Fix: Civilization V won’t launch / crashes on Startup

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Civilization 5 is an excellent turn-based strategy game, but for some Windows 10 users it won't even start.
  • All the leads point to the graphics card driver but in this guide, we will fix all the possible issues.
  • If you want to boost any of your game's performance, try using Game Fire.
  • Everybody loves gaming so explore our Gaming Hub for more info.
Civilization V crashes on Startup

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It seems that for some users, Civilization V is no longer working on Windows 10.

Civilization 5 is a great game, but sometimes certain errors can occur. There are various problems that can prevent you from running it, and users reported the following issues:

  • Civ 5 Windows 10 won’t start – Update your graphics card drivers and check if that helps.
  • Civ5 not launching – Try running the game in Compatibility mode and check if that solves the problem.
  • Civ 5 won’t launch after DirectX selection – Can occur if you don’t have the necessary DirectX files. Repair your Civilization 5 installation or install the necessary DirectX components.
  • Civilization V quit unexpectedly – The problem might be your installation or third-party software. Repair your game and remove any incompatible software.
  • Civilization V unable to start correctly – This is most likely caused by missing DLL files, can be fixed by one of our solutions below.
  • Civilization V keeps crashing – Fix it by using one of our solutions.

Users report that Civilization V won’t even run, they just get the error message, and the application crashes.

Keeping your Windows 10 up to date can fix this issue, so we advise you to update your OS first. If updating doesn’t help, you might want to try some of these solutions.

What are the Civilization V system requirements?

When a hardware or software application runs smoothly and efficiently, the system requirements are the configuration that the system must have in order for it to do so.

Failure to achieve these prerequisites can result in installation issues as well as performance issues during installation, thus the minimum system requirements for Civ V are as follows:

  • Operating System: Windows® XP SP3/ Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7 
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz 
  • Memory: 2GB RAM 
  • Hard Disk Space: 8 GB Free 
  • DVD-ROM Drive: Required for disc-based installation 
  • Video: 256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 7900 GS or better, or Core i3 or better integrated graphics 
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card 
  • DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c

The recommended requirements to run the game smoothly are:

  • Operating System: Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7 
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Quad Core CPU 
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM 
  • Hard Disk Space: 8 GB Free 
  • DVD-ROM Drive: Required for disc-based installation 
  • Video: 512 MB ATI 4800 series or better, 512 MB nVidia 9800 series or better 
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card 
  • DirectX®: DirectX® version 11

If you think your computer’s specifications suffice for the game to be installed and launched, then let’s move on to the methods by which you can make it work again.

What can I do if Civilization V doesn’t work in Windows 10?

1. Update your graphics card driver

According to users, you might experience issues with Civilization 5 if your graphics card drivers are outdated.

Of course, the issue can be fixed by downloading and installing the latest drivers. Visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website, find your model, and download the latest drivers for it.

Although it sounds simple in theory, sometimes it’s more complicated and you may actually do more harm by installing the wrong driver on your system.

The safer and easier solution is to download and install DriverFix, a specialized solution that will update and fix your drivers in a couple of seconds automatically.

You don’t even have to click on anything because after installing, it will start working by scanning your system for driver problems or updates.

When the process finishes, you will see a complete list of the driver’s situation.

The only input required from you is to either click on the Update All button or to click on each box from the left of the driver names and hit the Update button from their right.



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2. Remove Lucid Virtu

According to users, you might experience problems with Nvidia graphics if you have Lucid Virtu installed.

This solution applies only to Nvidia owners, so if you don’t own Nvidia graphics, you can skip this solution and try something else.

Many users reported that they fixed the problem with Civilization 5 simply by removing Lucid Virtu from their PC.

Alternatively, you might be able to fix the problem by switching to the older version of Nvidia drivers.

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In order to remove Lucid Virtu entirely, along with its associated files, it’s recommended to use a dedicated removal tool. Uninstalling from Windows Settings will leave behind leftover files. These will clutter your PC and may cause additional errors in the future.

Uninstaller software are specifically created to find and remove all files associated with the app you want to delete. You just select what you want to uninstall, and the software will automatically find and completely uninstall that app from your PC.

3. Uninstall your display driver

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the menu.
    Civ 5 won't launch after DirectX selection
  2. Expand the Display Adapter section, find your Display Device driver, right-click it, and choose Uninstall device.
    Civ5 not launching
  3. Restart your computer.

Windows will now install the default driver for your graphics card and the issue should be resolved.

4. Run Civilization V in compatibility mode

  1. Find the Civilization V shortcut and right-click it.
  2. Choose Properties from the menu.
    Civ 5 Windows 10 won't start
  3. Go to Compatibility tab, check Run this program in compatibility mode for and select Windows 8 from the list. Click Apply then OK to save the settings.
    Civ5 not launching

5. Update your BIOS

This can be an issue if you’re having onboard graphics or an onboard and dedicated graphics card.

It can happen that BIOS doesn’t support Windows 10, and this can create a certain issue, so you might want to try updating it.

Before you start we have to warn you that updating the BIOS is an advanced technique and if not done properly it can cause permanent damage to your computer.

If you don’t know how to do that, please, take your computer to the official repair center and ask them to do it for you.

For more information on how to perform the update, be sure to check out our guide on how to flash your BIOS.

6. Verify the integrity of the game’s cache

  1. Open Steam, locate Civilization 5, right-click it and choose Properties.
    Civilization V quit unexpectedly
Civilization V unable to start correctly

Go to Local Files and click on Verify Integrity of Game Cache.
Note: Keep in mind that this process can take a couple of minutes, so don’t interrupt it.

7. Install DirectX

According to users, problems with Civilization 5 can occur if you don’t have the necessary version of DirectX.

To fix the issue, you just need to download and install the necessary version for Civilization 5. You can download the required DirectX right from Microsoft’s website.

Alternatively, you can check Civilization 5’s installation directory for the DirectX directory.

In there you should find the DXSetup file. Just run the setup to install DirectX and the issue should be resolved.

8. Run the game in windowed mode and turn off Anti-aliasing

Many users reported issues while using Civilization 5 and DirectX 11.

According to them, the game is unable to start, and the problem seems related to the anti-aliasing feature. To fix the issue, you need to check the game’s settings.

According to users, simply set the game to run in Windowed mode and turn off anti-aliasing. After doing that, the game should run without any issues on your PC.

It might not be necessary to run the game in windowed mode, so you can just try disabling anti-aliasing.

9. Make sure that your Steam client is up to date

  1. Start Steam.
  2. Click on Steam in the top right corner and choose the Check for Steam Client Updates option.Civilization V keeps crashing
  3. The Steam client will check for available updates and install them automatically.

Note: We have a guide on what to do if the Steam client update is stuck.

10. Try running the game in Offline mode

  1. Start Steam.
  2. Choose Steam from the toolbar and select Go Offline.
    Civ 5 Windows 10 won't start
  3. Click Restart in Offline Mode.
    Civ 5 won't launch after DirectX selection
  4. Once the Steam restarts, try running Civilization 5 again.

11. Copy the missing DLL files

  1. Try running Civilization 5 from its installation directory.
  2. Write down the name of the missing file. It should be d3dx9_42.dll, but can be a different file on your PC.
  3. Navigate to the DirectX directory and find that file. In our example, the file should be d3dx9_42_x86 or d3dx9_42_x64 (these files can sometimes have a prefix before them such as Aug2009 or Dec2005).
  4. Run the file that matches your system architecture (32 or 64-bit system).
  5. You should see a list of files. Locate the missing file, in our case that would be d3dx9_42.dll, and copy it to the Civilization 5 installation directory.

For more information and potential solutions to this error, we recommend that you check out our post on Civ 5 video settings not saving.

We hope this guide helped you to run Civilization V on your Windows 10 computer. If you have any comments or questions, just reach to the comment section below.

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