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How to fix ‘Anticheat failed to start’ error in Gray Zone Warfare

Error code 0X00020004 has been causing some problems - here's four different fixes
Last Updated on May 3, 2024
How to fix 'Anticheat failed to start' error in Gray Zone Warfare
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As Gray Zone Warfare hits early access, we can’t be too surprised to see bugs here and there, but the ‘Anticheat failed to start’ error is a particularly annoying one as it completely stops you from playing the game. The error itself is labelled as ‘Game Couldn’t Be Started (0X00020004).

No matter if you’ve got the best CPU or best GPU for Gray Zone Warfare, you can still run into this error – it has been affecting a wide range of players. It’s a frustrating error code to come across, but we can show you how to fix it down below in a few different ways.

What is the Anticheat error in GZW?

As the error message implies, you’ll run into this error when trying to load into the game. It is related to the game’s anti-cheat solution, Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), which is used in a wide number of multiplayer games these days. Since the anti-cheat is unable to start, you no longer have access to the game as it relies on the anti cheat for multiplayer gameplay. Many players first booting up the game on launch day were greeted with this error, preventing them from playing at all without a workaround.

Game couldn’t be started (0X00020004) error in Gray Zone Warfare, captured by PCGuide

How to fix error code 0X00020004 in Gray Zone Warfare

Below we can take you through some of the best fixes for the ‘Anticheat failed to start’ error code in GZW. Simply follow the steps below, checking whether you can launch the game between each step. If the first step fails to fix the problem, simply move on the second – and so on.



Run Easy Anti-Cheat manually

Since the anti-cheat failed to start automatically when launching the game, we can instead force it to start manually in a few simple steps, though we noticed that this fix doesn’t work for everyone.

  • Open the installation folder for Gray Zone Warfare – a common place for this will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps/common/Gray Zone Warfare.
    • If you’re unsure of where it is installed, right click on the game in your Steam library and select Properties, then go to the Local Files tab and click ‘Browse Local Files’
  • Locate a folder named ‘EasyAntiCheat’
  • Inside the EAC folder, run ‘EasyAntiCheat_EOS_Setup.exe’

We recommend trying this while the game is running too.



Verify game files

Verifying your game files on Steam is a common fix for a number of different reasons. Here’s how to do it:

  • Right click on Gray Zone Warfare in your Steam library and select ‘Properties’
  • Go to the Local File tab and select ‘Verify Integrity of Game Files’
  • Wait for the process to finish, then try launching GZW again



Restart Steam

The next step once you’ve tried the fixes above is to restart Steam. Close your Steam launcher by right clicking the icon in the system tray (in the bottom right of Windows) and clicking ‘Exit Steam’.

Alternatively, open Steam and click the ‘Steam’ option in the top left of the app, then click ‘Exit’.

Once fully closed, reopen Steam and log in if required.



Restart your PC

One of the most reliable ways of fixing this error that we found ourselves was by simply restarting your PC. Granted, this is one of the more annoying ways of resolving the issue, but it isn’t the end of the world. If all else fails, this is a last resort.

In case you need to know how to do this, open the Windows start menu (or press the Windows key on your keyboard), go to ‘Power’, then ‘Restart’.

At PC Guide, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.