that were suddenly unable to launch the game anymore have discovered that they had a lot of pending items in the Download queue that were just refusing to complete. Upon clearing the Steam Download cache, the launch problem with Ground Branch was finally fixed and they were able to launch normally.

If you haven’t tried clearing your Steam download cache yet, do it by following the instruction below and see if this ends up fixing your launch problem with Ground Branch:

  1. Start by opening your Steam client and ensuring that you are signed in with the account that holds ownership to Ground Branch.
  2. Use the ribbon bar at the top of the screen and click on Steam.
  3. From the context menu that just appeared, click on Settings from the newly appeared context menu.
  4. Once you’re in the main Settings menu, select the Downloads tab from the vertical menu on the left.
  5. Move over to the right-hand pane and click on Clear Download Cache (bottom of the screen).
  6. At the confirmation prompt, click Yes at the confirmation prompt to clear the locally stored cache.
  7. Login with your Steam account again and launch Ground Branch once again to see if the problem is now resolved.
Clearing the download cache

If you are still unable to launch the game despite the fact that you cleared the download cache, move down to the next method below.

Enabling the Beta Participation Channel (if applicable)

Given that the game is is still in early access, it helps to ensure that you’re participating in the Steam Beta channel in case you’re experiencing issues when launching Ground Branch.

Several affected users have confirmed that the game finally launched after they enlisted to the Steam Beta participation channel and restarted the launcher.

Update: Enlisting to the Steam Beta participation channel is now a potential fix recommended by the developers of Ground Branch (BlackFoot Studios).

Here’s a quick guide on how to enlist or to the Steam Beta participation channel:

  1. Start by opening Steam and ensuring that you are signed in with the account that holds ownership of the game.
  2. Inside the main Steam menu, use the ribbon bar at the top to click on Steam > Settings.
  3. From the dedicated Settings menu, click on Account menu from the vertical menu on the right.
  4. Next, move to the right pane and click the Change button associated with Beta Participation.
  5. Once you’re inside the Beta Participation screen, change the Beta participation drop-down menu to one of the active Beta channels. It doesn’t matter what channel you choose.
    Opt-in for a Steam Beta channel
  6. Click Ok to save the changes.
  7. Restart your Steam client when prompted to do so, confirm the transition to the Beta channel by following the updating instructions.
  8. Launch Ground Branch once again and see if you are able to get past the initial screen.

If this method wasn’t applicable to your particular scenario, move down to the final potential fix below.

Delete the HTTPChunkInstaller folder

If you’ve come this far and none of the fixes you tried so far have been effective in your case, the last thing you can try is to simply delete the HTTPChunkInstaller folder of Ground Branch.

Note: This fix will likely be effective if the Steam error logs contain the “Plugin ‘HTTPChunkInstaller failed to load because module ‘HTTPChunkInstaller‘ could not be found” error.

This is a rather unconventional approach since you’re deleting a game dependency, but some of the community members that have tried this fix have confirmed that the game finally launched with no issues. Even more, the HTTPChunkInstaller folder will regenerate itself after the next successful launch.

In order to delete the HTTPChunkInstaller folder, use File Explorer to navigate to the following location:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\GroundBranch

Once you’re inside the correct location, right-click on the HTTPChunkInstaller and click on Delete from the context menu.

Note: Before you delete this folder, make sure the game is not opened and that Steam is closed.

Once the folder is deleted, launch Steam and start Ground Branch once again to see if the problem is now fixed.

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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Ground Branch Won’t Start on PC? Try These Fixes

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