Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) is the successor to CS:GO by Valve Corporation, which ensures better features, huge improvements, and enhanced graphics overall. Initially, CS2 was a Limited Test for the selected Counter-Strike Global Offensive players. However, excitement was quickly dampened for some PC gamers who reported frequent crashes upon startup.
If you’re among those facing this issue, you’re in the right place for solutions. Crashes, lags, stutters, and framerate drops have become commonplace for many PC games. While several reasons can contribute to the startup crashes for “Counter-Strike 2,” this guide offers practical workarounds to address them.
- Why is CS2 Crashing?
- Fix: Counter Strike 2 (CS2) Keeps Crashing on Startup on the PC
- 1. Check System Requirements
- 2. Running Counter Strike 2 with Administrator Privileges
- 3. Disable fullscreen optimizations
- 4. Updating Your GPU Driver
- 5. Ensure Windows is Up-to-Date
- 6. Force Use the Dedicated GPU
- 7. Close Unnecessary Background Tasks
- 8. Repair Game Files
- 9. Update the Counter Strike 2 game
- 10. Turn Off Third-Party Overlay Apps
- 11. Turn Off Windows Firewall and Antivirus Software
- 12. Adjust Power Management Options
- 13. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime
- 14. Perform a Clean Boot
- 15. Restore Default to Overclocked CPU or GPU
Why is CS2 Crashing?
Understanding the root cause is crucial. Here are some common reasons why “Counter-Strike 2” might be crashing on your PC:
- PC Specification Mismatch: The game might not be compatible with your current PC specs.
- Outdated Game or Launcher: Running an older version might lead to instability.
- Graphics Driver Issues: Older drivers can sometimes clash with new games.
- DirectX Incompatibility: An incompatible DirectX version can cause games to crash.
- Background Processes: Unwanted tasks running in the background can interfere.
- Security Software: Some antivirus or firewall applications might block the game.
- Startup Conflicts: Other applications launching on startup can cause conflicts.
- Visual C++ Redistributable Issues: Outdated or missing components can lead to crashes.
- Overclocking Issues: Overclocked CPU/GPU can sometimes cause instability.
- Overlay App Interference: Certain overlay apps can conflict with the game
Fix: Counter Strike 2 (CS2) Keeps Crashing on Startup on the PC
As you know the possible reasons, it’s time to get into the troubleshooting guide below. You can follow the workarounds below individually until the problem gets fixed completely. You may be facing the crashing issue due to several other aspects, such as conflicts with the game files or the software/hardware issues on the PC. So, it’s better to get into the methods below.
1. Check System Requirements
First, cross-check the game requirements with your PC configuration to determine whether it’s compatible enough. Sometimes issues with the compatibility can trouble you a lot. If your configuration isn’t up-to-date, upgrade to make it compatible. We’ve provided the minimum and recommended system requirements below for your ease. You can skip to the next method if your PC meets all requirements.
- OS: Windows® 10
- Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads – Intel® Core™ i5 750 or higher
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Video card must be 1 GB or more and should be a DirectX 11-compatible with support for Shader Model 5.0
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 85 GB available space
2. Running Counter Strike 2 with Administrator Privileges
To ensure smooth gameplay and minimize issues, it’s beneficial to run the “Counter-Strike 2” game with administrator access. This grants the game User Account Control (UAC) permissions, which can be essential for certain system-level tasks. Here’s a simplified guide to provide the game with the necessary privileges:
- Locate the Game Directory:
- Navigate to where you’ve installed “Counter-Strike 2” on your computer.
- Access Properties:
- Right-click on the game’s executable file.
- Choose “Properties” from the drop-down menu.
- Enable Administrator Access:
- Go to the “Compatibility” tab.
- Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box.
- Save Your Changes:
- Click “Apply”, followed by “OK”.
- Launch the Game:
- Double-click the game’s executable to start playing.
Note for Steam Users: If you’ve installed “Counter Strike 2” via the Steam client, ensure you also repeat the above steps for the Steam client’s executable file.
3. Disable fullscreen optimizations
Sometimes, turning off the fullscreen optimizations by the Windows system for your specific game application file should fix the compatibility issues for some PCs. Though it comes disabled by default, you should cross-check it to ensure that the fullscreen optimization isn’t enabled. To do this:
- Open the Steam client > Click on Library.
- Right-click on Counter Strike 2 > Click on Manage.
- Click on Browse local files > Head over to the Counter Strike 2 installed folder.
- Right-click on Counter Strike 2.exe > Click on Properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab > Ensure to click Disable fullscreen optimizations to checkmark it.
- Once done, click on Apply and then OK to save changes.
4. Updating Your GPU Driver
Ensuring your graphics driver is up-to-date can resolve many game-related issues. An outdated GPU driver can not only degrade the visual quality of your games but also prevent your PC from achieving optimal performance due to graphical conflicts. Here’s a streamlined guide to updating your GPU driver:
- Access Device Manager:
Win + Xto bring up the Quick Access Menu.
- Select “Device Manager.”
- Locate Your Graphics Card:
- Expand the “Display adapters” section.
- Right-click on your active or primary graphics card.
- Update the Driver:
- Choose “Update driver.”
- Opt for “Search automatically for drivers.” This will check, download, and install any available updates for your GPU.
- Restart Your PC:
- Once the updates are installed, reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.
- Manual Update:
- If no updates are found, or you want to ensure you have the latest driver, visit the official website of your graphics card manufacturer. Search for your specific GPU model and download the latest driver tailored for it. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Keeping your GPU driver updated maximizes the chances of smooth gameplay and reduces potential conflicts. I hope this guide will resolve the Counter Strike 2 crashing issue. If not, then follow next step.
5. Ensure Windows is Up-to-Date
Keeping your Windows operating system updated can help in eliminating game-related conflicts and issues. Updated versions come with bug fixes, performance improvements, security patches, and new features. Here’s a concise guide to help you check and update your Windows version:
- Checking for Updates:
Win + Ito access the Settings menu.
- Select “Windows Update” and click on “Check for updates.”
- If an update is available, opt for “Download and Install.”
- Once the update is installed, restart your PC to ensure the changes take effect.
- Exploring Optional Updates:
- Sometimes, certain updates, especially driver-related or security patches, are listed as optional. It’s a good idea to check and install these too, as they may contain crucial fixes.
- Go to Settings by pressing
Win + I.
- Navigate to “Windows Update” and then “Advanced Options.”
- Scroll to find “Optional updates.”
- If you see available updates, select and install them.
- After the installation, it’s advisable to restart your system.
By staying updated with the latest Windows version and exploring optional updates, you enhance the stability and performance of both your system and games like Counter Strike 2. If the crashing persists, don’t despair; there are more solutions to explore.
6. Force Use the Dedicated GPU
It’s highly suggested to always use the dedicated (external) graphics card on your desktop for heavy games and applications so that you can get higher graphics performance all the time. To do that:
For Nvidia GPU:
- Right-click on the blank desktop screen > Open Nvidia Control Panel.
- Go to 3D Settings > Click on Manage 3D Settings.
- Open Program Settings > Select Counter Strike 2 from the list.
- Select preferred graphics processor for this program from the list.
- Once done, you can see it as High-Performance Nvidia Processor.
- Make sure to save changes and reboot the PC.
For AMD GPU:
- Right-click on the blank desktop screen > Open Radeon Settings.
- Head over to Additional Settings > Go to Preferences.
- Click on Power > Click on Switchable Graphics Application Settings.
- Select Counter Strike 2 from the list. [If the game is not visible, select Add Application to include the game]
- Once done, select High Performance from Graphics Settings.
- Finally, reboot the PC to apply changes.
7. Close Unnecessary Background Tasks
It’s recommended to close all the unnecessary background running tasks on your system by following the steps below because the more system resources will be used the higher your system performance will drop. You may not notice it drastically when you face in-game lags, framerate drops, stutters, etc. But this method should be useful for you in many ways.
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
- Click on Processes and check which task is consuming higher resources.
- Just click on the particular process and select End Task to close it forcefully.
- Make sure to do the same steps for each third-party app process that is consuming higher resources.
- Once done, close Task Manager, and restart your PC.
8. Repair Game Files
It’s needless to say that issues with corrupted or missing game files on the PC might encounter game launching crashes a lot without any proper error message in some cases. If in case, your game starts to load for a few seconds and then closes automatically or doesn’t launch at all then it’s better to verify and repair the installed game files on the PC by following the steps below. Some players have already fixed Scron crashing on their PC.
- Launch the Steam client > Click on Library.
- Right-click on Counter Strike 2 from the list.
- Click on Properties > Go to Local Files.
- Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
- This process may take some time to get completed. So, have some patience.
- Once done, make sure to reboot the PC to apply changes.
9. Update the Counter Strike 2 game
We should also recommend you check for the game update manually at your end via the Steam client to ensure there is no outdated game version conflicting with the game launching. An outdated game patch version can trigger several potential issues that might trigger crashes whatsoever. To do this:
- Open Steam and go to Library.
- Click on Counter Strike 2 from the left pane.
- Steam will automatically search for the available update.
- If there is an update available, click on Update.
- Make sure to wait for some time until the update completes.
- Once done, ensure to reboot the PC to apply changes.
- Finally, you may not face the Counter Strike 2 Crashing issue on the PC.
10. Turn Off Third-Party Overlay Apps
Mostly conflicts with the background running third-party overlay apps can trigger several issues with the game launching because they consume a lot of system resources just like the processes whenever you start the game. Even though the game doesn’t launch, the overlay app starts and runs until you close it manually. Whereas some overlay apps may also start running while you boot the system at the very beginning. So, try disabling overlay apps manually.
Disable Discord Overlay:
- Open the Discord app > Click on the gear icon (Settings) at the bottom.
- Select Overlay under App Settings > Turn on the Enable in-game overlay.
- Click on Games > Select Counter Strike 2.
- Make sure to turn off the Enable in-game overlay toggle.
- Once done, reboot your PC to apply changes.
Disable Xbox Game Bar:
- Press the Win+I keys to open Settings.
- Now, click on Gaming > Go to Game Bar.
- Turn Off the Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using the Game bar option.
- Once done, save changes, and reboot the PC to apply changes.
Disable Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay:
- Launch the Nvidia GeForce Experience app > Go to Settings.
- Click on General > Disable the In-Game Overlay option.
- Once done, restart the PC to apply changes.
Disable Steam Overlay:
- Open the Steam client > Click on Library.
- Right-click on Counter Strike 2 > Click on Properties.
- Click on General > Turn OFF the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game option.
- Once done, reboot the PC to change the effects.
Some PC gamers or advanced users do also use some other overlay apps such as MSI Afterburner, Rivatuner, RGB software, etc. If you’re also using any other mouse or keyboard software or any RGB tool which isn’t necessary that much during gaming then it’s better to turn them off. Once done, try launching the Counter Strike 2 game to check if the crashing issue is still bothering you or not.
11. Turn Off Windows Firewall and Antivirus Software
The chances are high that you’re using the default Windows Firewall protection on your PC but sometimes disabling it temporarily before launching any game might reduce startup crashing issues a lot. To do this:
- Click on the Start Menu > Type Windows Defender Firewall and open it.
- Next, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.
- Select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option for all domains.
- Once done, click on OK to save changes > Reboot your PC to apply changes.
Additionally, make sure to turn off the Windows Defender antivirus program on your PC to ensure there is no antivirus software blocking the game files. To do so:
- Press the Win+I keys to open Settings.
- Click on Update & Security > Click on Windows Security.
- Click on Open Windows Security > Go to Virus & threat protection.
- Now, click on Manage settings > Just turn off the Real-time protection toggle.
- If prompted, click on Yes to proceed further.
- It may fix Counter Strike 2 Crashing on your PC.
Note: If you’re using any other third-party antivirus program on your PC then ensure to turn it off from its settings menu.
12. Adjust Power Management Options
It’s better to set the high-performance power option on your computer before playing games to get the full potential of the system because Windows prefers to run in the default balanced power mode to save power and offer medium performance for your daily task. But the heavy games or applications do require high-performance mode which will consume extra power but offers stunning performance. To do that:
- Click on the Start Menu > Type control panel and open it.
- Click on Hardware and Sound > Select Power Options.
- Select High Performance and you’re done.
- Finally, reboot the PC to apply changes.
13. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime
If your Windows system doesn’t have Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables installed or even already installed, make sure to reinstall it manually by following the steps below.
- Open the Start Menu > Type apps & features and open it.
- Click on the Microsoft Visual C++ program(s) from the list one by one.
- Click on Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Once all Visual C++ programs are uninstalled, reboot the PC.
- Now, go to the official Microsoft website and download the latest Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime.
- Make sure to install it on your computer and restart the system to change the effects.
14. Perform a Clean Boot
Multiple users claimed that performing a clean boot on the PC fixed the system boot-up issue because some apps or tasks start initially. These tasks run all the time and consume a lot of system resources. You should follow the steps below to do so:
- Press the Win+R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Type msconfig and hit Enter to open System Configuration.
- Go to Services > Click on Hide all Microsoft services to enable it.
- Now, click on Disable all so that rest of the services gets turned off.
- Click on Apply and then OK to save changes.
- Next, go to Startup > Click on Open Task Manager.
- Click on the Startup tab > Ensure to select the specific task that has a higher startup impact.
- Now, click on Disable to turn it off.
Please Note: Do the same steps for each program with a higher startup impact except for the audio or graphics service.
- Finally, make sure to restart your computer to apply changes. It should fix Counter Strike 2 Crashing on the PC.
15. Restore Default to Overclocked CPU or GPU
Sometimes, an overclocked CPU or GPU on the PC might cause conflicts with the other hardware, which may trigger a bottleneck issue. It’s better to temporarily disable or restore the overclocked CPU/GPU to the factory default so that you can check out the potential reason behind the crashing issue. Multiple tools are available online to adjust overclocked CPU or GPU on the PC such as MSI Afterburner, Riva Tuner, AMD Ryzen Master, EVGA Precision X, etc.
Dealing with crashes, especially when you’re eager to play a game like Counter-Strike 2, can be frustrating. However, many of these issues can be resolved with the right approach and a systematic troubleshooting process. We hope the steps outlined in this guide have clarified and helped address the “Counter-Strike 2 Crashing” issue. Always remember while such technical hiccups can be challenging, you can ensure a smoother gaming experience with persistence and regular updates. So, the next time you encounter “Counter-Strike 2 Crashing” on startup, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge to tackle it head-on. Happy gaming!