How to Fix Team Fortress 2 Crashing?

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) by Valve Corporation is one of the top first-person shooter video game and played by a team of multi-players & distributed online through Valve’s Steam. Valve continuously releases new content like items, maps, game modes & community-made updates.

How to Fix Team Fortress 2 Crashing

You are at the hype of enjoyment and just ready to clinch victory but suddenly Team Fortress 2 (TF2) crashes and more frustrating that it keeps crashing in the middle of the gaming. This is extremely irritating. Many players are reporting the crashing of the game. There are numerous scenarios of game crashing are being reported. It can occur at the start, in-game or at the exit. We will cover the reasons why this happens and what are the workarounds to fix the problem.

What causes Team Fortress 2 (TF2) to Crash?

After deeply going through the user reports and analyzing the game on our computers, we can conclude that the crashing can occur due to several different reasons & some of the reasons that we were able to find are:

  • System Requirements: To play the game your system must meet the minimum system requirements of Team Fortress 2. And to get the best experience out of it, your system must meet the recommended requirements of Team Fortress 2.
  • Dusty System: There are some cases when the dusty system and not a good airflow was causing the system to overheat.
  • Anti-virus and Firewall: Some Anti-virus and firewalls have caused the Team Fortress to crash during our testing.
  • System Overheating: If the CPUs and GPUs are being used in overclock mode, there is a great chance of the system overheating and to stop the damage to the system, the failsafe mechanism is crashing the system/game.
  • Background processes: There can be background applications/processes which may be either conflicting with the Team Fortress 2 or may be competing for the system resources which will make, the Team Fortress 2 either crash or freeze randomly.
  • Corrupt/outdated Graphics Drivers: Graphics Cards are driven by Graphics driver which transmit information between the graphics card & the OS. If the graphics drivers are somehow corrupt/outdated, Team Fortress 2 may experience numerous issues including the crashing.
  • Game files missing: There can be some files of Team Fortress 2 which are damaged or corrupted. If there is a file or files which are missing or corrupted, the game will get stuck and crash.
  • The power options: If the system’s power options are not at high performance then it might cause the Team Fortress to crash.
  • Compatibility Problems: Sometimes when your system is recently updated, then compatibility issues arise between the updated version of files required and Team Fortress.
  • Custom Content: A lot of users reported that they were using custom contents and non-compatibility of the Team Fortress and custom content was creating the crashing of the game.
  • Download Cache: If you downloaded the Team Fortress recently or it is being updated, and it is not starting, then a lot of users reported clearing the Download Cache of the Steam helped solve their problem.
  • Steam Configuration Issue: Sometime Steam configuration issues may cause the Team Fortress to crash.
  • Corrupt Installation of Team Fortress 2: Several times the installation of Team Fortress 2 got corrupted and reinstalling it solved the problem.
  • Corrupt Installation of Steam: If no other reason can be found, then there is the only one left and that is the corrupt installation of Steam itself.

Before moving on, log in as an administrator and make sure you have an active internet connection. Remember to save the progress on the cloud as a lot of manipulation with the game will be done.

Pre-requisite: System Requirements

Before moving to the detailed solutions, we should make sure that the system meets all the minimum system requirements of the game. If the requirements are not met, the user will experience different issues ranging from freezing to crashing. Although it is always a good idea to play on the workstation fulfilling the recommended requirements.

Windows

The MINIMUM requirements to play TF2:
OS:  Windows 7/Vista/XP
Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor or better
Memory: 512 MB RAM
DirectX: Version 8.1
Storage: 15 GB available space
The RECOMMENDED requirements to play TF2:
OS: Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
Processor: Pentium 4 processor (3.0 GHz, or better)
Memory: 1 GB RAM
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 15 GB available space

Mac OS

MINIMUM:
OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8 and above
Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor or better
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher/ ATI X1600 or higher/ Intel HD 3000 or higher
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 15 GB available space

SteamOS + Linux

MINIMUM:
Processor: Dual-core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600GT or ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600 having Graphics Drivers: Nvidia 310/AMD 12.11 or OpenGL 2.1
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 15 GB available space
Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card

To see your system conformance with the requirements you should check your computer specifications. If you do not meet the requirements, make sure that you launch your game in the lowest settings and if even that doesn’t work, try updating your hardware.

Solution 1: Clean out your computer

Let us start something basic like cleaning out your computer of dust. Turn off the system and remove all dust from the CPU, motherboard especially the heatsink & GPU fans/pipes. Also, make sure to free flow of air to and from the system.

Cleaning the System

Solution 2: Disable Anti-virus/Firewall

Also, some Anti-virus and firewalls have issues with certain games and resulting in a false positive. To know if that is your problem.

  1. Open your Anti-virus program and disable it.
    Pausing the Anti-Virus
  2. If you are using a separate firewall application, disable it also.
  3. Run the Team Fortress 2 again and see if the problem appears again.

Now launch the Team Fortress 2 and see if the problem is solved. If the game is operating without problem then add the steam folder to the exceptions list in your AV settings. If not move to the next step.

Solution 3: Check for System Temperatures

Team Fortress 2 may also crash if your graphics card or CPU is overheating especially if they are used as overclocked.  For GPU you can use GPU Temp.

GPU Temp

For checking CPU temperature we can use Core Temp.

Core Temp

If the graphics card or CPU is overheating, then you have to find out the reason of their overheating and solve it. If they are being used as overclocked, then try to lower their clock speed. If that is not the problem let us move to the next solution.

Solution 4: End unwanted background programs

If there are too many background programs running at the same time can slow down your computer and cause Team Fortress 2 to fail. So, you should end unnecessary programs while you’re gaming. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Open “Run” Command by Pressing “Windows + R” then type “taskmgr” in it & press Enter.
    Run “taskmgr”
  2. In the task manager Window, try to all the processes that might be conflicting with the game or consuming resources. Right-click on the process and select End Task.
    End Task
  3. Repeat the process to any other resource-intensive processes or conflicting processes. Repeat the process until no process may be resource-intensive or conflicting with the game.
  4. Now launch Team Fortress 2 again and see if the issue is resolved.

If the problem is not resolved and you are still experiencing crashes, then

  1. Open the task manager again.
  2. Navigate to the tab of Details in the Task Manager window.
  3. Now, find out Team Fortress 2 from the list shown, right-click on it & select Set Priority > Realtime/High

    Set Priority in Task Manager
  4. Launch the Team Fortress once again and if see if the problem is resolved.

Don’t end any program that you do not know as it may be critical for the functioning of your computer or search it online for its impact on the system.

Now, once again launch “Team Fortress 2” to see if it is working fine. If the problem is not resolved, it is time to move on to the next solution.

Solution 5: Update your graphics driver

Another common cause of Team Fortress 2 crashing issue is an outdated or a faulty graphics driver. You must have the latest correct graphics driver at all times. Download, install and run the  Speccy to know the specs of your graphics card.

Speccy

You can update the graphics driver either manually or automatically.

Option 1 – Manually: Some computer skills & patience is required to update graphics drivers manually. The manufacturer of your graphics card keeps updating drivers. To get the graphics drivers, go to the manufacturer website & find the driver about your windows version e.g. Windows 32 bit & download and install the driver manually.

Option 2 – Automatically: Updating the graphics driver automatically is recommended. If you saw “AMD”, “Radeon” or “RX/R9/R7/R3” under your Graphics header in Speccy, go to the link to download, install and run the software to update the system graphics driver.

Download AMD RADEON Software

If “Nvidia”, “GeForce”, “GTX”, or “RTX” is being shown under your Graphics header, Use the link to download and install GeForce Experience. Once you open it, it should automatically update your drivers for you.

GeForce Experience

After updating your graphics driver launch the Team Fortress 2 and see if the problem is solved.

If the problem is not solved, try to update other drivers including sound drivers, Direct X drivers as well.

Solution 6: Verify the integrity of Team Fortress files

Team Fortress 2 will also crash when a certain file is missing or damaged. To fix it we have to verify the integrity of the Team Fortress files from Steam.

  1. Run Steam and click on Library

    Library of Steam
  2. Right-click Team Fortress 2 and select Properties
    Properties of Team Fortress 2 in Steam
  3. Now Click the LOCAL FILES tab
  4. Then click VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES.
    VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES
  5. Wait for this process to be complete, and then relaunch your game.

You should now be able to launch your game and play it. If not move to the next solution.

Solution 7: Change the power option

Team Fortress crash issues can happen when the system slows down to save energy when in the balanced power mode. Balanced mode automatically adjusts the CPU’s speed according to the computer’s need. Whereas High-Performance mode keeps your PC running at high speeds most of the time. Remember that the system will generate more heat in this power mode.

Let us try changing the power plan to High Performance to see if that is the issue:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and type control. Then, click the Control panel.
    Control Panel
  2. Under View by, click Large icons.
    View by Large Icons in Control Panel
  3. Select Power Options.

    Power Options
  4. Select High Performance.
    High Performance
  5. Restart the system & then again launch Team Fortress 2 to test if the problem is solved.

I hope your game runs smoothly now. If it’s not, move on and try the next solution.

Solution 8: Run your game in compatibility mode

Sometimes Team Fortress 2 and Windows updates can have compatibility problems, as a result, Team Fortress stops working. If the system was updated recently, try running Team Fortress 2 in compatibility mode may solve the problem.

  1. Right-click the Steam icon, then select Open file location.
    Open File Location of Steam
  2. Go to steamappscommon > Team Fortress 2.
    steamapps, Common, Team Fortress 2 Folder
  3. Right-click hl2.exe and select Properties.
  4. Click the Compatibility  Click Checkbox next to the “Run this program in compatibility mode for”.
    Run in Compatibility Mode
  5. Click the list box below to select Windows 8 and click OK.
    Run in Compatibility of Windows 8
  6. Relaunch your game to check if your issue had been resolved.

If you still get the error code in Windows 8 mode, repeat steps 1 – 3 and select Windows 7 from the drop-down list.

If Team Fortress is still not running smoothly under the compatibility mode, check the next solution.

Solution 9: Uninstalling Custom Content.

Sometimes custom content is not compatible either with the game or the system.

  1. Uninstall any custom content added to the game like skins or headshuds etc.
  2. Delete the contents of the folder Custom by going to
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\custom
    Custom Content Folder
  3. Select one of the betas under the preferences window. The prerelease doesn’t need to download, so it is recommended.
  4. Restart Steam.

Launch the default TF2 and see if it is functioning properly. If not let us move to the next solution.

Solution 10: Clear download cache

If the Team Fortress is not starting then clearing your download cache is your best bet.

  1. In the Steam Client, from the top left client menu open the Settings panel by selecting “Steam > Settings“.
  2. In the Settings, select the tab “Downloads
  3. Now Find the button “Clear Download Cache” button and click it.
    Clear Download Cache
  4. Now confirm by selecting “OK” to acknowledge that you will need to login to Steam again.
Confirmation to clear Download Cache

Once again launch the Team Fortress and see if the problem is fixed or not. If not let us move to the next step.

Solution 11: Flushconfig Steam

Maybe it is not the Team Fortress having a problem but it is Steam which is causing problems. Let us tweak some settings of steam to see if that is the problem. But before moving forward back up maps/configs.

  1. Completely exit the Steam client.
  2. Open the run command (Windows Key + R)
  3. Type in steam://flushconfig
    Steam flushconfig
  4. Restart your PC
  5. Start steam from the directory in which its installed (Not a shortcut or from Start)
  6. Your steam may need to update but you won’t lose any installation

After that, launch Team Fortress once again and see if there is either an issue or not. If so, move to the next solution.

Solution 12: Reinstall Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 may suffer from crashing if any of its files are Corrupt or missing. And in that case, reinstalling TF2 may very likely solve the problem.

  1. Run Steam.
  2. Click LIBRARY.
    Library in Steam
  3. Right-click Team Fortress 2 and select Uninstall.
    Uninstall Team Fortress 2
  4. Wait till the Team Fortress 2 is uninstalled.
  5. Close Steam.
  6. Go to
    Steam\steamapps\common

    or

     SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common

    Delete Team Fortress 2 folder.

  7. Relaunch Steam, then download and install Team Fortress 2. You will not lose items in the inventory but the maps & mods will be deleted.

Now, try launching TF2 again. If the Team Fortress crash issue is still not resolved, move to the next solution.

Solution 13: Reinstall Steam

  1. Right-click the Steam icon on your desktop and select Open file location.
    Open File Location of Steam
  2. Right-click the steamapps folder and select  Then, place the copy in another location to back it up.
    Copy steamapps folder
  3. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and type control. Then, click the Control Panel.
  4. Under View by, select Category.
  5. Select Uninstall a program.
    Uninstall a program
  6. Right-click Steam, and then click Uninstall.
    Uninstall steam
  7. To uninstall Steam, follow the on-screen instructions & wait for the process to be completed.
    Steam uninstalling
  8. Download steam
  9. Open the downloaded file and install Steam.
  10. Now Right-click on the “Steam icon” and then select “Open file location”.
  11. Move the backup steamapps folder you create before to your current directory location.
    Replace steamapps folder
  12. Relaunch Steam and Team Fortress 2.

Hopefully, you’re able to play Team Fortress 2 now. If all else fails, just wait until you can get a better machine. Remember, you can install it on as many computers as you like as long as you have your Steam account and password + an internet connection.

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

How to Fix Team Fortress 2 Crashing?

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