Hearts of Iron 4 Won’t Launch or Not Loading on PC, How to Fix?

Hearts of Iron IV, commonly called HOI4, is a grand strategy wargame created by Paradox Development Studio and released by Paradox Interactive on 6 June 2016. Serving as the fourth main entry in the esteemed Hearts of Iron series, it follows the 2009 release of Hearts of Iron III. However, after the new update, multiple PC gamers faced issues with Hearts of Iron 4 games apart from crashes, lags, stutters, frame drops, etc. Multiple players face it regardless of whether the PC is powerful regarding Hearts of Iron 4 not launching or not loading issues on the Windows PC.

Hearts of Iron 4 Won't Launch or Not Loading on PC, How to Fix?

Why Don’t the Hearts of Iron 4 Launch?

Like many other PC games, Hearts of Iron 4 may encounter issues while launching or playing that can frustrate players. One such issue is when the game fails to launch, which can occur for various reasons, such as outdated graphics drivers, outdated game versions, missing or corrupted game files, unnecessary background tasks, and more.

Other potential causes of this problem could include an outdated Windows version, issues with the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, conflicts with startup services or antivirus software, incompatible PC hardware, overlay apps, overclocked CPU/GPU, DirectX-related matters, etc. To help players overcome this issue, this troubleshooting guide offers some effective workarounds that can help resolve the problem and get the game running smoothly on their Windows PC.

8 potential reasons why Hearts of Iron 4 may fail to launch:

  1. Outdated graphics drivers: Outdated graphics drivers can cause compatibility issues with the game and prevent it from launching properly.
  2. Outdated game version: If you try to play the game with an outdated version, it may not launch properly.
  3. Missing or corrupted game files: Missing or corrupted game files can cause the game to fail to launch or crash during gameplay.
  4. Unnecessary background tasks: Running unnecessary background tasks can consume system resources and cause the game to fail to launch or run poorly.
  5. Outdated Windows version: An outdated version of Windows can cause compatibility issues with the game and prevent it from launching properly.
  6. Conflicts with startup services or antivirus software: Conflicts with startup services or antivirus software can interfere with the game’s launch and prevent it from running.
  7. Incompatible PC hardware: Incompatible PC hardware, such as a graphics card that does not meet the game’s minimum requirements, can cause the game to fail to launch or run poorly.
  8. DirectX-related issues: DirectX is a set of drivers and libraries games used to communicate with your computer’s hardware. Issues with DirectX can cause the game to fail to launch or run poorly.

Hearts of Iron 4 Not Responding or Launching; how to Fix?

Now, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it. Make sure to follow all the methods until the problem gets fixed. If the game still bothers you to launch properly, you should contact support for further assistance.

1. Check System Requirements

First, you should check whether your PC configuration meets the system requirements of the game or not. Sometimes incompatible PC hardware can trigger multiple issues with the game launching. We’ve mentioned the game requirements so that you can cross-check with your configuration.

Minimum Requirements:

  • OS: Windows® 7 64 Bit | Windows® 8.1 64 Bit | Windows® 10 Home 64 Bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 750 | AMD® FX 4300
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia® GeForce™ GTX 470 (1.28GB) | AMD® HD 5850 (1GB) | Intel Iris Xe G7 (Tiger Lake) | AMD® Radeon™ RX Vega 11 | Steam Deck
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct X- compatible soundcard

Recommended Requirements:

  • OS: Windows® 10 Home 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 2500K | AMD® Ryzen 3 2200G
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia® GeForce™ GTX 570 (1.28GB) | AMD® Radeon™ HD 7970 (3GB) | Intel Iris Xe G7 (Tiger Lake)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct X- compatible soundcard.

2. Run the game as an Administrator

If you’re not running your video game using an administrator privilege, it may cause issues with the game launching, startup crashing, or even the game not loading. So, it’s better to run the game exe file as an administrator on your Windows computer to check whether that fixes the problem. To do so:

  • Right-click on the Hearts of Iron 4 exe shortcut file on your PC.
  • Now, select Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.

  • Make sure to click on the Run this program as an administrator checkbox to checkmark it.
  • Click on Apply and select OK to save changes.

3. Verify the Integrity of Game Files

If in case your game files become corrupted or missing for some unexpected reasons, then verifying and repairing the game files using the game launcher can help you a lot. To do this:

  • Launch Steam > Click on Library.
  • Right-click on Hearts of Iron 4 from the list of installed games.
  • Now, click on Properties > Go to Local Files.
  • Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
  • You’ll have to wait for the process until it gets completed.
  • Once done, restart your computer.

4. Update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable

  • Head over to the following path on your PC:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Steamworks Shared\_CommonRedist\vcredist

  • You should see the following folders:
    • 2012\vc_redist.x64.exe
    • 2013\vc_redist.x64.exe
    • 2019\vc_redist.x64.exe
  • Just make sure to run all of these executable files that are present. (If you’ve different folders, then run the vc_redist.x64.exe file in those folders)
  • Finally, restart your PC to fix the issue.

5. Update DirectX

  • Go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Steamworks Shared\_CommonRedist\DirectX folder path.
  • Next, run the DXSETUP.exe file to reinstall/update DirectX.
  • Once done, restart your computer to apply changes.

6. Update GPU Drivers

It seems that multiple affected players have reported about the outdated graphics driver. If you’re also using the outdated graphics driver for a while then make sure to check for updates by following the steps below:

  • Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Now, click on Device Manager from the list > Double-click on Display adapters.
  • Right-click on the dedicated graphics card that you’re using.

Device Manager Update Display Adapter

  • Next, select Update driver > Choose to Search automatically for drivers.
  • If an update is available, the system will automatically download & install it.
  • Once done, restart the computer to apply changes.

This method should fix the issue of Hearts of Iron 4 Won’t Launch on PC. If not, you can head over to the next method.

7. Disable Overlay Apps

According to some affected players, disabling the Steam overlay on the Windows computer has helped them easily fix the game not launching issue. As the in-game overlay app is always running in the background whenever you launch the game client, it’s quite possible to have issues with the processes or system resources.

For Steam Overlay:

  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
  • Now, right-click on Hearts of Iron 4 > Select Properties.
  • Head to the General section > Here, just uncheck the Enable Steam Overlay checkbox.
  • Go back to Library > Re-open Squad to check for the not launching issue.

8. Install All Pending Windows Updates

It may be possible that somehow any Windows bugs or system files conflict with the game running properly. Sometimes an incompatibility issue can also occur when you don’t update the software for a while. So, make sure to install all the pending Windows updates and keep it to the latest OS build. To do that:

  • Press Windows + I keys to open up the Windows Settings menu.
  • Next, click on Update & Security > Select Check for updates under the Windows Update section.

Windows Update Windows 11

  • If there is a feature update available, select Download and install.
  • Wait for some time until the update gets completed.
  • Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes immediately.

9. Disable Antivirus and Firewall Program

  • Click on the Start menu > Type Control Panel and click on it.
  • Now, type firewall in the search box > Click on Windows Firewall.
  • From the left pane, click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  • Select Turn off Windows Firewall for the Private, Domain, and Public Network Settings.
  • Finally, reboot the PC to apply changes and try checking the issue.

Now, you’ll have to disable the anti-virus protection (Windows Defender) as well by following the steps below:

  • Head over to Windows Settings > Privacy and Security.
  • Now, go to Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.
  • Click on Manage settings >Then turn off the Real-time Protection option.
  • Once done, make sure to reboot your PC to apply changes.

If in case, you’re using any third-party antivirus program then make sure to turn it off manually.

10. Launch the Game in Windowed Mode (Steam)

Try launching the game in Windowed display mode to check if that helps you or not. Sometimes a computer with an average hardware specification can cause several issues with the fullscreen display mode while running the game.

  • Open the Steam client and go to Library.
  • Right-click on Hearts of Iron 4 > Select Properties.
  • In the General section, click on Set Launch Options.
  • Next, copy & paste the following command-line argument:
 -windowed -noborder
  • Make sure to save changes and try running the game again to check if Hearts of Iron 4 launching properly or not.

11. Perform a Clean Boot

  • Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Now, type msconfig and hit Enter to open the System Configuration window.
  • 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, click on the Startup tab > Click on Open Task Manager.
  • Under the Startup tab from the Task Manager interface, click on the tasks enabled for startup boot > Click on Disable.
  • Select the high-impact startup programs and disable them one by one.
  • Once all is done, restart your PC to apply changes.
  • Finally, check whether the Hearts of Iron 4 Won’t Launch on PC issue has been fixed.

12. Close Background Processes

  • Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  • Click on the Processes tab > Select the task you want to close.

End Task Manager

  • Once selected, click on End Task. Make sure to do the steps for each task individually.
  • Once done, restart your computer to change effects immediately.

13. Reset Hearts of Iron 4

  • Press the Windows (Start) + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Select Apps and Features > Click Hearts of Iron 4 from the installed programs list to select it.
  • Now, click on Advanced options > Select Reset.
  • Once done, reboot your computer and try to launch the game.

14. Reinstall Hearts of Iron 4

If none of the methods worked for you, try reinstalling the Hearts of Iron 4 game to check if that helps you fix the game not launching issue. To do so:

  • Launch the Steam client on your computer.
  • Go to Library > Right-click on the Hearts of Iron 4 game.
  • Head over to Manage > Select Uninstall.
  • If prompted, click Uninstall again and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
  • Once done, make sure to reboot your computer to apply changes immediately.
  • Open the Steam client and install the game using the existing Steam account.
  • You’re done. Enjoy! This can resolve the Hearts of Iron 4 Won’t Launch on PC issue.

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

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