Horizon Forbidden West Crashing, Not Launching, or Not Responding on PC (Solved)

Guerrilla Games’ action RPG Horizon Forbidden West has finally been released for PC gamers by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2022. However, several players seem to be encountering issues with Horizon Forbidden West crashing, not launching, or not responding on the PC.

There have been reports on various online forums that the game crashes during startup on PC. It can be frustrating when you try to launch the game, but it doesn’t run, and there is no specific warning or error notice. This issue can easily distract you from the gaming experience, and it happens mostly on the PC platform, even after improvements and bug fixes. However, it should be noted that the game is new in the market and may be prone to some issues.

Horizon Forbidden West Crashing, Not Launching, or Not Responding on PC (Solved)

What are the Reasons Behind the Horizon Forbidden West Crashes?

The startup crashing issue that mostly happens with PC games may be related to in-game bugs or directly to the PC itself. While some affected gamers may blame the developers for not optimizing the game properly, it’s important to consider that problems with the PC’s specifications or other aspects may also play a major role.

If you’re experiencing crashing issues with Horizon Forbidden West on your PC, it’s essential to cross-check all elements before concluding. It’s possible that your PC specifications may not be compatible enough with the game’s system requirements or that the installed game version has become outdated.

Other potential reasons behind game crashes or not launching could include conflicts with the installed graphics card driver, temporary system glitches on the PC, running the game application without administrative privileges, resource-hungry third-party programs running in the background, or blocking issues with antivirus and firewall software.

Horizon Forbidden West Crashing, Not Launching, or Not Responding on PC

Well, as the game becomes more popular among the community, developers will continue pushing more patch updates and fixing bugs. However, it would be best if you tried performing some workarounds to fix the issue at your end. Plenty of players try common troubleshooting methods and find them useful in most scenarios. It’s highly recommended to follow all fixes individually until the problem has been fixed. So, without further ado, let’s jump into it.

1. Check the System Requirements

Any kind of incompatibility with the PC specifications against the game’s system requirements might cause startup crashes or not launching issues in most cases. It’s always a better idea to check the system requirements of the Horizon Forbidden West game to understand whether your configuration meets the requirements or not. In case you’re missing any major requirement or hardware becomes outdated, then try upgrading the same.

Minimum Specs Recommended Specs
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-8100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon RX 5500XT 4GB
  • Storage: 150 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 150GB SSD Space
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8600 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon RX 5700
  • Storage: 150 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 150GB SSD Space

2. Restart Your PC

It is not uncommon for a PC to experience occasional shutdowns while launching high-intensive programs or certain games. However, frequent crashes or startup issues while launching a game may be caused by temporary system glitches or corrupted cache data. To resolve the issue to some extent, it is recommended to manually reboot the system. Simply open the Start menu, go to the Power icon, and click on Restart.

3. Run Horizon Forbidden West as an Administrator

According to multiple reports, running Horizon Forbidden West on a PC without administrative privileges prevents the game from launching. Granting administrative access to the game application can offer better access to specific features or settings. This is a one-time process and you won’t have to repeat it. To do so:

  • Navigate to the installed directory of Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Now, right-click on the Horizon Forbidden West.exe application.
  • Click on Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.

  • Enable the Run this program as an administrator option.
  • Click on Apply and select OK to apply changes.

4. Turn Off In-Game V-Sync

To avoid any graphical glitches or screen tearing while launching the game or during gameplay, it’s recommended that you turn off the in-game v-sync option. Disabling the vertical sync feature can also help prevent any startup crashes. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Horizon Forbidden West > Go to the Settings menu.
  • Navigate to the Display option.
  • Head over to the V-Sync option.
  • Turn Off the V-Sync feature to avoid potential crashes.

5. Update Horizon Forbidden West

If you are experiencing startup crashes on your PC while running a game, it could be due to an outdated game patch version. In case you haven’t updated your game version in a while, it’s possible that it could be causing the problem. To resolve this issue, you can follow the below steps to manually update your game patch version. This will not only bring new features but also include improvements and bug fixes, making your gaming experience smoother.

  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
  • Click on Horizon Forbidden West.
  • If there is an Update option available, click on it.
  • Wait for the game to install the update.
  • Once done, close the client, and reboot the system.

6. Verify the Integrity of Game Files

You can try verifying and repairing game files on your PC to fix any potential glitches or corruptions with the game files. Follow the steps below:

  • Open Steam > Go to Library.
  • Right-click on Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Go to Settings > Select Properties.

  • Click on Local Files > Select Verify integrity of game files.
  • You may need to wait for a while to complete it.
  • Once done, close the client, and restart the PC.

7. Update Graphics Card Drivers

Several players have reported that an outdated graphics card driver could cause issues when launching the game. However, updating the graphics driver has proved to be a helpful solution for some players in fixing the launching problems. On the PC version, graphical glitches usually occur due to conflicts with the graphics driver.

Recommended Method:

  • Open the Start menu > Search for Device Manager and open it.
  • Double-click on Display Adapters to open it.

Device Manager Update Display Adapter

  • Right-click on the dedicated graphics card.
  • Now, choose Update driver > Click on Search automatically for drivers.
  • If an update is available, the system will automatically download and install it.
  • Once done, restart your PC to apply the changes.

Visit the Official Graphics Website:

If you are unable to receive any updates for your graphics driver, please visit the official website of your graphics card manufacturer by following the links provided below. Once you are on the website, search for the latest graphics driver for your specific graphics card model. Download the latest driver and install it on your PC.

8. Close Unwanted Programs or Tasks

At times, your computer may run into problems with third-party background processes that consume excessive resources. This can lead to CPU or graphics-intensive video games running poorly or crashing frequently. To reduce the likelihood of these issues, it is recommended that you close any unwanted programs running in the background before launching your game. This should help prevent startup crashes and ensure a smoother gaming experience.

  • Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  • Go to Processes > Select the specific task that you want to close.
  • Click on End Task > Follow the same steps again for each task that you want to end.
  • Once done, restart your PC to apply changes.

9. Whitelist Horizon Forbidden West on Antivirus

It is recommended that you add the Horizon Forbidden West game application to your antivirus software’s whitelist manually. This will allow the game to run without any issues. Aggressive antivirus scans can sometimes delete or block game launcher applications without your knowledge, mistaking them for suspicious programs. Whitelisting the Horizon Forbidden West application on your specific antivirus software can prevent this from happening. Below, we have provided the default Windows antivirus exclusion method for your convenience.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Settings.
  • Click on Privacy & Security from the left pane.
  • Click on Windows Security.

  • Navigate to Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Then go to Manage Ransomware Protection.
  • Enable – Controlled Folder Access.
  • If prompted by UAC, click on Yes.
  • Now, click on Allow an app through controlled folder access.
  • Click on Yes again if prompted by UAC.
  • Choose Add an allowed app > Head over to the installed game directory.
  • Select the Horizon Forbidden West.exe app > Click on Open to add it.
  • Once done, reboot the PC to apply changes.

Please Note: If you’re using a third-party antivirus software then ensure to whitelist the game application on your antivirus settings.

10. Add An Exclusion of Horizon Forbidden West on Firewall

Another thing you can do is whitelist the Horizon Forbidden West program in the Windows Firewall protection to reduce game-launching conflicts on the PC. It usually allows the game program to run smoothly without any further issues. To do so:

  • Open the Start menu > Search and open Control Panel.
  • Click on Systems and Security > Go to Windows Firewall.
  • Choose Allow an app through Windows Firewall.

  • Then select Change Settings > Choose Allow another app.
  • Click on Browse > Choose Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Now, click on Add > Save changes to check for the issue again.

11. Update Windows

An outdated Windows system version on the PC can also trigger multiple conflicts that we can’t deny. Issues with the system version might also appear due to some instability. It’s better to follow the steps below to manually check for system updates.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security.

  • Click on the Check for updates button.
  • If there is a new update available, click on Download and Install.
  • Once done, reboot your PC to apply changes.

12. Adjust Power Settings for High Performance

Adjusting the power settings for high performance on the Windows machine might also increase resources for video games by default. In that way, your games will go through minimum hiccups on the PC caused by system resources or graphical glitches. To do so:

  • Open the Start menu > Search and open Control Panel.
  • Click on Hardware and Sound.
  • Go to Power Options > Click on Show additional plans.
  • Select High Performance.

  • Once done, you’re good to go.

Note: You can also select Ultimate Performance if you’re using a high-end PC.

13. Use the Maximum Performance Graphics Card

This method will come in handy if your processor does have an inbuilt HD graphics card (integrated) and even if you’re connected to an external graphics card, you’re not using it. So, selecting the external graphics card specifically for the game might help in reducing startup crashes or loading issues to some extent. Here we’ve shared both methods for both graphics card brands that most PC gamers use.

For Nvidia GPU:

  • Right-click on the desktop screen.
  • Choose Nvidia Control Panel > Go to Manage 3D Settings.
  • Navigate to Program Settings > Choose Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Click on High-Performance.

  • Apply changes and restart the system.


  • Right-click on the desktop screen.
  • Choose AMD Radeon Settings > Go to Preferences.
  • Select Additional Settings > Head over to System.
  • Choose Switchable Graphics > Select Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Click on High-Performance Profile.
  • Apply changes and reboot the system.

14. Tweak Windows Pagefile Size

Well, tweaking the Windows pagefile size on the PC might also allow the game to run properly. It’ll help in increasing extra virtual memory on the system so that the deficiency of the physical RAM allocation will be fixed to some extent. Some users try this method and find it useful enough to avoid startup crashes of the games. To do this:

  • Open the Start menu > Search for system settings.
  • Click on View Advanced System Settings from the search result.
  • Under Performance, click on Settings.

  • Then go to the Advanced tab.
  • Choose Programs under Adjust for best performance of.
  • Now, click on Change under Virtual Memory.

  • Uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size option.
  • Select Custom size > Set the specific value as per your preference.
  • Set both Initial Size and Maximum Size values.

  • Then click on Set > Click on OK.
  • Finally, restart your computer.

15. Change CPU Priority in Task Manager

Configuring the CPU priority in Task Manager might also help you in fixing startup crashes or game-loading issues in most cases. By doing so, you’ll be able to allocate extra CPU resources for the specific game application to run smoothly.

  • Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  • Go to the Details tab > Right-click on the Horizon Forbidden West task.
  • Choose Set Priority > Click on High.

  • Once done, close Task Manager, and try running the game again.

16. Update the DirectX Version

It seems that an outdated DirectX version on the system is somehow conflicting with the game startup or loading issues. You should always check for the latest DirectX version and install the latest update accordingly. Windows programs especially video games are required to run DirectX properly for a smoother gaming experience.

  • Visit the official Microsoft website in your web browser.
  • Search for the latest version of DirectX.
  • Download the installer file and run it as per on-screen instructions.
  • Once done, restart your PC to apply changes.

17. Turn Off Unwanted Overlay Apps

You should also turn off some unwanted overlay applications on your computer to ensure there is no conflict with the background running resources. Some of the overlay programs run in the background while running video games and unnecessarily consume higher CPU or RAM which eventually brings some issues. It’s better to manually turn them off by following the steps below.

Game Mode:

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

  • Turn Off the toggle.

Xbox Game Bar:

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Settings.
  • Click on Gaming > Go to Game Bar.

  • Disable the Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar option.

Discord Overlay:

  • Open Discord > Click on the gear icon at the bottom.
  • Under App Settings, go to Overlay.
  • Turn On the Enable in-game overlay option.
  • Go to Games > Select Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Turn Off the Enable in-game overlay option.
  • Once done, restart the system.

Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay:

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

Note: There are some other third-party overlay applications available that most users prefer to use such as overclocking software, RGB customization software, any mouse or keyboard tweaking software, screen recording software, etc. So, closely follow background tasks via Task Manager and disable any suspicious overlays.

18. Scan for Malware and Viruses

Last but not least, you can fix startup crashing issues on your PC by scanning full disk drives with antivirus software. This method will help you find potential viruses or malware attacks that can be hidden inside files/folders without your knowledge. It’s recommended that a full scan be run and that antivirus software be allowed to complete the scan. You should also turn on regular or weekly scanning for all your disk drives or Windows drive to reduce the chances of vulnerability.

  • Open the particular antivirus program that you use.
  • Go to Virus & threat Protection / Scan Mode.
  • Run a Full Scan > It might take an hour depending on the disk size.
  • Wait for the scan results and then check if any potential risk is found or not.
  • If found, use the recommended options by the antivirus to be safe.
  • Finally, reboot the PC to apply changes.

That’s it, guys. We hope this guide was helpful to you. If you have additional queries, you can comment below.

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