How To Fix Steam Must Be Running To Play This Game

Several Windows users are encountering the “Steam must be running to play this game” error when trying to lớn open one or more game executables. The issue is reported lớn occur in all the recent Windows versions including Windows XP., Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

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Fatal Error: Steam must be running to play this game

What is causing the ‘steam must be running lớn play this game’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports. From what we gathered, there are several comtháng scenarquả táo that will trigger this particular error message:


Steam is missing from the computer – You might be encountering this error message if you recently installed a game from its installation truyền thông media. Some games require the Steam client to lớn authenticate or to use multiplayer services.Corrupted Steam installation – The issue might also occur due to some corrupted files inside the Steam installation folder. In this case, reinstalling the client will most likely resolve the issue.Steam is not updated lớn the latest version – There’s a slight chance that you might be seeing the error message because your Steam client is outdated.Game’s installation folder contains foreign files – If you modified the Steam installation folder of the game, the issue might occur because Steam is preventing some files from running.Game’s installation directory is missing some files – It’s possible that a sudden interruption has tricked Steam into believing that the game was updated correctly. Verifying the game’s file integrity will resolve sầu the issue in this case.

If you’re struggling khổng lồ resolve this particular error message, this article will help. Below you have a collection of verified troubleshooting method that other users in a similar situation have sầu used lớn resolve the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error.

We encourage you to follow the methods below in the order that they are presented. You should eventually find a solution that is effective sầu in solving the problem in your particular scenario.

Method 1: Installing the Steam client (if applicable)

Before you try anything else, it’s important lớn make sure that you have the Steam client installed on your computer. The vast majority of PC games nowadays will require you lớn have sầu Steam installed on your PC even if you install them from a disk.

This occurs because most games are using several services used for authentication procedures and multiplayer components.

Note: If you already have sầu Steam installed on your computer, move down lớn the next method below.

With this in mind, it’s important to check if you have Steam installed on your computer. If you don’t, follow the steps below to lớn install Steam on your PC:

Once the executable is downloaded, open it và follow the on-screen prompts khổng lồ install the Steam client on your computer.
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Installing the Steam clientOnce the installation is complete, restart your computer.At the next startup, open the same game that was previously showing the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error & see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the same error message, move sầu down to the next method below.

Method 2: Updating the Steam client lớn the lademo version

If Steam is installed on your computer, you might be encountering the error because the game you’re trying to lớn launch requires a Steam version newer than the one you currently have sầu installed.

Several users struggling lớn resolve sầu the same error message have reported that for them, the issue was resolved as soon as they updated Steam lớn the lakiểm tra version available. Here’s a quichồng guide on how khổng lồ vì chưng this:

xuất hiện Steam & make sure you are logged in.Go to lớn the ribbon bar & cliông chồng on Steam > Chechồng for Steam Clients updates.
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Checking for Steam Client’s updatesIf a new version is found, follow the on-screen instructions to install the newer version on your computer.Once the installation is complete, restart your computer và see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still seeing the “Steam must be running to play this game” error, move sầu down lớn the next method below.

Method 3: Deleting foreign files (if applicable)

If you downloaded a game through Steam, then proceeded to modify the installation folder with custom content (mods, cheats, scripts, etc.), the error is likely occurring because the Steam client is blocking those foreign files from being used – which effectively brings the startup procedure of the game to a halt.

This issue is quite common with multiplayer games that have sầu a modding community such as PayDay 2, Fallout 4 and a few more.

If you’re encountering this particular issue with a game with an altered installation folder, you will be able to resolve sầu the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error by removing the foreign files – most commonly, those foreign files being blocked are .dll.lua (Steam seems to lớn have sầu a problem with them). You can remove sầu the troublesome files by navigating lớn the game’s installation thư mục & deleting the files manually or by doing a clean game reinstall.

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If this method wasn’t applicable or didn’t resolve the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error, move down to lớn the next method below.

Method 4: Verifying the game’s files integrity

Several users have sầu reported that the “Steam must be running khổng lồ play this game” error was resolved after they verified the game’s integrity through the Steam client. This scenario is known khổng lồ occur when a game is incorrectly updated through steam.

This particular error will get thrown if the Steam client discovers that the game’s folder is missing some files. To remedy this issue, you’ll need to lớn verify the integrity of the games tệp tin. If the scan reveals any inconsistencies, Steam will tải về the missing components.


Here’s a quick guide on verifying the game files integrity on Steam:

mở cửa the Steam client & go to the Library tab.From your các mục of games (left section of the screen), right-clichồng on the game that is triggering the issue & choose Properties.
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Accessing the Properties screen of the affected gameInside the Properties screen of the game, go to the Local Files tab và click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
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Verify the integrity of the game filesWait until the process is complete, then restart the Steam client.xuất hiện the game and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error, move sầu down lớn the next method below.

Method 5: Logging out và launching the game from admin Steam

Several users struggling khổng lồ resolve sầu the “Steam must be running to play this game” error have managed to lớn get the issue resolved after logging out of Steam, closing the client, reopening the client and launching the game from Steam.

This procedure was reported khổng lồ be successful for a lot of users encountering the issue with gọi of Duty World War 2.

Here’s what you need to do:

Inside Steam, go lớn the top-right corner of the screen và cliông xã on your account to lớn make the drop-down menu visible. Then, from the drop-down menu, click on Log out of account.
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Logging out of SteamConfirm the logout procedure by clicking the Logout button from the newly appeared Logout window.
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Logging out of the Steam clientCđại bại steam completely – make sure that the tray-bar inhỏ of Steam is also closed.Launch Steam with administrative privileges by right-clicking on the shortcut and choosing Run as administrator. Then, log-in with your user account again.
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Once you’re logged in, try launching the game from the Steam interface instead of double-clicking the dedicated executable. To vì chưng this, select the game from the Library screen & hit the Play button.
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Starting the game from Steam

If you’re still seeing the “Steam must be running to lớn play this game” error message, move down khổng lồ the next method below.

Method 6: Reinstalling Steam & game

As it turns out, the issue can also occur if your Steam installation is corrupt. If a number of Steam files are corrupted, the client will be unable to lớn open the services required by the game.

Several users struggling with the “Steam must be running khổng lồ play this game” error have reported that the issue was resolved & the game was running normally after they reinstalled Steam along with the game that was throwing the error.

Here’s a quick guide on how lớn vì chưng this:

Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” và press Enter lớn open up the Programs and Features window.
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Run dialog: appwiz.cplInside the Programs & Features window, scroll down through the application danh mục to lớn locate the Steam client. Once you see it, right-cliông xã on it & choose Uninstall.
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Uninstalling the Steam clientInside the Steam Uninstall window, simply cliông chồng the Uninstall button to lớn remove the client from your computer.
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Then, repeat the procedure above sầu with the game that is triggering the error.Once the uninstallation of the game is complete, restart your computer.After the next startup is complete, scroll up lớn the first method và follow the instructions there to lớn re-install the Steam client.Then, reinstall the game that is triggering the error and see if the conflict is resolved.

If reinstalling the Steam client has still not resolved the “Steam must be running khổng lồ play this game” error, move down lớn the next method below.