Fix Modern Warfare 3 Error Code 0x00001338(12488)N

It has come to our attention that many PC gamers trying to launch Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MWIII) on Steam or are encountering the Error Code 0x00001338(12488)N. This error has been reported by numerous players recently and appears to be a startup crashing issue that occurs when trying to open the game. If you’re experiencing this error, don’t worry; we’ve compiled a list of workarounds to help you fix it.

The error message that MWIII players receive reads: “The application has unexpectedly stopped working. Select Scan and Repair to restart the game and authorize to verify your installation. This will take a few minutes, but it might resolve your current issue. To contact customer service support. Error code: 0x00001338 (12488) N.” This error can occur for several reasons.

Some of the reasons why you might be experiencing this error include outdated game patch version, corrupted or missing game files, not using administrator rights to launch the game, corrupted cache, compatibility issues with your Windows OS version, outdated graphics driver version, conflicts with outdated Windows software, third-party overlay applications, outdated DirectX version, outdated Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package, blocking issues with security software, and more. All of these reasons could be the cause of this error.

Fix Modern Warfare 3 Error Code 0x00001338(12488)N

Fix Modern Warfare 3 Error Code 0x00001338(12488)N

Fortunately, here we’ve shared with you some workarounds that should help in fixing the 0x00001338(12488)N error code on the PC. Make sure to follow all troubleshooting methods until the problem has been fixed. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Restart Your PC

It’s highly recommended to restart your computer before performing any other workarounds because a normal reboot of the system can fix multiple issues like temporary glitches or cache data.

2. Run Modern Warfare 3 as an Administrator

You should run the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game application as an administrator on Windows to allow the system user account control permission. Without having the permission, some applications might not work properly. To do this:

  • Right-click on the COD: MWIII application on your PC.
  • Select Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.

  • Now, click on the Run this program as an administrator option to enable it.
  • Click on Apply and select OK to save changes.
  • Once done, run the game to check for the error.

3. Check for Modern Warfare 3 Updates

The chances are high that your outdated game patch version might trigger some issues with the game launching & other potential errors. By updating the game to the latest version, you’ll be able to get better stability and fewer bugs as compared to the previous game patch. To update your game, follow the steps below.

  • Open the client.
  • Go to Game Library > Select Modern Warfare III.
  • Click on the cog wheel icon next to the game.
  • Next, click on Check for Updates.
  • If an update is available, download and install it.


  • Open the Steam client > Go to Game Library.
  • Right-click on Modern Warfare III > Select Properties.
  • Click on Updates > Navigate to the Automatic Updates tab.
  • Select Only update this game when I launch it.
  • It’ll automatically install updates whenever available.

4. Verify and Repair the Game Files

Sometimes corrupted or missing game files on the PC might also trouble you while starting the game. It’s always better to verify and repair the game files by following the steps below on your PC to avoid errors.

  • Open > Click on Modern Warfare III.
  • Select the Cog Wheel icon next to the Play button.
  • Now, select Scan and Repair > Wait for the repair to complete.


  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
  • Right-click on Modern Warfare III in your library.
  • Go to Settings and select Properties.
  • Click on Local Files > Select Verify integrity of game files.
  • Wait for the process to complete.

5. Disable Overlay Apps

Third-party overlay applications sometimes consume higher system resources which can cause game launching issues up to some extent. So, you should turn off the third-party overlay applications manually on the system to avoid game-launching glitches.

Discord Overlay:

  • Open Discord > Click on the gear icon at the bottom.
  • Go to Overlay from App Settings.
  • Turn on – Enable in-game overlay.
  • Go to Games > Choose Modern Warfare 3.
  • Enable in-game overlay – Turn it Off.
  • Then restart the system.

Xbox Game Bar:

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Gaming > Go to Game Bar.
  • Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar – Turn it Off.

Game Mode:

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Gaming > Go to Game Mode > Turn it Off.

Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay:

  • Open Nvidia GeForce Experience.
  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Click on General > Turn Off – In-Game Overlay.
  • Once done, restart the PC to apply changes.

Other Overlays:

There are some other third-party overlay applications that can be installed on your system that should be disabled manually. Talking about the other overlay apps, we’ve listed the common ones below:

  • MSI Afterburner
  • Rivatuner Statistics
  • Third-party RGB software
  • Any other keyboard & mouse customizing software
  • Other overclocking apps
  • Screen recording or broadcasting apps

6. Check for Graphics Driver Updates

Sometimes issues with the graphics card driver such as an outdated driver or corrupted driver on the system can eventually trigger multiple conflicts while playing video games. It’s suggested to check for the graphics driver and install the latest driver version.

Recommended Update:

  • Press the Win+X keys > Click on Device Manager from the list.
  • Double-click on Display Adapters.
  • Right-click on the dedicated graphics card that you use.

  • Select Update Driver > Click on Search automatically for drivers.
  • If there is an update available, it’ll automatically download & install the latest version.
  • Once done, restart the computer to apply changes.

Manual Update:

If you can’t find any pending updates, head over to the official website of the respective graphics card brand below and search manually for the latest update. Do remember that you’ll always have to search for the latest driver version and specific for the model you’re using. If a new version is available for the graphics card, download the driver and install it on your PC. You can jump to the link below to do so:

7. Clear Steam AppCache

We recommend you clear the Steam AppCache data on the Windows PC by following the steps below to ensure there is no issue with the Steam folder or installed game files. Sometimes any kind of temporary glitch with Steam can also trouble you a lot.

  • Open File Explorer by pressing the Win+E keys.
  • Head over to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam path to open the Steam folder.
  • Right-click on the appcache folder.
  • Copy the folder and paste it to the desktop screen as a backup.
  • Next, go back to the Steam directory.
  • Right-click on the appcache folder.
  • Select Delete and restart your PC.

8. Delete the Cache Folder

A corrupted cache folder might trigger issues with the video games to launch smoothly. Deleting this folder will not affect your game data. It basically fixes outdated files or removes corrupted cache from the system. While outdated, corrupted, or missing folders/files can cause issues with the Blizzard application and games. Follow the steps below to resolve this issue.

Please Note: This specific method might cause the desktop app to forget the game install locations. In case, you’re facing this issue after deleting the cache folder then make sure to find the game installation directory and select Locate this game or run the game launcher.

  • First of all, you need to close all Blizzard processes.
    • Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc key to open the Task Manager.
    • Click on Processes > Select AgentBlizzard desktop app, and game processes.
    • Then select End Process.
  • Now, head over to the folder directory:
    • Press the Win+R keys to open the Run dialogue box.
    • Type C:\ProgramData\ in the field and hit Enter to open Local Disk ProgramData.
  • Next, find out and Delete the folder.
  • Once done, run again.
  • Finally, update the COD MWIII game to check for the error.

If the error persists then any other third-party program may be causing this problem. Try restarting your computer and try the steps again.

9. Update Windows

It’s recommended to check for system updates on the Windows PC before getting into any other workarounds. Sometimes an outdated system build can cause several issues.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security.
  • Select Check for updates under Windows Update.Windows Update Windows 11
  • If there is a feature update available, select Download and Install.
  • Wait until the software update is complete.
  • Once done, restart your computer to apply changes.

10. Disable Antivirus Protection

Additionally, it’s suggested to turn off the Windows Defender antivirus protection on your PC to ensure there is no antivirus software blocking the game files from running properly.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security > Click on Windows Security from the left pane.
  • Now, click on the Open Windows Security button.
  • Go to Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Click on Manage Settings.
  • Just Turn Off the Real-time Protection toggle.

  • If prompted, click on Yes to proceed further.

Note: If you’re using any other third-party antivirus program on your PC then just turn off the real-time protection feature.

11. Turn Off Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall basically prevents unauthorized ongoing connections from the PC to online servers. You can try turning it off temporarily to check for the issue again.

  • Open the Start Menu > Search and open Windows Defender Firewall.

  • Now, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.

  • Turn Off all the Private, Domain, and Public Network Settings options.
  • Finally, click on OK to save changes.

12. Perform a Clean Boot

Multiple reports did claim that several third-party programs are always running in the background from the Windows boot. So, performing a clean boot and disabling conflicting startup apps will be crucial enough to get better performance.

  • Press the Win+R keys to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Now, type msconfig and hit Enter to open System Configuration.
  • Go to the Services tab > Enable the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.

  • Click on Disable all > Click on Apply and then OK to save changes.
  • Now, go to the Startup tab > Click on Open Task Manager.
  • Click on the Startup tab from Task Manager.
  • Make sure to click on the particular task that has a higher startup impact.
  • Once selected, click on Disable to turn it off.
  • Do the same steps for each program that has a higher startup impact.
  • Finally, make sure to restart your computer to apply changes.

13. Run a SFC Scan

SFC (System File Checker) tool is useful to check whether any program file or a disk drive has some issues not on a Windows system. If there is an issue, you can try manually fixing it by following the steps below. To do this:

  • Open the Start menu > Search for cmd.
  • Right-click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  • Click on Run as administrator > If prompted, click on Yes to give admin privileges.
  • Type the following command in the cmd window and hit Enter to execute it:
sfc /scannow

  • Now, wait for the process to complete. It may take a couple of minutes or so.
  • Once done, reboot the PC, and check for the issue again.

14. Reinstall COD MWIII

If none of the workarounds did come in handy then make sure to uninstall and reinstall the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (2023) game on your computer. Sometimes issues with the game installation directory or files might trouble you. Though reinstalling the game isn’t always recommended, there is nothing else to do at your end.

For Steam:

  • Open the Steam client on your PC.
  • Go to Library > Right-click on COD MWIII.
  • Select Uninstall > Click on Delete to confirm.
  • Wait for the uninstallation process to complete.
  • Exit the Steam client > Open File Explorer.
  • Copy & paste C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common on the address bar.
  • Press Enter to search for the location.
  • Go to the COD MW3 folder > Delete the folder completely.
  • Reboot the PC to apply changes.
  • Finally, open Steam > Reinstall the COD MWIII game again.


  • Open the client.
  • Select Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III from the left panel.
  • Choose the Options menu on the left side.
  • Click on Uninstall Game > If prompted, confirm the uninstallation process.
  • Once done, close the launcher, and reboot the PC.
  • Next, open the launcher again > Start installing COD: MW3.
  • Click on the Options menu > Select Modify Install.
  • Select the mode that you want to install and select Confirm.
  • Hit Start Install and wait for it to complete.
  • Finally, launch the game to check for the 0x00001338(12488)N error again.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For additional queries, you can comment below.

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