Freelancer on Windows 8

  • Hello fellow lancers,

    It's been a long time since I've played Freelancer, and like many folks out there, Star Citizen has got me itching for another run.

    I've been through the previous thread on Windows 8 compatibility but would like to add this thread to enlist some additional compatibility help. I'll summarize what I've done and the error I'm running into. That thread has over 1,000 views so I'm assuming that others may be in my boat as well.

    Error Summary:

    • Launching Freelancer v1.0 or v1.1 on Windows 8.1 crashes after Freelancer splash screen with error stating, "Freelancer has stopped working."

    Set Up:

    • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    • Asus laptop with i7 @1.8 GHz (3.0 GHz), Nvidea Geforce 745M with 2GB VRAM, 8GB DDR3 RAM
    • Can't find my original copy of Freelancer which is packed in my attic somewhere
    • Installed via a downloaded .iso
    • Have patch to v1.1 available
    • Have No CD executable available
    • Have mini iso available (to mount a virtual CD using PowerIso, etc)


    • Running vanilla installation from downloaded disc causes error "Insert CD-ROM"
    • Running Freelancer.exe (NoCD version) displays Freelancer splash screen followed by error "Freelancer has stopped working."
    • Running Freelancer.exe with mounted mini disc image does the same as the running the NoCD exe
    • The details of the "Freelancer has stopped working" error are:

    Workaround Attempts:

    • Changing compatibility settings for Freelancer.exe (vanilla and NoCD) to Windows 7, XP SP2/SP3, Vista, and 98.
    • Setting Freelancer.exe property to "Run as Administrator"
    • Installation location as default as well as C:\Freelancer, C:\Microsoft Games\Freelancer
    • Running vanilla Freelancer.exe with a mounted mini Iso image. - In this case, it seems to recognize the iso as the CD but returns the same error
    • I've also attempted an XP virtual machine using Win 8 Client Hyper V but I've abandoned that after discovering that it does not support dedicated graphics cards.


      • I'm looking for any method that will allow me to run Freelancer natively on Window 8.1
      • The other thread on a similar topic does address any errors related to resolving this error.
      • While my request seems possible according to the previous thread, if it is not possible on my setup, I'd be open to understanding a successful virtual machine approach.

    My sincerest thanks in advance to any that are able and willing to help. There's a growing number of PC's that come preloaded with Windows 8 so it may prove useful as a reference for others as well.

    Thank you much,


    PS. My apologies for any readibility issues. I'm not well-versed in formatting but I've done my best to make this readable.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    I don't know if it's created a save game folder yet. I haven't been able to find one. Where would it be?

    Also, I have a new copy of FL on the way. I'm not sure if that will make a difference but it's worth a try and I have no idea if I'll ever be able to find my old copy now.

  • It's being run as Administrator and I've tried the compatibility modes per my OP. I'm not sure why it wouldn't create the folder. It shouldn't be permissions so something else must be interrupting before it gets to that stage.

    My retail copy should be arriving tomorrow. I'll post an update on whether or not that makes a difference.

  • I've seen that others have cited being able to run it on Windows 8. However, Microsoft lists it as incompatible with Windows 8. So why is it that some folks have trouble getting it to work on Win 8?

  • SWAT, buy yourself some glasses ^^ He already wrote he tried compatibility mode

    However, a plain vanilla FL install should run on Win8(.1) without any special settings

  • For anyone struggling to get Freelancer running on Windows 10,

    Go to Programs and Features, Legacy Components, make sure 'DirectShow' is chosen.

    Good luck freelancer!

    Credit goes to the folks in ##windows on freenode