Fix NFS Unbound Won’t Launch and Crashing at Startup

NFS Unbound won’t launch crashing – Here are the methods you can try if NFS Unbound won’t launch or is crashing for you.

Need of Speed Unbound is finally here, leaving us, the long-time fans, extremely hyped. We were waiting for an NFS game will good customization options for decades. After playing NFS Unbound, I can gladly say, that most of us are satisfied.

I know that the character models and the graffiti-like effects are not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you are like me, who plays NFS games for the cars. It shouldn’t bother you.

Anyway, NFS Unbound is crashing at startup for some people on PC, and for some, it won’t launch. The good thing is, that many people from the community have already recommended some fixes for that. Check them out.

Need for Speed™ Unbound In-Game Screenshot by Frondtech

NFS Unbound Won’t Launch and Crashing at Startup – How to fix

You must have Windows 10 or 11 to play NFS Unbound

NFS Unbound is not supported on Windows 7 or 8.1. This means you have to have Windows 10 or Windows 11 to play this game without issues. But from what I have heard, even Windows 11 users are having trouble. So Windows 10 is your best bet. You couldn’t fix this, as the developers themselves didn’t feel it necessary to make the game compatible with Windows 7 and 8.1.

NFS Unbound OS Requirements

Therefore, if you are still on any OS other than 10 and 11, I suggest you update your system.

Delete the PcDx12 file (Most used fix)

This is the fix that users all over Reddit and the Forums are claiming to work the best. According to them, if NFS Unbound won’t launch or is crashing for you, then you need to delete a PcDx12 file from your Documents folder. Here is what you need to do:

  • Make sure, the launcher you are using to play the game is closed.
  • Go to this Location: \Documents\Need For Speed(TM) Unbound\cache.
  • Inside the folder, you will find a file similar to the one shown in the screenshot:
    Screenshot showing which file to delete to fix the crashing in NFS Unbound
  • Delete it
  • Now go to the location where you have installed NFS Unbound.
  • For me, it was: SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Excalibur\. (I got the game via Steam)
  • If you have to game on Origin, it should be: \Origin Games\Need for Speed Unbound\
  • Inside the folder, you will notice a folder called “shadercache”.
  • Open it, and you will notice a similar PcDx12 file.
  • Delete it as well.
  • Try starting NFS Unbound

This fix actually comes from a Reddit user. Check out the post:

Download the New NFS Unbound drivers

If you are sitting on old Graphics and Chipset drivers, then I will propose that you update them. I have personally faced this problem with the previous NFS game. When NFS Heat came out, I was unable to launch it on my PC for the first few hours.

I was trying multiple fixes left and right. Finally, what I did was, I updated my chipset driver. I already had the latest graphics driver, so I was sure that it wasn’t the one causing the issue. After installing the latest Nvidia driver, I gave my PC a quick restart. And since then, I haven’t had a single issue with the game. So make sure that your drivers are updated.

Nvidia Driver for NFS Unbound

Nvidia has already released a Game Ready Driver for NFS Unbound. Check out the link below:

AMD has already released an AMD Adrenalin driver for NFS Unbound. Check out the link below:

Try to switch back to Origin if you are using EA Play

It has been a while since EA Play made its debut. It has arrived to completely replace Origin. But that didn’t happen.

EA Play still has a lot of Stability issues. A lot of games aren’t even compatible with this new launcher.

So it is best to switch back to Origin for the time being. It is true that Origin is lacking a lot of features, but you cannot deny the fact that it is way more stable than EA Desktop.

I found plenty of comments like this from Reddit, where users are claiming to have fixed the crashing by just changing the launcher:
NFS Unbound Crash Fix - Proof #1

Lower your Settings

If you are someone who is being able to launch the game, but not play it, due to the game crashing as soon are you load the map, then you need to lower your video settings.

I will be honest with you. NFS Unbound is not optimized at all. I tried the game on an RTX 3060 Ti with DLSS, and I was barely getting 60 FPS.

So, from that, I concluded, it is not a good idea to play this game at high or ultra settings. Just to test if NFS Unbound is crashing due to the settings being set too high or not, just set your settings to the lowest possible, while keeping the resolution the same, and see if the game is crashing or not. If it doesn’t, you have your answer.

I saw plenty of comments like this on the Steam discussions page of NFS Unbound regarding this issue:

When i play in Full HD with ultra settings the game crashes because it exceeds the 8gb of vram on my RX 5700XT and i have to use high settings instead, although Im getting around 100 fps. when i swapped to a RX 580 4gb it started crashing in high also and i had to use medium. maybe you guys should also check if a lower res or settings could fix the fps drops, this game takes up a lot of vram. the 3070 also has 8gb but the 3080 has 10 and 12 versions. I also got a report from radeon settings for insufficient vram twice, for the rest of the crashes the game just closed itself.

NFS Unbound might be getting blocked by your Anti-Virus

The exe file of Need for Speed Unbound might be getting quarantined by your Antivirus Software. If that is the case, then your AV software won’t let you launch or start the game.

You may need to disable Real-Time Scanning function or Real-Time Protection function of your Anti-virus to play. You can even try to close the software to test.

If you are using Windows Defender instead of a third-party AV software, then here is how to add NFS Unbound to the exceptions list of Windows Defender:

  • Go to Windows 10 settings
  • Click on Update & Security
  • Select Windows Security from the left sidebar
  • Click on Virus & threat protection
  • Under Virus & threat protection, click on Manage settings
  • Under Exclusions, click on Add or remove exclusions
  • Click on Add an exclusion
  • Select File
  • Select the .exe or executable file of NFS Unbound, which in this case should be NeedForSpeedUnbound.exe
  • Restart your PC

Corrupted or broken in-game files can be repaired easily

If I am not wrong, the PC version of NFS Unbound is available on Steam, EA Desktop/Origin, and Epic Games.. Here is how you can repair the game on multiple launchers:


  1. Open Origin
  2. Go to My Game Library
  3. Select Need for Speed Unbound
  4. Click on the Settings icon
  5. Select Repair


  1. Head over to your Steam Library
  2. Right-click on Need for Speed Unbound
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Local Files tab
  5. Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files

EA Play

  1. Start EA Desktop
  2. Go to “My Collection”
  3. Right Click on Need for Speed Unbound
  4. Select Repair
  5. Restart EA Play after the process is completed

Epic Games

  • Open Epic Games
  • Go to your Library
  • Take your mouse pointer on Need for Speed Unbound
  • Click on the Settings icon () beside the Launch icon
  • Click on Verify

Close Rivatuner Statistics or MSI Afterburner, if you are using it

Recently, Rivatuner and Afterburner have been having problems with a ton of AAA games. A lot of people use these tools to monitor their system’s performance. But recently, too many complaints have started popping up, where people are reporting game crashes due to Rivatuner.

So close these applications, restart your PC, and try launching Need for Speed Unbound again.

If you think this guide has helped you, then let us know in the comment section below. And for more NFS Unbound guides, keep an eye on Frondtech. We will be covering every single technical issue of the game on the launch day. Good luck!

That’s all folks!

Last Updated on December 2, 2022

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