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Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Having A Rough Launch On PC [Updated]

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Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on PC today. A lot of players, myself included, are already having some issues. Here are some of the problems you might be running into and some possible fixes that have been discovered so far.

First things first, you should get the latest graphics drivers for your card, which is usually a good place to start when you’re having issues. I’m running the game on mostly “High” settings on a GTX 1080, and I’m getting between 50 and 60 frames per second. I’m getting some weird freezes at random places, during which time the video pauses but the audio keeps playing. Upon advice from this reddit thread, I switched from the game’s default Vulkan to DX12, which fixed a freeze I consistently got in an early cutscene but hasn’t prevented a bunch of other ones. My freezes happened especially frequently during an early quest in the “Enter, Pursued by a Memory” mission. Some players report seeing their CPU spike when the game freezes; my CPU is a somewhat creaky Intel i5-4570, so that could be the culprit, but other players with beefier specs than mine are also reporting issues. It’s not gamebreaking for me yet, but it’s definitely annoying.


[Update 11/6, 7:58am—Some players are reporting that turning off some of the cores on their CPU is helping with this issue. That’s a bit deeper into my PC’s guts than I’m excited to go, but it seems to be helping.]

Many players are reporting not being able to start the game at all, with it either crashing on the intro or giving them a message that the Rockstar launcher won’t launch. Some folks are having luck fixing the intro crash by disabling their anti-virus software. Other players are getting a message saying “activation required” when they try to launch the game, with some reporting that logging in and out of the Rockstar Launcher helps.


Other players aren’t getting any audio. Some had luck by switching their audio output.

Several players are reporting getting stuck in an infinite load screen, though there doesn’t seem to be a fix for that yet.

I’ve been a PC gamer a long time, so I know better than to expect a perfect launch, but I’m not alone in feeling a little frustrated. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some patches sooner rather than later. Rockstar sent Kotaku to a link advising players to update their graphics drivers to solve unexpected crashes and wrote, “We’re actively looking into any other issues as they arise and we’ll continue to update the Rockstar Support pages with more information as it becomes available.” The support page for PC issues is fairly sparse so far.

Update 6:10pm—Rockstar has added some crash troubleshooting tips, which include some of the tips listed here. The developer has also issued a Rockstar Launcher patch that will hopefully put an end to the stuck decrypting and launcher crashes.


Are you having any issues I haven’t listed here? Any fixes you’ve found? Let’s help each other out in the comments.