How to Fix the FFXIV Launcher Black Screen Problem on Windows?

Playing Final Fantasy XIV is a joy and the game has amazed players around the globe. However, some users were completely prevented from enjoying the game as they reported a serious issue during startup. The game’s launcher simply opens a black screen and nothing else happens. The game doesn’t launch.

FFXIV Launcher Black Screen

Many players who have experienced the same issue took their time to post the method they used to resolve the problem. We have gathered the most helpful methods and presented them step-by-step in this article. Check it out below!

What Causes the FFXIV Launcher Black Screen Problem on Windows?

The launcher black screen problem which appears when playing FFXIV on Windows can be caused by plenty of different causes. Determining the correct one can make troubleshooting quite easier for you so we recommend you check out the causes below!

  • Internet Explorer settings – It might seem unusual, but the game’s launcher heavily relies on Internet Explorer for launching. That is why Internet Explorer needs to be running perfectly for the game to work. You can either reset its settings or add the game’s website to Trusted Sites.
  • The game’s access to the Internet is blocked – A firewall might prevent the game’s launcher from connecting to the Internet so make sure you make an exception for the game’s executable to resolve the black screen issue.
  • Game features blocked by antivirus – Some aspects of the game may be blocked by the antivirus you have installed on your computer. Make sure you add the game to the list of exclusions in your antivirus.

Solution 1: Edit the Configuration File

Editing the game’s configuration file to enable the opening movie in the game should resolve the problem, as reported by many users. The file is located in your Documents folder and it can be edited using Notepad. Follow the instructions below to proceed with this method!

  1. Navigate to the folder’s location in the File Explorer simply by opening a folder and clicking This PC or My Computer from the left navigation pane or by searching for this entry in the Start menu.
  2. Anyway, in This PC or My Computer, double-click to open your Local Disk and navigate to Users >> Your Account’s Name >> Documents >> My Games >> FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn. Windows 10 users can simply navigate to Documents after opening File Explorer from the right-side navigation menu.
FFXIV.cfg file
  1. Right-click the file called named ‘FFXIV.cfg’ and choose to open it with Notepad.
  2. Use the Ctrl + F key combination or click Edit at the top menu and select the Find option from the dropdown menu to open the Search box.
  3. Type “CutsceneMovieOpening” in the box and change the value next to it from 0 to 1. Use the Ctrl + S key combination to save the changes or click File >> Save and exit Notepad.
  4. Try running the game again in order to check if the FFXIV launcher black screen problem still occurs.

Solution 2: Reset Internet Explorer Settings to Default

Even though many people think Internet Explorer simply takes up space on your computer without any real purpose, it’s not completely true. Many Internet connection settings go through Internet Explorer. Users have even reported that they were able to resolve the FFXIV launcher black screen problem simply by resetting the Internet Explorer settings. Follow the steps below in order to do that as well!

  1. Open Internet Explorer by searching for it or by double-clicking its shortcut on the Desktop, select the Tools button at the top right part of the page, and then select Internet options.
  2. If you can’t access Internet Options like this, open Control Panel by searching for it, change the View By option to Category and click on Network and Internet. Click on the Internet Options button which should be second in the new window and proceed with the solution.
Opening Internet Options from Control Panel
  1. Navigate to the Advanced tab, and then click on the Reset Select the Delete personal settings checkbox if you would like to remove browsing history, search providers, Accelerators, home pages, and InPrivate Filtering data. This is recommended if you want to reset your browser but selecting this is optional for this scenario.
Reset Internet Explorer Settings
  1. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, click Reset and wait for Internet Explorer to finish applying default settings. Click on Close >> OK.
  2. When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, click Close, and then click OK. Check to see if you are able to open it now without problems.

Solution 3: Add an Exception for the Game in Windows Firewall

In order for the multiplayer features of a game to work properly, the game needs to have uninterrupted access to the Internet and its servers in order to work properly. Windows Defender Firewall is often to blame in such cases and we recommend you make an exception for the game’s executable inside the Windows Defender Firewall!

  1. Open up Control Panel by searching for the utility in the Start button or by clicking the Search button or the Cortana button at the left part of your taskbar (bottom left part of your screen).
  2. After Control Panel opens, change the view to Large or Small icons and navigate to the bottom to open the Windows Defender Firewall option.
    Windows Defender Firewall in Control Panel
  3. Click on Windows Defender Firewall and click on the Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall option from the left side list of options. A list of installed apps should open. Click the Change settings button at the top of the screen and provide administrator permissions. Try locating the executable inside. If it’s not there, click the Allow another app button below.
    Allow another app in Windows Firewall
  4. Navigate to where you installed TeamViewer (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common by default), open the Final Fantasy XIV folder, and choose the game’s executable file.
  5. After locating it, click the Network types button at the top and make sure you check the boxes next to both Private and Public entries before clicking OK >> Add.
    Network types
  6.  Click OK and restart your computer before checking whether the game’s launcher still launches a black screen!

Solution 4: Delete a File in Charge of Booting the Game

There is a file named ‘ffxivboot.bck’ located inside the game’s installation folder and deleting it can restore the way the game boots and the black screen problem should cease to appear. This method is quite easy to try out and you have nothing to lose as the file will be recreated as soon as you reopen the game. Check out the required steps below!

  1. Locate the game’s installation folder manually by right-clicking the game’s shortcut on Desktop or anywhere else and choose Open file location from the menu.
  2. If you have installed the game via Steam, open its shortcut on the Desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu simply by typing “Steam” after clicking the Start menu button.
Opening Steam from Start menu
  1. After the Steam client opens, navigate to the Library tab in the Steam window at the menu located at the top of the window, and locate the Dead by Daylight entry in the list.
  2. Right-click the game’s icon in the library and choose the Properties option from the context menu which will open and make sure you navigate to the Local Files tab in the Properties window straight away and click the Browse Local Files
Browse local files
  1. Locate the required file in the boot folder. Look for the ffxivboot.bck file, right-click on it and choose the Delete option from the context menu which will appear.
Delete this file
  1. Make sure you confirm any prompts which may appear which should prompt you to confirm the choice of deleting the file and the game should launch properly from the next startup.

Solution 5: Make an Exception for the Game in Your Antivirus

Sometimes antivirus tools fail to recognize the game’s efforts to connect to the Internet as harmless and its features are often blocked by it. In order to prove to the antivirus that the FFXIV game is harmless, you will have to add it to its Exceptions/Exclusions list!

  1. Open the antivirus user interface by double-clicking on its icon at the system tray (right part of the taskbar at the bottom of the window) or by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. The Exceptions or Exclusions setting is located in different spots with respect to different antivirus tools. It can often be found simply without much hassle but here are some quick guides on how to find it in the most popular antivirus tools:
    Kaspersky Internet Security: Home >> Settings >> Additional >> Threats and Exclusions >> Exclusions >> Specify Trusted Applications >> Add.
    Adding exclusions in Kaspersky
    AVG: Home >> Settings >> Components >> Web Shield >> Exceptions.
    AVG Exceptions
    Avast: Home >> Settings >> General >> Exclusions.
  3. You will need to add the game’s executable in the box which will appear prompting you to navigate to the folder. It should be in the same folder where you decided to install the game in. By default, it’s:
  4. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common
  5. Check to see if you are now able to play the game without being stuck at a black screen. If it still won’t work, try restarting your computer and try again. The last step would be to uninstall the antivirus and try a different one if the problem persists.

Solution 6: Run the Game Using DirectX 9

This is definitely one of the most popular methods among all of them available online as it appears that the game was simply not made to be fully compatible with DX10 or DX11. This is a shame but you can easily revert these changes if you have downloaded the game via Steam. Follow the steps below in order to force the game to use DirectX9 instead of 10 or 11!

  1. Open up Steam on your computer by double-clicking its entry on the Desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu. Windows 10 users can also search for it using Cortana or the search bar, both of them next to the Start menu.
    Opening Steam from Start menu
  2. Navigate to the Library tab in the Steam window by locating the Library tab at the top of the window, and locate Final Fantasy XIV in the list of games you have in your respective library.
  3. Right-click on the game’s icon in the list and choose the Properties option from the context menu which will show up. Stay in the General tab in the Properties window and click the Set launch options button.
    Set launch options for the game
  4. Type “-dx9” in the bar. If there were some other options located there you are possibly using, make sure you separate this one with a coma. Click the Ok button to confirm the changes.
  5. Try launching the game from the Library tab and check to see if the launcher black screen issue still occurs!

Solution 7: Add frontier.ffxiv.com to IE’s Trusted Sites

As you have probably already noticed, plenty of launcher-related issues rely on Internet Explorer. Many problems can be resolved or circumvented if you just add the main website in the IE’s Trusted Sites. Follow the instructions below in order to do so!

  1. Open Internet Explorer on your computer by searching for it on the Desktop or the Start menu. Click on the cog icon located in the top right corner. From the menu which opens, click on Internet Options to open a list on related connection settings.
Internet Options in Internet Explorer
  1. If you don’t have access to Internet Explorer, Open Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu or by using the Windows Key + R key combination, typing “control.exe” in the Run box, and click OK to run Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, select to View as: Category at the top right corner and click on the Network and Internet button to open this section. Inside this window, click on Internet Options to navigate to the same screen as you would if you opened Internet Explorer.
Internet Options in Control Panel
  1. Navigate to the Security tab and click on Trusted Sites. Paste the link to your problematic website and click the Add Make sure you include only the correct link: frontier.ffxiv.com
  2. After you add the site, make sure you disable the Require server verification option (https) for all sites in this zone option under the Websites
Adding the game’s website in Trusted Sites
  1. Exit Internet Options, reopen the game, and check if the launcher still boots to a black screen!

Solution 8: Reinstall the Game

Reinstalling the game should be the last thing on the list but the good thing is everything is saved to your account and you won’t have to start all over again. If you have a good Internet connection or a strong PC, the game should be reinstalled in no time and the error should now cease to appear.

  1. Click on the Start menu button and open Control Panel by searching for it or by locating it in the Start menu (Windows 7 users). Alternatively, you can click on the gear icon to open the Settings app if you are using Windows 10 as the operating system on your computer.
  2. In the Control Panel window, switch to View as: Category at the top right corner and click on Uninstall a Program under the Programs section.
Uninstall a program in Control Panel
  1. If you are using the Settings on Windows 10, click on Apps section from the Settings window should open the list of all installed programs on your computer.
  2. Locate Final Fantasy XIV in the list either in Settings or Control Panel, click on it once and click the Uninstall button located in the Uninstall a program window. Confirm any dialog choices to uninstall the game, and follow the instructions which will appear on the screen. Restart your computer afterward!

You will need to download it again from Steam by locating in the Library and choose the Install button after right-clicking on it.

Before moving on, check if restarting your router clears out the issue. If you are encountering the issue on the first launch after installation, then make sure your PC meets the minimum system requirements. Moreover, make sure the Real-Time Protection of the Windows Defender is not causing the issue.

Solution 9: Remove/Disable/Close the Conflicting Applications

The black screen shown by the FFXIV launcher could be caused by a conflict in the running applications/processes. In this case, closing/disabling/removing the applications that conflict with the FFXIV Launcher may solve the problem.

  1. Close all the applications on your system. Make sure to exit the applications in the system’s tray.
  2. Now right-click on the Windows button to launch the Power User menu and then choose Task Manager.
    Open the Task Manager from the Quick Access Menu
  3. Then terminate the processes that are not essential. The iTunes, QuickTime, and VLC applications (these applications may cause non-loading of the movie in the FFXIV Launcher) are reported by the users to cause the issue, so, make sure to end the processes related to these applications (or any other video playing application).
    End VLC Process in the Task Manager
  4. Now open the game launcher (as administrator) and check if the issue is resolved.
  5. If not, then clean boot your system and then check if the game’s black screen issue is sorted out.

Solution 10: Update Game Launcher, Visual C Redistributable Packages, and Windows to the Latest Builds

You may encounter the issue at hand if the process/services essential for the operation of the game are outdated (as it may lead to incompatibility between OS/application modules). In this context, updating the applications/Windows/drivers to the latest builds may solve the problem.

  1. Manually update the Windows of your PC and its drivers to the latest builds.
  2. Then press the Windows key and type (in the search bar) Edge. Then open Microsoft Edge.
    Open Microsoft Edge
  3. Now click on three horizontal ellipses (near the top left) to open the Edge menu and hover your mouse over Help and Feedback.
    Open About Microsoft Edge
  4. Then, in the sub-menu, choose About Microsoft Edge and make sure Edge is updated to the latest build.
    Update Microsoft Edge to the Latest Build
  5. Now update the Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable (X64/X86) to the latest builds.
  6. Then make sure the Steam client is updated (if you are using it to launch the game) to the latest build.
  7. Then reboot your PC and upon reboot, make sure no task related to the game is operating in the Task Manager of your system.
  8. Now right-click on the game’s launcher (or the Steam client) and choose Run as Administrator to check if the game is working fine.
  9. If not, then reboot your PC and launch the game with administrator privileges from the installation directory to check if that sorts out the game problem.

Solution 11: Perform a Malware Scan of Your System

The black screen issue could be a result of a malware infection especially if the malware is interfering with the Internet Options of your system like Scorpion Saver. In this case, performing a thorough malware scan of your system may remove the malware and thus solve the problem.

  1. Hit the Windows key and select Settings.
  2. Then open Apps and now go through all the installed applications to find out any suspected malware.
    Open Apps in the Windows Settings
  3. Once found (e.g., Scorpion Saver), then expand and Uninstall it (you may have to perform these actions in the Safe Mode or clean boot state of your PC).
    Uninstall Scorpion Saver
  4. Then reboot your PC and upon reboot, perform a malware scan of your system by using Malwarebytes (or any other similar tool of your liking).
  5. Now clear out any malware reported by Malwarebytes and then check if the game is clear of the black screen issue (make sure to launch the game as administrator).

Solution 12: Edit the Boot Configuration File of the Game

The game may show a black screen if the boot file of the game is not properly configured. In this scenario, editing the Boot Configuration file of the game may solve the problem.

  1. Make sure no process related to the FFXIV game is operating in the Task Manager of your system.
  2. Right-click on the Windows button and in the Power User menu, choose File Explorer.
    Open the File Explorer
  3. Then navigate to the following path (you may copy-paste it):
    %userprofile%\Documents\My Games\FINAL FANTASY XIV - A Realm Reborn
  4. Now right-click on the FFXIV_BOOT.cfg file and open it with Notepad (or any other plain text editor).
    Open FFXIV_BOOT.cfg File
  5. Then search for B4EulaAgreement (you may use Find in the Edit menu) and change its value from 0 to 1. Make sure you are changing the value of B4EulaAgreement (not EulaAgreement).
  6. Now save the changes and check if the game is working fine.
  7. If not, then repeat steps 1 to 4 to open the FFXIV_BOOT.cfg file in the Notepad and change the value of Region to 1.
    Set Values of B4EulaAgreement and Region to 1
  8. Now save your changes and check if the game issue is sorted out.

Solution 13: Verify Integrity of the Game Files (Steam Client Only)

The FFXIV game may show the black screen on launching if the essential game’s files are corrupt or missing. In this case, verifying the integrity of the game files may clear the corruption and thus solve the problem. Before proceeding, make sure you are not using any proxy/VPN to access the internet.

  1. Launch the Steam client and in the Steam library, right-click on FFXIV.
    Open Properties of FFXIV in Steam
  2. Now choose Properties and head to the Local Files tab.
  3. Then click on Verify Integrity of Game Files and let the process complete.
    Verify Integrity of Game Files of FFXIV
  4. Now launch the game and check if it is clear of the black screen issue.

Solution 14: Try a Different Network

The FFXIV game may show the black screen issue if it fails to communicate with its servers. This blockage may be caused by your ISP or router/modem. You can check it by accessing frontier.ffxiv.com or square-enix.com in a web browser and if it throws a 403 error, then something (most probably, your ISP or router/modem) is blocking the access to the game’s servers. To rule that out, it will be a good idea to connect the system with another network and then launching the game.

  1. Make sure no process related to the FFXIV game is operating in the Task Manager of your system.
  2. Now disconnect your system from the current network and connect it to another network. If no other network is available, you may try the hotspot of your phone (if that is not an option, then you may try a VPN client).
    Enable Hotspot of Your Phone
  3. Then launch the game and check if the issue is resolved.

If the issue resolves by using another network, then directly connect the internet cable of your previous network to the system and then check if the issue is resolved. If the game works fine, then your router (probably its NAT type or port forwarding) is causing the issue (you may have to sort it out or use another router).

If, after directly connecting the Internet cable, the game goes into an error state, then your ISP is causing the issue (contact your ISP to sort out the problem).

Solution 15: Edit the Internet Options of Your System

You may encounter the black screen on opening the FFXIV Launcher if the Internet Options (essential for the operation of the launcher) are not properly configured. In this context, editing the Internet Options of your system may solve the problem. Before attempting any of the edits, make sure to forcefully close all the game’s related processes in the Task Manager.

Warning: Advance at your own risk as editing the Internet Options may expose your data/system to threats like viruses, trojans, etc.

Add FFXIV Website to the Trusted Sites

  1. Press the Windows key and type Internet Options. Then open Internet Options.
    Open Internet Options of Your System
  2. Now steer to the Security tab and select Trusted Sites.
    Open Sites in the Security Tab on Internet Options
  3. Then click on the Sites button (in front of Trusted Sites) and then, in the Add This Website to the Zone box, type the following:
    finalfantasyxiv.com
    Add Final Fantasy XIV to Trusted Sites
  4. Now click on the Add button and then close the Window.
  5. Then click on Apply/OK and open the launcher as an administrator to check if the black screen issue is resolved.

Edit the Cookies Settings

  1. Launch the Internet Options (as discussed above) and in the General tab, click Delete (in the Browsing History section).
    Delete the Browsing History in the Internet Options
  2. Now select all the options and click the Delete button.
    Delete the Browser History in the Internet Options
  3. Then steer to the Privacy tab and in Settings, click on Advanced.
    Open Advanced in the Privacy Tab of the Internet Options
  4. Now select Accept in the First Party Cookies and Third Party Cookies section.
  5. Then checkmark the option of Always Allow Session Cookies and click OK.
    Allow Cookies on Your System
  6. Now click on Apply/OK buttons and open the FFXIV Launcher as an administrator to check if it operating fine.

Edit Advanced Internet Options

  1. Open the Internet Options of your system (as discussed above) and steer to the Advanced tab.
    Enable Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid
  2. Now checkmark the option of Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid and then make sure all the SSL/TLS options (except 3.0) are check-marked.
    Enable SSL TLS Except SSL 3.0
  3. Then click on Apply/Ok and check if the FFXIV issue is resolved.
  4. If the issue persists, then check if using the FFXIV Launcher in the compatibility mode resolves the issue.

Lower the Security of the Internet Options

  1. Launch the Internet Options as discussed above and head to its Security tab.
  2. Now lower the bar of Security Level of This Zone to as minimum as possible (usually, Medium) and then uncheck the option of Enable Protected Mode.
    Set the Zone Security to Medium and disable Protected Mode
  3. Then click on Apply/OK and reboot your PC.
  4. Upon reboot, open the FFXIV Launcher as administrator and check if it is functioning normally.
  5. If not, click on Custom Level in the Security tab of Internet Options.
    Open Custom Level in the Security Tab of the Internet Options
  6. Now make sure that all the options related to ActiveX are enabled and then check if the FFXIV Launcher is working normally.
    Enable ActiveX Controls in the Internet Options

If the issue is still there, then you may have to reset your PC (make sure to use Keep Your Apps and Files).

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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How to Fix the FFXIV Launcher Black Screen Problem on Windows?

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