LIVE Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize? Try these fixes

The ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error appears immediately after Windows users attempt to launch Halo 2 or a different executable belonging to a game developed by a Microsoft game studio. This is a game-breaking issue that prevents affected users from playing the game (single-player or multi-player).

‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ Error

What’s causing ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ Error?

  • Games for Windows app is missing – In most cases, this particular issue will appear if the GFW (Games for Windows) app is not installed. This app is required by older games developed by Microsoft studios in order to allow the game to access online features and connect to dedicated serves. In this case, you can resolve the issue by installing the GFW app manually.
  • Secondary Logon service is disabled – The Secondary Logon service is absolutely essential for applications that use the Live Windows Gaming integration. This particular error will sometime get triggered if the service is forcefully disabled. If this scenario is applicable, you can fix the issue by setting the service to Manual from the Services screen.
  • Game is incompatible with OS version – As it turns out, there are certain Windows versions that will trigger this error even if the GDW app is properly installed and the Secondary Logon service is enabled. In this case, you can resolve the issue by forcing the game executable to run in compatibility mode with Windows 7.
  • Xbox Live service are down – According to affected users, it’s also possible that the problem occurs due to the fact that one or more critical Live services used by the game in question are down or undergoing maintenance. In this case, there is no other repair strategy other than to wait for the issue to be resolved by Microsoft’s engineers.

Method 1: Installing the Games for Windows app

As it turns out, in most cases, the issue occurs due to the fact that the GFW (Games for Windows) application is missing from the computer. Keep in mind that this application is required so the game can access online features and connect to dedicated servers.

On Windows 10, this functionality is installed by default, but if you’re on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you will need to install the latest Games for Windows client on your computer – but it will only work as long as you use an offline profile.

Here’s a quick guide on installing and using the Game for Windows application with an offline profile to avoid the ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1:

  1. Visit this link (here) and wait for the executable to be fully downloaded.
  2. Once the download is complete, double-click on the executable to open it. If you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control) window, click Yes to grant admin access.
  3. Wait patiently until the necessary prerequisites are downloaded.
    Installing Games for Windows application
  4. After the installation is complete, click on Launch to open up the Microsoft Games for Windows app.
    Launching the Games for Windows app
  5. Now that the Games for Windows app is open, leave it running in the background (No sign-in is needed).
  6. Launch Halo 2 or the game that was previously triggering the error code and see if the issue is now resolved.

If the same ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error is still occurring, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Enabling Secondary Logon

As it turns out, another potential issue with the potential of triggering the ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error is an instance in which a service (Secondary Logon) critical to this operation is forcefully disabled.

Several affected users that found themselves in a similar situation have managed to resolve the issue and launch the game without the same error message after accessing the Services screen and modifying the status of the Secondary Logon service to Manual.

Here’s a quick guide on how to ensure that the Secondary Logon service is enabled:

Note: This method should be applicable regardless of the culprit that’s causing the problem.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialogue box. Next, type ‘services.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Services window. In case you’re prompted by the User Account Control prompt, consent to the admin access by clicking Yes.
  2. Once you’re inside the Services window, move over to the right-hand side and scroll down through the list of services until you locate the Secondary Logon service. When you see it, right-click on it and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
  3. Inside the Secondary Logon Properties screen, select the General tab from the horizontal menu at the top. Then, scroll down below and change the Startup type to Manual.
  4. Click Apply to save the changes, then restart your computer.
  5. Repeat the action that was previously causing the error message and see if the issue is now resolved.
Changing the Secondary Logon service to Manual

If the same ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error is still appearing, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Running game in compatibility mode

As it turns out, Windows 8.1 has an incompatibility issue that might contribute to the apparition of the ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error. Several affected users have managed to get the issue resolved by forcing the game executable to run in compatibility mode with Windows 7.

Here’s a quick guide on doing this:

  1. Right-click on the game’s executable that’s causing the error and click on Properties from the context menu.
    Accessing the Properties screen of the game’s executable
  2. Once you’re inside Properties screen, use the menu at the top to select Compatibility.
  3. When you’re inside, go to the Compatibility mode section and check the box associated with Run this program compatibility mode for. After you do this, select Windows 7 from the list of available options and click on Apply to save the changes.
    Using Compatibility mode with Windows 7
  4. Launch the game with this same executable and see if the issue is now resolved.

If you’re still encountering the same ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error immediately after you double-click the executable, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Verifying the status of Xbox Live services

As it’s been reported by several affected users, this issue can also occur due to the fact that one or more Live services that are being used by the game that’s triggering the ‘Live Gaming on Windows Failed to Initialize’ error are currently down or undergoing maintenance.

If this scenario is applicable, you have no repair strategies other than to wait for the affected services to come back online before trying to restart the game.

To check on the status of the Xbox Live service, visit this link (here) and look for any warning signs associated with status service.

Xbox Live Status

If you confirm that some Xbox services are currently experiencing problems, wait a few hours before trying to launch the game again.

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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