COD is one of the most famous gaming franchises, and the Modern Warfare series sits among the best COD games. As such, millions of players jump to play the game. Due to the game’s complexity, it’s usually a very buggy game. With the recent launch of the campaign, users are complaining that Modern Warfare 2 is not launching, crahsing at startup, and other errors that prevent them from starting the game. Here is all you can do to fix the issues.
Modern Warfare 2 Crashing, Crash at Startup, Won’t Start, and Not Launching Fix
Before you proceed with any of the fixes for MW2 crashing, ensure that your system meets the minimum requirements to play the game. MW2 is a demanding game; failing to meet the specifications can lead to a crash. Here is some basic troubleshooting you can try for day-one issues.
Nvidia Users Update to Newest (4 Nov) Driver Version 526.61
When the game came out, our game was also crashing a lot, and rolling back to the previous version or the one before that helped. Soon enough, Nvidia confirmed an issue with their driver. However, Nvidia has fixed the issue with their driver, and ever since the new Game Ready Driver launched, we started to crash in the older version. We used GeForce Experience to get the newest driver and have not had a single crash in 3 days.
Update the GPU and Operating System
Before we begin the rest of the solutions, ensure that the graphics card driver and operating system are up-to-date. If the GPU is not updated, you can run into all sorts of issues, including the Modern Warfare 2 crashing on startup on PC. When installing the GPU driver, use the GeForce Experience or directly download the update from Nvidia, but don’t use the Device Manager. While updating, choose Custom Install and perform a clean install.
For the Windows Update, ensure that everything is downloaded and updated, even the optional update. If there are updates for .NET Framework. that’s very important. Just ensure that everything is up-to-date.
Run the Battle.Net/Steam with Admin Permission and Verify Game Files
If the game still fails to launch, the next logical fix to try is to provide the Battle.Net client with admin permission or the Steam client. Once you have done that, try verifying the game files. To provide admin permission,> right-click on the desktop shortcut of Battle.Net and choose Properties > Go to the Compatibility tab and check Run this program with administrator permission. Here is how to repair the game files in Battle.Net.
- From the Battle.Net client, go to All Games and click on Modern Warfare 2
- Click on the Gear icon next to the update button
- Choose Scan and Repair
Here is how to validate the game files if you bought the game on Steam or are playing the beta via the Steam client.
- Open the Steam client and go to Library
- Right-click on Modern Warfare 2 and choose Properties
- Go to the Local Files tab and click on Verify integrity of game files.
Try running the game once the verification and download are complete. If MW2 still fails to launch and is crashing on startup after these basic fixes, here are some other things you can try.
Disable Overlays and Other Background Applications
CoD titles are known to conflict with many third-party programs and may be why the game is not starting for you. Disable the Task Manager’s Steam and Discord Overlay and the GeForce Experience application. If you are using any overclocking or RGB software, disable those as well. A clean boot is the best way to disable all third-party applications, so consider doing that before you start the game.
Disable Nvidia Instant Replay and ShadowPlay
Some players have also reported that having the Nvidia Install Replay or the ShadowPlay enabled crashes the game more often. This is a fix for people who can get into the game, and the crash occurs in-game. As suggested above, closing the Nvidia GeForce Experience completely before launching the game is best.
Turn Down Overclock
Historically, none of the COD titles, or maybe the engine is good at handling overclocks. One of the main reasons COD games crashed for many players in the past is because they overclocked their GPU or CPU. Disable the overclock. Sometimes the GPU may be factory overclocked, causing the issue. For Nvidia users, you have a quick option to disable any factory overclock. here is how to do it.
- Open the Nvidia Control Panel
- Go to the Help tab at the top
- Check Debug Mode
When the Debug Mode is enabled, all factory overclocks will be disabled.
Allow the game through the Windows Firewall
The next fix is to allow the game through the Windows Firewall. If the firewall blocks the game from execution, the COD MW2 will crash at startup. You can also put an exception on your software using a third-party antivirus. Refer to this post on how to set an exclusion for specific software on the Window Firewall and other antivirus software.
Ensure the MW2 is starting in Native Resolution
As you cannot access the game menu, verifying the game’s config file is the only way to change or check the resolution. You can find the Modern Warfare 2 config files in the Documents folder. Unlike most games, the MW2 config file does not state the settings plainly, but you can find the resolution when you see a value such as “3840×2160,” “1920×1080,” or something else. Ensure that this value is the same as your native resolution that the monitor supports and is currently set on. To verify your native resolution:
- Press Windows key + I and choose System
- From the Display tab, you should be able to see the Display Resolution that your monitor is currently running on.
Delete the Config File
Sometimes there is a problem with your config file that prevents the game from launching. Go to the same location as before, the Documents folder > MW2 folder > players > and delete the config file. When you launch the game the next time, the new config file will be automatically generated, and hopefully, Modern Warfare 2 crashing issue is resolved.
Issue with Steam Phone Number Verification
Many players have reported that they cannot launch the game as they are stuck in phone verification on the Steam client. Some users who have already verified the phone number cannot do it again as the Steam client would not allow it, and the game does not continue. If you are stuck with this error, go to the Steam Settings > Web Browser > click on Delete Web Browser Data. Now try to play the game.
MW2 Windows 8 Error – Compatibility Issue
Many players report that when they launch the game, MW2 thinks that they are running the Windows 8 OS, raising compatibility issues, while the users are actually on Windows 10 and 11. Click on this guide to view a separate guide on the issue.
Download and Install the Visual C++ Redistributable
An outdated or a problem with the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable can cause games to crash on startup. Visit this link to the Microsoft website and download the all-in-one package for both X86 and X64. Install both the files and reboot the PC. Attempt to play the game now.
These are the fixes you can try at the moment. There is an undeniable issue with the game, so if none of the above worked, you may have to wait for a patch. The devs are aware of the issue and working on a fix. They acknowledged it on a Steam Community thread. So, maybe we will get a patch before the start of the open beta to help resolve the Modern Warfare 2 launch issues.
Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Crashing – Crashing at Specific Point Mission
Here are fixes you can try if the game crashes at a specific point or at random while playing. Try the fixes one at a time.
Install the Game on C Drive
- Right-click the game on your Steam Library.
- Select the Browse local files option.
- If you see that it says the file is invalid or something along those lines, it means that the Steam Client is not reading the game properly.
- Uninstall the game completely.
- Look for the drive in which Steam is downloaded to your PC. In most cases, the Steam app and its files are present in the C Drive. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam)
- Now, download and install Modern Warfare 2 to the C Drive or wherever Steam is located on your system.
- To do so, change the file location when you are downloading the game and choose the appropriate location from the directory.
Change AVX Settings in the BIOS
When AVX instructions are encountered, the CPU operates at a slower rate. AVX is a set of mathematical instructions that consumes a lot of energy and generates a lot of heat. To keep the CPU from crashing, AVX offset slows it down. It’s only necessary when employing really high overclocks that are unstable under stress. Check if the AVX settings in the BIOS are correct according to the board you are using and other specifications of your system.
If you are using Corsair peripherals or devices, you must be using the brand’s utility software that customizes, syncs, and monitors the Corsair Ecosystem, the Corsair iCUE. Many users have reported that their game stopped crashing after they uninstalled Corsair iCUE and then rebooted their systems. Everything was running smoothly after they followed these instructions.
Turn Off Core Isolation
Protecting the core programs by isolating them in memory is called “core isolation.” In order to achieve this goal, it executes those core procedures in a virtualized environment. One user mentioned on the Steam Forums that if you are using Windows 11, go to Windows Security and turn off Core Isolation. Doing so made the game not crash anymore for them.
Update AMD Chipset Driver
Updating the AMD Chipset Driver might do the trick for you, although it is unlikely. Click on this link to be redirected to the official AMD Drivers website to download the latest chipset drivers for your system.
Check Framerate Limiter in Settings
Modern Warfare 2 was constantly crashing for a user when they were playing the 5th mission of the campaign, even after verifying game files and running it in safe mode. After looking through the in-game settings, they found out that under “Custom Framerate Limiter”, the game had set a refresh rate that was higher than their monitor’s refresh rate. Changing it to a lower number solved this issue for them, and it could help you too.
This might be an annoying fix as it involves you replaying the missions that you were playing before crashing to the desktop. Most players would resume the mission so they can continue playing from the checkpoint before crashing, but these players have reported still facing game crashes mid-missions, although mostly after checkpoints. Instead, restart the mission and it will prevent the game from crashing for a while. A user claimed to have finished the campaign of Modern Warfare 2 with only 3 crashes when they followed this trick.