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Several Windows users are encountering the “Steam must be running to play this game” error when trying to open one or more game executables. The issue is reported khổng lồ 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 khổng lồ play this game’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports. From what we gathered, there are several common scenargame ios 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 khổng lồ authenticate or to use multiplayer services.Corrupted Steam installation – The issue might also occur due to lớn some corrupted files inside the Steam installation folder. In this case, reinstalling the client will most likely resolve sầu the issue.Steam is not updated khổng lồ the lademo version – There’s a slight chance that you might be seeing the error message because your Steam client is outdated.Game’s installation folder contains foreign files – If you modified the Steam installation thư mục of the game, the issue might occur because Steam is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 inlớn believing that the game was updated correctly. Verifying the game’s tệp tin 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 sầu a collection of verified troubleshooting method that other users in a similar situation have sầu used lớn resolve sầu the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error.

We encourage you lớn 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 to make sure that you have sầu the Steam client installed on your computer. The vast majority of PC games nowadays will require you to have 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 & 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 sầu 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 and 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 to lớn play this game” error and see if the issue has been resolved.

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

Method 2: Updating the Steam client to the latest 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 sầu reported that for them, the issue was resolved as soon as they updated Steam lớn the lakiểm tra version available. Here’s a quiông xã guide on how lớn bởi this:

xuất hiện Steam & make sure you are logged in.Go lớn the ribbon bar and clichồng on Steam > Check for Steam Clients updates.
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Checking for Steam Client’s updatesIf a new version is found, follow the on-screen instructions khổng lồ 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 lớn play this game” error, move down lớn the next method below.

Method 3: Deleting foreign files (if applicable)

If you downloaded a game through Steam, then proceeded to lớn modify the installation thư mục with custom nội dung (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 khổng lồ a halternative text.

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

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

Method 4: Verifying the game’s files integrity

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

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

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

mở cửa the Steam client & go lớn the Library tab.From your list of games (left section of the screen), right-cliông chồng on the game that is triggering the issue and choose Properties.
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Accessing the Properties screen of the affected gameInside the Properties screen of the game, go khổng lồ the Local Files tab và cliông chồng on Verify Integrity of trò chơi Files.
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Verify the integrity of the game filesWait until the process is complete, then restart the Steam client.mở cửa 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 down khổng lồ the next method below.

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

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

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

Here’s what you need to lớn do:

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

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

Method 6: Reinstalling Steam và 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 quiông chồng guide on how khổng lồ vị this:

Press Windows key + R lớn open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” & press Enter khổng lồ open up the Programs and Features window.
Run dialog: appwiz.cplInside the Programs và Features window, scroll down through the application danh mục to locate the Steam client. Once you see it, right-cliông xã on it and choose Uninstall.
Uninstalling the Steam clientInside the Steam Uninstall window, simply cliông xã the Uninstall button to lớn remove the client from your computer.

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