(Solved) Steam Failed to Initialize GTA 5 and RDR2

Valve Corporation has done an outstanding job by launching Steam in 2003. Steam is not only a digital storefront for PC video games but also provides a digital distribution service and an in-house gaming client for PC gamers. As a result of its superior server capacity and reliability, most PC games are available on Steam. However, despite the excellent performance of the Steam client, it may experience a few issues. One of these issues is the Steam Failed to Initialize GTA 5 and RDR2 error.

According to several reports on the Steam Community forum, players of GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 are encountering issues while trying to launch the games on Steam. The games fail to initialize, resulting in an error message that says “Steam failed to initialize. Please exit and try again.” This problem was previously only happening with Rockstar Social Club but now it’s also occurring with the Steam client. If you’re experiencing the same issue, there’s no need to worry.

Fix: Steam Failed to Initialize GTA 5 and RDR2

Fix: Steam Failed to Initialize GTA 5 and RDR2

Fortunately, there are a few potential workarounds mentioned below that should come in handy. Make sure to follow all troubleshooting methods until the problem gets fixed. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

1. Close and Relaunch Steam

It’s highly recommended to force close Steam from your system and manually relaunch it to ensure no temporary glitch is troubling you. To do so:

  • Close and exit Steam > Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  • Go to the Processes tab > Click on the Steam task to select it.
  • Select End Task to stop the specific process running in the background.
  • Once done, make sure to reboot the PC to apply changes.
  • Finally, relaunch the Steam client, and run the game.

2. Restart the PC

Before going into any other workaround, it’s recommended to restart your desktop/laptop to ensure there is no temporary system glitch or cache data issue. A normal reboot of the system mostly fixes several issues whatsoever.

3. Run Steam as an Administrator

Ensure to run the Steam application as an administrator on the PC by following the steps below to ensure there is no conflict with the system permissions while running the game.

  • Go to the Steam installation directory on the PC.
  • Right-click on the Steam.exe application file.
  • Click on Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.

  • Click on the Run this program as an administrator checkbox to enable it.
  • Once done, click on Apply and then OK to save changes.

4. Change the Steam Username

It’s worth mentioning that the Steam username changing can fix this particular issue for most of the users. It’s pretty awkward to say this but yes, it’s possible. You can also change the username with some of the special characters that can uniform a unique username.

  • Open the Steam client > Click on the profile username from the top right corner.
  • Click on View My Profile > Next, select Edit Profile.
  • Just change your username in letters only.
  • Now, relaunch Steam, and run the problematic game to check for the issue.

5. Turn Off the Steam Overlay

The chances are high that somehow in-game Steam overlay option is bothering you a lot. It’s better to always disable the Steam overlay feature manually to avoid performance-related issues or even game-launching errors.

  • Open the Steam client > Click on Library.
  • Right-click on the problematic game > 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.

6. Update the Display Driver

An outdated graphics driver on the PC might cause several issues with the game launching or even the client initialization failed error. To do this:

  • Press the Win+X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
  • Click on Device Manager from the list.
  • Now, double-click on the Display Adapters category to expand the list.

Device Manager Update Display Adapter

  • Right-click on the dedicated graphics card device.
  • Select Update driver > Choose Search automatically for drivers.
  • An update will automatically download and install the latest version if available.
  • Once done, make sure to reboot your computer to change the effects.

Alternatively, you can manually download the latest graphics driver version and install it directly from the official website respective to your graphics card manufacturer depending on the graphics card model.

7. Disable Fullscreen Optimizations for GTA V and RDR2

You can try disabling the fullscreen optimizations on the Windows computer to ensure there is no issue with the fullscreen display feature in some scenarios. Some of the PC users did find this trick helpful. So, you can try it out.

  • Right-click on the problematic game application on your PC.
  • Select Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.
  • Click on Disable fullscreen optimizations to select it.
  • Next, click on Run this program in compatibility mode for.
  • Then select Windows 8/7 from the list.
  • Finally, click on Apply and select OK to save changes.

8. Check for the GTA V and RDR2 Updates

If you haven’t updated the problematic game version for a while then make sure to follow the steps below to check for updates and install the latest patch (if available). To do this:

  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
  • Click on the problematic game from the left pane.
  • It’ll automatically search for the available update.
  • If any, make sure to click on Update.
  • Wait for the update to complete and reboot the PC to apply changes.

9. Verify and Repair the Game Files

In case, there is an issue with the game files and somehow it gets corrupted or missing then make sure to perform this method to easily check for the issue.

  • Launch Steam > Click on Library.
  • Right-click on the problematic game 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, just restart your computer.

10. Open the Game in Windowed Mode

Ensure to run the GTA V or RDR2 game in the windowed display mode whatever becomes problematic to you. Sometimes the fullscreen display mode consumes higher system resources in the background which can trouble a lot.

  • Launch the problematic game > Go to the Settings menu of the game.
  • Go to the Graphics tab > Search for the Display Mode option.
  • Make sure to select Windowed from the list.
  • Once done, save changes then restart the PC to apply changes.

11. Disable Antivirus

Another thing you should do is to simply disable the antivirus protection on your PC by following the steps below. Windows Defender antivirus aggressively blocks ongoing files which can eventually cause multiple issues with the Steam initialization error.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Now, click on Update & Security.
  • Click on Windows Security from the left pane.

  • Click on the Open Windows Security button.
  • Go to Virus & Threat Protection > Click on Manage settings.

  • Just Turn Off the Real-time protection option.
  • If prompted, click on Yes to proceed further.

Please Note: If you’re using a third-party antivirus software then make sure to turn off the real-time protection manually.

12. Reinstall Steam

If you have tried all the above workarounds but nothing helped then make sure to uninstall and reinstall Steam on the PC manually by following the steps below. Please do keep in mind that uninstalling the Steam client will delete all your installed games and customized Steam settings.

  • Press the Win+I keys to open Windows Settings.
  • Select Apps from the left pane > Click the Installed Apps option.
  • Now, you will see a list of applications.
  • Scroll down until you see the Steam app.
  • Click on the three horizontal dots next to Steam.
  • Select Uninstall > Confirm it by clicking on Uninstall again.
  • Once the Steam client is uninstalled, restart the PC.
  • Then go to the official Steam page and download the Steam installer.
  • Finally, reinstall the Steam launcher & open it > Sign into the account and reinstall the games.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. Feel free to comment below for further queries.

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