Troubleshooting error: 'There is a missing or corrupt data file that is required for the game to run'
If you received an error message from Sea of Thieves that states “There is a missing or corrupt data file that is required for the game to run.” then this page may be able to help you resolve this.
There are a wide variety of reasons why the game install might get corrupted, or that the data loaded by the game might be corrupted.
Verify integrity of local game files
- In Steam, right click Sea of Thieves from your games list
- Select Properties from the context menu
- From the Properties menu select Local Files
- Click 'Verify Integrity of Local Game Files...'
You could try whitelisting the game with your anti-virus product. There are known compatibility issues with some antivirus products that we are working with the anti-virus vendors to resolve. If you experience an issue with a specific product, please let us know.
To whitelist Sea of Thieves, navigate to the game’s installation folder from within the whitelist page of your antivirus product. To get the installation folder, press Win+R on your keyboard and type Powershell and press Enter. Then enter this command:
Or if you are having issues with the Pioneer version of the game:
It should print out several lines. You can copy the Installation Location value from the start of C:\ to the end of the line by highlighting it with your mouse and then right-clicking in the window to copy it. You can then paste this into the Open Dialog by pressing in the text field at the bottom and pressing Ctrl+V then pressing Enter. From here you should navigate by double-clicking the folders for Binaries then UWP64, then finally selecting SotGame.exe, which is the executable you need to whitelist.
Note: This process will need to be done each time the game is updated should your antivirus conflict with our game.
Store install issues
We are aware that in some extremely rare cases the Windows Store may itself corrupt a game install. We are working with the various teams within Microsoft to resolve these issues. If you experience this, you should fully uninstall the game (right-click it on your start menu and select Uninstall) then reinstall it via the store.
We have confirmed that certain users may experience game crashes if they are overclocking their machines. This may have been automatic by your motherboard manufacturer or done manually by yourself. If you experience issues, we recommend you restore your CPU and memory to stock settings and perform a full reinstall of the game. Corruption can occur during the installation, as well as when the game is running.
If you manually overclocked your machine, as well as checking the usual settings, you could try increasing your “AVX Instruction Negative Offset” or the equivalent for your motherboard. As with all overclocking, you modify these settings at your own risk. If you are not sure what this is, this is not relevant to you.
Old version of Windows
You may be hitting a bug or issue with an older version of Windows. We recommend ensuring you are up to date in Windows update.
Buggy or faulty drivers
You may experience issues with game installs if you have drivers that are causing corruption. These issues may be difficult to detect, so we advise ensuring you have the latest drivers. If the problem only recently started, you could try rolling back to an earlier version of the driver.
Some third-party software attempts to inject itself into every process on your machine and has been known to cause crashes.
If you have recently started experiencing the issue, we recommend uninstalling any recently installed software.
This is always the worst-case scenario, but the most likely candidates for faulty hardware are hard drives or SSDs that are nearing the end of their life.
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