How to Fix NBA 2K20 Crashing on PC?

NBA 2k20 is a basketball simulation game that is published by 2K sports and is primarily based on the National Basketball Association (NBA). Surprisingly, this is the 21st installment to the NBA franchise and is available on several different platforms including PC, Xbox, and PS4.

NBA 2K20

Even games like NBA 2k20 who have gone through numerous iterations go through several different problems. One of these issues is the crashing that occurs in PC. The crashes seem to occur on all of the platforms but are most common in Windows. In this article, we will go through all the different reasons as to why this issue occurs and what the possible workarounds are to fix the problem.

What causes NBA 2k20 to Crash on PC?

After we started noticing an influx in the number of reports, we started our own investigation and found out several different causes which might cause the error message. Some of the reasons as to why NBA 2k20 might crash on your computer are but not limited to:

  • System requirements: This cause always tops the list when it comes to crashing. If your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements to run NBA 2k20, you will not be able to play the game.
  • Outdated game: Another possible cause why your game crashes is because it is not updated to the latest version. NBA 2k20 releases frequent patches to include new features or fix bugs.
  • Outdated Windows: NBA 2k20 is closely designed to be run on the latest iteration of Windows. If Windows is outdated on your computer, the game will not run properly and crash.
  • Missing Microsoft Libraries: We noticed several instances where if the Microsoft Redistributable libraries were missing, the game crashed. Reinstalling these libraries manually might fix the problem.
  • Missing game files: This possibility cannot be ruled out. If your game files are missing, it is obvious that the game will crash. Verifying the integrity of game files usually work here.
  • Windowed mode: Another workaround that we came across was where if the game was run in Windowed mode, the error message went away. This is mostly because the Windowed mode consumes fewer resources as the screen on which the game is playing is small.
  • Graphics drivers: Last but not the least, if the graphics drivers on your computer are missing or corrupt, the communicating between the game and the drivers will not be ideal and you will experience numerous crashes.

Before we move on with the solutions, make sure that you are logged in as an administrator and have an active internet connection. Also, keep your game/steam credentials at hand as you might be required to enter them.

Pre-requisite: System Requirements

Before starting the troubleshooting process, we will first check your computer and see if it meets the system requirements laid out by NBA 2k20. The game certainly runs in minimum requirements but we encourage users to have at least the recommended requirements if they want to play without any issues.

Minimum system requirements:

OS: Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit

Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD FX 4100 @ 3.60 GHz or better

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 450 1GB / ATI® Radeon™ HD 7770 1GB or better

DirectX: Version 11

Storage: 80 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX 9.0x compatible

Dual-analog gamepad: Recommended
Recommended system requirements:

OS: Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit

Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4430 @ 3 GHz / AMD FX-8370 @ 3.4 GHz or better

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 770 2GB / ATI® Radeon™ R9 270 2GB or better

DirectX: Version 11

Storage: 80 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Dual-analog gamepad: Recommended

Once you have determined that you have the minimum requirements, you can proceed.

Solution 1: Installing the Latest Patch Available

2k Sports frequently release small patches to either update the game or fix some bugs or issues. Whenever an update or patch is released, gamers are automatically expected to update to the latest patch. If you are playing online, the game will usually not play if you haven’t updated to the latest build.

If you are playing offline, you won’t be prompted to install the patch since the system is not connected to the internet but we emphasize the importance to do so. Update NBA 2k20 to the latest build available using whichever launcher you are using and then restart your system before playing the game. Only proceed with the next solutions once you have updated the game to the latest build.

Solution 2: Verifying Game and Cache Files

The next thing which we will try is checking whether the game files of the application are indeed complete and not corrupt. If the game files are somehow missing our outdated, the game will not launch and give numerous issues including the one where it crashes.

If you have installed NBA 2K20 using Steam, you can easily launch it and then verify the integrity of game files using the in-built tool. Steam’s inbuilt tool automatically compares the local version of the files with a global version. If there any difference, they are replaced.

  1. Launch Steam and click on the Library button present on the top tab.
  2. Now, locate NBA 2k20 on the left navigation pane, right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. Once in the game’s properties, click on the Local Files tab and select Verify integrity of game files.
    Verifying Game and Cache Files
  4. Let the process complete. After it is done, restart your computer completely and check if the issue is resolved for good

Solution 3: Launching in Windowed mode

When going through different user reports, we came across an interesting finding where launching the game in windowed mode solved the crashing issue once and for all. Whenever you launch any game in full screen, it automatically consumes more resources as more rendering is required to cover all the screen. The Windows desktop service also comes into play here.

In this solution, we will navigate to Steam’s launch options and try to launch the game in Windowed mode and then see if this fixes the problem for us.

  1. Launch Steam and click on Library to view all your games. Now, right-click on NBA 2K20’s entry and click on Properties.
  2. Once in properties, navigate to the General tab and click Set launch options.
  3. Set the launch options to “-windowed -noborder”. Press OK to save changes and exit.
    Launching in Windowed mode
  4. Restart your computer properly and try launching the game.

Solution 5: Checking for Windows Updates

If the game is updated to the latest build and you are still unable to play properly because of the crashing issue, we will check if there are any Windows updates available. Like 2k Sports, Microsoft engineers also release frequent updates to the OS to fix various issues and push stability fixes. Whatever the case, we should make sure that your Windows is updated to the latest build and then try launching the game.

Here is the method on how to update Windows to the latest version.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “update” in the dialogue box and launch the Settings app.
  2. Now, click on the button of Check for Updates.
    Installing Latest Windows Updates
  3. After the updates are installed, restart your computer and launch the game. Check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 6: Installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015

Microsoft Visual C++ modules provide libraries to numerous applications and games on your computer. These libraries are required by the game to function properly if they are used in the backend of the game. We came across numerous instances where if these libraries were not installed or their installation was corrupt, the game crashed numerous times. Here in this solution, we will first uninstall the current libraries (if any) and then reinstall them. This way we can even check whether the libraries are needed or not by launching the game when they are uninstalled.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Now search for the entry “Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable”. Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
  3. Restart your computer. Now launch the game. If the crashing still occurs, you can skip the next steps. Otherwise, carry on.
  4. Navigate to the official Microsoft download website and install both x86 and x64 on your computer.
    Installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015
  1. Restart your computer and run NBA 2k20 again.

Solution 7: Updating Graphics Drivers

If none of the above methods work and you are still unable to play NBA 2K20 properly, it narrows down our troubleshooting to your graphics drivers. Drivers of any sort are the main components that interact with your computer’s software and the underlying hardware. If these drivers are somehow corrupt or outdated, you may experience crashes either when launching a game or when a graphics-intensive scene comes along.

Here in this solution, we will first attempt at uninstalling the current drivers and install the default. If the NBA still crashes, we will update them to the latest build.

  1. Install the utility Display Driver Uninstaller. You can continue without this step but this ensures that there are no remnants of the drivers.
  2. After installing Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), launch your computer in safe mode. You can learn how to boot your computer into safe mode by reading our article on it.
  3. After booting your computer into safe mode, launch the application which was just installed.
  4. After launching the application, select the first option “Clean and restart”. When you do this, the currently installed drivers will automatically be uninstalled.
Clean and restart – DDU
  1. Boot your computer into normal mode, press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Most probably the default drivers will be installed. If you don’t see the drivers installed, right-click on any empty space and select Scan for hardware changes. Now try launching the game and see if the default drivers fix the crashing issue.
  2. Now there are two methods to update the graphics drivers; either you can update them automatically using Windows update or manually by browsing to the file where your graphics drivers are located. If automatic updating fails, you have to navigate to your manufacturer’s website and download the drivers first.

To update, right-click on your hardware and select Update driver. Now select any one of the two options according to your case.

  1. Restart your computer after installing the drivers, launch the game and check if this solves the problem.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.