How to Fix Phantasy Star Online 2 that won’t launch, stuck on loading in Windows 10

This post highlights a few potential solutions to deal with a problem on Phantasy Star Online 2 that won’t launch in Windows 10. Read on to learn what prevents this game from launching on your Windows PC and how to fix it.

Why is Phantasy Star Online 2 stuck on loading?

PC games may not launch for a number of reasons and given that users have unique hardware and software configurations, such problems are hard to diagnose. What usually happens is that the game appears to be not launching because they’re crashing immediately after loading for various reasons. Nonetheless, there are also a number of workarounds that can be used to rule out every possible culprit and to fix the problem on your end.

In case you need some input, I’ve mapped out some of the most effective tweaks that can be used to deal with the same issue on the Phantasy Star Online 2 game on a Windows computer.

Troubleshooting Phantasy Star Online 2 that won’t launch, stuck on loading

Please note that this game is playable on a Windows 10 64 bit system. Previous OS versions are therefore not eligible to run it. In case you’re not certain if your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Phantasy Star Online 2, I’ve summed up the important details as follow:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64bit
  • Processor: Intel ® Core™ i3-4150
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GT430
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 103 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card (DirectX 9.0c and above)

Additional Notes: 

  • Monitor Resolution: 1280x720 pixels or higher Only XInput controllers are supported.

If your computer meets the requirements but is still unable to launch the game, then you may go ahead and start eliminating every possible cause.

First Fix: End other background programs/apps.

If you’ve left other programs open or running in the background while trying to launch Phantasy Star Online 2, there’s a higher chance that any of the background programs is interfering or barring the launching sequence of the game. As a result, it immediately crashes while loading. To rule this out, end all background apps/programs on your system through the Task Manager. Here’s how:

  • Click the Start/Windows icon to launch the Start menu then type in Task Manager.
  • Select Task Manager app from the search results. 
  • While on the Task Manager screen, click to open the Processes tab and then locate the aforementioned software. 
  • Right-click on each of the said software then click End Task.
  • Close the Task Manager after ending all possible background processes and services. 

After ending all background apps and processes, open your game launcher and retry loading the PSO 2 to see if it’s already able to launch successfully.

Second Fix: Run the game as administrator.

Some games require administrative privileges in order to work as intended. Running the game in administrative mode will grant and unlock all permissions for the game to access the required resources from the system directories. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Open the game launcher then select Settings.
  • Navigate to My Installed Games then select Phantasy Star Online 2.
  • Select the Open Under View Installation Folder then right-click on PSO2.
  • Click Properties.
  • Next, click to open the Compatibility tab and check the boxes to Run this program as an administrator and Disable fullscreen optimization.
  • After checking both boxes, click Apply then OK.

Once administrative privileges are granted, retry launching PSO2 and see if it’s already working.

Third Fix: Disable non-essential software during boot-up.

To eliminate any unwanted services that might have prevented the game launcher or Phantasy Star Online 2 itself from launching properly, you can configure your computer to only allow essential services during startup. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Open the Start menu then type Run.
  • Click on Run app from the search result.
  • On the Run dialog box, type msconfig and press Enter.
  • On the succeeding window, click to open the Services tab then click to mark the checkbox before Hide all Microsoft services.
  • After checking the box, click the Disable all button.
  • Next, click to open the Startup tab then click the link to Open Task Manager.
  • On the Task Manager screen, right-click on each startup item then click Disable.
  • Close the Task Manager then get back to the Startup tab of the System Configuration window then click the OK button.

Reboot the system after making all changes. When the computer is finished rebooting, open your game launcher and retry launching Phantasy Star Online 2 to see if it’s already able to get past the loading segment.

Fourth Fix: Manage security settings.

If you’re using antivirus software such as Avast, there’s a higher chance that your antivirus is interfering with or barring the Phantasy Star Online 2 from launching due to some security threats. Other players were usually prompted to quarantine PSO2 files due to an IDP generic virus or malware.

In this case, you will need to reconfigure the antivirus settings to set exceptions for PSO 2. Otherwise, reinstalling the game in a separate disk partition can be regarded among the last options.

Disabling the antivirus before downloading and reinstalling the game from the Microsoft Storage can also be considered a potential solution. Just don’t forget to re-enable the antivirus right after or add some exception for the game.

If you’re using Windows Defender, you can try adding the PSO 2 game files in the exclusion. Just follow these steps:

  • Open the Start menu then type Windows security.
  • Click Windows Security from the search results.
  • On the succeeding window, click Virus & threat protection.
  • On the Virus & threat protection settings, click the option to Manage settings.
  • Go to the Exclusions section then click the option to Add or remove exclusions.
  • Click Add an exclusion then select File.
  • Open Windows Explorer then go to This PC>Windows (C:).
  • Click on Program Files.
  • Locate and then click the Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2) folder.
  • If necessary, click on the Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2) folder inside the main folder.
  • Then, select PSO2.exe.

After making these changes, try to run the game again and see if it works.

Fifth Fix: Install new software updates.

Installing new software updates can also help fix the problem if the error is attributed to some system bugs. Software updates usually embed essential patches to fix complex system errors including those that caused problems to certain programs. 

  • To manually check and install the latest Windows Updates, just go to Start-> Microsoft System Center-> Software Center.
  • Once you’re in the Software Center menu, go to the Updates section on the left pane.
  • If a new update is available, click Install All on the upper-right side.
  • Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to install new updates.

When the updates are completely installed, the computer reboots. Just wait for it to finish the boot sequence and once it’s ready, open the game launcher and then retry launching Phantasy Star Online 2.

Other Suggestions

If the problem started after downloading the New Genesis update, care to review the system requirements for PSO2 New Genesis expansion. Apparently, the minimum system requirements for New Genesis are different from the Phantasy Star Online 2. 

Other people who have faced the same issue managed to fix it by changing the computer’s region settings to North America. This somehow makes sense given that the release is originally targeting the North American audience.

Should you wish to give it a shot, just go to Start-> Settings-> Time and Language-> Region menu. Then change the current region to NA or North America.

To rule out hardware-related issues, updating drivers such as your audio and video/graphics cards is also recommended. Make sure that you have the latest drivers to support various components of your computer.

Verifying your game cache files is also imperative. Doing so will eliminate any corrupted data from your extracted game files.

Also make sure that your computer has ample storage. The size of this game is 11GB, so the computer must have more than that number in available storage.

Hope this helps!

Relevant topics that you might want to read: