Fix Stray Won’t Launch and Crashing at Startup

Stray won’t launch and crashing – After much anticipation, the awaited “cat-game”, Stray, is out across all major gaming platforms. The game does come with some technical issues. But, that is expected from game releases nowadays.

Some PC players are facing an issue where Stray won’t launch for them via Steam. The game stops responding after they press the “Play” button on Steam. Stray is also crashing for some users. Though a few are being to start the game, it is crashing after a few seconds, and for some Stray is straight up crashing at startup, before they even make it to the main menu.

The good thing is, that many people from the community have already recommended some fixes for that. Check them out.

Fix Stray Won't launch and crashing at startup

Fix Stray Won’t Launch and Crashing at Startup

1. You need DirectX 12 to play Stray

One of the biggest technical details about Stray, that a lot of people seem to have missed, is that Stray runs only on the DirectX 12 API. If you have anything other than DX 12, then you are out of luck here. In order to check the DirectX version on your system:

  1. Press Windows+R keys on your keyboard
  2. Type “dxdiag” inside the box and press Enter
  3. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will pop up
  4. Make sure you are on the System tab, look at the bottom of the System Information list. You should see your DirectX version there.
    Stray only supports DirectX 12

If it is DirectX 12 then you can move further into this guide. If it is not, then you already have your answer. You can try downloading and installing the latest DirectX version from here. And see if that works out for you.

2. Stray requires you to have the Build 1909 or higher of Windows 10 64-bit

Stray does not support Windows 7 or 8.1. Windows 10 64-bit is mandatory. And the OS Build should be at least 1909.

If you don’t know how to check your Windows build, then all you have to do is:

  1. Press Windows+R on your keyboard
  2. Type “winver” inside the empty box
  3. Press Enter

Your build details will pop up in a small window. It should look something like this:

I am using Windows 10 Version 21H2 OS Build 19044.1826, and I can confirm that this version runs Stray flawlessly. I haven’t had any issues launching the game on any of my three PCs.

3. Make sure you have the July 2022 Windows 10 update installed

This brings me to my next step. If you are using Windows 10, you must update your OS immediately. Microsoft releases Windows 10 updates very frequently, and they break stuff with them even more frequently. There is a good chance that you are sitting on a buggy version. And Stray might be crashing at startup due to that.

I can guarantee that, even if you have a low-end PC, you won’t face any crashing or launch issues if your OS and drivers are updated. I have tested Stray on three systems, and one of them has a GTX 1050 TI installed.

Stray started and ran flawlessly on all of them. So the hardware is, most probably, not the issue for most of you.

  1. Click on the Windows button from your Taskbar
  2. Click on the Settings (Gear) icon
  3. Select Update & Security
  4. Click on Check for updates
  5. Wait for the updates to get installed
  6. Restart your PC

4. Make sure your System is using the Dedicated GPU and not the Integrated one

Make sure that you are using the Dedicated GPU inside your system, and not the integrated one. If your laptop is running on Hybrid Mode then turn it off. I don’t think I have to explain, how under-powered integrated GPUs are.

I was actually facing a similar problem with my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro. After purchasing the laptop and bringing it home, I realized that it is severely underperforming. In some games, I was literally capped at 30 FPS, despite the laptop having a Ryzen 7 5800H and RTX 3060. That is when I found out the Vantage app on my laptop, and I disabled something called the “Hybrid Mode”, shown on the app. I restarted my laptop, and it immediately started giving me the performance that it is built for.

This issue is very common with gaming laptop users. If the wrong graphics processor is set on your GPU Control Panel, then considering how unoptimized Stray it at the moment, it will crash every time.

5. Your Anti-virus software might be blocking the Stray executable file

This has become one of the biggest reasons for launch issues in games, nowadays. You see, Anti-Virus software these days, hook very deep into user systems. Some even ask for access at Kernel level. And this can affect disk and network operations, which can cause games to crash, or prevent them from launching.

Some games also use copy protection technology that can appear as malicious software to an AV scanner, resulting in potential false-positive alerts.

Try disabling your Anti-Virus software temporarily and then try to launch Stray. It may also be necessary to add exceptions for the game in your AV configuration.

6. Use the .exe file of Stray to start the game

Instead of launching Stray from your Steam library, just visit the folder where you have installed Stray. And launch the game directly by double-clicking on the executable or .exe file of the game.

You can also try to Start Stray ‘as administrator’, by right-clicking on the file, and selecting ‘Run as administrator. This will most probably fix the “won’t launch” or “won’t start” issue for most of you.

7. Make sure your GPU is not overclocked

Stray sometimes crashes and slows down as a result of an overclocking application or utility running in the background. It’s important to make sure nothing of this nature is running at any given time, and only Stray is running.

Many games suffer from crashes because of applications like MSI Afterburner or Zotac firestorm. It’s best to stay on the safe side and leave your GPU and CPU running on default speeds.

8. Install the latest Microsoft Visual Studio

If you are getting errors like “vcruntime140_1.dll missing” or “MSVCP140.dll was not found”. Then please try downloading and installing the latest version of Visual C++ redistributable, as there’s a chance it hasn’t been installed correctly.

9. Verify the in-game files of Stray via Steam

Verify the game’s files to make sure your computer isn’t missing any critical files that might be causing the game to crash or freeze.

  1. Go to your Steam Library
  2. Right-click on Stray
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Local Files tab
  5. Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files

Updates from BlueTwelve Studio

Let me start by saying that BlueTwelve is an extremely small indie studio. You can say that Stray is actually their “Big” release. So you can imagine the amount of pressure, they have on them, at the moment.

If you are facing technical issues with the game, that you are not being able to fix. Just wait for a day or two. I am pretty sure the developers are on their toes, addressing all the problems coming their way. I am pretty sure that they will be releasing a patch to fix the crashing issues pretty soon.

Contact Stray Support

If you want to contact Stray Support, then you can go to this Steam Thread, and post about your issue in the comment section. The developers are actively replying to players there.

If you think this guide has helped, then let us know in the comment section below. Also, try checking out our other guides on Stray. Who knows, you might find something you have been looking for. 🙂

That’s all, folks

Last Updated on July 19, 2022

2 thoughts on “Fix Stray Won’t Launch and Crashing at Startup”

  1. The game wasn’t launching for me, I saw a video that recommended opening up the Oculus desktop app. That solved the issue for me!

  2. Welp, I’ve just run into my very first problem running Windows 10 64bit build 1609. (Manually locked via disabling system access to the Windows Updating module.)

    I guess either I don’t get to play this one, or I will finally have to do a clean install of 1909.


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