Modern Warfare 2 Won't Launch: How To Fix Modern Warfare 2 Won't Launch Error On PC

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A soldier abseils down a building at night - modern warfare 2 won't launch
Credit: Activision

What's a player to do when Modern Warfare 2 won't launch? Do they admit defeat, and go play Warzone 2 instead? Or do they roll up their sleeves, perform a Rocky-style training montage, and then come back, a leaner, meaner, wrecking machine?

With our advice, it'll be the latter of the two options. With Modern Warfare 2 having just been released, you may experience a range of issues, such as Modern Warfare 2 ping, or Modern Warfare 2 packet loss. But the game not launching will soon be one to cross off that list.

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How To Fix Modern Warfare 2 Won't Launch Error On PC

First things first. If you're trying to get Modern Warfare 2 to launch, then you need to make sure you are using a PC that is actually capable of running the game. Activision has listed the minimum required specs as follows:

Minimum specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • Video memory: 3GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage space: 25GB (Beta size)
  • Sound card: DirectX compatible
  • Recommended graphic drivers: Nvidia - 516.79, AMD - 21.9.1

While the recommended specs are:

Recommended specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K or AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
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  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
  • Video memory: 3GB
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage space: 25GB (Beta size)
  • Sound card: DirectX compatible
  • Recommended graphic drivers: Nvidia - 516.79, AMD - 21.9.1

If your computer doesn't meet or exceed either of these requirements, then you're going to struggle to get Modern Warfare 2 to launch. And even if you do, playing it won't be a great experience.

But let's assume you've done your homework, and your PC is up to the mark. What then? Here are our top tips.

Soldiers make their way through a tunnel complex - modern warfare 2 won't launch
click to enlarge
Credit: Activision

Steps To Try

  • Your first port of call is to check the server status of the game. You can do this by going to the Activision Online Services page. If an issue is ongoing, wait for it to be resolved before trying again.
  • Check for any software updates for the game. Very often, a new game will have major patches delivered on launch day or shortly thereafter. These typically address a wide range of issues, so it's important to download and install them as soon as possible.
  • It's also important to make sure your system is fully up to date, as out-of-date graphics drivers or system software may also be causing an issue.
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  • Running the game as an administrator can help. Navigate to the executable file, right-click on it, and click on Run as administrator.
  • Make sure your firewall and/or antivirus isn't blocking the game from launching. Check that you've added it to the 'safe' list. Alternatively, temporarily turn off your antivirus/firewall, and see if the game launches.
  • You can also verify the integrity of the game files, in case something went wrong during the installation process. To do this on Steam:
    • Restart your computer and launch Steam
    • Next, you can either right-click the game in your Library, or click on the gear icon from the game's Library page on the far right
    • From the drop-down menu, select Properties...
    • Select the Local Files tab and click the Verify integrity of game files... button
    • Wait for a few minutes while the process completes
  • Alternatively, you can repair game files via Battle.net as follows:
    • Click the cogwheel next to the Play button and select Scan and Repair.
    • Click Begin Scan.
    • Wait for the repair to finish.
  • Don't overclock your GPU. As well as potentially causing problems with the running of your game, it can actually damage your hardware as well. If your PC meets the system requirements for the game, this shouldn't really be necessary anyway.
  • The last option, if nothing is working, is to consider uninstalling, and then reinstalling the game altogether.

If all else fails, try reaching out to Activision Support for further advice and assistance.

What Is The Modern Warfare 2 Won't Launch Issue?

Given the wide-ranging solutions that may fix the Modern Warfare 2 won't launch problem, there isn't a single, specific trigger for the issue. There are many reasons why this might be affecting you, so your best bet is to simply work your way down the list until you find a solution that works.

Ultimately, with any new game, or game in open beta, errors are pretty much guaranteed to arise. Major problems such as this are usually swiftly identified and fixed via a software update. So keep track of any updates, and install them as quickly as you can. You can follow the official Call of Duty Twitter feed for information regarding game updates.

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In case you encounter Modern Warfare 2 crashing or lag in Modern Warfare 2 gameplay once you are back in the game, just come back here as we have some easy fixes for the issues.