Steam: Fallout 3 failed to start (error code 80)

Here’s a really quick one: I kept getting this error when I tried to launch my recently purchased copy of Fallout 3. I googled around a bit, and while I found people with the same problem, no fixes were available.

"Steam - Game Launch Failed" error dialog

Fallout 3 failed to start (error code 80).


While not an actual solution, I’ve been able to circumvent this problem by closing Steam, and re-opening it. This will allow you to launch the game successfully, but only once. If you quit the game, and try to launch it again, it won’t work. To get it to launch again, simply repeat the process – close Steam, re-open it.

I’ll try and figure out how to fix this once and for all.

See Also

Steam Forum Post – Fallout 3 fell over and went boom :(

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Aaron says:

    I am having the exact same issue with Bad Company 2…except that it does not work whether or not i re-start steam ;(

    • Matt Refghi says:

      – Activating the beta or normal UI, whichever you're not using. (Steam > Settings > Beta Participation)
      – Creating a shortcut to the game executable on your desktop. Find the executable within the Steam directory. Make sure sure to enable the "Run this program as an administrator" field in the Properties > Compatibility section of the desktop shortcut. (applicable to vista/7 only).

      I'll take another look at this tonight.

  • Dwarfenman says:

    Well all my steam games are doing it and i have about 500 $ of steam games i now cant play

  • Taylor says:

    im still having troubles. ive tried opening then closing and it doenst work

  • Eddies1214 says:

    i have issue with skyrim, i think i have the cause: i had skyrim running but my sister pressed the power button. when i reopened skyrim, error 80.

  • So i disabled Avast and closed steam then i open the game and it works :3

  • Flemming says:

    im having this problem with prototype, and restarting dont do anything

  • Sn00pY says:

    i have this problem with X3 >.< lucky me!

  • If you update steam it will work

  • 11 says:

    i have skyrim and after this pc health check it crashed so now it says “skrim failed to load couse of error code 80” then i tryed closing steam and reopening it but still wont work!

  • Dr. Red says:

    oh my god Ive deleted clientregistry.blob and when I start it right before it gets to the menu or what ever it is CAUSE IVE NEVER SEEN IT it crashes WHY, WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN

  • Dr. Red says:

    but my problem is with poker night 2

  • Luca Troiani says:

    well my steam is doing it with Ace of Spades and I have tried launching it from my desktop and from steam and i closed and re-started steam and still it won’t work. What do I do??

  • Wesley Weaver says:

    I have this issue with fallout new vegas. It was working before and then when i entered Caesars tent the game crashed and then when i tried to re-open it I received the message ” fallout New Vegas failed to start (Error code 80) how do i officially get it to work?