How to Fix Cities: Skylines 2 Not Launching

There are two fixes to try if your Cities: Skylines 2 isn't launching. Let's get to it.

Image via Paradox Interactive
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To say the launch of Cities: Skylines 2 is rocky would be an understatement, but some players can’t even get into the game. In this guide, we’ll go over how to fix Cities: Skylines 2 not launching on Steam.

How to Fix Cities: Skylines 2 Not Launching on Steam

There’s a lot to be said about the current performance issues with Cities: Skylines 2, but there’s no need to worry about all that if you can’t even get into the game. I specifically ran into the issue where CS2 wouldn’t load at all when hitting the Play button on Steam. Considering everything I’d heard, I considered refunding on the spot. But why not try to sort out the issue first and judge the game’s performance myself?

There are two ways to approach fixing Cities: Skylines 2 not launching, and luckily, neither involves reinstalling the game.

CS2 Not Launching Fix One: Close the Paradox Launcher in the Task Manager

This is the more simple fix, and it did work for me. After clicking the Play button and not having the game work, I hit Ctrl + Alt + Del to and clicked to open the Task Manager. Then, I hunted down the Paradox Launcher and closed it out. You may have to hunt down Cities: Skylines 2 itself in the Task Manager if you see it as well, then try to launch it again.

CS2 Not Launching Fix Two: Reinstall Visual C++ Redistributable

Reinstalling Microsoft’s VcRedist helped a friend get their game to launch, and it might help you, too. You can download the latest Visual C++ Redistributable from the official Microsoft website. You’ll want the Visual Studio 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022 file, specifically the X86 option. Reinstalling could very well allow you to launch Cities: Skylines 2.

That’s it for how to fix Cities: Skylines 2 not launching. Hopefully, once you get in, your performance will be playable. Lots has changed between the first and second game. Check out some of our Cities: Skylines 2 guides for help with the new mechanics, like how to build a quay.

About the author

Ashley Shankle

Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.