Basic computer game troubleshooting

Click on one or more of the links below that matches the issue you are experiencing. If you are having issues with installing a MS-DOS game in Windows, see getting MS-DOS games to run in Windows.document CH000587.

Unable to install the game
Error during install
Game does not load or has an error when it attempts to load
Game crashes while being played
Problems with video
Problems with sound
Problems connecting to an online game server
In-game help, hints, walkthroughs, and advice
Other game issues

Unable to install the game

  1. Verify the diskettes or CD are readable by reading the files from the drive. For example, Microsoft Windows users can explore the drive in Windows explorer. If the CD attempts to AutoPlay, you may need to right-click the drive and click Explore to browse the drive. If you are having problems with reading a CD, see document CH000212.
  2. If the CD reads fine with no errors, verify your computer meets the minimum requirements of the game. If your computer does not have enough disk drive space or does not meet the requirements, the game may not install.
  3. Make sure the game you are installing is compatible with the version of operating system you have on your computer. For example, many older games developed for MS-DOS or Windows 95 may not work or are incompatible with the later versions of Windows.
  4. If you are using the AutoPlay menu to install the game, try executing the setup.exe or install.exe directly from the floppy diskettes or from the CD instead of the AutoPlay setup menu.
  5. If you are getting stopped at the CD-KEY or Serial Number verification, verify you are entering your correct number. If you lost your number or key or it does not work, you will need to contact the developer of the game. Computer Hope will not provide any users with an alternate number or key.
  6. Other programs running in the background can cause issues with the program install. Make sure all programs and TSRs are closed; additional information about closing all programs can be found on document CHTSR. If you still continue to run into issues try installing the program from Safe Mode.

Error during install

  1. Verify your computer meets the requirements of the game. For example, if your computer runs out of disk space during the installation, this would cause an error during the installation.
  2. Verify the CD is clean and contains no significant scratches. Information about how to clean a CD and a CD-ROM can be found on our cleaning page.
  3. Other programs running in the background can cause issues with the program install. Make sure all programs and TSRs are closed; additional information about closing all programs can be found on document CHTSR. If you still continue to run into issues, try installing the program from Safe Mode.

Game does not load or has an error when it attempts to load

  1. If the game is a CD game, make sure the correct CD is in the computer when attempting to play the game. In some cases it may be necessary to have the first or last CD in the computer when attempting to play the game.
  2. Verify the game documentation makes no mention of the error you are experiencing. Many times the error and explanation to how to resolve the error are already documented.
  3. Verify no patches or updates are available from the developer of the game. See the game developer page for a listing of links to game company pages. Many times the game developer will list the available drivers. If you are not sure who the developer of a game is, use a popular search engine and search for drivers for your game. In most cases a game will start out as version 1.0.
  4. If the game utilizes Microsoft DirectX it is possible you may have an issue with DirectX that was caused during the installation of another game or program. Make sure you have the latest version of DirectX installed on the computer. Additional information about DirectX can be found on our DirectX page.
  5. Some games may require other programs such as OpenGL or QuickTime to be installed in order to play them. If you did not install all the programs during the installation, try running the install again.
  6. Make sure all other programs are closed when you run the game.
  7. Make sure the computer has been rebooted at least once after the game has been installed. In some cases the game may install files that are not initialized until the computer has been rebooted.
  8. If computer is overclocked, try reducing the speed back to the computer's correct settings to ensure that the overclocked settings are not causing the issue.
  9. If the above recommendations do not resolve your issues, install the game again.

Game crashes while being played

  1. Verify no patches or updates are available from the developer of the game. See the game developer page for a listing of links to game company pages. Many times the game developer will list the available drivers. If you are not sure who the developer of a game is, use a popular search engine and search for drivers for your game. In most cases a game will start out as version 1.0.
  2. Other programs running in the background while playing a game can cause issues. Make sure all programs and TSRs are closed; additional information about closing all programs can be found on document CHTSR. If you still continue to run into issues, try installing the program from Safe Mode.
  3. Make sure you have the latest updates for your video and sound card. A listing of video drivers can be found on our video card drivers page. A listing of sound drivers can be found on our sound card drivers page.
  4. If the above recommendations do not resolve your issues, install the game again.

Problems with video

  1. Verify you have the latest video drivers for your video card. A listing of video drivers can be found on our video card drivers page.
  2. If the game utilizes Microsoft DirectX it is possible you may have an issue with DirectX that was caused during the installation of another game or program. Make sure you have the latest version of DirectX installed on the computer. Additional information about DirectX can be found on our DirectX page.

Problems with sound

  1. Verify you have the latest sound drivers for your sound card. A listing of sound drivers can be found on our sound card drivers page.
  2. See document CH000201 for additional information about games and sound related issues.

Problems connecting to an online game server

  1. Verify no patches or updates are available from the developer of the game. Many times to connect to a game, you must be running the same version as the server. See the game developer page for a listing of links to game company pages. Many times the game developer will list the available drivers. If you are not sure who the developer of a game is, use a popular search engine and search for drivers for your game. In most cases a game will start out as version 1.0.
  2. Some games require additional software to be installed before they can connect to online servers. For example, many games require GameSpy. If your game requires these programs, verify they are installed on your computer.
  3. Wait an hour or so and try connecting to the server again. Many times a server may crash because of a problem, or go down for an update. Of course, when this occurs it is more than likely you will not be able to connect or view servers.

In-game help, hints, walkthroughs, and advice

Try searching our web page for additional help, hints, walkthroughs, and advice on a game. Unfortunately, because we are not a web page dedicated to computer gaming, we do not have a very extensive database of computer game information. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we recommend you try the third-party game pages or try searching using your favorite search engine.

Other game issues

If you are still running into errors, or unable to resolve your issue, search our web page, check our on-line help section, and check our Q&A section for additional help and recommendations. If after checking these locations you are still unable to resolve your issue, feel free to contact our support team.

Additional information

  • See our game Q&A for further information on troubleshooting computer games.
  • See our game definition for further information and related links on this term.