Sometimes the game can have trouble starting up altogether. Usually this is caused by issues with the local machine rather than a bug/issue with the game.

X4 was to our knowledge the first game which shipped exclusively with Vulkan support which is a very new cross platform graphics API and a replacement for OpenGL/Mental/DirectX (or more specifically Direct3D). Being considered the next gen graphics API which is likely to become more and more popular for other games as well, there are specific issues a user can run into which only applies to games using the Vulkan API. Therefore, it's not uncommon that you don't have an issue with starting all your other games but have difficulties getting X4 to startup correctly.

This page should help you solving the most common mishaps by yourself.

Common Linux (GOG) startup issue

A common installation issue especially on Linux when having purchased the game through GOG is a missing Vulkan runtime. Details how to solve this can be found here.


When you try to start the game, it performs some early startup checks and if it determines a setup issue, will provide you with a popup like the following one which provides you with instructions on how to resolve the problem yourself:

These instructions are provided specifically for the issue which the game identified so you are not presented with random and pointless FAQ steps which might apply to resolve other situations but won't help with the specific issue at hand. In 90% of the cases the instructions on these popups will solve the issue. Important to recognize here is that at the end it states the exitcode of the startup error (Exitcode 212 in the screenshot above).

In addition to that, your browser might popup and open a link with additional instructions. That page contains more detailed descriptions which might apply in rarer cases and also provide more details about how to apply the troubleshooting steps presented in the popup. Users who previously ran into the same issue might have also provided comments which solved the issue for them.

In certain cases the browser might not bring up the troubleshooting page (f.e. if you have "internet security" software installed which prevents the game from opening the link in the browser). In such cases, you can use the list below to bring up the detailed troubleshooting steps:

ExitcodeDetailed Troubleshooting Page

Startup issues without exitcodes

In very specific circumstances the game cannot reliably pre-detect error conditions before the startup failure occurs. In these cases you might not see a popup at all but instead get redirected to a troubleshooting page with the descriptions on how to solve the problem. In these cases please follow the instructions on the page.

Obviously there can be cases where you won't get redirected to the troubleshooting page at all (f.e. if your security software blocked the attempt to open the page). From your point of view this situation will appear as if you start the game and nothing happens. If this occurs, please follow the instructions on this troubleshooting page to distinguish between the cases where bringing up the redirect page simply didn't work or whether you ran into the specific issue pointed out on that page.

If you followed the instructions on that page and figured out these didn't apply to you, you can also give it a blind shot and look at the following list of troubleshooting pages which don't have an exitcode assigned:

Startup ErrorDetailed Troubleshooting Page
Missing Vulkan Runtime
Avest 3rd-party tool incompatibility
Unsupported Intel graphics card issue
NVIDIA driver startup error
Steamoverlay related startup error
Steamoverlay related startup error (type 2)
Steamoverlay related startup error (type 3)
Vulkan specific startup error
3rd-party tool device creation interference

Requesting further support

If you still end up being unable to start the game, please send a mail to with the Subject: "Undefined startup issue" and attach the crash dump file to your mail. This page explains how to locate the crash dump file: Crash Reports and Crash Dumps

Please be aware that this support channel is solely intended to resolve issues with starting up the game. If you run into any other type of problem, please use our troubleshooting section in the official forums to tackle the issue you have.