Red Dead Redemption 2 Crashing on PC: How to Fix It

Red Dead Redemption 2 crashing on PC? Here's how to fix it using three workarounds. Hopefully ... we hope these will fix it.

Hold up there a minute, pardner. You may have been champing at the bit to finally join a posse and rob your away across the west, but as it turns out, you're all saddled up with nowhere to go! As tends to happen with PC launches, there's been a bunch Red Dead Redemption 2 PC crashing issues riding alongside the game's official Windows launch.

Whether the game immediately crashes, with the Rockstar launcher giving you the "exited unexpectedly" error, or your PC freezes and dumps you to your desktop after starting a new game, there are some potential solutions to your problem.

Though Rockstar has said it is working on patching the PC crashing issues, here are some troubleshooting steps to try out before firing off a support ticket.

How To Fix Red Dead Redemption 2 Crashes on PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 error code following a crash in the Rockstar Launcher.

While waiting on an official patch, Rockstar has revealed there are three main troubleshooting steps that may get you into the game right now.

1. Disable Antivirus

For the time being, disabling your anti-virus seems to be the most sure-fire way to get you past the "Red Dead Redemption 2 exited unexpectedly" error message, especially if you are using Malwarebytes.

2. Update Graphics Drivers

If that doesn't work (or you just aren't willing to go that route), the next step is to update your graphics driver. Brand-new game-ready drivers from NVIDIA and AMD just landed to deal with issues plaguing recent PC game launches, like Modern Warfare and Red Dead Redemption 2.

This can be automatically handled through your GPU software (such as GeForce Experience or Radeon Adrenalin). Or, if you think that software hasn't correctly auto-updated, you can manually download the new video driver updates here:

3. Run as Administrator

Finally, some users have been able to successfully get in by running the game with administrator privileges. Here's how to go about launching the game as an administrator:

  1. Select Settings in the Rockstar launcher
  2. Navigate to Red Dead Redemption 2 under My installed games
  3. Click Open below View Installation Folder
  4. Right-Click Read Dead Redemption 2 and select Properties
  5. Choose Run this Program as an Administrator and Disable Full-Screen Optimization on the Compatibility tab
  6. Click OK and re-launch the game

Unfortunately, even if you get beyond this launcher issue with any of the previous steps, the game may then freeze or crash again as soon as you encounter the menu and cut scenes to start the main campaign.

That half of the issue is a dev-side issue, and you'll need to wait on a patch expected to land later this week if you're still experiencing the crash.

Have you found any other workarounds that we didn't mention? Leave us a comment below and we'll add your method to the list! For more on Red Dead Redemption 2, be sure to check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 guides, all of which still work for the game's PC launch. 

Stay tuned for a review of the game's PC version coming next week, where we compare the game to its console counterpart. 

Featured Contributor

Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.

Published Nov. 5th 2019

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