Home » Red Dead Redemption 2 – Fix: Won’t Launch, Black Screen, Crashes on Startup

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Fix: Won’t Launch, Black Screen, Crashes on Startup

Red Dead Redemption 2 fix crashes

If you are having problems with running the Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, you should follow these steps to fix it. This guide can solve some issues on Red Dead Redemption 2, such as the game does not start, crashes, black screen, "Has Exited Unexpectedly error" .

Method #1

Firstly, you need to install/reinstall the Rockstar Games Launcher.

  • Run the Rockstar Games Launcher
  • Go to the Settings
  • Select the Red Dead Redemption 2 on the My installed games tab.
  • Click on the Verify Integrity button. It will scan the Red Dead Redemption 2 files to verify the integrity attempt to download and replace ant missing or corrupt files.
  • If your game on the Epic Games launcher, open up the Epic Games launcher.
  • Go to the Library
  • Find the Red Dead Redemption 2 in the list.
  • Click the “” icon to the right of “Red Dead Redemption 2”
  • Click on the Verify

On Steam

  • Go to the Steam library
  • Right-click on the Red Dead Redemption 2, go to Properties.
  • Go to the LOCAL FILES tab

Method #2

  • Go to the folder where the Red Dead Redemption 2 is installed.
  • Go to the Redistributables folder and open the DirectX folder.
  • Run the DXSETUP.exe application and install it.
  • Go to the Redistributables folder and open the VCRed folder.
  • Run the vc_redist.x64.exe application (Microsoft C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable) and install it. If already installed, repair it.
  • Then, go to the Redistributables folder. Run and install the VulkanRT- application.
  • Reboot your computer.

Method #3

Keep your computer’s graphics drivers updated.

People who have an NVIDIA graphics card can download and install their new drivers here.

People who have an AMD graphics card can download and install their new drivers here.

You need to use DDU to completely uninstall the graphics drivers.

Method #4

  • Update your OS. In Windows 10, click on the Start icon.
  • Go to Settings
  • Click on the Update & Security.
  • Check for updates.
  • If you are using Windows 7, go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36805
  • Click on Download button.
  • Select the Windows6.1-KB2670838-x64.msu
  • Click on Next
  • Install it after download.

Also, I suggest you update all other drivers too. (Bios, Audio, Lan, Chipset)

Method #5

Especially, if Red Dead Redemption 2 crashes with black screen, Download and install the Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10.

Method #6

All in One Runtimes
  • Install/repair all runtimes.

Method #7

Try to exit background programs such as MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision X1, RTSS Rivatuner, ASUS GPU Tweak II, Fraps, Discord, Skype, Keyboard&Mouse software, Nvidia GeForce Experience, AutoHotKey, script apps.

You should also disable your Firewall/Antivirus or you can add RDR2.exe in the exceptions list in your antivirus software.

Method #8

  • Type the msconfig on Windows search box.
  • Press Enter key
  • Go to the Services tab.
  • Select “Hide all Microsoft services”
  • Click on the “Disable all” button.
disable all services
  • Finally click on the OK button.
  • Restart the PC.

Method #9

Turn off the OC (overclock) in Bios/UEFI and GPU software.

Method #10

  • Go to the folder where the game is installed.
  • Right-click on the RDR2.exe application
  • Hit the Properties
  • Tick “Disable full-screen optimizations” on the Compatibility tab.
  • After that, click on the “Change high DPI settings” button.
  • Under the “High DPI scaling override” section, tick the “Override high DPI scaling behavior
  • Use the “Scaling performed by:” drop-down menu and select the “Application”
  • Click on the OK and again OK.

Method #11

You should clear your local profile details on Rockstar Games Launcher.

  • Go to the Settings in Rockstar Games Launcher.
  • Select the Account Information on the Launcher settings section.
  • Click on the Delete button to the right of "Delete local profile"
  • Click on the Confirm button.
  • After that, sign in to the Rockstar Games Launcher again.

Method #12

  • If your laptop has Intel graphics processor and Nvidia, go to the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Click the Manage 3D settings
  • On the Global Settings tab, set the Preferred graphics processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor
  • Then, go to the Program Settings tab
  • Click the Add
  • Select the Red Dead Redemption 2 from the list
  • Set preferred graphics processor to “High-performance NVIDIA processor
nvidia processor
  • Apply and close the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Method #13

  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\amdvlk64.dll
  • If the amdvlk64.dll file exists in the System32 folder, delete the amdvlk64.dll

Method #14

To anyone with this problem. Red Dead Redemption 2 was trying to run my game in HDR even though I don’t have an HDR monitor. Let the game crash once then launch in safe mode. Turn off HDR under display settings, then relaunch and everything ran perfectly fine. Hope this helps some people.


For me it was because I was using a HDR screen (LG OLED C7 55″). I noticed it went black screen after the HDR logo popped on. I had to enable HDR in windows settings (right click desktop, switch “Play HDR games and apps” to ON). Not sure if HDR is working correctly as menu is quite dull but the game is running now. I usually use the feature switched off as most games switch HDR on when they load and there are less problems but that was not the case with RDR2.

Paul Green

Thanks to Wade and Paul Green. Also, you can disable the HDR in settings file. There isn't HDR settings in my file, so I don't know how to change it exactly. However you can check it. Location > C:\users\*YourUserName*\documents\Rockstar Games\Red Dead Redemption 2\Settings\system.xml

Method #15

Install the Graphics Tool in Windows 10.

  • Go to the Windows Settings > Apps > Apps & features
  • Click on the Manage optional features
  • After that, click on the "Add a feature"
  • Select the Graphics Tools and click on the Install button. This adds DirectX Graphics Tools support.
windows 10 graphics tools support

Method #16

Make sure disabled the Windows Sonic for headphones.

  • Right-click on the Speakers icon in system tray, in the right bottom corner.
  • Go to the Spatial sound and select the Off.
disable Windows Sonic

Method #17

If you changed the Graphics API to DirectX 12 from Vulkan, that may cause crash. You need to changing back to Vulkan. To fix it, you need to delete the system.xml file.

  • Go to C:\Users\*YourUserName*\Documents\Rockstar Games\Red Dead Redemption 2\Settings
  • Find the system.xml file in the Settings folder and delete it.


DIRECTX 12 Crash RESOLUTION! If you changed from vulkan to directx 12 in the advanced graphic settings here is how you fix it. Go to Documents > Rockstar Games > Red Dead Redemption 2 > System > Right Click on System.xml and select edit. Under advanced graphics change kSettingAPI_DX12 to kSettingAPI_Vulkan.
I wasn’t able to play last night at all and I finally found the file I was looking for to change this.


Method #18

Unplug your gamepad/controller and try to run RDR2. The controller or other USB device may be preventing the game from starting.

Offline play could not be verified. (Code 149)
You need to verify integrity and disable your Antivirus software.

Activation Required Error
Sign out your Rockstar Games Launcher and log in again. If this issue persists, change the DNS and restart your router.

Cannot Change Resolution
You should change high DPI settings, check out. If you want to change your resolution in RDR2's settings file, check this.

Crash During Gameplay
After crash, run the Rockstar Games Launcher as Administrator. Always run the launcher this way (administrator). Use safe mode, disable the HDR and set Graphics API to Vulkan in graphics settings. If all of these things didn’t help you out, then you should lower your graphics settings.

Hope it helps. I will update the post. Please let us know in the comments below, whether you are still facing any issue.


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  • I updated my rockstar game launcher but i cant run red dead 2 now ( i could play before update)

    when I click on play after a minute shows me quitting and then play button show up again , i cant even open the game

    does anyone know what should i do?

  • Faulting module name: amdvlk64.dll

    I have latest AMD drivers (19.12.1), I've installed Redistributables, I have no such file in system32 folder (tried putting it in it too :D)

    Anything else I can do? 🙁

  • says there is a game already running! I've looked at task manager processes and can't see anything. Any suggestions? Thanks

      • yes, makes no difference! If i run as admin it says other game is already running, if I run with no admin it says I don't have game privileges

          • Thank you, I tried your suggestion, but still same error!! So, I uninstalled everything, rebooted, reinstalled everything,rebooted, set run as admin for launcher and RDR2. Game now will play as far as meeting Michah in Ch1, then crashes everytime after that. Just working my way through your list of fixes.
            Thanks so much for you trying to help

  • I have a Rog Strix Z370-E Gaming board which uses the Realtec SupremeFX S1220A codec… I tried everything in this list to step 17 to launch the game and it crashed every time… could not even launch safe mode.

    I then discovered that with my USB Headphones I could launch the game just fine and also via HDMI through my ASUS Monitor…

    It seems the game does not like Realtek at all… or the S1220 codec at the very least,,, so hope this will help some folk out until a fix is found

  • I could play for some hours, but recently i get a black screen whenever i do the Kieran mission in chapter 2, where he wants to guide us to the ODriscoll camp. I get a black screen in my camp, soon after leaving it with the horse, or after a little while later. I could play the game for 20 hrs, with some crashes, but then it worked for at least some hours. Not anymore. Anyone has the same problems? It seems the last patch made it worse, i hope they send some more fixes.

    I7 8700K
    Sapphire Nitro+ AMD RX 5700XT
    Latest Windows Version incl. November Update

  • Hi Guys,

    Has any of you experienced after loading the game the blackscreen? My problem is that I go on "Story" mode and when it loads the game my screen is black...I can't see noting....I can play and the game is running but the screen is black....It is the second time that I have experienced it....For the first time I was probably struggling for 4 hours to fix it...trying all kinds of stuff...and then suddenly it loaded it...Don't ask why! I have no idea what I did...... And then I played with the game for one more day and saved a couple of times and when I wanted to play again it did the same thing....I'm extremely annoyed and tired of this.....There are so many methods here...I tried to verify integrity under the launcher, I uninstalled it, I put it under high performance nvidia still the same....once it loaded it in safe mode....but then I put it back to normal and it was the same...then I tried it again in safe mode and for the second time it didn't load it in safe mode either....The game was running under vulkan. I haven't changed the that. Any thoughts? I would really appreciate any help. Cheers.

    • I am having the same problem! Sometimes I can play just fine (albeit with the stupid mouse cursor still on screen), other times it just shows a Black screen during gameplay, shows the pause menu, but goes back to black for settings screen. Sometimes it shows the game, but if I start moving it goes black. If I change focus to another app by alt tabbing out it appears again, but goes black when I focus on the game again. This is all if I can even LAUNCH the game in the first place!

    • I had this problem too, but I think I may have found a solution. Go into your My Documents folder, then into Rockstar Games, then into Red Dead Redemption 2. Enter the Settings folder, delete all of the files there except for the settings.xml file, start the game and see if it works. If that doesn’t work, delete all of the files and then start it again.

  • I was able to make it work by starting epic games laucher as administrator, but the mouse cursor does not disappear from the screen, does anyone have any tips?

  • Red Dead Game will not launch, I have tried everything listed above, still getting exit unexpectedly, and same message in safe mode.

    • Tried for hours until i found this https://www.gta5-mods.com/tools/no-gtavlauncher
      Its a launcher skipper that bypass the launcher, but its for GTA5.
      So i just renamed the rdr2.exe to gta5.exe and started the No_GTAVLauncher.exe from the download.
      The game started for me but is it really necessary to download a mod to make the game work?
      So I asked for a refund and waiting until it relases on steam.

      Dunno why rockstar can't skip the whole launcher crap. Heard ppl having problem with GTA to with the launcher.

  • Consegui fazer funcionar iniciando o laucher da epic games como administrador, mas o cursor do mouse não some da tela, alguem tem alguma dica?

  • DIRECTX 12 Crash RESOLUTION! If you changed from vulkan to directx 12 in the advanced graphic settings here is how you fix it. Go to Documents > Rockstar Games > Red Dead Redemption 2 > System > Right Click on System.xml and select edit. Under advanced graphics change kSettingAPI_DX12 to kSettingAPI_Vulkan.

    I wasn't able to play last night at all and I finally found the file I was looking for to change this. Also, if this is helpful, follow us on twitch and twitter @coopgamercouple! 🙂

  • Hi,

    Rockstar crash when i start to lunch rdr2, i have tried everything and nothing worked,

    i have notice one thing though, when you download rdr2, they want you to install 3 programmes, i have tried to install them 3 or 4 times and nothing change, when i want to open them, they ask me to install again and again, i dont know what to do.

    Anyway, when i want to close rockstar app, i just launch rdr2 now.. what a shame to release something so buggy... money dont make talent!

    • Hi, you can try this

    • Go to the Windows Settings > Apps > Apps & features
    • Find the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable
    • There are both x64 and x86. One by one, select it and click on the Modify button.
    • After that, repair them.
      • I have repaired both of them, nothing's changed.

        why this is so complicated ans so messy, they can not do a game without adding bunch of programmes?

  • Ok so got it to work.

    It initially didn't start until I updated;

    1. Windows 10 has to be installed on the 1903 update. (You can check by searching 'run' and typing 'winver'
    2. Nvidia (GPU) drivers have to be updated to latest driver that is compatible with RDR2.

    That got me to the next step where it would load up and when you hear the shotgun cock once before freezing and going back to the error meesage at launcher. For that I disabled anti virus completely, Like disabled and closed it down before it work.

    Just disabling or white listing didn't work.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • Fix for me, but german.

    Ich habe das neuste Windows Update geladen 1903, danach bei allen Anwendungen von rockstar einen Haken bei "Als Administrator ausführen" gesetzt und dann konnte ich es starten.

    Hoffe es hilft euch.


  • I think you guys need to extend your list regarding Anti Virus programs.. I'm using AVG and I was able to start the game by temporarily disabling the "File Shield" and "Behavior Shield"!

    For BitDefender users. it seems to help to turn off the Advance Threat Defens.

  • First I had this problem, now I got another problem. Now the download is soooo slow. And it is not my internet I swear. Server issues? Because steam and everything is working properly. Thanks Rockstar. Couldn't play today.

  • The game has a problem with DX12. delete the system.xml file (this will default the game back to Vulcan API):

    C:\users\USERNAME\documents\Rockstar Games\Red Dead Redemption 2\Settings

    That will default the game to vulcan

    The crashes have NOTHING to do with video drivers. I'm running all current drivers on a 1080TI, and the game has massive issues

    If the main menu or settings menu are black, alt tab in and out of the game to get them to show... they also only draw at 1-2 FPS... start the game from the main menu.. once in the game, open settings, and it will work fine

    DO NOT change the API to DX12 or the game will crash on start up

    Rockstar is a bunch of m*** for releasing something this buggy

    Ar 2560x1600 with EVERYTHING maxxed, I get about 20-30FPS.. If I tone down reflections, I get about 40-45FPS.. dont even think about playing in 4K.. the game can't handle it properly

    • doesnt work for us people where the launcher crashes instantly. at my system this file you are talking about wasnt yet created

    • Thank you this was my problem. I initially had the exited unexpectedly crash but then updated my driver and it loaded. Then my problem was loads of video stuttering so I changed a bunch of graphics options including going to DX12 and so I went back to the exited unexpectedly problem! Bloody frustrating.

      I'm reinstalling now, hopefully knowing which graphics setting caused the bug means I can get rid of the stuttering without making it crash.

      But yeah rockstar can go to hell, comparing this experience with the one with Obsidian and the outer worlds a couple of week ago....I downloaded it and pressed play and everything worked vs 24 hours later I'm re-downloading and on various forums looking for technical solutions to try and get the game to just vaguely work. I know it's a bigger more demanding game but rockstar are also a much bigger studio, this shouldn't be happening.

  • Wondering if anyone can help me out here. I was having the issue others reported of the game just crashing after the rockstar loading screen and being given the option to start in safemode which still wouldn't work. So I updated my driver and it worked straight away.

    Problem I then had was constant stuttering making the game unplayable in the recommended graphics settings. So I turned some of the settings down and restarted it. Less stuttering this time but still some to the point of it being pretty annoying. So I turn everything way down, basically every graphics setting to either low or medium or off and lowered the resolution.

    And now it won't ever load again. Basically the same thing as initially but it doesn't really give the option of going into safemode, that screen just flashes up on screen and disappears straight away. Any idea's?

    • yes i had the ssame issue u might of switch ur vulcan api to directx12 and directx12 is bugged so go into ur documents find rockstar games then red dead go into settings at the bttm of that folder see a system XML doucument delete it ur setting will go bk to vulcan by defalut ur game should work

  • I *thought* that I "disabled" my antivirus by turning off all its modules. Didn't realize I had to also shut it down. I use Emsisoft but other people may have similar AV software. My issue was crashing during the bullets being loaded into the shotgun, or right before. I had disabled windows firewall as well, also added inbound/outbound rules for RDR2.exe. In Emsisoft (my antivirus) I told it to ignore the RDR2 game folder, then disabled the individual modules of the antivirus. After that failed I kept checking things and found right clicking the icon near the time in the start bar for the antivirus offered me a "shutdown" option. I did that and the game loaded up. It did still do some weird screen flickers where it crashed previously but then finally loaded into the main menu. So perhaps it's wise for you to check your task manager to verify your AV software is in fact not running.

  • For me it was because I was using a HDR screen (LG OLED C7 55"). I noticed it went black screen after the HDR logo popped on. I had to enable HDR in windows settings (right click desktop, switch "Play HDR games and apps" to ON). Not sure if HDR is working correctly as menu is quite dull but the game is running now. I usually use the feature switched off as most games switch HDR on when they load and there are less problems but that was not the case with RDR2.

    • HDR implementation is really bad. If I enable HDR in windows it's pretty dark and not very vibrant no matter how much I adjust the HDR settings in game, doesn't look like HDR is truly working. If I disable HDR in windows whilst the game is running it switches to a much brighter somewhat more like HDR setting but everything is washed out. Turning my OLED screen off and on confirms that it is still receiving a HDR signal.

      If they can't get this fixed (I know low priority compared to the crashing others are getting) then I'll need to refund it, I didn't buy a PS4 and RDR2 on launch then buy RDR2 for PC only to find the PC version looks worse than the PS4 version, that is not acceptable.

  • I got it to work...sort of
    I had to disable all security in my Bitdefender, then the game starts. Am I glad to find this WA, no Im not.
    I supose at some time the the game will be whitelisted. Until then you can do that.

  • This f*** launcher crashes. I do not have any antivirus. I don’t know what else to do. Everything else works well

  • For me I turned off my antivirus and my firewall and it worked, however, i would recommend turning firewall back on after starting as it being off makes you vulnerable and turning it back on after startup does not affect the game.

    Hope this helps.

  • My game crashed with an error as soon as the launch screen loaded also. I added an exception to my Avast Security and it now loads and plays fine.

  • Hi there i made an exception in my antivirus software for the game and it works fine now as well. No need to disable firewall

  • So i tried what some suggested and disabled my Firewall during the game launch, and it worked. Everything else failed. So i can only recomment to everyone, try disabling your firewall/Anti-Virus during the launch of the game, maybe it works... Just make sure to enable it after the game launched, so your not unprotected.

    Hope it works for you as well!

  • If you have a integrated graphics card and a Nvidia card, just go to Nvidia control panel and uncheck the auto selection from everywhere. Manually force your computer to use the Nvidia card all the time. It worked for me

  • I'm getting the "Red Dead Redemption 2 exited unexpectedly. Please click retry...'' as soon as I try to launch the game. I've tried following many of the steps above but still not working. Can anyone help?

  • Same thing here, new game nothing works.......I hate PC's Did install new drivers, did let Nvidia (NON expirence program find game), did try to disable SLI. Did reboot, did get media file.... did not install 1903, version did not work(the version I run is 1903). I did not sign up to become a software developper. F.... GET THIS testet be4 Release....

    Greatings from a disgrunted Dane..

  • Anyone else getting it where the game is to big for the screen. Im only see a part of it, and cant get to the menu items or anything else as its all cut off, Alt Enter doesnt do anything and I cant see any of the menus.

    • I'm getting the same problem too, runs fine but too big for screen so can't see menus etc. Can't carry on after Character selection screen as I think you need to click a button to confirm and its offscreen

  • So mine, claims that another instance of Red Dead Redemption II is already running. This after the computer being shut off, turned back on, and trying to start Red Dead from the Rockstar launcher. Before doing ANYTHING else.

  • Here's something that might save a few people some frustration.

    I was getting a crash to desktop after the initial loading bar was complete, just as the shotgun/logo clip started to play. Tried most of the above to no avail.

    The problem ended up being Bitdefender anti-virus. Specifically the "advanced threat defense". Turned that off and was able to load in just fine.

  • I get the Rockstar launcher exited unexpectedly. I have updated my drivers and killed off everything I can find.

  • Strange, my problem is the launcher itself crashing after hitting PLAY. "The Rockstar Games Launcher exited unexpectedly" Yet no issue launching other games.

  • have hard problems with the launcher, had once the blackscreen. now the launcher is crashing at game launch


      For me it was anti virus. I use Avast but any anti virus may be stopping it. This is technically method 7. If you're using Avast disable for 10 min or whatever amount of time so you can start the game (make sure it reenables after starting so your anti virus is back on). I will need to see why it's doing this so it doesn't cause this every time I want to start. I already added an exception, but only disabling worked.

      • How to fix if you're using Avast:
        1. Right click Avast icon from the system tray (lower right of your Windows taskbar)
        2. Select "Open Avast user interface"
        3. Menu > settings > General > Exceptions
        4. Select "ADD EXCEPTIONS"
        5. Find the folder where RDR2 is installed and tick the small box next to it to add that entire folder as an exception to any Avast scans or shields
        6. I added the actual RDR2.exe as a separate exception just to be safe (technically it should be included in the folder level exception, but what the heck, being thorough).

        This worked for me, after also making sure drivers are updated, and game file intergrity was good.

  • Funny how the game isn't released for even an hour, and yet we have a full list of things to try when the first start up goes wrong.. for me the game crashes back to desktop once the 2 shotgun shells appear 😉
    Just trying method No.1 now.. what an exciting star into the game!

    • Same here, the two bullets appear and insta crash. Don't have any problems with other games, really annoying start. Now to try some hours of trouble shooting, re-installing would take forever though... 🙁

    • Exact same crash here. Allowing app through firewall and Bitdefender didn't do the trick. Trying other things now.

    • Well it looks like we're all on the same boat. Good luck lads, I'll see you on the other side.

    • For me it was the Anti Virus!
      I’m using AVG and I was able to start the game by temporarily disabling the “File Shield” and “Behavior Shield”!
      For BitDefender users, it seems to help to turn off the Advance Threat Defense.

    • To anyone with this problem. Red Dead Redemption 2 was trying to run my game in HDR even though I don't have an HDR monitor. Let the game crash once then launch in safe mode. Turn off HDR under display settings, then relaunch and everything ran perfectly fine. Hope this helps some people.