BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive recently released Stray as a cat adventure third-person cyberpunk video game in July 2022 for PlayStation & Windows platforms. As the title suggests, a lost stray cat is alone and separated from the family, who must unveil an ancient mystery to find the real home. As the game has just launched, several players are experiencing the black screen issue on PC while playing the Stray.
According to multiple reports online, the affected players mention that it is just stuck on the black screen whenever they try launching the game. Another major issue is that during the black screen, there is no sound coming out as well. After waiting some time, players have to press the Alt+F4 keys to get out of the screen and nothing else. So, this issue or bug is frustrating.
- Fix: Stray Black Screen After Startup
- 1. Disable Full-Screen Optimizations
- 2. Run the game as an Administrator
- 3. Check Graphics Driver Update
- 4. Update Stray
- 5. Check System Resources
- 6. Disable Overlay Applications
- 7. Check Windows Updates
- 8. Lower in-game Graphics Settings
- 9. Update DirectX
- 10. Press ALT+TAB Key Combo
- 11. Try Disabling Overlay Apps
- 12. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime
- 13. Verify Game Files and Repair
Fix: Stray Black Screen After Startup
The chances are high enough that Stray’s black screen may appear due to the PC configuration compatibility issue with the game’s system requirements. Meanwhile, having an outdated graphics driver, missing or corrupted game files, outdated game version, issues with DirectX, overlay app issues, higher in-game graphics settings, etc can cause several issues with the black screen while the game launches.
It’s worth mentioning to check out the game’s system requirements from the mentioned link to ensure there is no compatibility issue appearing on your computer.
1. Disable Full-Screen Optimizations
- First, go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stray\Binaries\Win64 directory. [If you’ve installed the Steam client or game on another drive or location, then head over there]
- Right-click on the Stray.exe file and click on Properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab > Uncheck the Enable Fullscreen Optimizations toggle.
- Click on Apply and then OK to save changes.
2. Run the game as an Administrator
To avoid user account control regarding privilege issues, make sure to run the game exe file as an administrator. You should also run the Steam client as an administrator on your PC. To do this:
- Right-click on Stray exe shortcut file on your PC.
- Now, select Properties > Click on the Compatibility tab.
- Click on the Run this program as an administrator checkbox to checkmark it.
- Click on Apply and select OK to save changes.
3. Check Graphics Driver Update
Check whether the graphics driver update on your PC is outdated. Sometimes an outdated GPU driver version or corrupted driver can cause several issues. It’ll also help you fix the black screen-related issues with games or applications. To do so:
- 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.
- 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.
4. Update Stray
If, in case, you haven’t updated your Stray game 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 Stray from the left pane.
- It’ll automatically search for the available update. If there is an update available, make sure to click on Update.
- It may take some time to install the update > Once done, close the Steam client.
- Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes and launch the game again.
5. Check System Resources
If the game loads slow or takes too much time in a startup, check out the system resources after launching the Stray game on your PC by following the steps below to check whether the RAM or CPU Usage becomes higher.
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
- Click on the Processes tab > Select the task you want to close.
- Once selected, click on End Task. Make sure to do the steps for each task individually.
- Once done, just restart your computer to change effects immediately.
6. Disable Overlay Applications
According to some affected players, overlay applications can run in the background while gaming, and it consumes system resources which will cause issues with the gameplay too.
So, disabling them before launching the game will come in handy if you’re not using any dedicated overlay application for chatting, taking screenshots, or recording gameplay sessions. To do so:
- Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
- Now, right-click on Stray > Select Properties.
- Head over to the General section > Here, just uncheck the Enable Steam Overlay checkbox.
- Go back to Library > Re-open Stray to check whether the black screen issue is happening or not.
7. Check Windows Updates
The chances are also high that your Windows OS build becomes outdated for a while. In that scenario, your gameplay performance will impact a lot apart from bugs or stability issues. So, it’s always better to check for Windows updates and install the latest version (if available). 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.
- If there is an update available, select Download and install.
- Wait for some time until the update gets completed.
- Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes immediately.
8. Lower in-game Graphics Settings
Try lowering the in-game graphics settings from the game menu to check if that helps. Disable V-Sync, Shadow effects, and Anti-Aliasing, and try running a lower display resolution for the game to fix black screen-related issues.
9. Update DirectX
Sometimes an outdated DirectX version or missing DirectX can cause multiple issues with the game launching or gameplay. You should try following the steps below to update it.
- Head over to this Microsoft link to download the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer on your PC.
- Next, install or update the DirectX version manually.
- Once done, restart your computer to apply changes.
10. Press ALT+TAB Key Combo
Some affected PC users have mentioned that by pressing the ALT + TAB key shortcut combo, they can switch between the opened programs on the PC. So, keep pressing the ALT + TAB to switch between programs and then go back to the running game again to check whether the problem has been fixed or not. It’ll change the display mode from full-screen to windowed mode and then full-screen mode, which can fix the black screen issue.
11. Try Disabling Overlay Apps
A couple of popular apps have their overlay program that can eventually run in the background and cause gaming performance or even launching issues. You should turn them off to fix the issue by following the steps below:
Disable Discord Overlay
- Launch the Discord app > Click on the gear icon at the bottom.
- Click on Overlay under App Settings > Turn on the Enable in-game overlay.
- Click on the Games tab > Select Stray.
- Finally, turn off the Enable in-game overlay toggle.
- Make sure to reboot your PC to apply changes.
Disable Xbox Game Bar
- Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
- Click on Gaming > Go to Game Bar > Turn off Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using the Game bar option.
If, in case, you’re unable to find the Game Bar option, just search for it from the Windows Settings menu.
Disable Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay
- Launch the Nvidia GeForce Experience app > Head over to Settings.
- Click on the General tab > Disable the In-Game Overlay option.
- Finally, restart the PC to apply changes and launch the game again.
Also, remember that you should disable other overlay apps like MSI Afterburner, Rivatuner, RGB software, or any other third-party overlay apps that always run in the background.
12. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime
Ensure to reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime on your computer to completely fix multiple gaming issues or errors. To do that:
- Press the Windows key from the keyboard to open up the Start Menu.
- Type Apps & Features and click on it from the search result.
- Now, locate the Microsoft Visual C++ program(s) in the list.
- Select each program and click on Uninstall.
- Visit the official Microsoft website and download the latest Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime.
- Once done, install it on your computer, and restart the system to change the effects.
13. Verify Game Files and Repair
Verifying and repairing the game files automatically using the game client is also recommended.
- Open up Steam > Go to Library.
- Right-click on the Stray game.
- Click on Properties > Go to the Local Files tab.
- Select Verify Integrity of Game Files…
- This process will start verifying and checking all the installed game files to whether there is a missing/corrupted file is located or not.
- Let the process be completed. Once done, close the Steam client, and restart your computer to apply changes.
- Finally, re-open Steam, and try running Stray game again.
In conclusion, following the recent launch of Stray, a significant number of PC players have encountered a frustrating black screen issue. This problem, highlighted in various online reports, manifests as a persistent black screen that appears when attempting to launch the game. Compounding the issue is the absence of sound during this black screen, leaving players with no choice but to exit the game using the Alt+F4 keys after a period of waiting. This bug, affecting the game’s playability, has become a source of annoyance for those eager to experience Stray. Addressing this technical issue is crucial for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.