How to Fix Civ 5 Not Launching [Best Guide]


Developed by Firaxis Games, Civilization or civ 5 has become a trendy strategy-based game these days. Although it is available on most operating systems with the latest updates and features, many users have complained about the constant issue of civ 5 not launching.

See also: Fixed: Steam Games Not Launching on Windows 10/8.1/8/7

civilization 5
Civilization 5

If you are going to face the same issue, then don’t worry, you’ve landed in the right place! Here is the updated guide on fixing “civ 5 won’t launch.”

Civilization (civ) 5 Not Launching

The error can occur due to many plausible reasons, but the significant reasons point to be a defect in the graphics card. At the same time, some of the others include having antivirus software, missing direct X files, corrupt game or PS4 files, older versions of the OS, and missing visual C++.

civ 5 not launching
Civ 5 not launching

If you are getting messages like no compatible graphics driver found or if your game crashes, doesn’t launch, or quits suddenly, you have one of the problems mentioned above.

So, let us dive into the various methods of solving civ 5, not launching.

How to Fix Civilization (civ) 5 Not Launching

Civ 5 crash on startup? Despite the issue you are having, this guide will help you fix the error, and you’ll never have to worry about it again.

Note- before moving ahead, make sure you are signed in as administrator, have a proper net connection, and set the firewall off.

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Update the Graphics Card Driver

One of the significant reasons for the error is in the graphics card. To resolve this,

  1. Click on “start” and go to “device manager.”
    update graphic card driver
    Update graphic card driver
  2. Find ‘display adapters’ and expand it to go to “graphics card dright-click right click it to press on ‘update drivers.”
    search automatically for updated driver software
    Search automatically for updated driver software
  3. Now, choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” in the window that pops up.

Now reboot and check if the problem persists.

Run civ 5 in Compatibility Mode

If you use Microsoft, you are pretty familiar with the process of running an application in safe mode if it creates problems. We will do the same for Civ 5. To turn this mode on,

  1. On your desktop, look for “civ 5 shortcut’ and right-click on it.
  2. Open “properties” and look for the “compatibility” tab.
    run in compatibilty mode
    Run in compatibilty mode
  3. Check the box for “run this program in compatibility mode.” Click on “ok” and “apply.”
  4. If a window pops up, then press “run the compatibility troubleshooter” and click on “yes.”

By doing so, Windows will automatically find the best-suited mode for the game.

Install Direct X

Civ 5 won’t launch after DirectX selection? The primary clients of this game have reported this issue. Civilization is a game that depends on DirectX to function correctly; if this file is missing, then that will cause the message to pop up.

install directx
Install DirectX

Download the latest DirectX end-user runtime from their web installer to solve this. Install it on your system and restart to find the issue to be resolved.

Check the Integrity of the Game or Cache  Files.

Sometimes the missing or corrupted game files can cause the application to crash. To check if that’s the case,

  1. Open your “steam client,” go to “library,” and find civilization 5.
  2. Open “properties” and click on the “local files” section
    verify the integrity of game files
    Verify the integrity of game files
  3. Press the “verify integrity of game files’ option.

This will check if any of your installed files are missing or corrupted. After this, restart your PC and check if the issue is gone.

Uninstall your Display Driver

When Windows gets updated, the drivers are updated automatically, too, but sometimes those installations don’t match our required needs. In these cases, you need to uninstall them. To remove these,

  1. Go to “start,” right click, and choose “device manager,” alternatively, you can press Windows key + X.
    device manager
    Device manager
  2. Go to the “display adapters’ section 
  3. look for “display driver.”
    uninstall device
    Uninstall device
  4. Right-click on it and press “uninstall the driver.’

By doing so, Windows will be forced to install the display drivers as per your system needs on its own. if the display drivers dont respond kindly repeat the steps. This will efficiently resolve the error of civ 5 not launching.

Run the game in Windowed Mode and Turn off Anti-aliasing

Many DirectX 11 users who play civ 5 have reported this issue too. In their case, the problem was in the anti-aliasing feature within the game.

windowed mode
Windowed mode

To solve this, open your game settings and disable this feature. If the problem persists, you can run the game in windowed mode, which will solve your problem.

Make sure your Steam Client is Up to Date.

If your steam client is outdated, that might become the cause of civ 5 won’t start in Windows 10. To ensure it is updated,

  1. Open your steam client
  2. Go to the left corner and press “steam.”
    steam client updates
    Steam client updates
  3. Look for the “check for steam client updates” option and press it.

This will ensure your steam client is up to date.

Try running the Game in Offline Mode.

The net connection can also hinder the game’s performance in some cases. To avoid this,

    1. Go to steam , if you cant open steam directly go to applications and do it, and click on steam in the upper left corner.
      go offline
      Go offline
  1. Choose the “go offline” option.

Now restart steam and run the game.

Copy missing DLL files.

Civ 5 won’t launch in Windows 7? No worries! To fix this,

  1. Run civ 5 from its “installation directory.”
  2. Type “d3dx9_42.dll” as the name of the missing file.
    missing dll files
    missing DLL files
  3. If this doesn’t work directly, we will find this file. To do so,
  4. Go to DirectX directory and look for “d3dx9_42_x86” or “d3dx9_42_x64.”
  5. Click and run the option that matches your OS.
  6. In the list, find the file and paste it into the “installation directory.”

This will automatically resolve the issue of having any missing files that were stopping the game from launching.

See also:{Solved} 7 Ways to Fix Steam Missing File Privileges Error 

Install Microsoft Visual C++ 2015

Sometimes the Microsoft visual C++ files essential for the game have bugs in the updates that cause civ 5 to not launch. To fix this,

  1. From the start menu, open the “run” dialog box
  2. Type in “appwiz.cpl” and search for “Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable”
    installing microsoft visual c++ 2015
    Installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015
  3. Uninstall it from its options.
  4. Now go to the official site and install the latest ones again.

This will remove the bugs and run the latest versions.

Perform a Clean Boot

Sometimes some third-party apps might conflict with your game and prevent it from running. To avoid this, perform a clean boot. Make sure to use proper reboot devices.

clean boot
Clean boot

Once you’ve located the conflicting software, uninstall it to fix the problem.

Remove Lucid Virtu

If you’re an NVidia user who faces the issue of civ 5 not launching, then you can resolve the problem by uninstalling the lucid virtu component from the NVidia control panel.

lucid virtu
Lucid virtu

Don’t use the Windows settings as it will leave behind some unwanted files, use the uninstaller tool for the required device to do the job.

Update your BIOS

If you use an onboard and a graphics card, you might face this issue. In your case, the BIOS might not be supporting the game.

bios update
BIOS update

An update of the BIOS is needed for the game to run. Updating the BIOS is a tricky job, and it is recommended that you take it to an expert to correct it.


What causes the game Civilization 5 not to launch?

Though the significant reasons point to be a defect in the graphics card, some of the others include having antivirus software, missing direct X files, corrupt game files, older version of the OS, and missing visual C++.

How to fix Civilization 5 not launching?

Fix the issues that can hinder your game with the help of our detailed guide, and never get bothered by the case again.


After going through this guide, we hope you were able to find and resolve the issue of civ 5 not launching. If the problem persists, you might need to uninstall the game and re-install it from your steam client. Now that civ 5 is launching again without any issues, you can happily get back to making those strategies. Happy gaming!

See also: Minecraft Crashes On Startup Issue: How To Fix It