Hearthstone Error Starting Game [FIXED]

Don't let pesky Hearthstone errors like the "Game Not Starting" ruin your favorite card game experience

Hearthstone is definitely one of those games you play on a Saturday afternoon with your pals while playing Lo-Fi songs in the back. What disrupts this otherwise peaceful gameplay experience is the pesky issue of “Hearthstone error starting the game.” This error prevents you from joining a game and keeps popping up making you restart the game. However, in many instances, a simple game restart may not solve this problem and you’ll need to try different fixes. We’ve listed some of the best and easiest fixes you can use to resolve the Hearthstone error starting the game issue. 

Key Takeaways
  • Players have been facing the Hearthstone error starting the game issue quite a lot with no word from developers on an official fix. 
  • You can resolve the Hearthstone starting error by applying the following fixes:
    • Try restarting Hearthstone.
    • Relaunching the Battle.Net Client may work. 
    • Run Hearthstone as an Admin and remove fullscreen optimizations. 
    • Try leaving the Fireside Gathering feature. 
    • Your card deck might be causing the error, try deleting it and manually remaking it. 
    • Reset Hearthstone graphics settings. 
    • Connect to a different Wifi network. 
    • Add an exception for Hearthstone in Windows Firewall settings. 
    • Hearthstone files might have been corrupted, try scanning and repairing them with Battle.Net Client. 
    • Reinstall Hearthstone Completely

Restart the Game

The simplest fix to the problem of the Hearthstone error starting game issue is simply to restart the game. Restarting the game will refresh the state of the game and hopefully, you won’t be facing this issue again.

If you want to go a step further, you can also reboot your PC just to make sure that everything is fresh and ready to go. This fix will solve the problem for most of the players. However, for others, there are tons of fixes you can try below.

Relaunch Battle.Net Client

Battle.Net is the game client from Blizzard Entertainment which has popular games like Overwatch and Call of Duty on it. Hearthstone is also a game that relies on the Battle.Net launcher. Hence, something in the launcher might be causing the error starting game issue in Hearthstone. 

Close Battle.net
Quit Battle.Net from Taskbar

To resolve this issue, you can simply choose to quit the Battle.Net Client from the taskbar. Once you’ve quit it, open up Battle.Net again from either Windows Search or through a desktop shortcut. 

Launch the game again after relaunching the Battle.Net client and see if you’re encountering the error again. You can go a step further and reinstall the Battle.Net client to remove any chances of a buggy file present. 

Run Hearthstone as Administrator and Disable Fullscreen Optimizations

Sometimes Hearthstone can have trouble connecting to a game due to your PC denying permissions. This can also cause game crashes and even display a black screen without any reason. You can resolve this by providing the game administrative privileges in the WIndows. 

  1. First, you need to locate the files for Hearthstone. To do that, open up Battle.Net from your Taskbar. 
  2. Once you open Battle.Net, go to the Hearthstone game tab and click the settings (gear) Icon next to the play button.  
Show Game Files in Explorer Battle.Net
Show Hearthstone Files in Explorer
  1. After clicking on the settings icon, select the “Show in Explorer” option, and you will be directed to the Hearthstone install directory. 
  2. When you’re inside the game’s directory, right-click on the main Hearthstone executable and select properties.

Forspoken as Admin

  1. In properties, click on the Compatibility tab and check the option that says, “Run this program as an administrator.” While you’re at it, also checkmark the option that says “Disable fullscreen optimizations.

Once you’re done, click the OK button to save the settings. Now try launching Hearthstone and see whether you’re getting the game not starting error again or not. If you’re still facing this issue, move along to the other fixes below. 

Leave the Fireside Gathering In-Game

Fireside Gatherings are public spots in the real world where you can come together with people and play Hearthstone. It’s a great feature to help you find like-minded folk and mingle with them sparking real-life friendships. However, this wholesome feature might be what’s causing the Hearthstone error starting game issue. Here’s how you can opt out of Fireside Gatherings. 

Quit Fireside Gatherings in Hearthstone
Image Credit: WindowsReport
  1. Launch Hearthstone from Battle.Net and wait until you reach the main menu. 
  2. Once you do, click on the friends’ tab and you’ll see an arrow on the top right of the friends’ menu. 
  3. Here, you’ll open up options. Click on the Fireside Gathering and choose to leave it.

Doing this will disable the Fireside Gathering feature. Now try queening in for a game and see if the error still shows up. 

Reset Your Card Deck

If you’re constantly receiving Hearthstone error starting game issues, there might be a problem with your deck. If you’re queuing up for a match with an invalid deck, the game might kick you out before things could start rolling. 

You can rectify this issue by simply selecting your main deck and deleting it. After deleting it, you can recreate the deck manually. While you’re recreating your deck, make sure that it doesn’t include any cards that might be banned, and that the deck format matches the game you’re about to join.

Once you’re done, try joining a game now and see if the issue’s been resolved or not. 

Reset Hearthstone Graphics Settings

Using custom graphics settings has also caused the error starting the game to occur for players in Hearthstone. You can easily resolve this issue by simply resetting the graphics settings in Hearthstone. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Exit out of Hearthstone and reach your desktop.
  2. From the desktop, open up the Battle.Net application and locate Hearthstone in your favorite games tab above. 
  3. Once you find it, click on the settings (gear icon) next to it to access game settings. 
  4. Here, the game settings for Hearthstone will be expanded. Simply click on “Reset In-game settings” and click on ok.

Once you reset the in-game settings, try launching Hearthstone again to queue up for a match. Verify if the error persists. 

Switch Networks

The Wifi Network that you’re trying to play Hearthstone on may have limited connectivity or simply isn’t compatible with the game. 

You can try connecting to another Wifi Network to see if the issue still persists on another Wifi network. In case you don’t have another Wifi network in your home, you can try turning on your mobile phone’s cellular internet connection and using a hotspot to connect your PC. 

This will let you test your connection out and verify if the problem is your internet connection or the game. If the problem is still persisting, try the other fixes below.

Add a Firewall Exception for Hearthstone

If switching up the network connection isn’t working for you, then you’ll need to check your Windows Firewall. Sometimes your Windows Firewall is blocking or restricts the game’s access to the internet which can cause Hearthstone errors starting game issues. 

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to add an exception to Hearthstone’s main executable file in the Windows Firewall, here’s how you can do it:

  1.  Open up Windows Search and type “Windows Firewall” in the search bar. You’ll see a result called “Windows Defender Firewall” pop up, click on it. 
Allow an App Through Windows Firewall
Access Firewall Settings
  1. Once the firewall settings open up, click on the option “Allow an App or Feature Through Windows Defender Firewall” on the left. 
Allow Hearthstone Internet Access
Allow Hearthstone in Firewall
  1. In the allow an app or feature through firewall settings, first, click on the Change Setting button on the top right of the app’s window. This will let you alter the firewall settings for individual apps. 
  2. Once you’ve got access to change firewall settings, find the Hearthstone game in the list of applications and make sure to check both Private and Public internet connection types. 

After you’re done, launch Hearthstone again and queue for a match. This has a high chance to resolve your problem by now. If not, then I’m afraid we’re running out of fixes. 

Scan and Repair Hearthstone Files 

There might be some damaged files in your Hearthstone install directory which is why you’re seeing an error starting game error. Files can get damaged due to various reasons including malware and your AV software messing things up. Before you go uninstall the game, try scanning the files first. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Launch the Battle.Net launcher from the taskbar. 
  2. Once in the application, locate Heartstone in the favorite games tab on top and click on the settings (gear) icon next to the play button. 
Scan and Repair Files for Hearthstone
Hearthstone Scan and Repair Files
  1. Here, you’ll see an option named “Scan and Repair.” Select this option and start the process. 

After you start the scan and repair, the Blizzard client will start scanning your game files for any missing or damaged data and replace those specific files with fresh ones. This process may take a few minutes to several depending on your storage speed. Once the process is over, the client will download and replace the files and you can go ahead and launch the game. 

Reinstall Hearthstone

Use this fix as a last resort. If nothing else works, there might be something wrong with your game files or some configuration that you cannot undo. The final solution is to uninstall Hearthstone from your PC completely and then redownload it again. You can do it from Battle.Net by simply clicking on Uninstall button in the game’s settings. 

Did You Resolve Hearthstone Error Starting Game Issue?

There you have it. We’ve listed every possible fix there is to solve the Hearthstone error starting game issue. It’s quite a serious issue as it can randomly happen anytime you queue up for a game. The fixes listed above have been thoroughly tested and players have found them to be helpful in solving this particular issue. Hopefully, it gets patched out in a future update down the line. Until then, keep having fun with your pals on Hearthstone. 

Hearthstone Error Starting Game Fix - FAQs

Is the Hearthstone server being down a cause of the error starting guide issue?

If Hearthstone servers are down, it’s the major issue why you can’t queue up for matches and keep seeing this error.

Do these fixes apply to the mobile version of Hearthstone as well?

Some fixes are applicable for mobile players but most of them are directed toward PC players of Hearthstone.

Hearthstone not launching, what should I do?

Try launching the game in administrator mode or scan and repair your installation files.

Looking for more error-fix guides to resolve your video gaming issues? Check out our complete list of error and crash fix guides on eXputer.

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Ayyoun Ali


Ayyoun is a Senior Writer & Editor for Error Fixes and Game Settings guides on eXputer. He’s been passionate about games and technology since he got his hands on the PS1. He’s got a Software Engineering background and loves to play games for entertainment and understand them from a technical perspective. He has a knack for uncovering solutions for the latest games and presenting them in easy-to-follow guides for his audience. Ayyoun has logged over 1,000 hours on Rainbow Six Seige; you can keep up with his gaming activity on his Steam profile. Experience: 7+ years || Worked For VeryAli Gaming and IGN || Written 200+ Articles || Senior Editor For Game Errors & Settings

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