Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Having A Rough Launch On PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Having A Rough Launch On PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on PC today. A lot of players, myself included, are already having some issues. Here are some of the problems you might be running into and some possible fixes that have been discovered so far.

First things first, you should get the latest graphics drivers for your card, which is usually a good place to start when you’re having issues. I’m running the game on mostly “High” settings on a GTX 1080, and I’m getting between 50 and 60 frames per second. I’m getting some weird freezes at random places, during which time the video pauses but the audio keeps playing. Upon advice from this reddit thread, I switched from the game’s default Vulkan to DX12, which fixed a freeze I consistently got in an early cutscene but hasn’t prevented a bunch of other ones. My freezes happened especially frequently during an early quest in the “Enter, Pursued by a Memory” mission. Some players report seeing their CPU spike when the game freezes; my CPU is a somewhat creaky Intel i5-4570, so that could be the culprit, but other players with beefier specs than mine are also reporting issues. It’s not gamebreaking for me yet, but it’s definitely annoying.

Many players are reporting not being able to start the game at all, with it either crashing on the intro or giving them a message that the Rockstar launcher won’t launch. Some folks are having luck fixing the intro crash by disabling their anti-virus software. Other players are getting a message saying “activation required” when they try to launch the game, with some reporting that logging in and out of the Rockstar Launcher helps.

Other players aren’t getting any audio. Some had luck by switching their audio output.

Several players are reporting getting stuck in an infinite load screen, though there doesn’t seem to be a fix for that yet.

I’ve been a PC gamer a long time, so I know better than to expect a perfect launch, but I’m not alone in feeling a little frustrated. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some patches sooner rather than later. Rockstar sent Kotaku to a link advising players to update their graphics drivers to solve unexpected crashes and wrote, “We’re actively looking into any other issues as they arise and we’ll continue to update the Rockstar Support pages with more information as it becomes available.” The support page for PC issues is fairly sparse so far.

Are you having any issues I haven’t listed here? Any fixes you’ve found? Let’s help each other out in the comments.


  • Trying to play a game on my 6 core 1080Ti machine that my friends on consoles all finished many months ago, and stuck frozen at a load screen, finally get that sorted, and have no audio, and getting crunchy frame rates.
    Look across at my PS4Pro and ring a mate and borrow his disc…


    • Consoles have become “good enough” for me with the Xbox One X, so I’m falling into the same boat. PC gaming doesn’t cause me too many problems but when it does it’s a fucking headache that shouldn’t exist.

      • So, you tried to play RDR2 on your gameboy? No? OK! So, why do you think that trying to run it on a crappy PC is going to run well? First of all, half the people having isues are on crappy Intel cpu’s. Secondly, half of THOSE people are having issues because their PC’s are not maintained at least to a 50 IQ , barely I.T literate standard and have outdated drivers. I run it perfectly fine on my 2600x and 1070 at 60-90 FPS on ultra at 1080p (dont use 144mhz monitor as I dont use my pc for gaming much) so, yeah. Check your own stuff before you whinge kid.

        • Oh fuck off with that elitist dickwaving bullshit, I’ve been PC gaming since the DOS days. Rockstar released a shitty port the same as always, no surprises here. I’m willing to bet you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • I just upgraded to a gtx 1660 ti (from an old r9 390) just for Red Dead 2.

    That is disheartening if you are only getting 50-60 frames on high with a gtx 1080

    Hopefully by the time i get around to buying it (maby in a week or so) they have addressed performance as i was keen to play on at least high.

    Have you done much tweaking with the settings or just started out on default “high” ?

    • Nvidia recommends a 2060 for 60fps on high at 1080p. I feel like the value proposition for PC gaming isn’t what it used to be. I switched over to PS4Pro for single player gaming last year. Its not perfect but it just doesn’t make sense to me to drop $1500 on a gaming PC any more, particularly when games I want to play are PS exclusive or timed exclusive like RDR2


      I really don’t understand what the hell people are on today if they think its shit to get that kind of FPS on a brand new game with hardware that came out last year and then got a small boost and resold with a slightly new name. Like, come on…

      • I can get 50-60 on any game with enough tweaking and its what i am for but with my new gpu i would have hoped i could get high settings myself and be at 50-60

        I dont want to play a new game on medium / low and if a GTX 1060 (which is better than my card) isnt getting alot on High then i really have no hope which is a bummer.

      • 1. It’s not a brand new game, it’s a 1 year old console game for consoles that came out 3 years (or more) ago. So yeah it should be doing better than that on a 2060.

        Admittedly however you really shouldn’t bother gaming on a 2060, get a 1070 TI for less with more grunt.

  • I still havent been able to launch GTAV on pc for well over a year, so this comes as no surprised and virtually no help from them.

  • I had the crash on startup issue so I went to bed while the internet figured out what was wrong… the problem was indeed my antivirus (Avast). Hopefully that’s fixed soon or I’ll be finding a new antivirus.

    Thanks to work responsibilities, I only had time to do one benchmark this morning so I cranked everything right up and kicked it off – it looked smooth but then it told me my average fps was 28 so I’m going to have some tweaking to do tonight, (unsurprising).

    My system: i5 8600k @ 4.8ghz, 32gb RAM @ 2666mhz, GTX 1080 with modest OC

  • Looks like waiting a month for the Steam launch will be useful just for the bug fixing.

    Also, from what I’ve seen, the game hates having less than 8 threads available

  • Getting spectacular performance on my rig, avg 90fps in bench with all on high (including the advanced settings) with TAA (no MSAA) @ 1440p. There are very occasional dips into the high 50s but unnoticeable with g-sync.

    My setup: i7 8700k @ 4.6ghz, Aorus RTX 2080 Super factory OC, 16GB RAM

  • Touch wood, that im am not getting any issues yet. Decryption only took about 10 minutes, another 10 to download the remaining files and i seem to be getting a stable 75 fps on Vulkan api.

    My specs are an i7 9700k, 16gb ram and a EVGA 1080ti.

    Although one issue i did have is that i have to reload the launcher because of an “activation error”, im hoping these bugs will ironed out in a few days.

  • Running a 1080ti gigabyte with 11gig on board, 32gig ram and an i7700. Got everything set to high at 2440 resolution and getting 30fps just fine, figure for a cinematic single player game the 30fps is bearable….just.

    Got the weirdest bug tho, the menu screen only half appears when I hit “escape”. The bottom Half of the screen stays in full colour “in game” mode and the top half seipia tones for the menu but it just hangs like that! Anyone else ever dealing with this Or something similar in the past?

  • IMO the effort R* has put into this port, the desire of PC gamers to be able to reap the benefits of their hardware, the fact that it is digital only (which generally adds cost to the full purchase price due to user convenience and server costs), AND the sheer quality of the game in question… The price is definitely justifiable.

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