No Man's Sky 'Not Starting' or 'Failing To Launch'? - Here's What Worked For Me [Notification/Tutorial]

[Text-Mode Only: This posting is being shared as Text-Only, to speed up the ability to share it, at this time. 
I may return to add helpful screenshots/diagrams/etc, at a later date.]

Update 1: Added link to driver download, for the version that worked for me (NVIDIA website)
Update 2: Oddly, the GOG version was working - but as of 09.02 neither game starts up at all

For the past week or so (since the BEYOND release) I've had a problem trying to get back into No Man's Sky to check it out... The game just wouldn't start/launch. I noticed that it was popping up in the Windows Taskbar but then it would 'close itself' or 'crash' - either way, resulting in the game closing up and I wasn't able to play and try out the new stuff!

After messing with it off and on for about a week, I finally figured out something that worked - No Man's Sky actually starts now, and I can play! Here are the things I tried at first:

  • Restarted PC/system
  • Re-installed NMS
  • Verified Cache (Steam version**)
  • Disabled Anti-Virus temporarily while running game (third-party AV, Windows Defender, etc)
  • Ran game as Administrator
  • Ran the Compatibility Troubleshooter for the game executable (Windows 10, did not affect result of game closing itself upon starting it)
  • Dusted out system and hardware (to help with potential overheating, corruption/errors due to heat and dust issues, etc)
  • Re-installed NMS to C: drive (Windows/main drive/partition, then moved NMS back to other SSD [I had it originally on], as it made no difference)
  • Re-installed GPU drivers (videocard 'system files that Windows uses to 'talk' to the hardware' [is how I describe "computer drivers" to others])
  • Ran Windows Update (there was an Update package, did not affect result of game closing itself)
  • Considered re-installing Windows 10 (then did not do it - this time - lol)

I tried a ton of other little things as well, like re-installing Visual C++ libraries for Windows (system files that are part of Windows that many, many programs utilize) - it had apparently worked for many people, and I saw this mentioned in a few different Game Support forums (eg. Reddit, Steam, GameFaqs, etc) if you want to try this, these can be found at the Microsoft website, here:

With all of these steps (many of them mentioned by helpful users on multiple forums online - most of them I knew and tried myself), at some point, they would 'get the game working' for many people. Sadly, not for me. I had to hunt around and 'hack away at the bushes of the problem jungle' on my own for awhile... Finally, I found something that got No Man's Sky working for me - here is what I did:

'Roll back' the GPU drivers (videocard system files that Windows uses to 'talk' to the hardware) to an older version, then re-install the latest version of the GPU drivers (non-'clean' install). BOOM it worked! 

Here is the steps I took that finally got No Man's Sky working:

  • Regress the GPU drivers [re-install older and older versions of the GPU drivers] until the game works (for me, that meant I re-installed older drivers over and over until NMS started 'fully and without issues' - for me, that was NVIDIA GPU Driver version 391.01 - this driver can be downloaded directly from NVIDIA's website, however, their own Search for Drivers does not go back that far... I found these older versions by going to Google and searching "NVIDIA driver 391", for example, then following a Link that goes to NVIDIA's Driver website [as opposed to other third-party websites, not that they are always 'bad', some are great, but I wanted the official NVIDIA drivers from them, for this]). If you want to try the exact version I found worked for me, the link to NVIDIA's release of that Driver is here:
  • Once game is verified as 'working without issues', re-install latest GPU Driver (version 436.xx as of the time of this posting) 'on top of' the currently installed Drivers [newer versions of NVIDIA Drivers 'uninstall' the older versions, but just do not chose the 'clean' install, where it deletes your Profiles, etc]. I found I also had to select to install the "NVIDIA HD Audio" and "NVIDIA 3D" options, as well...

That's it!

Although professionally I am a Computer Tech, I'm not a Developer/Programmer, so I'm not 100% sure why it got No Man's Sky working finally (but I can assume some things, like the game needing some older Windows System libraries that got 'corrupted' or lost, somehow, and other things that could have occurred) - but I'm just glad that the game runs once again. 

Of course, this may not be your specific issue with NMS not starting for you, my dear reader; but perhaps it can help the game to run for you, too. Good Luck with it - and a many-a-Good-Journey to you, Traveller! 

Addendum: As of 09.02, both versions (GOG and Steam) now do not start up (they do not run properly) - the game appears in the Taskbar for a moment, then closes itself. I shall try some Troubleshooting again, and if I find another 'fix', I will return to share it here...

**Oddly, the Good Old Games (now version, that I received as a gift a while ago, worked fine... Only the Steam version of NMS had issues... During the course of Troubleshooting the Steam version, the GOG version stopped working [lol] - then, after 'fixing' the Steam version, the GOG version was working once again. Possibly, the issues were related, but I am not sure. Hopefully, one of the steps mentioned herein (or my 'final solution' step [maybe I should rename that]) will work for you

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