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Knowledgebase: Game related
Common Steam Game errors & tips
Posted by Panagiotis Mantzouranis on 05 November 2012 06:41 PM

In this KB we will try to present common steam errors as well as possible solutions.


1. Steam fails to launch

Solution A: It is always good practice to delete 2 steam files (ClientRegistry.blob &  config\SteamAppData.vdf). Then launch and close steam (without login in) in order to recreate these files.

Try it after every Steam Client Update, or whenever you update a steam game on your game server.

------------------------------------------------------------CODE START------------------------------------------------------------

del "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\ClientRegistry.blob" /q /f

del "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\config\SteamAppData.vdf" /q /f

--------------------------------------------------------------CODE END--------------------------------------------------------------

Solution B: If the above fails, delete everything inside Steam folder apart from:

  • "Steamapps" Folder
  • steam.exe

Launch steam.exe and it should re-download everything needed.

In order to automate the procedure above, we suggest the following:

Create a folder on your server name e.g. "Steam only"

Copy steam.exe to the folder and execute it. It will download all the neccesary files. Now create a deployment profile, enable mirror but exclude "steamapps". Add this deployment profile to each steam game.

It will ensure that the client uses a clean copy of steam each time.


2. This game is currently unavailable / Black Screen

Cause: Call of Duty Black Ops (and possibly other games) encrypt the game exe right after download.

Solution: Obtain the unencrypted file by copying it to another location before encryption. Delete the .exe in question (eg. BlackOpsMP.exe), verify game cache and as soon as the .exe downloads, copy it to another folder.

You will know you have the unencrypted file from the small size difference (around 3 kb) compared to the encrypted one. Now copy the .exe to the clients (manually or during automatic deployment)

Cause: Users have reported that launching a game with -applaunch parameter without it being fully updated may create the problem.

Solution A: Keep games updated. Use deployment profiles when possible and update a master copy on Server

Here is the KB from Valve:

Most users have discovered that "Verify Integrity of Game Cache" fixes the problem, at least temporarily.

Solution B: By deleting the respective .ncf file from steam\steamapps, you are effectively reinstalling the game (without re-downloading it) which takes some time but also fixes the problem.

Try adding a batch script (pre-license) in the executable and check if it solves the problem.

E.g CoD Black Ops

------------------------------------------------------------CODE START------------------------------------------------------------

del "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\Steamapps\call of duty black ops mp binaries.ncf" /q /f

--------------------------------------------------------------CODE END--------------------------------------------------------------

Now, use steam://install/<id> to automatically start the Game installation. When it finishes, the customer will have to manually launch the game from the Steam menu.

Solution C: You can also force a game to "Verify Integrity of Game Cache" by launching steam with command line: steam://validate/<id> (where <id> is the steam game id number)


3. Steam automatically downloads updates for games

If you keep steam games on a server and deploy them before game launch, you probably do not want steam to download updates automatically. Steam stores the option to disable automatic downloads for each game in registry.

Cause: Automatic updates is enabled in game properties

Solution: Use the registry script below manually or along with a deployment profile to disable automatic updating. Replace Steamappid with the application's correct id.


------------------------------------------------------------CODE START------------------------------------------------------------

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


--------------------------------------------------------------CODE END--------------------------------------------------------------


You can also use this utility created by a steam user. Be aware that we take no responsibility for any problems that may arise from its use.


Note: After the (14 Feb 2013) Steam update, Steam stops downloading when a game is launched.

- Suspend all downloads automatically when a game is launched


4. Steam Guard asks for access code

Steam Guard is a relatively new Steam security feature.

Learn more here:

Solution: To disable it go to Steam >Settings >Account >Manage Steam Guard Account Security > Disable Steam Guard


5. Steam games save folder changes depending on the steam account used

Read this KB


6. CoD Black Ops 2 Main Menu misses text (and possibly other titles)

Cause: The steam folder and/or complete path is too long.

Solution: Shorten the folder name or move the steam folder to an upper folder.

If you have more tips & suggestions regarding Steam & its problems, please submit them to our forum & we will add them here.

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