Fix: steam must be running to play this game

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 to occur in all the recent Windows versions including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 & Windows 10.

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Fatal Error: Steam must be running khổng lồ 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 comtháng scenartiện ích 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. Some games require the Steam client khổng lồ authenticate or to lớn 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 sầu the issue.Steam is not updated to lớn the lademo version – There’s a slight chance that you might be seeing the error message because your Steam client is outdated.Game’s installation folder contains foreign files – If you modified the Steam installation folder of the game, the issue might occur because Steam is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 file integrity will resolve the issue in this case.

If you’re struggling khổng lồ resolve sầu 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 used khổng lồ resolve the “Steam must be running to play this game” error.

We encourage you to 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 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 và multiplayer components.

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

With this in mind, it’s important to lớn kiểm tra if you have sầu 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 và 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 lớn play this game” error và see if the issue has been resolved.

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

Method 2: Updating the Steam client to the lathử nghiệm 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 installed.

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

xuất hiện Steam and make sure you are logged in.Go to lớn the ribbon bar và clichồng 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 lớn 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 down to 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 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 thư mục, you will be able to resolve the “Steam must be running khổng lồ play this game” error by removing the foreign files – most commonly, those foreign files being blocked are .dll & .lua (Steam seems to have a problem with them). You can remove the troublesome files by navigating to the game’s installation thư mục và 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 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 lớn 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 thư mục is missing some files. To remedy this issue, you’ll need to verify the integrity of the games file. If the scan reveals any inconsistencies, Steam will download the missing components.


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

xuất hiện the Steam client và go khổng lồ the Library tab.From your menu of games (left section of the screen), right-cliông xã 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 lớn the Local Files tab & cliông xã 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.mở cửa the game and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the “Steam must be running to 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 khổng lồ resolve the “Steam must be running lớn play this game” error have managed to lớn get the issue resolved after logging out of Steam, closing the client, reopening the client & launching the game from Steam.

This procedure was reported lớn be successful for a lot of users encountering the issue with Điện thoại tư vấn of Duty World War 2.

Here’s what you need lớn do:

Inside Steam, go khổng lồ the top-right corner of the screen & cliông chồng on your trương mục to lớn make the drop-down menu visible. Then, from the drop-down thực đơn, cliông chồng 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 trận 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 và 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 bởi 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 lớn play this game” error message, move sầu down lớn 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 lớn play this game” error have sầu reported that the issue was resolved and the game was running normally after they reinstalled Steam along with the game that was throwing the error.

Here’s a quichồng guide on how to vì chưng this:

Press Windows key + R khổng lồ open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features window.
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Run dialog: appwiz.cplInside the Programs and 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.
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Uninstalling the Steam clientInside the Steam Uninstall window, simply click the Uninstall button lớn 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 to the first method và follow the instructions there khổng lồ 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 sầu down khổng lồ the next method below.