[Solved] Steam must be running to play this game

Today we are with another tricky problem. It is related to an error that you may have seen after the game installation.
Probably after the game installation, you try to open it, an error message with title “Fatal Error” and body as “Steam must be running to play this game.” will prompt out.
This error was noticed by Brian Cooper from Nigeria.  Within few hours, our team had found the reason and suggest him the solution. Please have a look at what Brian messaged to us.
Please have a look at what Brian messaged to us.

Hai firstandgeek team,
I am Brian, a game addict from Nigeria. Last day, I had met with an error message with content as “Steam must be running to play this game” while opening Call of Duty – Black Ops 1. The secret is that, it is a cracked version by Skidrow team. I got this from my friend and there is no issue with my friend to play this game. I had reinstalled the game three times and still getting this same Fatal error every time I open the game. I have 4 GB of RAM and 2 GB of Nvidia Graphics card. Please give me a suggestion or solution. I had searched a lot and didn’t get and didn’t got any satisfactory answered. Here I am attaching the screenshot of all the files that I have with the game. I believe nothing is lost or damaged. Looking to hear from you.
Kind Regards,
Brian Cooper

What is Steam game service?

Steam is an online digital distribution platform under the control of Valve Corporation which aims better user experience for game addicts. Steam service is filled with more than 3,500 games, using this service, the user can easily install, update and share their achievements. This service is very useful when you are about to play a game which has online multiplayer supports.
The official website declared that there are nearly 100 million people in the Steam Community among which you can make matches and share achievements. It was initially developed to work with Microsoft Windows platform and later expanded the service to Mac OS, Linux and for gaming consoles.

Steam Fatal Error Solution for games with valid activation

Suppose if you are getting this error for a genuine version of the game, you need to run the steam service as mentioned in the error message. Sometimes normal running of steam service results in this issue. Try to run it with administrator privilege. If you forgot to run the service as the administrator, here is a small tip for you.

  • Right-click on Screen Shortcut.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Click Compatibility.
  • The tick the Check box for “Run as administrator”.

This trick had worked for many genuine game players in their original and purchased games.

How to Solve Steam must be running to play this game for Skidrow cracked games?

Steam must be running to play this game
Here in the above case, for games cracked by Skidrow team, you only need to copy the cracked files to the installation folder of the game. Brian had sent me some screenshots and I am using it below.
Here is the game folder send by Brian.
Steam must be running to play this game in black ops
In that game folder, there is a folder named SKIDROW. Actually, this folder contains the crack files of this game and the patch file to avoid checking steam connection.
You need to copy these files and place it under the Installation folder.
It will prompt for confirmation to replace the existing files or cancel the copy. You need to replace the existing files.
Here are the steps in brief

  • Locate the SKIDROW patch files inside your game folder.
  • Copy the files and replace it with the files under the installation folder.

If you don’t have the skidrow patches with your game, download it from the internet.
After applying the files to the installation folder, the checking system for Steam will be disabled and you won’t see the “Steam must be running to play this game” anymore.
The solution above still not working?
Here we have one suggestion for you.
Go to Fiverr, search for “computer fix” related service and you will find a lot.
Register a free account on Fiverr and message the seller whether they can help you to fix this issue.
Here is the screenshot of the services related to the computer problem.
There are many computer experts providing excellent service at affordable price.
They might be able to help you in solving your problem, by providing the guide, remote your computer, or through other methods.

Fiverr Fix Computer Service
Fiverr Fix Computer Service

Lastly, hope the first solution works for you. If not you might need to try another solution. Good luck!

Can't get enough freebies? Subscribe to FirstAndGeek

34 thoughts on “[Solved] Steam must be running to play this game”

  1. please have gone to d property and have clicked run has administrator but still telling me steam must be running to play this game,please wat can I do agan

  2. Am so happy about this post ,have being looking for this solution for over 2 year now thanks so much. Plz where can i find The installation folder u talked about?

  3. i had reinstall more than 10 times but its always show fatal error ”steam must be running play this game” ihave no other way to do im totally confuse i had read brain message i did the following instruction but its still not working

    1. after u download the files from the internet, there will be a folder called “skidrow” or “crack”. After installing the game, open the skidrow folder and copy ALL the files inside and paste them inside the installed folder in the program files. They will ask if you want to replace the files. Select yes, and wait for the files to be copied. After this, you can launch the game. enjoy my fren

    2. are you using windows? if so maybe windows firewall is delteing the crack files because some antivirus software thinks they are viruses

  4. i did everything like it how u wrote but still this message appear ( steam must be running to play this game ) please help i love to play this game call of duty black ops please please please i’m waiting for ur reply …

  5. what about this massage ..?? (the procedure entry point steamappif necessary couldnt be located in dynamic link library steam_api.dll.

  6. I bought MW2 recently but as a physical copy. I installed it and it happened. Can anyone help? IS there a difference between retail and store steam versions?

  7. thank you very much.
    I was having the same problem with my MW3 and now I am playing it comfortably.
    thank you once again.

  8. I am Abhishek a game addict from India.I have download the Game Ride.I have installed the game properly.But when i opened the the game it says ‘steam must be running to play this game.Please give me a solution fast.Please help me……

  9. Sad. Mine Still not working mine is from skidrow too but it isnt like Black ops with patch because my game is Disgaea PC I have the same problem with that “Fatal Error” What should I do? I Followed some of your steps here in this post

  10. Go to the following path :”C:\Users\User1\AppData\Roaming\
    Locate the folder “tor”, delete it, if the system doesn’t allow you bcoz there is a program that is using the file, open task manager and end the task “tor.exe”, then try to delete the file again, once done try running either BlackOps.exe or BlackOpsMP.exe, this should fix the problem

  11. I have downloaded Resident evil 4 and I have installed it… While i am trying to run it is showing fatal error steam must be running to play i have tried all the steps including copying the crack files etc. i think there must be a problem with my graphics card can you please guide me on checking status of graphics card in my machine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Have an app, software or tech product you want us to review?


A quick simple digest of the top tech stories, delivered right to your inbox!

Contact Us

More Articles

Have an app, software or tech product you want us to review?

We would Love to! Just send US a message.

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest in tech!

Join Our 23,458 Subscribers

A quick simple digest of the top tech stories, delivered right to your inbox!

We only send really good stuff. Promise.

Scroll to Top