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Red Dead Redemption 2 PC version is suffering from crashes, bugs and failure to start (update)

Arthur Morgan in a shootout in Red Dead Redemption 2
Arthur Morgan in a shootout in Red Dead Redemption 2 (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

What you need to know

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 has come to PC today through the Rockstar Launcher and Epic Games Store.
  • Many players are having issues in getting the game to run or even start.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 is also coming to Steam sometime in December.

Update: Nov. 5, 2019: Rockstar Games has issued an update that should fix player problems with the Rockstar Launcher. This patch fixes the different crashes and error messages players were experiencing, as well as the need to verify player data.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has come to PC via the Rockstar Launcher and Epic Games Store, yet some players are reporting major issues in trying to start the game. A handful of these problems are fairly innocuous, like the chunky Arthur Morgan. Others are far more problematic and are keeping players from doing anything in game at all.

The Rockstar Launcher in particular is giving some players problems, causing the game not to open and players to receive the message that "Red Dead Redemption 2 exited unexpectedly" or "The Rockstar Launcher exited unexpectedly." One of our editors, Carli Velocci, is also unable to get the game to start, even in safe mode and is receiving these same error messages. Despite the game not starting, Carli also noted that it is causing her CPU to essentially max out, which other players on Reddit have also noted.

She was able to fix her issues by turning off her anti-virus software, verifying the integrity of the files in the Launcher, running the program as an administrator and, finally, launching the game in Safe Mode, which is requested after the game crashes the first time.

Rockstar suggests a number of fixes, including making sure that the player's graphics drivers are upt ot date and to run the game as an administrator. You can find some others here. The Reddit thread linked above also notes that disabling antivirus software and updating Bios had varying degrees of success.

While players using the Epic Games Store are reporting some performance problems as well, it seems like the Rockstar Launcher is the main issue faced at the moment. We'll continue to monitor this situation and provide updates is a solution is made known or Rockstar Games issues a statement. Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to Steam as well, though we don't know when except that it is slated for sometime in December. It's not a small game on PC, requiring 150 GB of free space. Red Dead Redemption 2 came to consoles in 2018, where it was the best-selling game of 2018 and the second-largest entertainment launch in history.

Samuel Tolbert
Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

4 Comments
  • I had to set exceptions in my virus checker for the rockstar and red dead 2 folders. Something the Rockstar help page didn't even mention might work. However that stopped the game crashing when loading and I was able to play. On a separate note I'm running in 3440×1440 at 60+ frames on High/Ultra settings on a 2080Ti, so the worrying reports are as usual, exaggerated.
  • Of course they are..
    Rockstar likes to get rid of their 'seasoned' (experienced) developers, and hire newbies right out of college for less money. They cant do half the work in the same amount of time, so R* just makes them work 60+ hour work weeks... and forget any type of family life! Then you get products like this that, while they are stunningly beautiful and have decent design, are a buggy mess.
  • Were you the guy who was fired by rockstar? Did you end up finding another job? I can't imagine it being easy to program for a windows based pc with all the different versions of OS and PC hardware configurations. It's much easier to develop and optimize games for consoles.
  • This is one of the reasons I don't game solely on PC. Recently only Gears 5 has been super polished on PC. I mean to a degree we haven't seen in a very very very long time on PC. More developers need to follow The Coalition in PC development.