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

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • 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

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According to users, you might experience issues with Civilization 5 if your graphics card drivers are outdated.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

DriverFix automatically update driversThe 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.

In order to remove Lucid Virtu entirely, along with its associated files, it’s recommended to use a dedicated removal tool.

There are many great tools that can help you with that, but the best is IObit Uninstaller so we strongly recommend trying it out.

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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.


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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 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

Go to Local Files and click on Verify Integrity of Game Cache.
Civilization V unable to start correctlyNote: 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.


Unable to install DirectX in Windows 10? Check this guide to solve the issue


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: If the Steam client update is stuck we have an excellent guide to fix that problem for you.


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.

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

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

  • I have a problem running Civilization 5 using windows 10. During program setup when starting civ 5, I loose my mouse curser and can’t continue setting up the game. I’ve updated my drivers but that still didn’t help, any susgestions?