Valorant: A Critical Error Has Occurred [FIXED 2023]

A critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated Valorant

Update March 2023: Closing MSI Afterburner will fix the error. You can close it fully via Task Manager through the steps below.

  1. Open Task Manager. 
  2. Search For MSI Afterburner.Valorant Critical Error
  3. And Click On Del Button.
  4. That’s it.

Is the Valorant a critical error has occurred issue not letting you launch this sporty FPS? You’re definitely not alone in the endeavor that you’re suffering from. Thousands of other players have been met with a similar fate where the game just refuses to budge from its position.

Key Highlights
  • Because of faulty game configuration files, people can have trouble launching and playing Valorant.
  • Running the game with administrator privileges can resolve the issue. Do this by right-clicking the game icon and selecting “Run as administrator.”
  • Check if your graphics drivers are up to date and keep them updated to ensure the best possible experience.
  • Double-check if the Riot Vanguard service is stopped or disabled. Valorant will simply not launch with the VGC service not running.
  • Many people have found that tweaking the compatibility settings fixes their issues. Follow the steps in the guide if you don’t know how to.
  • Most people don’t realize that using Valorant’s game installer can also repair the game. If you’ve deleted the installer app, it can be downloaded again and used to repair the game files.
  • In 2023, many are reporting that closing MSI Afterburner or RivaTuner fixes it.
  • Finally, if nothing else works, you have to uninstall the game and all the related applications, such as the Riot Games client, and then reinstall it.

The good news is that you can actually resolve the issue yourself and the process doesn’t even take more than a couple of minutes. 

What is Valorant Critical Error Has Occurred?

Valorant a Critical Error Has Occurred
Valorant a Critical Error Has Occurred

What we have at our disposal here is primarily a launch issue in essence. Valorant fails to start up and immediately crashes when you try launching it on your Windows PC. After the abrupt shutdown, a prompt appears on the screen and says, “A critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated Valorant.” You’re left feeling helpless as you try playing the game repeatedly but the same issues carve the title’s demise.

Since the particular bother surfaces during the launch phase for the famous FPS, the error is also referred to as Valorant crashing on startup. Terming it that way makes it easier to address the problem rather than restating that lengthy text on the error prompt. Now, people frequently ask what exactly is it that’s causing the title to behave this way. From what we can gather, a bevy of reasons come across as plausible for the issue at hand. 

6 Ways to Fix Valorant Crashing on Startup 

Since the Valorant a critical error has occurred issue can result due to many reasons, we’re going to touch base on each of them in the breakdown of the total number of fixes ahead. Be sure to follow the methods diligently for the best results. 

  • Please note that the instructions outlined below take confidence that you’ve already tried restarting your PC a couple of times. If not, we suggest getting to it straight away. 

Start Valorant With Administrator Privileges 

One of the first things that you should try after experiencing the Valorant a critical error has occurred issue is all about providing the game with administrator privileges. Running the game as an administrator means that you get to launch it uninterruptedly without the constraints of special admin privileges.

To do this, look for the game using the Window Search bar by typing in “Valorant.” The application should appear at the top of the search results and present you with different options on the right-hand side of the page. Click on “Run as administrator” and move forward with anything that entails from here on out. 

Running Valorant as An Administrator
Running Valorant as An Administrator

The game should launch on your Windows 10 PC now if everything has gone well. Go ahead with the log-in screen and see if Valorant connects to the relevant servers. If running the title as an administrator has still done nothing for the startup issue, you need to try more complicated fixes—all of which we’ll be getting to from here on out.

Get Your Graphics Drivers Up to Speed

Updating your graphics drivers to the latest version is a must-do if you plan on having the best possible experience with your installed games. Otherwise, a plethora of issues can surface, including Valorant crashing on startup. It’s just a viable prospect of PC gaming and a heavy constituent of smooth performance. We definitely don’t recommend missing out on something as crucial as this.

To update your graphics drivers, you need to take a look at what manufacturer you’ve got the graphics drivers installed of on your PC. Go into the Device Manager section of the device, followed by expanding the “Display adapters” option. Once done, you’ll be able to confirm what drivers your PC has been shipped with.

On a side note, we will be leaving website links for two of the most popular graphics card manufacturers to help you quickly achieve the task at hand. If your particular graphics driver does not relate to these two companies, feel free to look for the one specific to you online. 

After updating your graphics drivers, try launching the title to see if it loads up properly now. There’s a strong likelihood that the game should run as intended, given that we’ve got one of our essential system components up to speed with the rest of the PC. However, if the pertinent hassle still doesn’t budge from its position, keep on reading to try more potential fixes.

Optimize the Startup of the “vgc” Service

VGC is a dedicated service and an acronym for Riot Vanguard. This process will become pretty prevalent on those PCs that have Valorant installed, given its importance for running the FPS properly. The crucial program at hand actually makes it possible for the title to run smoothly and undergo a number of necessary processes.

Out of everything that VGC does for the free-to-play shooter, it also lets it connect to multiplayer servers and establish a stable connection, just so you. However, its mainly concerned with booting up Valorant properly which is exactly what we require to resolve the Valorant a critical error has occurred error.

We are going to double-check whether the “vgc” service is up and running on your system or it’s simply out of order. More often times than not, many players have had the service stopped or disabled, and that’s just downright unworkable for the game itself. 

Let’s dive into the tutorial for enabling VGC without any further ado. Make sure to implement the provided instructions correctly for the best results. 

  1. The first step is to fire up the Services application on your Windows PC. You can do that by searching for it through the Windows Start menu. The following screenshot depicts what to do. Don’t forget to run it as an administrator though. 
    Launching the Services app as an administrator
    Launching the “Services” app as an administrator
  2. You will now be shown to a screen where tons of services will be listed. You will have to look for VGC here so don’t hesitate in scrolling down. The services are arranged in alphabetical order so scrolling down to the services whose names are starting with the letter “V” will be helpful. Once you’ve found it, right-click the service and select “Properties” to get to the next step.
    a critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated valorant
    Accessing the Properties of the VGC Service
  3. The rest of the work is pretty much clockwork. You now have to click on the bar beside “Startup” and that should open up a drop-down menu. Select “Automatic” from there and click on “Start.” This should kickstart the service if it had been stopped earlier.
    valorant crashing on startup
    Starting the VGC Service
  4. You now have to simply click on “OK” to finalize the process. Close the window afterward to complete this solution attempt. 
    Finalizing the Process
    Finalizing the Process

That’s about it for this potential fix. By making sure that “vgc” is running on your Windows PC, you’re genuinely increasing your chances of booting up the game just fine. We advise you restarting the device as well before trying to launch the game again. If you’ve managed to solve the problem now, cheers! But in the case that the problem still manages to be a bother, time to look into more solutions.

Tweak the Compatibility of the Valorant Setup File

The vast majority of troubled Valorant players have been able to get their copy of the game working after implementing this potential solution. Therefore, tweaking the compatibility of the title’s setup file comes across as the most definitive fix to the Valorant a critical error has occurred issue. It appears that after tweaking the game’s setup in the sense that we run it in compatibility mode, the FPS is fixed instantly.

Try replicating the following instructions verbatim and confirm whether it’s something that helps you start playing again. The following steps are going to take it from here. 

  1. The first step is to fire up the File Explorer system utility on your Windows PC. This can be done effortlessly through the Windows Start menu or from the Taskbar if you have it pinned there.
    Opening the "File Explorer" App on Windows 10
    Opening the “File Explorer” App on Windows 10
  2. Opening the File Explorer app should prompt you to look for the “Riot Games” folder. We suggest opening up your Local Drive (C:) to accomplish the objective at hand.
    valorant a critical error has occurred
    Opening the “Riot Games” Folder
  3. After getting into the Riot Games folder, the next directory to get into will be “VALORANT.” Follow the visual illustration of the screenshot below to get this done on the go.
    a critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated valorant
    Opening the “VALORANT” Folder
  4. Get going forward by selecting the “live” folder that’s inside the VALORANT directory.
    valorant crashing on startup
    Selecting the “live” Folder
  5. The next step is to click on the “ShooterGame” folder. Check out the screenshot below if you’re after more information.
    Clicking on the "ShooterGame" Folder
    Clicking on the “ShooterGame” Folder
  6. Right after that, your task is to select the “Binaries” folder.
    Selecting the "Binaries" Folder
    Selecting the “Binaries” Folder
  7. Entering the “Binaries” folder will lead you to click on “Win64.” This should be fairly easy to do. 
    Selecting the "Win64" Folder Next
    Selecting the “Win64” Folder Next
  8. Great going so far. To get to the next step, you have to scroll down the list of present entries until you find the main setup file of Valorant. As soon as you finally dig out, perform a right-click on the file and fire up its “Properties.
    Opening the "Properties" of the VALORANT Setup File
    Opening the “Properties” of the VALORANT Setup File
  9. As soon as you open the “Properties” of the Valorant setup file, the first thing that you’ll need to do is head over to the “Compatibility section.” Check out the screenshot below and learn how to do this.
    valorant a critical error has occurred
    Switching to the Compatibility Tab
  10. Clicking on the “Compatibility” tab will finally lead you where we have been meaning to get to for 9 steps now. This is the area that you will use to first render the game into compatibility mode for Windows 8. Check the box beside the relevant statement and you’ll get that done painlessly. Next up, click on “Run this program as an administrator” as well before you finalize the process. Apply the changes and select “OK” afterward.
    Optimizing the VALORANT Setup File
    Optimizing the VALORANT Setup File

That’s all there is to optimizing the setup file of the well-established FPS. 

Repair Valorant Using the Game’s Installer

Many Valorant players—even experienced ones—might find it surprising to discover that the base Valorant installer software can be used to repair the game as well. The developer has certainly made the installer program multi-faceted in this regard, given the inclusion of this utilitarian functionality.

You first need to get your hands on the Valorant installer though in the case that you want to get started with fixing this startup issue in Valorant.

If you’ve still got the Valorant installer application lying around on your PC, fire it up right away. Otherwise, read the steps given below to not only download the Valorant installer but to learn how to repair the game as well. 

  1. Head over to the official Valorant website to sign in and initiate the download of the installer program. 
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the installer, launch it on your PC. When it starts up, you’ll see that there is an option called “Advanced Options” right below the main “Install” button. Click on it to continue. 
    valorant crashing on startup
    Downloading the Valorant Installer
  3. The next step is to select the exact file location of Valorant and select it from within the installer. The Valorant application should be inside the “Riot Games” folder. Once you’ve found it, further the process by selecting it and letting it repair. This can last for 5-10 minutes. 
    a critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated valorant
    Valorant Installer Advanced Options
  4. As soon as the repair process concluded, click on the Windows Start menu and restart your PC. When the device is back on, launch Valorant again to see if repairing it has done the trick. 
    valorant a critical error has occurred
    Restarting the Windows 10 PC

You should be good to go now, so try launching the game now and see whether the “a critical error has occurred and the process must be terminated Valorant” issue has been resolved. In the case that you still have to put up with this irksome bother, keep on reading to try the final solution we’ve got for you in this guide. 

Reinstall the Title Thoroughly

An uninstall oftentimes works like a charm for fixing various game-related issues and Valorant is no exception. It did the job for the Destiny 2 Crashing PC error, not to mention several others as well. The reinstallation strategy even helps make amends with the How to Make Valorant Completely Stop Crashing affair, which pertains to Valorant indeed but has a different rooted source. 

Therefore, if you have Valorant as a standalone executable application, delete it from your Windows PC. In addition, the same practice goes for the relatively recent Riot Games desktop client that houses all the games coming from the US developer.

It features one of the nicer UI elements we’ve seen as compared to well-grounded entities like Steam and the Epic Games Launcher.

You can easily uninstall applications by heading over to “Add or remove programs” from the Windows Search bar. As soon as you have all things Valorant uninstalled from your device, get the title back on your PC by re-downloading it. We realize that this can get tedious and troublesome, but it’s your only shot left at fixing the game once and for all.  

Therefore, wait until Valorant or the Riot Games desktop client has been fully installed. As soon as you’re prompted that the installation has been completed, fire up the game to see whether it finally launches now.

There’s a strong likelihood that you won’t be putting up with this issue moving forward. It’s time to celebrate if you’ve finally found the fix to this otherwise long-standing problem.

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Matt Hunter

With four years of experience as a tech writer on a multitude of websites, Matt Hunter currently reports to eXputer with the latest in gaming.

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