After almost a year of being a PlayStation 5 exclusive, Returnal has made its way to PC. The PC version has apparent benefits over there PS5 version but also some disadvantaged like crashes. Returnal PC players report that the game is crashing in-game or at launch, and the following are the fixes.


Returnal Crash Fixes You Can Try

There are multiple reasons why Returnal is crashing on PC, like third-party tools and software, in-game overlays, anti-virus, and more. You can try the following fixes to avoid crashes while playing Returnal.

General Fixes

Before we get into specific fixes for the Reurnal crash on PC, let’s review some general fixes that might help you.

Update GPU Driver

Sometimes outdated GPU drivers or even the latest GPU drivers can cause a game to crash. If you haven’t updated your GPU driver, I suggest you do so and do a clean installation so no previous settings can cause issues with Returnal.

Disable In-game Overlay

In-game overlays for clients like Steam or GeForce Experience can also conflict with the game and cause Returnal to crash to the desktop. Disable any in-game overlay you use, and the game will stop crashing. To disable Steam in-game overlay, open Settings > In-game > uncheck “Enable the Steam overlay while in-game.”

To disable the GeForce Experience overlay, open GeForce Experience > click on the Great icon next to your username > General > turn off the “IN-GAME Overlay” options.

Run The Game As an Administrator

Often, the game requires administrative rights to run. This could be due to the players using a secondary Windows account. Giving Returnal Administrative rights can fix the game not launching or crashing at startup issues. Right-click Returnal in Steam library > Manage > Browse local files. A new window will open with game files. Right-click the executable > properties > Compatibility tab > check “Run this program as an administrator” and press OK.

Disable Third-party Software, Unplug Third-party Peripherals

Using third-party tools or software like MSI Afterburner, RGB software, or even a peripheral with its own driver/software can cause Returnal to crash. Disable any third-party tool or unplug any third-party peripheral you are using, and the game will stop crashing on your PC.

Clear Temp Files

Temp files or Temporary files are Windows files are the OS only needs temporarily. Sometimes buildup of temp files can cause issues with games like Returnal and cause them to crash. The fix is to clean out temporary files. Press Win + R keys > type %temp% and press enter. A new window will open with some files. Delete all the files and folders. Launch Retrunal and it won’t crash.

Update/Repair Visual C++ Redistributables

Some Visual C++ files become corrupt or go missing over time which can cause games like Returnal to crash at startup or not launch on PC. Right-click the game in Steam library > Manage > Browse local files. A new window will open with the game files. Find Returnal.exe and launch the game directly through this redistributable. You’ll probably get an error similar to vcruntime140_1.dll is missing or MSVCP140.dll Was Not Found. The files are either corrupt or not present on your PC, causing Returnal not to launch.  Install/repair the latest Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables x64 and x86 versions to fix Returnal not working.

That is all for our fixes for Returnal crashing on PC. Also, see our hub for commonly occurring PC errors and their fixes if you are experiencing errors with other PC video games or PC.

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David is a highly skilled technical writer with 5+ years of experience in providing fixes for video games and tech bugs. He is an expert in troubleshooting and has helped countless gamers overcome frustrating technical issues. In addition to providing bug fixes, David also specializes in writing technical reviews for video games. His expertise in the industry allows him to provide insightful commentary on gameplay mechanics, graphics, and other technical aspects that are crucial to a game's success.