Team Fortress 2 gameplay is endlessly fun but many players report the problem of the game not launching. If you happened to be one of them, don’t worry. We’ve got some fixes for you.

5 fixes to try:

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

  1. Stop overclocking your GPU
  2. Update your graphics drivers
  3. Run TF2 in compatibility mode & as an administrator
  4. Verify the integrity of game files
  5. Set Launch Options

Before getting started

Before taking any attempts for troubleshooting, make sure that your PC meets the minimum system requirements in order to play the game smoothly.

OSWindows 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP
Processor1.7 GHz Processor or better
Memory512 MB RAM
DirectXVersion 8.1
Storage15 GB available space
Team Fortress 2 Minimum System Requirements

By checking your system specs, just follow the instructions below:

1) Press Windows logo key and R together on your keyboard. Type dxdiag in the box and hit Enter.

bring up DirectX Diagnostic Tool

2) Now you can check your system specs.

check system specs

Fix 1: Stop overclocking your GPU

You might overclock your GPU in order to boost your games’ FPS. But it’ll lead to an increase in heat, and thus reduce the lifespan of your hardware components. So if you’ve been overclocking it, try to disable it.

Fix 2: Update your graphics drivers

You might not be able to launch your games if your graphics drivers are corrupt or out-of-date. So to have a better gaming experience, have them updated.

There are mainly two options you can take to update your graphics drivers: manually or automatically.

Option 1: Manually update your graphics drivers

The manufacturer of your graphics card keeps releasing updates for the drivers. To get them, you need to go to the official website, find the drivers that are compatible with your PC, and install them on your own.

Here are the most common graphics drivers. Simply click the link based on your needs.

NVIDIA
AMD
Intel

Option 2: Automatically update your graphics drivers (recommended)

If you don’t feel like updating the drivers all on your own, we recommend you use Driver Easy. It’s a tool that detects, downloads, and installs the correct versions of drivers that your computer needs. With Driver Easy, updating graphics drivers becomes much easier.

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 outdated or missing drivers.

update drivers; scan now

3) Click the Update button next to your graphics driver to automatically download the correct driver for your computer, then you can manually install it.

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 with full support and a 30-day money-back guarantee – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

update graphics drivers automatically
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 that, launch your game to see if the problem is solved. If not, try to update other drivers including sound drivers, DirectX drivers as well.

If you’ve had all your drivers updated and the problem persists, try the next fix.

Fix 3: Run TF2 in compatibility mode & as an administrator

When your game keeps hanging on “Preparing to launch…” and it never launches, try running it in compatibility mode & as an administrator.

1) Right-click on the Steam icon on your desktop and select Open file location.

run the game in compatibility mode; Team Fortress 2

2) Open the steamapps folder.

run the game in compatibility mode TF2

3) Then open the common folder > Team Fortress 2 folder.

4) Right-click on hl2 Application and select Properties.

run the game in compatibility mode TF2

5) Select the Compatibility tab and check Run this program in compatibility mode and Run this program as an administrator. Then click OK.

run the game in compatibility mode TF2

Fix 4: Verify the integrity of game files

TF 2 might not launch when a certain file is missing or damaged. To fix it, you need to verify the integrity of game files on Steam.

1) Run Steam. Under the LIBRARY tab, right-click on Team Fortress 2 and select Properties.

Team Fortress 2 verify integrity of game files

2) Select the LOCAL FILES tab and click VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES….

Team Fortress 2 verify integrity of game files

3) Steam will verify the game’s files and this process may takes several minutes.

Team Fortress 2 verify integrity of game files

Fix 5: Set Launch Options

This method is proven to be working for many game players. So you can give it a shot by following these steps:

1) Run Steam. Under the LIBRARY tab, right-click on Team Fortress 2 and select Properties.

set launch options Team Fortress 2

2) Under the GENERAL tab, click SET LAUNCH OPTIONS.

set launch options Team Fortress 2

3) When the window pops up, type autoconfig and click OK.

set launch options Team Fortress 2

Till then, try running the game. If you want to go back to the previous launch options, just delete autoconfig following the steps listed above.

If this didn’t do the trick, it might be a problem related to fullscreen. Then you can type windowed -noborder -w [SCR-H] -h [SCR-W] in step 3.

[SCR-H] and [SCR-W] are the height and width of your screen.
If your screen resolution is 1920 * 1080, then the line you should type in is windowed -noborder -w 1920 -h 1080.

You can check your screen resolution by following these steps: 1) Right-click on the empty space on your desktop and select Display Settings.
2) In the Display section, scroll down to Display resolution.

So these are the fixes for Team Fortress not launching issue. Hope they work for you and you now can explore in the gaming. If you have any ideas or questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. They’re highly appreciated. 😊

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