How to Fix ‘Invalid Game Executable’ in Apex Legends

Some Windows users are encountering the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error when trying to launch Apex Legends. Most affected users are reporting that this problem occurs every time they attempt to launch the game.

‘Invalid Game Executable’ Error in Apex Legends

As it turns out, there are several different causes that might end up causing this particular error code with Apex Legends. Here are a few potential culprits that were confirmed to cause this problem:

  • R5Apex.exe is quarantined – One of the most common instances that will cause this problem is a false positive or a legitimate threat involving the r5apex.exe. As it turns out, this problem is fairly common with AVG, Avast, and a few other security suites. If this scenario is applicable you should be able to fix the problem by restoring the executable from the virus vault.
  • Corruption among the game files – It’s also possible that you’re seeing this error due to some underlying type of corruption that’s affecting the game files. In this case, you can fix the problem by using Origin’s Scan & Repair feature to find and repair file inconsistencies related to Apex Legends.
  • Executable Incompatibility  – As it turns out, the Easy Anti Cheat engine that is being used with Apex Legends is known to cause some incompatibility issues with Windows 10. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to resolve the issue by running r5apex.exe in compatibility mode with Windows 7.
  • Broken Easy Cheat Engine – Another instance that might trigger this error is a corrupted Easy Cheat engine that is not running properly. This will force the game to shut down to prevent cheating attempts. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by accessing the EasyAntiCheat folder and running a repair procedure from the setup executable.
  • Missing Updates from Windows 8.1 – On Windows 8.1, the most common occurrence that will produce this error is a situation where your Windows build is missing two stack updates that the game needs in order to run without issues (KB3173424 and KB3172614). If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by installing the two updates manually and restarting your computer.
  • Corrupted game cache – If you get this error at the very start of the game, chances are you are actually dealing with a corrupted cache file that is causing the game to crash at every attempted startup. In this case, you can get the issue resolved by clearing the cache in order to force the game to run without relying on previously created data.

Method 1: Restoring R5APEX.exe from AV’s vault

As it turns out, the most common cause that will cause the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error is an instance in which your antivirus ended up quarantining a file that’s essential to the game (r5apex.exe).

Although there’s no official explanation on why there are a lot of different 3rd party suites that are confirmed to quarantine this file due to a false positive. Under certain circumstances, this might also happen with the native security suite (Windows Defender).

In case you’re using a 3r party security suite, look for online instructions on checking whether the r5apex.exe file has been quarantined and restoring it to the game’s folder in case this is true.

Note: On AVG, you can do this by opening the AVG app and going to Menu > Quarantine tab > click on r5apex.exe, click on the drop-down tab by the yellow delete button, then click on Restore and add exception.

Restoring and add exception

In case you are using a different 3rd party suite, search online for specific steps on removing a quarantined item from the virus vault and excepting them from future scans.

In the event that you’re using the native security suite (Windows Defender), follow the instructions below to remove the file from the Virus vault:

Note: This guide assumes that you have obtained your copy of Apex Legends legally and you are certain that you are not dealing with some type of virus infection affecting the game’s executable.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the text box, type ‘ms-settings:windowsdefender‘ and press Enter to open up the main Windows Defender window.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:windowsdefender
    Run dialog: ms-settings:windowsdefender
  2. Once you’re inside the Windows Security menu, move over to the right-hand section and click on Virus & threat protection.
    Accessing the Virus and Threat Protection
  3. Once you’re inside the Virus and Threat protection menu, click on Protection history (under the Quick Scan button)
    Accessing the protection History Menu
  4. Inside the next menu, scroll down to the Quarantined threats menu and see if you can find the R5APEX.EXE file among the list of recently quarantined files. In case you can see it, click on it once to expand the drop-down menu, then click on Restore to remove it and bring the executable back to the game folder.
  5. Once the r5apex.exe file is restored to the game’s folder, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved once the next startup is complete.

If this problem didn’t allow you to fix the problem, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Repairing the Game

If you previously established that your antivirus is not responsible for the apparition of this error, the most likely culprit that might be responsible for this problem is an inconsistency with the game installation.

If you suspect that you might be dealing with inconsistency regarding your game files, you should be able to fix the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error by using the Scan & Repair function of Origin to see if you’re currently dealing with a corrupted or missing file.

If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to use origin to repair the Apex Legends game folder. Here’s a quick step by step guide on how to repair the game and fix the error message:

  1. Go ahead and open Origin and click on My Game Library from the vertical menu on the left.
  2. Next, click on the gear button associated with Apex Legends and click on Repair from the newly appeared context menu.
    Repairing Sims 4
  3. At the next screen, follow the instructions to complete the repair procedure, then restart origin and see if the operation is complete.
  4. Once the operation is complete, restart Origin and launch Apex Legends once again to see if the problem is now resolved.

Note: If you want to avoid the same type of problem occurring in the future, you should establish an exception

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Running r5apex.exe in Compatibility Mode

As it turns out, this problem can also occur due to the developers’ questionable decision of using a legacy anti-cheat engine that is not fully compatible with older versions of Windows 10.

If this scenario is applicable and you’re using an outdated Windows 10 build, you might be able to fix the problem by forcing the r5apex.exe executable to run in Compatibility Mode with Windows 7.

This operation was confirmed to work by a lot of affected users finding themselves in this particular scenario. If you think this instance is applicable to your current situation, follow the instructions below to force the r5apex.exe file to run in Compatibility Mode with Windows 7:

  1. First, open File Explorer and navigate to the location where you install Apex Legends. The default location is:
    This PC\ Local Disk (C:)\ Program Files (??)\ Origin Games\ Apex\ r5apex.exe
  2. Once you’re inside the correct location, scroll down through the list of Apex Legends files and locate r5apex.exe. When you see it, right-click on it and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
    Right-clicking and selecting “Properties”.
  3. Inside the Properties menu, click on the Compatibility tab, then scroll down to the Compatibility mode section and check the box associated with Run this program in compatibility mode for.
  4. Next, from the newly appeared context menu, select Windows 7 from the list of OS versions before clicking Apply to save the changes.
    Running the r5apex.exe executable in Compatibility Mode with Windows 7.
  5. Once the modification has been enforced, restart your computer and launch the game once the next startup is complete to see if the problem is now resolved.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Repairing the Easy Cheat Engine

According to several affected users, this problem can also occur due to an inconsistency with the default anti-cheat engine that is being integrated with Apex Legends.

As it turns out, certain actions such as a false positive or a malware infection can cause the EasyCheat engine to break and trigger the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error at every startup.

In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by running a repair procedure on the Easy Anti Cheat engine. This can be done directly from the location where you installed Apex Legends.

If you think this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to fix the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error by running the EasyAntiCheat_Setup.exe and repair the Easy Anti Cheat engine:

  1. Open File Explorer (My Computer) and navigate to the location where you installed Apex Legends. Unless you installed it in a custom location, you’ll find it in the following location:
    This PC\ Local Disk (C:)\ Program Files (??)\ Origin Games\ Apex\
  2. Once you’re inside the correct location, double-click on the EasyAntiCheat folder, then right-click on EasyAntiCheat_Setup.exe and choose Run as Administrator from the newly appeared context menu.
    Running EasyAntiCheat as administrator
  3. When you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.
  4. Once you get on the first screen, click on Repair service, and then confirm your choice. Then, wait until the Easy Anti Cheat service is scanned and repaired.
    Repairing the Anti Cheat Engine
  5. Once the procedure is complete, click on Finish, then launch Apex Legends once again and see if the ‘Invalid Game Executable‘ error is now fixed.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 5: Installing KB3173424 and KB3172614 (Windows 8.1 Only)

If you’re encountering the issue on Windows 8.1, it’s likely that you’re seeing the ‘Invalid Game Executable’ error due to two missing stack platform updates that the game requires in order to run in a stable manner.

Keep in mind that even if you have previously installed the latest build of 8.1, this does not guarantee that you have these two updates (KB3173424 and KB3172614) since they are entirely optional and excluded from automatic delivery with some Windows 8.1 versions.

If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to install the 2 updates that might be responsible for causing this instability with Apex Legends:

  1. Open your default browser, access the download link for the KB3173424 update, scroll down to the Microsoft Download Center and click on the Download the package now link associated with your CPU architecture.
    Downloading the KB3173424 update for Windows 8.1
  2. Once you get to the next screen, select the language that you want to use for the update installer, then click the download button to initiate the procedure.
    Downloading the problematic update
  3. One the download is complete, open the .msu installer and follow the on-screen prompts to install the KB3173424 update on your system.
  4. Once the installation is complete, download the second update (KB3172614) and follow steps 1 to 3 once again to complete the installation of the second update.
  5. After the second installation is complete, restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved at the next computer startup by launching Apex Legends once again.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 6: Clearing the Local Cache of the Game

If none of the potential fixes above have worked for you, one last culprit that might be responsible for the Invalid Game Executable error is some type of corruption inside the game cache of Apex Legends that’s being stored locally.

Some users that were previously facing the same problem have reported that in their case, the problem was finally resolved after navigating manually to the location of the local cache of Apex Legends and clearing its contents.

If you want to attempt the same fix, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:
    C:\Users\"Username"\Saved Games\Respawn\Apex\local

    Note: Keep in mind that “Username” is simply a placeholder for the actual name of your Windows profile. Make sure to replace it if you want to paste the location into the navigation bar.
    Note 2: In case you want to navigate to this location manually, keep in mind that you’ll need to use the ribbon menu at the top to click on View, then check the box associated with Hidden Items.

    View Hidden Items option is checked
  2. Once you arrive at the correct location, press Ctrl + A to select everything inside the local folder. Next, right-click on a selected item and click on Delete from the newly appeared context menu.
  3. Once the cache of the game has been cleared, restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved at the next startup is complete.
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 ‘Invalid Game Executable’ in Apex Legends

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