Red Dead Redemption 2 is gaining skyrocketing popularity recently. But players have reported that the game won’t launch! If it also happened to you, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll guide you to fix this issue.

Try these fixes:

You might not need to try them all; simply work your way down the list until you find the one that works.

  1. Check for Windows Updates
  2. Update your Rockstar Games Launcher
  3. Update your video card drivers
  4. Add the game folder to the list of scan exclusions
  5. Run your game as an administrator
  6. Change in-game graphics API to DirectX 12
  7. Delete the Settings folder
  8. Clear your launcher profile details

Fix 1: Check for Windows Updates

Before diving into troubleshooting, you should update to the latest Windows version to utilize some new features. To do so, you can:

1) Press Windows logo key and click on the Settings icon.

check for windows updates

2) Under the Windows Update section, click Check for updates.

check for windows updates

If updates are available, you’ll have the option to install them. Once it’s finished, restart your computer.


Fix 2: Update your Rockstar Games Launcher

Rockstar keeps releasing updates to its launcher, which possibly fixed some bugs related to the game launching issues. So it is recommended to update your Rockstar Games Launcher.

1) Close any Rockstar games and the launcher. Right-click on the Rockstar Games Launcher icon if it’s still in the Windows Taskbar.

To make sure you’ve completely exited from the launcher, you can go to Task Manager to check if it’s still running in the background.

2) Restart your launcher and allow any updates to apply.

If you’ve had your launcher updated and still can’t launch the game, try the next fix.


Fix 3: Update your video card drivers

Your drivers are a key component and if there are any problems with them, you may not be able to run your game. Also, to get the best performance out of your hardware, it’s highly recommended to update your video card drivers.

There are two ways you can update your video card drivers:

Option 1 – Manually – You’ll need some computer skills and patience to update your drivers this way because you need to find exactly the right driver online, download it and install it step by step.

OR

Option 2 – Automatically (Recommended) – This is the quickest and easiest option. It’s all done with just a couple of mouse clicks – easy even if you’re a computer newbie.  

Option 1 – Download and install the drivers manually

NVIDIA and AMD  frequently release new graphics drivers that usually give major performance improvements. To get them, you need to go to the official websites, find the drivers corresponding with your specific flavor of Windows version (for example, Windows 32 bit) and download the drivers manually.

Once you’ve downloaded the correct drivers for your system, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers.

Option 2 – Automatically update your drivers

If you don’t have the time, patience, or computer skills to update drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running or risk downloading and installing the wrong driver.

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

update drivers automatically

3) Click the Update button next to the flagged driver to automatically download the correct version of that driver, then you can manually install it (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system. (This requires the Pro version which comes with full support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All.)

update drivers automatically with Driver Easy
The Pro version of Driver Easy comes with full technical support. If you need assistance, please contact Driver Easy’s support team at support@drivereasy.com.

After updating your drivers, restart your computer and launch your game to check if the issue is fixed. If not, try the next fix.


Fix 4: Add the game folder to the list of scan exclusions

Your Windows Defender might block your game from launching. So if that’s the case for you, try adding it to the list of scan exclusions.

1) In the Search box, type windows security and click Windows Security from the results.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

2) Click on the tab Virus & threat protection and scroll down to the Virus & threat protection settings section, click Manage settings.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

3) Scroll down and under the Exclusions section, click Add or remove exclusions.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

4) Click Add an exclusion and select File.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

5) Navigate to Windows (C:) and click on the folder Program Files.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

6) Scroll down and click on the folder Rockstar Games.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

7) Click on the folder Red Dead Redemption 2.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

8) Scroll down and select RDR2.exe.

9) Now run your game.


Fix 5: Run your game as an administrator

Running administrator mode will unlock permissions. Sometimes it’s quite helpful to grant your game administrator rights to function properly. Administrator rights guarantee that the application has full rights to do anything it needs to do on the computer.

1) Open your Rockstar Games Launcher and select Settings.

2) Under My installed games, select Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 in Rockstar Games Launcher

3) Select Open under View Installation Folder.

4) Right-click on RDR2.

5) Select Properties.

6) Select the tab Compatibility and check the boxes Run this program as an administrator and Disable fullScreen optimization. Then click Apply > OK.

If this didn’t work, don’t worry. There are other working fixes for you. Just scroll down and check them out.


Fix 6: Change in-game graphics API to DirectX 12

By default, the API in Red Dead Redemption is set to Vulkan. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it would give you the best results. So you can switch it to DirectX 12 to fix the game not launching issue. Also, changing in-game graphics API also works if you have the Uknown Error FFFF while launching the game. Here’s how you can do this:

1) Go to the SETTINGS menu in the game.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

2) Click on GRAPHICS.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

3) Scroll down to the Advanced Settings section and make sure the Advanced Settings option is set to Unlocked.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

4) In the Graphics API section, change it to DirectX 12 by clicking on the arrow button.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

5) Press Enter to apply the changes.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

6) Restart your launcher and run your game to check if it fixes the issue.


Fix 7: Delete the settings folder

Your game’s Settings folder may be corrupted and this may cause the issue. So you should delete it.

Here’s how to do this:

1) Press Windows logo key and R together on your keyboard. Head to Documents and then click on the folder Rockstar Games.

delete settings folder Red Dead Redemption 2

2) Click on the folder Red Dead Redemption 2.

delete settings folder Red Dead Redemption 2

3) Delete the folder Settings.

After deleting the settings folder, you’re supposed to be able to run your game. If that didn’t work, move on to the next fix.


Fix 8: Clear your launcher profile details

There is a possibility that your profile details are corrupt and it won’t give you permissions to launch the game. So deleting them may help.

1) Open your Rockstar Games Launcher and select SETTINGS.

2) Select Account information and in the Delete local profile section, click DELETE.

clear your local Rockstar Games Launcher profile details

3) Click CONFIRM.

clear your local Rockstar Games Launcher profile details
This will remove your profile details and you’re required to sign in to the launcher again. But it’ll not delete your saved games.

4) Sign in to the launcher and launch the Red Dead Redemption 2.


So these are the fixes for Red Dead Redemption 2 not launching. If you’ve tried all the fixes but none of them worked, you can try disabling Intel HD Graphics in Device Manager. It is more of a workaround than it is a fix. But it worked for many players.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Device Manager.

open device manager

3) Double-click Display adapters to expand the list. Right-click on your Intel HD Graphics and select Disable Device.

disable Intel HD Graphics to fix Red Dead Redemption 2 not launching

Hopefully, this works for you! If you have any ideas or questions, please leave us a comment below.

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Falls Red Dead Redemption 2 auf Ihrem PC nicht startet, machen Sie sich keine Sorgen. Hier erfahren Sie dafür 8 Fixe, um dieses Problem zu lösen.