How to fix steam must be running to play this game

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Several Windows users are encountering the “Steam must be running to lớn play this game” error when trying khổng lồ open one or more game executables. The issue is reported lớn occur in all the recent Windows versions including Windows XPhường, 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 to lớn play this game’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports. From what we gathered, there are several common 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. Some games require the Steam client to authenticate or lớn use multiplayer services.Corrupted Steam installation – The issue might also occur due khổng lồ some corrupted files inside the Steam installation folder. In this case, reinstalling the client will most likely resolve the issue.Steam is not updated to the lakiểm tra version – There’s a slight chance that you might be seeing the error message because your Steam client is outdated.Game’s installation folder contains foreign files – If you modified the Steam installation folder of the game, the issue might occur because Steam is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 inlớn believing that the game was updated correctly. Verifying the game’s tệp tin integrity will resolve the issue in this case.

If you’re struggling to lớn 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 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 lớn make sure that you have the Steam client installed on your computer. The vast majority of PC games nowadays will require you to 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 và multiplayer components.

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

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

Once the executable is downloaded, open it and follow the on-screen prompts to lớn 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 và see if the issue has been resolved.

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

Method 2: Updating the Steam client khổng lồ the lakiểm tra version

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

Several users struggling khổng lồ resolve the same error message have reported that for them, the issue was resolved as soon as they updated Steam lớn the lathử nghiệm version available. Here’s a quiông xã guide on how to do this:

mở cửa Steam & make sure you are logged in.Go to lớn the ribbon bar and cliông xã 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 lớn play this game” error, move sầu down to the next method below.

Method 3: Deleting foreign files (if applicable)

If you downloaded a game through Steam, then proceeded khổng lồ modify the installation folder 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 to a halt.

This issue is quite comtháng 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 thư mục, 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 the troublesome files by navigating lớn the game’s installation thư mục and 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 to play this game” error, move down lớn the next method below.

Method 4: Verifying the game’s files integrity

Several users have 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 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 lớn verify the integrity of the games file. 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 and go to the Library tab.From your các mục of games (left section of the screen), right-click on the game that is triggering the issue và 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 and clichồng 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 và 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 to lớn 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 managed to lớn 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 lớn be successful for a lot of users encountering the issue with call of Duty World War 2.

Here’s what you need to lớn do:

Inside Steam, go to the top-right corner of the screen & cliông xã on your trương mục khổng lồ make the drop-down thực đơn visible. Then, from the drop-down thực đơn, clichồng 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 clientCthua 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 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 do this, select the game from the Library screen and hit the Play button.
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Starting the game from Steam

If you’re still seeing the “Steam must be running to play this game” error message, move sầu 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 lớn open the services required by the game.

Several users struggling with the “Steam must be running to 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 xã guide on how lớn vị this:

Press Windows key + R to lớn open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” & 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 list lớn locate the Steam client. Once you see it, right-click on it và choose Uninstall.
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Uninstalling the Steam clientInside the Steam Uninstall window, simply click the Uninstall button khổng lồ remove sầu 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 re-install the Steam client.Then, reinstall the game that is triggering the error và see if the conflict is resolved.

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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.