The issue of Starfield not launching on your PC is frequently caused by third-party mods installed for the game. These mods, crafted by the gaming community, offer a range of enhancements and variations to the game’s experience.
These enhancements are achieved by integrating the mods within the game’s files, which can sometimes obstruct the game’s launch, particularly after installing a new update that modifies the game files on your system. This article aims to guide you through resolving the issue surrounding Starfield’s failure to launch.
Although mods are a frequent contributing factor to launch issues, it is equally important to consider other potential reasons such as hardware compatibility, software conflicts, and outdated drivers, all of which can impact game performance.
1. Delete the Upscale DLL File
Begin by deleting the upscale DLL file located in Starfield’s installation directory. The dxgi.dll file, often used for upscaling features, can occasionally interfere with the game’s launch.
Note: Before you delete the dxgi.dll file, keep in mind that it is commonly linked with DirectX and plays a significant role in graphics functions across many games. While its removal might rectify some mod-related launch problems, it could also lead to additional complications. It is recommended to back up this file before you delete it, especially if uncertain about its association with the core game files or mods.
- Firstly, launch the File Explorer.
- Navigate to Starfield’s installation folder.
- If you’re using Steam, the Manage > Browse local files option will take you there.
- Locate and delete the dxgi.dll file within the folder.
- Attempt to launch the game.
Note: If you wish to restore this functionality later, simply verify the game files to replenish the missing DLL.
2. Disable In-game Overlays
In-game overlays from third-party applications can also inhibit the game from launching. These overlays allow you to interact with other applications without the need to minimize the game.
Disabling these in-game overlays from applications like Discord and GeForce Experience is crucial, and if you use additional apps with overlay features, ensure to disable those as well.
- Open the Discord application.
- Access the Discord Settings by clicking the gear icon.
- Go to Game Overlay.
- Use the top slider to switch the overlay off.
- Look up GeForce Experience using the Start Menu and open it.
- Click the gear icon to enter Settings.
- Choose the In-game Overlay button to disable the feature.
3. Remove Any Mods
Starfield offers an array of mods developed by the community, which can enhance the game’s performance and upscaling quality. However, these mods alter the game’s files and can sometimes prevent it from launching.
The process of removing mods from Starfield may differ from one mod to another. If you have been utilizing a third-party mod manager, such as Vortex, use it to remove any present mods. If you have manually installed mods, you should reverse the installation steps to uninstall them.
Typically, mods are installed in the following directory:
C:\Users\(YOUR USERNAME)\Documents\My Games\Starfield\Data
4. Allow Starfield Through Windows Security
The Windows Security app can also cause the game to fail to launch if it prevents the Starfield process from accessing its installation files on your PC.
To rectify this, Starfield should be allowed through the Controlled folder access feature in the Windows Security app. This feature is designed to block unauthorized access to system files and memory areas on your computer.
- Open the Start Menu and search for Windows Security, then open it.
- Select the Virus & Threat Protection tab.
- Click on Manage settings.
- Click Manage Controlled folder access.
- Choose Allow an app through Controlled folder access.
- Add the Starfield.exe file by clicking on Add an allowed app and selecting Browse all apps.
- Navigate to the installation folder and select the Starfield.exe file.
- Try launching the game.
5. Remove Pipeline Cache
Like other applications, Starfield stores a cache locally on your computer that loads when the game starts. Corrupted cache files can prevent the game from launching, so you may need to delete the local cache.
- Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type %localappdata%\Starfield and press Enter.
- A File Explorer window will open.
- Delete the Pipeline.cache file.
- Now try opening the game to check if the problem is resolved.
6. Verify Starfield Game Files
Damaged game files can be another reason for the failure of Starfield to launch correctly. This usually happens when the game files on your PC are compromised, leading to difficulties during the startup phase.
Repairing the game files via the Steam client could help isolate and address this issue. The “verify integrity of game files” feature in Steam allows you to do this easily.
- Launch the Steam client.
- Go to the Library and find Starfield.
- Right-click on it and choose Properties.
- Navigate to the Local Files tab.
- Click on Verify integrity of game files.
- Wait for the process to complete before testing if the game will launch properly.
7. Update Graphics Drivers
Outdated video drivers can cause startup issues with new games, including Starfield. The game may not launch because the current drivers are not capable of supporting it.
Updating your display drivers can solve this problem. You can use a tool like Display Driver Uninstaller to remove your current drivers and then install the most recent version.
- Download Display Driver Uninstaller from the official link here.
- Extract and run the Display Driver Uninstaller.exe file.
- Click Continue on the Options screen that appears.
- Select your device type as GPU from the Select device type dropdown.
- Choose your graphics card manufacturer from the Select device dropdown.
- Remove the drivers using the Clean and restart option.
- Once your PC has rebooted, visit your GPU manufacturer’s website.
- Download and install the latest drivers for your card.
- Check if Starfield now launches without issues.
8. Enable AVX Instructions
AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) is an integral CPU feature that Starfield requires to function properly. Ensuring that AVX Instructions are enabled on your CPU is necessary for optimal game performance. You can enable AVX Instructions two ways: through your BIOS settings or via command line in Windows.
- Search for Command Prompt in the Start Menu and run it as an administrator.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
bcdedit /set xsavedisable 0
- Restart your PC and then test the game.
If, after these troubleshooting steps, Starfield still fails to launch, your next course of action should be to contact the customer support team at Bethesda via their support website. They will provide assistance tailored to your specific situation and help you resolve your game’s launch issues.