Horizon Zero Forbidden West PC: Won’t Launch or Crashing at Startup Fix

Horizon Zero Forbidden West is finally out on PC, but it has its share of performance and startup-related issues players have faced since its launch. We had a similar problem, and we suggest some fixes to help you fix it.

So, in this article, we will talk about fixing Horizon Zero Forbidden West won’t Launch or Crash at Startup.

How to Fix the Crashing and Startup Issues in Horizon Zero Forbidden West

Here are some tips and tricks to fix these won’t launch, startup, and performance issues.

Start by checking System Requirements of Forbidden West

Make sure the game meets the minimum system requirements that are needed to run this game. Failing to meet the system requirements might result in this launch, stutter, and performance issues. So here are the minimum and recommended requirements to run Horizon Zero Forbidden West.

System Requirements Horizon Zero Forbidden West

You need to Turn off Overlays and Background Captures

Turn off any overlays that you are using, for example, GeForce Experience, Steam, Discord, MSI Afterburner, etc., as these overlays eat up a lot of CPU resources, thus crippling performance in games and also preventing launching. If you have turned on the Background Recording, turn it off from the Windows Settings.

Check to see if your Windows and your GPU Driver is Updated or not

Always make sure that your Windows is fully updated. With Windows 11, Microsoft has been pushing continuous updates, which has helped eradicate many performance and compatibility issues. These updates are primarily bug fixers that help move the system’s performance, making it more stable and reliable to run games and apps. Horizon Zero Forbidden needs a fully updated Windows 11 to perform at its best.

To update your Windows, go to Search Bar and Type “Windows Update” > Click on the Option “Windows Update Settings” > As the Window opens, click on “Check for Updates” > Let the updates install automatically and Restart the PC.

You must also update your GPU Drivers, as outdated Graphics Drivers are the prime reason newer games fail to launch or crash as a startup. We also had reports of players facing black screens and performance issues, and updating their GPU drivers helped.

  • Download the latest Nvidia Drivers Here
  • Download the latest AMD Drivers here
  • Download the latest Intel drivers here

You can try Running the Game as an Admin

You can try running the game as an admin, and all you need to do is go to the Horizon Zero Forbidden West Game Installation folder and find the .exe File. Right-click on it and open up properties. Click on the Compatibility tab and check the box “Run this program as an administrator.” To find the exe file, go to the Steam Library and right-click. Select properties and then Browse Local Files.

For Nvidia Laptop Users

Always use the dedicated Nvidia GPU if you are gaming on a laptop. Laptops feature hybrid Graphics and run on integrated GPU to save power on idle and while gaming while it switches to the dedicated one. So, to make sure that happens, all you need to do is

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Click on Manage 3D Settings and Select the Program Settings Tab
  3. Select Horizon Zero Forbidden West by clicking “Select a Program to Customize.”
  4. If you don’t find it there, you only need to click Add and select the Exe file.
  5. All you need to do is find the option “Preferred Graphics Processor.”
  6. Set it to “High-Performance Nvidia Processor.”

Nvidia and AMD Control Panel Settings for Horizon Forbidden West

Nvidia Control Panel Settings

  1. Click on Adjust Image Settings with Preview (on the left side) under the 3D Settings.
  2. Make sure the Advanced 3D Image Settings is Selected.
  3. Now open the Nvidia Control Panel
  4. Select Manage 3D Settings and click on the Program Settings Tab.
  5. Under “Select a program to customize,” find Horizon Zero Forbidden West
  6. Click the Add button if you don’t find the .exe file on the list.
  7. If you cannot spot the game, manually add the .exe file.
  8. Click on Browse and locate the folder where you have installed the game
  9. Select the .exe file i.e. hzfw.exe
  10. Once you add the game, you will see the program settings available for you to tweak!

Now start tweaking the following settings

  • Image Sharpening: Off
  • Threaded Optimization: On
  • OpenGL rendering GPU: Your dedicated GPU (Nvidia RTX 3060Ti)
  • Shader Cache: On
  • Power Management: Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Low Latency Mode: Off
  • Texture filtering – Quality: Performance

AMD Control Panel Settings

Radeon Anti-Lag Disabled
Radeon Boost Disabled
Image Sharpening Off
Anti-Aliasing Mode Use Application Settings
Anti-aliasing Method Multi-Sampling
Morphological Filtering Off
Anisotropic Filtering Disabled
Texture Filtering Quality Performance
Surface Format Optimization Enabled
Tessellation Mode AMD Optimized
Wait for V-sync Off
OpenGL Triple Buffering Off
Shader Cache AMD Optimized
Maximum Tessellation Level Off
GPU Workload Graphics
Radeon Chill Off
Frame Rate Target Control Disabled

Reinstall the Game

If nothing at all works, then you can try reinstalling the game. If you are still having issues, contacting the developers by submitting a ticket is better.

So that was all about fixing Horizon Zero Forbidden West won’t Launch or Crashing at Startup issues. Feel free to comment if you have more suggestions; we will add them to our list of fixes.

If you think this guide has helped you, then let us know in the comment section below. Click here to find more detailed guides on Horizon Zero Forbidden West PC.

That’s all, folks!

Last Updated on March 20, 2024

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