Valorant – How to Fix the Critical Error when launching the game

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Last year, the unexpected and severe pandemic all but crippled the quota for AAA titles. Sure, some great games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and The Last of Us 2 offered great gaming experiences. But at the same time, the countless number of major releases that were postponed, or poorly rushed, outnumber them. Case in point: mobile gaming, with titles like Among Us and Genshin Impact, soared as millions had to kill time indoors due to self-quarantines. And yet, one more diamond in the rough emerged to gain a significant following within mere weeks: Valorant.

The CS:GO influence is certainly palpable as you load up developer Riot Games‘ latest shooter. The gunplay, the movement and the map design bear striking resemblance to Valve’s iconic first-person shooter. However, Valorant also borrows a page from Overwatch’s book – the inclusion of ‘Hero’ operators.

Each has a specific ability and role, and team-tactics to counter these become vital. Furthermore, Valorant also smartly avoids the Call of Duty: Warzone trap of prioritizing graphics over framerates (although DLSS 2.0 will soon change that). The game runs easily across many hardware tiers of PC gaming, and therefore allows a less-exclusive community presence.

The main reason Valorant hasn’t exactly revolutionized the gaming world is its retreading of familiar ground. This game doesn’t do much more than fuse CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch together. And, even more importantly, it suffers from several notable errors and bugs. The chief culprit in many cases is, ironically, the game’s own anti-cheating client, Vanguard. In most cases, though, it is often hard to tell what’s going on.

A recent emergent issue is the Valorant Critical Error issue upon launching the game

Several players have taken to online forums and social media to share their frustrations upon facing a new issue. The Valorant Critical Error issue sees players faced with an annoying, inexplicable message window when trying to run the game. It occurs soon after clicking the icon, and it very persistent, meaning a retry won’t change things.

The message gives you the option of notifying the developers, although this doesn’t get your game up and running. However, the fact that Riot Games took the time to address the issue bodes well. It means that in the coming weeks, a patch or update may come to fix the Valorant critical error.

In the meantime, however, we’ve got to get your game back up! Using various tried methods from reliable gaming sources, we’ve compiled this handy guide. Hopefully, you can use these steps to resolve your Valorant critical error as soon as possible.

1) Restart your PC, then relaunch Vanguard and Valorant

Sometimes, even the best machines can accrue errors. The complex, simultaneous processes that make up a computer often start running in abnormal ways. Or, over time, they can develop glitches or bad data sets. When this happens, the buildup of misbehaving processes can lead to a system-wide error. This bug can lead to all kinds of impaired performance on your PC, such as game errors and crashes.

The fix is as old as technology itself. You should restart your PC, which essentially kills all active processes and reruns them. The malfunctioning processes stop, and the fresh bootup performs as expected. In addition, corrupted memory caches are cleaned out, and this reduces the chances of further game errors. Furthermore, the notoriously glitchy Vanguard client will also have a chance to shed errors in its running, and work as intended.

If the fix sounds basic and ineffectual, just know that a simple restart is too often overlooked. We urge all PC gamers to give it a shot, then launch Vanguard and Valorant again.

2) Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of Valorant and game drivers

It is also possible that the developers have issued a more stable, better-performing version of Valorant. Through the use of small hotfixes, patches, and bug fixes, they often release versions that are free from critical errors. In fact, owning an incompatible, obsolete version of the game can lead to even more errors, like the Valorant mismatch error we detailed here. It’s all about checking to see if your Valorant and Vanguard programs have received the latest and greatest versions or not.

In addition, the same holds true about game drivers. These official updates from Nvidia/AMD optimize your fundamental PC gaming component, the GPU, to run games more smoothly. These driver updates contain bug fixes, improvements, and more, and need regular checking too. Therefore, always make sure you have the most current version installed, as it can even quash errors and glitches in games.

Nvidia users can check the GeForce Experience program to see the latest driver updates. Meanwhile, AMD users should check here.

3)  Make sure your Antivirus isn’t blocking the game

Whether you use Norton, McAfee, Avast or any other third-party antivirus, the same risk is present. This is the possibility that it has misread Valorant’s various processes as malware. In these cases, it may resort to blacklisting certain essential files or programs within the game, considering it a security threat. Therefore, you may need to check the antivirus options in the program settings.

Open the antivirus software, and head to the security settings. Look for Exceptions, and try to add the Exception. If you know the Valorant game directory file pathway, you can add it here. If not, press the Windows key and open the icon in file to see its pathway. Adding Valorant and Vanguard as exceptions can help whitelist their online services and game files.

Furthermore, you can also try running the game as Administrator by right-clicking the icon. This helps let Windows Defender know that your program shouldn’t be automatically blacklisted. These steps can potentially eliminate the Valorant critical error.

4) Reinstall Vanguard and Valorant

If all else fails, the issue may lie within the game installation itself. Often at times, errors can develop inside crucial game files, and data can be corrupted. When this happens, your program’s performance will drop and issues will arise. The only fix is to do a clean reinstall, which luckily also applies the latest updates. Since either or both Vanguard and Valorant may suffer from broken/missing files, you should reinstall them.

For more on Valorant, PC gaming, and FPS games, stay tuned!

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