Red Dead 2 PC Crashes: How To Try Fixing The Issue [Update]

Red Dead Redemption 2 just launched on PC today, but many players are facing issues of getting it to run properly, or even at all. The game has been subject to crashes, sending players back to desktop–myself included. In my experience, I would either get the “exited unexpectedly” message from the Rockstar Launcher or a critical error message from Windows when either loading into the story mode or a few seconds into gameplay. Rockstar hasn’t yet released any patch or much in the way of official guidance, but here are two possible fixes if you’re encountering Red Dead 2 crashes. [Update: A Rockstar Games Launcher update is out now that addresses some of the problems, so ensure that is up to date if you’re encountering any issues.]

I was able to get the game running stably after a few tweaks. If you get a crash, the Rockstar Launcher will ask if you want to run the game in Safe Mode; you can do this then tweak your graphics settings back to what you wanted. Granted, you’ll have to restart the game again to apply certain graphics options. One option you’ll want to have set is for the game to use the DirectX 12 renderer–by default, Red Dead 2 runs on the Vulkan API.

A third step isn’t so much a solution as it is just good practice: update your video card’s drivers. Nvidia users should download and install GeForce driver version 441.12 since it’s specifically tuned for RDR2 and the most recent software for Nvidia GPUs. AMD users will want to do the same and install the latest graphics drivers, Radeon software version 19.11.1. Rockstar has acknowledged the situation and offer driver updates as a solution, too. Additionally, it’s suggested to make sure Windows launches the game with “Run this Program as Administrator” and “Disable Fullscreen Optimization” set.

It’s hard to say which one of these are the definitive solution, but if you’re encountering crashes in the same manner, we suggest you follow these steps. Your mileage may vary as every PC is different and it’s not yet clear what exactly is causing the crashes. I’m currently running a PC with the following specs: Intel Core i7-7700K, Nvidia RTX 2080, 16GB RAM, and a 2TB m.2 NVMe SSD. I cannot speak to whether or not there are other issues that might be specific to AMD setups.

For more information on the situation, you can read our story the Red Dead 2 PC crashes people have been encountering. If you’re up and running the game stably, be sure to check out our previous coverage below.

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