Team Fortress 2 Crashes, HL2, Server Errors, Freezes, and Fixes

Team Fortress 2 Fixes to server crashes, hl2 exe crash, random freezes and low FPS.

Team Fortress 2 is currently the most played PC multiplayer game following its move to free to play business model. This transition hasn’t been smooth, Valve servers are over loaded, and new players are finding it difficult to get started with the game.

That said, there are also some technical difficulties faced by those, who haven’t played any source engine game before. So, if you are among these and are experiencing any of these issues, start reading the troubleshooting guide that follows.

1# Team Fortress 2 Low FPS Fix
If you have been experiencing the drop in FPS in Team Fortress 2 lately, this fix may help you resolve the issue.

Go to this location:

C:\Program Files\Steam\appcache\stats

You will find a file name called:

UserGameStats_####_#### (# = some numbers)

This file basically records different stats in Team Fortress 2 and is updated frequently while playing the game.

So, if you have any antivirus program running in the background, this file will be scanned all the time whenever it updates, which is too frequent. Resulting in low performance of Team Fortress 2 or say Drop in FPS.

In order to resolve the issue, you need to add this file/folder into the exceptions list of your antivirus/internet security program so it doesn’t scan it all the time.


  • Open up your Anti-virus program
  • Go to the settings menu
  • Select Exceptions/Exclusions
  • Add the following folder to the scan exceptions

C:\Program Files\Steam\appcache\stats

Restart and enjoy the smooth gameplay.  If you don’t know how to add this file into exceptions list of your antivirus, check the following images for the corresponding security programs.

This may also increase other Steam games performance. Thanks ChrisCTX for the Fix.

2# Team Fortress 2 Replay Editor Crashes

3# Can’t Launch TF2 Validating Steam Files Stuck
Go to the \team fortress 2\tf folder, backup your maps, screenshots, and everything else. Delete the \team fortress 2\ folder or you can back it up somewhere else and copy the maps back later. Now, once you have done all that, try to launch the game.

4# Team Fortress 2 Map Error
If you are getting a crash or an error while trying to load any specific map in TF2, then go to your Team Fortress 2 maps folder and delete that specific map.

Next time when you fire TF2, it will download that map and hopefully connect successfully. In order to download the map, you will need to connect to a server with that map playing, it will automatically download that map.

5# Server Browser Can’t See Any TF2 Servers
Team Fortress 2 servers are currently listed under Team Fortress so when you filter to see Team Fortress 2 servers only, you will get nothing.

6# How to Startup Team Fortress 2 with Launch Options

7# HL2.exe Crashes
Refer to #9 and you will find several workarounds to fix this issue.

8# TF2 Crashes
If you are experiencing random crashes when playing the game, you may need to get rid of your old data and redownload it from Steam.

Delete the TF2 folder, and redownload all the maps and mods you have from the Steam. Don’t forget to make a back up in case you mess it up.

9# HL2.exe and Team Fortress 2 Crashes
It seems most of the people with Windows 7 64bit version are experiencing random crashes with hl2.exe of TF2. It starts with a looping sound freeze followed by a crash. It may also happen after exporting or creating a video in replay. May happen when you exit the server.

So they are two things you can do to avoid the frustration that results after these crashes. You can run the game in windowed mode or you can disable the Windows Aero Themes. The latter may work for few but the first workaround will work for most.

Though, you may not like playing this game in Windowed but if you can’t fix the crash, you should give it a try. Multitasking beats everything.

Type this into your startup options:

-windowed -noborder

This will give you a fake full screen, a window without borders, so it isn’t all that bad.

If your game window is too small, you can just change the resolution in-game, or type this into the start up options:

-w #### -h ####

Replace #### with your resolution. W stands for Width and H for Height. For example, on a 1680×1050 resolution it would look like that:

-windowed -noborder -w 1680 -h 1050

Hopefully it will fix most of these issues.

OR Disable the in-game Steam Community, which can you do by going to Steam library > Right click TF2 > Properties > Un-check “Enable Steam community In-Game” > Close.

OR if you still aren’t satisfied, you can set your anti-aliasing and filtering settings as recommended or below. This has worked for many and if you are lucky, will work for you.

OR If you have any custom HUD installed, remove it, and restart the game. It has fixed this issue for many.

OR you can set ‘mat_antialias 0’ in your config file of Team Fortress 2, which can be found here:

Steam/steamapps/accountname/team fortress 2/tf/cfg/config.cfg

Or you can try one of these workarounds:

  • Validate files;
  • Delete folder “team fortress 2”;
  • Reinstall Steam;
  • Update drivers for videocard;
  • Update DirectX;
  • Disable antivirus;
  • Reinstall QuickTime;
  • Install QuickTime Alternative instead of QuickTime;
  • Set graphics settings to minimum;
  • Disable/enable multi-core rendering;

It can be several hundred other reasons causing these crashes, if you face these crashes, let me know, and we can both try to dissect the problem.

10# Team Fortress 2 Random Freezes

11# Team Fortress 2 Corrupted Graphics

12# Team Fortress 2 Tweaks, Max FPS Configs
Coming Soon.

13# Can’t Connect to Item Servers
Logout and Restart Steam.

14# Entering the Server, TF2 Crashes with This Error
Failed to lock index buffer in CMeshDX8::LockIndexBuffer

  • Exit Steam.
  • Go to your Steam folder and delete ‘ClientRegistry.blob’.
  • Go to your Steam\steamapps\USERNAME folder and delete the team fortress 2 folder.
  • Start Steam.
  • Verify the integrity of TF2’s cache.
  • Launch TF2.

15# Performance Boost For High End Machines
If you are running the game on high end machines like Quadcore, you may want to configure the game to use the system resources well. It depends on how many threads your machine can handle. Try following tweak:

  • Right click on Team Fortress 2 in the games library
  • Properties
  • Launch options
  • add this line -threads 4

Set it to how many threads your processor. You can check it by opening up the task manager. You can also achieve the same by adding mat_queue_mode 2 in your autoexec file.

It’s just a config file that gives the launch parameters to your game everytime you start. You can find it here:

\team fortress 2\tf\cfg\

Or if you don’t have this file, create a text document, add this line mat_queue_mode 2 in it, and save it with .cfg extension. Finally, put it in the folder specified above.

16# Steam VAC TF2 Server Connection Failure
If you are getting kicked from server, or can’t connect to a server after getting kicked, try the following workarounds.

17# Server Has Lost Connection to Steam
Team Fortress 2 servers are overloaded when the game went Free to Play so keep your patience, Valve will upgrade it’s infrastructure to compensate the numbers.

18# Can’t Launch TF2 With Steam in Online
Valve have confirmed this issue and will address it in the next patch.

19# TF2 Controls Don’t Work

20# TF2 Doesn’t Start

  • Verify the game cache.
  • Update your game to the most current version
  • Right-click on the game and select “Properties”
  • Click on the “Local Files” tab
  • Click on the “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” button

If that doesn’t work, launch TF2 with the autoconfig parameter.

  • Update your game to the most current version
  • Right-click on the game and select “Properties”
  • Click on the “General” tab
  • Click on the “Set Launch Options…” button
  • Add “-autoconfig” to the launch options and click OK
  • Restart your game.

If the game successfully starts, you should remove -autoconfig from your launch options.

If you still can’t start the game, try:

  • Close Steam
  • Navigate to the C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\[username] folder (if you installed steam in a different location, this path will be different)
  • Located the folder named “Team Fortress 2” and delete this file
  • Restart Steam and open TF2.

If you are unlucky enough not to resolve the issue, Contact Steam Support.

21# TF2 Crashes After Valve Logo
Check all the workarounds listed under #9. Or try to run the game windowed.

22# nVidia TF2 Driver Crash
Team Fortress 2 Hangs and after that, you see corrupted graphics. There is no fix for this yet.

23# Team Fortress 2 CrashesThe instrutction at “0x15624752” referenced memory at “0170664a4”. The memory could not be read.

  • Exit Steam
  • Go to your Steam folder and delete ClientRegistry.blob
  • Go to your Steam\steamapps\USERNAME folder and delete the team fortress 2 folder
  • Start Steam
  • Verify the integrity of TF2’s cache
  • Launch TF2

24# TF2 Crashes on Exit
Happens with people on Windows 7 32bit. You can fix it by following the potential fix below.

  • Type in “-dxlevel 81” (without quotations) within the ‘Set Launch Options’ in Steam. Hit ‘OK’.

An alternative to narrow down the source of the problem.

  • Type in “-nosound -window -dxlevel 81 +mat_forcehardwaresync 0”. Hit ‘OK’.

25# Custom Sound Crashes The Server ?
Remove that custom sound from your server.

26# Team Fortress 2 Update Crashes
Delete the TF2 folder as stated above #9 and it will fix this issue.

27# Web Browser Fix
Opt out of the Steam Beta.

28# How to Configure Xbox 360 Controller
Open the console (hit ` on your keyboard) and type:

exec 360controller

That should do it.

If you face any other issue, let me in comments. We can try to dissect it together and get you started with the game.

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Zawad Iftikhar is the founder of, an FPS enthusiast and a Call of Duty veteran, having participated multiple eSports competition.