Fix Phasmophobia Crash at Startup or Failed to Launch

Phasmophobia is a psychological horror video game released two weeks back on Steam. However, player who jumped to play the game are reporting a range of issues, predominantly Phasmophobia crash at startup and failed to launch. In this guide, we have some common causes that you should address to fix the issue.    

One of the most obvious cause of the game crashing or failing to start is your antivirus or the Windows defender. It has a tendency of blocking the game.

Often, during the download and installation, some game file can go missing or become corrupted, if this happened it can lead to crash at startup. The other culprits are an outdated or old graphics card, outdated Windows, and other software. Hence, before you start to launch the game, ensure that you have updated the graphics card drivers and other software on the system.

New games are designed to run on the latest versions of software including the GPU driver and the OS. Sometimes, a third party software could be hindering with the process of the game that’s causing the crash.

Stick around with us and we will help you resolve the errors such as Phasmophobia crash at startup or won’t launch.

Fix Phasmophobia Crashing at Startup, Won’t Launch, or Failed to Launch

Before we even begin to implement the fixes to resolve the error, you must verify that your system meets the minimum requirements to run the game. If all the system requirements are met and you still see the error, you can proceed with the fixes, trying one at a time and between each fix, try to run the game.

MinimumRecommended
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating systemRequires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 10 64BitOS: Windows 10 64Bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350Processor: Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
Memory: 8 GB RAMMemory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
Network: Broadband Internet connectionNetwork: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 13 GB available spaceStorage: 15 GB available space
Additional Notes: Minimum Specs are for VR, lower specs may work for Non-VR. 

If you meet the system requirements, let’s proceed with the fixes.

Fix 1: Disable the Antivirus Completely

As the antivirus is the primary culprit, disable the antivirus or the Windows Defender and try to play the game. If the game works, you need to set an exception for the game on the respective antivirus software as you can keep the security software disabled for long. Here are the steps.

Windows Virus & Threat Protection

  1. Press Windows Key + I and select Update & Security
  2. Click on Windows Security, select Virus & Threat Protection
  3. Under Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings
  4. Locate Exclusions by scrolling down, click on Add or remove exclusions
  5. Click on Add an exclusion and select Folder
  6. Browse the Control Ultimate Edition folder and set the exclusion.

Kaspersky Internet Security

  • Home >> Settings >> Additional >> Threats and Exclusions >> Exclusions >> Specify Trusted Applications >> Add.

AVG

  • Home >> Settings >> Components >> Web Shield >> Exceptions >> Set the exception.

Avast Antivirus

  • Home >> Settings >> General >> Exclusions >> Set the exclusion.

Fix 2: Verify Integrity of Game Files

If the game itself is corrupted that could also lead to crash at startup or mid-game crash with Phasmophobia. Here are the steps to check and repair corrupt files on Steam.

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. From the LIBRARY, right-click on Phasmophobia and select Properties
  3. Go to LOCAL FILES and click on VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES…

Fix 3: Disable Fullscreen Optimizations

If the game is set for full-screen optimization, it can lead to crash and not launching problem. As such you must disable the full-screen optimization. You can also provide the game with admin permission, often that’s another cause for these errors. As both settings are located at the same place, the procedure is simple and straightforward.

In order to perform the above two fixes, go to the desktop shortcut of the game and right-click, select Properties. Now, go to the Compatibility tab and check Disable fullscreen optimization and Run this program as an administrator. Click Apply and Ok to save the changes.

Verify if the Phasmophobia crashing at startup and not launching problems still occur.

Fix 4: Update the Graphics Drivers

Although an outdated graphics card driver causes the most crashes, you should keep all drivers and software updated on the system. This includes the OS, audio drivers, motherboards, processors, etc.

So, first update the graphics card drivers and check if Phasmophobia crashes on startup or in-game. Nvidia recently released Game Ready Driver. Here are the link to both Nvidia and AMD drivers you need.

Nvidia Game Ready Driver

AMD Radeon Software Driver

Select your OS and other specs and download and install the software. If the problem persists, update everything from OS to audio drivers and check again.

Fix 5: Terminate Unnecessary Applications and Perform Clean Boot

With so many games, third-party software that forcefully inject themselves between operations cause crash in the game. Hence, the first thing we must do to resolve the Phasmophobia crashing on startup or failed to launch error is suspend all unnecessary programs and then launch the game. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type msconfig, hit Enter
  2. In General tab, uncheck Load startup items
  3. Go to the Services tab
  4. Check Hide all Microsoft services
  5. Now, click Disable all
  6. Go to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager
  7. Disable one task at a time and restart the system.

Try launching the game, check if the error still occurs.

Fix 7: Disable Steam Overlay

If the game crashes right after the intro video, the cause of the problem can be the Steam Overlay. This feature has been known to act up with some games. You can resolve the error by disabling the Steam Overlay. Launch Steam client. Click on Library and right-click on Control Ultimate Edition. Select Properties and uncheck Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.

Close Steam and check if the in-game crash or Phasmophobia crash at startup still occurs.

Fix 8: Disable or Remove GeForce Experience / MSI Afterburner

Sometimes third-party software can tune the GPU settings that does not pair with the game leading to the error. By simply disabling the software, you can resolve the errors. You can uninstall the programs to disable them or simply disable them from the Task Manager. Disable the programs via any method that suits you. Once done, try playing the game and check if the error still appears.

Fix 9: Disable Shader Cache

For Nvidia users, you can disable the Shader Cache which is known to crash games. Here are the steps to disable Shader Cache from the Nvidia Control panel.

  1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Expand 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings
  3. Click Add and select Phasmophobia
  4. Under Specify the settings for this program, locate Shader Cache and select Off.

Check if the Phasmophobia Game Crashes at Startup, Crashes Mid-game, and other performance errors still occur. If they do, try the next fix.

Fix 10: Remove Bad Sectors from the HHD

If you have bad sectors on your HDD, it could also be causing the crash. Although you could correct the corruption in the file system via CHKDSK on Command Prompt, here is a simple alternative.

  1. Right-click on C drive or the partition where you have installed the game and the launcher.
  2. Select Properties and go to Tools
  3. Click on Check and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Try playing the game.
  4. After the process completes, the window will auto-exit.

Now, try playing the game and check if Phasmophobia crashing error still occurs.

Fix 11: Modify Discord Settings

The in-game overlay and the hardware acceleration of Discord is also known to cause crash in games. So, if you have the software installed and running disable the overlay and hardware acceleration. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Launch the Discord app and click on User Settings
  2. Click on Voice & Video in the left menu
  3. Locate Advanced by scrolling down and click
  4. Next, disable OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco System, Inc. and Enable Quality of Service High Packet Priority
  5. Go to Overlay and disable it
  6. Go to Advanced anddisable Hardware Acceleration.

Hopefully, the above solutions have resolved the Phasmophobia Crashing at Startup and Won’t Launch problem with the game. Let us know in the comments if you have better solutions.

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