Startopia on Windows 7

Startopia, like many older games has some known issues with newer operating systems and video cards. To run Startopia on Windows 7 follow you’ll likely have to follow these steps:

  1. Install patch 1.01. The vanilla version of the game has several crash to desktop bugs that were fixed in patch 1.01, so make sure you install it. This is the version that steam automatically patches to. Full patch notes can be found on moddb.
    Download link 1 <– shacknews
    Download link 2 <– moddb
  2. Install patch 1.01b. This patch reportedly fixes many game play bugs, adds difficulty modes and allows for WASD navigation. Full patch notes can be found on moddb.
    Download link 1 <– softpedia
    Download link 2 <– moddb
  3. Run as administrator and with Windows 98 compatibility. Right click on your Startopia shortcut, select properties. Select the compatibility tab and run the program under Windows 98 compatibility and select Run this program as administrator (if you are on Windows 7 or Vista).

These few steps should cover most crashes for the game. The developer site ( has long since gone down but you can view their FAQ via an old snapshot here. There are a few more obscure errors that you might run into with Startopia. See the related posts for discussion and solution.

  • Startopia crash/slowdown on building brig. On certain machines Startopia slows down considerably or even crashes after a brig is built.
  • Startopia black screen with sound on startup. Some users have reported an issue where the game startups but presents only a black screen sometimes accompanied by game sound. This issue can often be fixed by changing dxdiag settings. See the linked post for some possible workarounds.
  • Startopia muliplayer crashes. If you’re interested in playing the game with friends AKA multiplayer be warned there are many known issues. The most common issues appear to be autosaves and desync issues. See the linked post for some possible workarounds.

If you’ve followed the above steps and are still having trouble running Startopia on Windows 7, please post in the comments below. To increase your chances of a solution being found include as much detail as possible (which version of the game you’re running, what operating system you have, what video card you have and steps to reproduce the issue). Screenshots are also very useful!

sources: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5

    Greg C
    November 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I have Startopia (purchased from Steam) and Windows 7. It won’t run/launch at all if I try to run in compatibility mode for anything, much less 98. It doesn’t crash most of the time. However, when my station is fully populated (every ring/section occupied by me), and I try to rearrange the layout, it will freeze. It will keep playing the music, but the game completely freezes. This is the only computer I’ve had this issue on, so I do suspect the the computer is just lousy, but I hold hope. Only cause I can play HL2, Portal, Portal 2, and others on this computer without crashes. Any clues?

    System is an HP 2000 laptop with the AMD E1 Vision APU. No upgrades.

      Greg C
      November 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      *Edit: Built in Radeon gfx, running steam version 1.01. 1.01b won’t launch.

        That doesn’t sound like one of the issues mentioned in the post. An in-game issue like that is likely caused by a game bug rather than incompatibility.

        Can you be more specific about what you mean by re-arranging the layout? Specifically list out the steps you go through to reproduce it and if you have time check those steps on your other machine(s). I can contact you by personal email too if that’s easier, just let me know :)

    August 31, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Running Windows 7 64bit. Installed both patches and found that the game loads without changing compatibility settings, but no sound. The game won’t load if I change the compatibility to Windows 98. I get sound when I run the game as administrator, but when I exit the game, it only half quits – it turns the screen black and I have to use Task Manager to force it to close.

    I tried installing it on Windows 7 and after applying the two patches it worked, running as admin and not in Win98 mode, but normal mode, using a Geforce3 video card and Pentium4 processor in a desktop system.

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