Have you ever bought a game on PC and not been able to play it?

O maestre

New member
Nov 19, 2008
I did something ridiculously stupid but not that damaging. there was this radio/DVD store that was going out of business and they had one last sale. So I bought a bunch of games, not realising that some of them had been used. Long story short, I had a bought a lot of MMO's and naturally there was no valid play time included dumb dumb dumb dumb! Besides those online titles I snagged such great titles like a 90's game about Ebola and a VHS called "Tv-Fireplace" whit 4 hour footage of a fireplace... It wasn't a total loss I got some good PS2 titles as well.

Tuesday Night Fever

New member
Jun 7, 2011
This is going to sound dumb, but Half-Life: Opposing Force.

Now, I'd played PC games before, but I'd never owned any. I'd been a console and handheld gamer up to that point. So when I finally decided to get into PC gaming I wanted to play something big and popular. At the time, Half-Life was all the rage. So I went down to Best Buy, walked into the PC game section for the first time, and was confronted by two boxes... Half-Life: Game of the Year Edition and Half-Life: Opposing Force. I had no concept of expansion packs, so in my ignorant 11-year-old mind my choice came down to 'dorky looking guy in an orange tin can' or 'badass looking soldier.' I went with 'badass looking soldier.'

Needless to say, I was back at Best Buy the next day to buy Half-Life: Game of the Year Edition.


New member
Apr 6, 2004
Zac Jovanovic said:
Nah, that's just dual channel, a minor performance boost. Wouldn't affect the volume of RAM.

There are some versions of windows that limit usable RAM, such as starter edition and 32bit versions. But it's usually 3.1-3.4gb in my experience. Also some motherboards have Memory mapping, which will decrease or increase displayed RAM size.
The amount isn't static. The cap on 32 bit systems is 4GB on board memory total. This means that video card memory and other sources are higher priority than system RAM. A really beefy video card on a 32-bit OS will actually lower performance because the system can't utilize on board RAM due to the card.

Not saying that wa the case, but it's a possibility.

raeior said:
Jeroenr said:
owh..., forgot about the copy protections.
Wasn't Starforce a full blown rootkit?
Well most of the copy protection systems are rootkits to avoid detection by tools used to pirate stuff but Starforce was really nasty. Also their developer (some russion company) spread links to torrent sites for one game after their developer said "Well we don't need no copy protection (especially Starforce) we just make good games and that will be enough" but I'm not sure which game it was. Galactic Civilizations 2 maybe. Was quite a PR desaster with the Starforce company going "Oh it was just to show you what happens if you don't use our stuff we obviously didn't mean to encourage anyone to pirate the game from this link we prominently posted!".

There was also this really good PR move where they offered you some money if you were willing to travel to Russia and could prove that their copy protection caused damage to hard- or software provided by them and only by them. Of course you had to come to them first and pay the money for the flight or whatever yourself. Obviously nobody was willing to do this so they used this as a proof that their system was obviously perfectly fine and all those complaints about it where by evil pirates. There were even reports of Starforce destroying hardware like CD or DVD drives by tampering with the firmware or something I can't quite remember.
The first example was Stardock Entertainment with Galactic Civilizations 2 and that terribly backfired because more people only pirated it to try it out then bought the game. It wound up being one of Stardock's biggest sellers until Sins of a Solar Empire was released.

The second example, hoo boy do I remember that. To clarify, optical burners have set operational speeds that accommodates to minimum and maximum limits of the drive motors. Standard practice really. They also have particular chipset configurations that identify themselves as writable hardware. The Starforce DRM would detect this identification and would issue commands to the computer to slow the drive down to well below the minimum limits in step down procedures. This would cause the drive motors to burn out and physically damage the drive to the point of not operating. The really insidious part is that because the commands were done intermittently it was difficult to trace to the DRM as detectable problems would occur well past the point Starforce was installed. It was an evil system and I'm glad it's nonexistent now.

Back on topic, No, I can't say I've had any issues at the time of purchase. I've had a few issues down the road when I upgrade though but that's because the hardware or OS Kernel would be more advanced that the game was expecting and essentially crap itself. Then again, I usually do considerable research prior to purchasing a game. I rarely just snatch one up without checking it out first and the rare cases I do it's because I actually have prior experience with the dev and know what to expect.


New member
Nov 30, 2010
Absolutely. Sometimes because of a shitty port, sometimes stability issues and sometimes because my ailing mchine can't handle it.

To this day Just Cause 2 Crashes after a few minutes of play. I couldn't find a fix despite it being extremely old by now.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was such an awful port that one crash lead to another. The controls became impossible to bind and the mouse movement was terrible. It was a real shame, despite having boring gameplay I anticipated some excellent voice acting and world building.

I remember that S.T.A.L.K.E.R hadn't a hope in hell of being played on my laptop at the time. It was just out and even without the terrible framerate I was getting, it was horribly unstable and awkward to play. It's lucky that I gave it another try when I built a decent desktop rig; it's now one of my favourite games of all time.


New member
Jun 16, 2012
last one i can remember is that i could get the sound working in Rocksmith 2014.

Turns out i had to turn off 7.1 in my headset, it really didnt like that. problem is i keep forgetting to turn it back on for normal games.

9 out of 10 times though a game installs, and plays, just fine.


New member
Mar 15, 2011
Currently I do not, but it has happened, and almost every time it's been The Elder Scrolls.

When I first bought Morrowind, I had an onboard video card, I won't say it wouldn't run it... but I got BSOD on average every 30 minutes of playtime, and despite that still put innumerable amount of hours into the game before finally buying a video card.

My love of Morrowind made me purchase Oblivion Collector's Edition, a game that due to it's requirement for a rather beefy video card with a minimum Pixel Shader 2.0 left me unable to play this game I had been salivating for, for about 6 months or so at which time I built a new PC.

Then of course came Skyrim, I had thought I was prepared this time, I exceeded all the system requirements, except for one main thing. The internet connection. I ended up living out in the sticks in my Grandpa's old farmhouse, a good 15 miles from the nearest town, where the only internet available was dial-up, no big deal I thought, it was a single player game. Alas it's dependence on Steam as the only PC Platform required me to install a service that simply put will NOT work under any circumstances on dial-up, simply hanging to the point of locking up every time I tried to launch it. I couldn't even get my game activated and Steam updated far enough to allow me access to the vaulted "offline mode". So once again I had to wait 6 months until I finally rejoined civilization and moved back to a town with broadband. I was a bit sore at steam for that whole mess, I've since mostly gotten over it.


New member
Apr 22, 2011
I have never had a problem I was not able to solve and I almost never have problems to begin with. But I think that this is an unfair standard. Until one year ago I was an IT guy (for 6 years) and now I am a professional programmer. I know a great deal about computer software and hardware and I am always strict with myself about performing preventative maintenance (I reinstall windows every 6 months or so, for example.)

In addition, I want to note that I think it is perfectly reasonable for yo to not want to deal with the additional effort required to PC game. Too often PC gamers get down on people for not liking our hobby, and that is silly.


New member
Oct 6, 2009
Dead Century said:
Doesn't happen very often, but yeah. More likely that some kind of DRM or software that goes along with the game is the actual issue in my experience. It's why I won't buy games on PC unless they use Steamworks or are DRM free.
Kinda weird, bought FC3 and yet Uplay didnt really screw anything up not even once.


New member
Mar 18, 2012
Most recently would be my GoG copy of Miasmata which runs like like crap even though I made all the graphical settings as low as they would go. I first assumed my 2009 laptop was finally running out of steam so I booted up a different hiking simulator (Skyrim) and it ran just fine. Not exactly 1080p ultimate graphics, but fine. I guess that's the difference between a game that was made by a studio with a few dozen people and an indi game made by 2 brothers. Another would be my Steam copy of Soul Reaver which won't run. I could try a cobbled together fan patch but I don't care seeing as my ps1 copy works fine on my ps3, ps1, and pc through emulation. Another reason I won't fully abandon consoles for pc anytime soon. Luckily, GoG's installers have otherwise been kind to me and I was able to run most of my GoG games on Linux through Wine after I accidentally wiped my hard drive


New member
Jul 14, 2009
Way back in the before times, in the long long ago, I got a copy of The Elder Scrolls Redguard with my 3Dfx Voodoo II (I think it was a II) card, but never got around to it until I later upgraded to a pair of Diamond Monster cards, and the game just refused to play.


Master of Unlocking
Nov 20, 2009
The older fallout games on steam , never could get them working correctly the colors where all messed up. Was going to get them on gog but yeah that did not work out.


New member
Oct 25, 2012
Only 1 and I fixed it pretty easily.

It was Jade Empire, it just immediately crashed on the loading screen but found the solution by googling.

It doesn't happen often on PCs and usually there is a pretty simple solution available almost immediately to you.

I've still got an unplayable 3DS game sitting here:
Devil Survivor Overclocked (EU version), when it was localized in the EU region from NA it developed a game breaking bug whereby the summoning of a demon would freeze the game and you would be unable to continue. They did eventually release a patch for this but this game was never released in Australia, I imported it from the UK because we are both PAL, however, we have different eshops and because the game was never released here, Nintendo never put the patch on the Australian Eshop...

I ended up importing a US 3DS to play NA region games including this one so hopefully I'll never experience that type of thing again.


New member
Mar 31, 2010
Sword of the Stars 2 when it came out, couldn't get past the main menu. The devs did fix it though.


New member
May 15, 2012
Thief: Deadly Shadows on Steam. Still haven't gotten the damn thing to work. Always a possibility with older games, but I wish Steam would do like GOG and ensure compatibility.

I just ended up downloading The Dark Mod and playing that instead.


New member
Feb 10, 2008
More than once:

- Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
After I started to play the framerate slowly sank to a like five per second over time. Apparently because of memory leaks or something.

- Dungeon Keeper 2
Bought it from GoG.com but I couldn't get it to work one bit. I reckon they didn't update it for Windows 7 properly.

- Thief: Deadly Shadows
Same as with DK2, but from Steam. Can't even get it booted properly, just a black screen.

- LoadOut
Okay technically I didn't buy it, but I'll count it anyway. For some reason it gives me BSoD's after about fifteen minutes of gameplay.

- Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: Vietnam
Back when I was just getting into PC gaming I thought of buying BF:V, but as I was a complete newb when it came to system requirements I failed to check them, resulting to it just not working on my computer. When I traded BF:V in for BF2 it did boot but had humongous graphical artifacts.

- Brink
Man did I anticipate that game. But the netcode was so terrible that I could not load a single online game without it having unplayable lag or disconnects. Shame really.

- World of Warcraft
When I first bought I ended up with a copy with two broken discs. Traded it in; another broken disc. The toy store (yes it was so long ago I still bought my games at toy stores) then had to order a new copy, so it was about two/three weeks before I could actually play it, the client wasn't downloadable back then or I was simply unable to.


New member
Feb 22, 2012
A couple of years ago, I bought RIFT in a Steam sale. It must have been incompatible with some fundamental part of my computer, because as soon as I downloaded it the whole system started going crazy - slowed to a crawl, randomly shutting down, that sort of stuff. It didn't even occur to me that the game could be to blame, so I looked for and tried pretty much everything else before uninstalling it out of desperation, at which point everything magically resolved itself.

If anyone can offer some sort of explanation, I'd love to hear it. I still own the game and would quite like to try it out at some point.


New member
Feb 25, 2010
A couple times.

I remember buying the expansion pack for the original Black and White, and while I could play it for awhile, it never saved my game. So, I always had to start from the beginning of the expansion every time I wanted to play it. Never did figure out what was wrong with it.

Then there was Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich. My computer at the time wasn't good enough to actually play it. So, I took the game to a friend's house, and played it on HIS computer. Well, the first few levels, at least. A month or so later, I got a new computer that could play it.

And, most recently, Minecraft. I bought Minecraft... and for some reason, I couldn't play it. I was never able to figure out why it wouldn't run on my PC. Eventually, I just gave up. Probably for the best, anyways. Don't really need THAT much of a time sink in my life.

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Apr 10, 2020
Good god man all the time back when I was into PC gaming. Desperados 2, Return of the King, a couple of RPGs... fortunately I have a laptop now so I don't even try :p


New member
Apr 7, 2011
I have three games that are unplayable for me right now, due to what I think is a bug in my graphics card. Not the driver, the card.

Torchlight 1 and 2, and Minecraft.

I have no idea why, but when I play these games, at a random time during playing it, my screen will go black, sound will cut out(usually), and the computer will completely stop responding until I force the power off.

I get no BSODs, no memory dumps to examine for problems, nothing in the event logs except for "system was improperly shut down(yeah, no shit)"

I watch both CPU and GPU temps while playing games, and nothing's overheating. I can play games like Guild Wars 2 on max settings with very little trouble, so I simply don't know what the problem is.

The problem has continued to happen across multiple different OS installs(Windows 7, Windows 8 RC, Windows 8, Windows 8.1), fresh installs each time, all drivers always at their latest versions.

I'm confuzzled.