X4: Exitcode 202 (Vulkan runtime/installation issue)
You have landed on this page because the game detected an error while attempting to start.
The issue occurs because the game failed to load a required Vulkan extension. This can happen if your graphics drivers are not correctly installed.
Please follow the sections below in the given order to see if any of the possible causes apply, and whether the provided fix solves your issue. If these steps don't solve the startup problem, please see the last section to get in touch with our support team.
It is likely that your Vulkan drivers (part of the graphics drivers) are not correctly installed. Try a clean reinstall of the latest graphics drivers for your card, directly from the manufacturers website. This should fix the issue.
Running with old drivers
Please verify that you have the latest (or at least the minimum required) drivers installed:
- For NVIDIA graphics cards, upgrade your drivers to 385.41 or later.
- For AMD graphics cards, upgrade your drivers to 17.9.1 or later.
- For Notebooks with both integrated and discrete graphics cards (e.g. AMD Radeon + NVidia), update BOTH drivers. There are known issues where the (fast) discrete card is not detected if the (slower) integrated card does not have the latest drivers.
NOTE: On Windows 8.1 the 17.9.1 drivers are not officially supported by AMD. If you run Windows 8.1 you should use the AMD 17.7.1 drivers instead.
NOTE: On Windows 8 the 17.7.1 drivers are not supported either. We recommend upgrading to Windows 8.1 instead (which is free for all Windows 8 installations).
NOTE: Do not rely on Windows to update to the latest drivers; check the manufacturers website instead.
You can also try a clean install of your graphics drivers by manually uninstalling and then reinstalling them. It may also be worth trying out the latest optional drivers, if the current stable/recommended version doesn't work for you.
Known 3rd-party tools causing the issue
If the issue started occurring recently, after installing some other software, please try reinstalling the latest graphics card drivers again. We are aware that under certain conditions, this startup issue can occur after installing other 3rd-party tools (e.g. the NVIDIA CUDA Toolkit 10.1 Update 1) which break, disable, or tweak the behaviour of the graphics card drivers' Vulkan runtime installation.
ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY - Vulkan error
If you end up with Exitcode 202 and running vulkaninfo (see section under "Further help") just reports the error: 'ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY' without producing any further output, you might be suffering an issue related to the graphics card drivers. The exact cause is unknown to us, but one user reported a solution which involved first doing a clean uninstallation of the current drivers, then installing driver version 19.12.1 and finally installing 20.3.1 on top of that. This particular user was originally running the game on Windows 7 with an AMD FX-8350 CPU and an AMD Radeon RX590, with either the 20.2.2 or 20.4.2 AMD drivers (at the time of the investigation these were the latest recommended and optional drivers available). If you are using the same OS/CPU/graphics card combination and also get this error, this might be worth a try.
Trying to start the game on hardware that is below minimum requirements
Note that the minimum requirements to run the game include a dedicated graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 780/970 or AMD equivalent.
Trying to run the game on cloud services
We have been made aware that trying to start the game on certain cloud services can also trigger this startup issue. We suggest contacting the support team of these services to determine whether they can solve this issue on their side. If they need a technical contact to work out a solution with us, they should contact us through the standard support channel at email@example.com.
Trying to run the game on Parallels Desktop
As per a user report, trying to start the game on Parallels Desktop (on a Mac) will trigger this startup error as well. At the time of this report (2021-04-15) there's no support to run Vulkan games on Parallels Desktop. Users, however, report that starting the game using Boot Camp works for them. While we don't support this setup officially either, you can give that a try at your own risk.
Requesting further support
If you still encounter this problem, your graphics card is above the minimum requirements, and you have verified that you have installed the latest drivers, please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Exitcode 202) with a screenshot of the popup error and your dxdiag and vulkaninfo attached. This Wiki entry explains how to create this information.