How to fix Failed to Open Descriptor File Error [Solved]

This strange “Failed to Open Descriptor File” error message can appear when you’re trying to play various PC games. I’ve seen this error on Ark: Survival Evolved, Valorant, Fortnite and PUBG, but I’ve heard reports of even more games getting this type of error.

Whenever this error pops up, it lets you know that a .uproject file can’t be opened. Its name differs from game to game.

failed to open descriptor file
Example of the error message I’m getting

But no matter what game you’re playing, if you are getting the Failed to Open Descriptor File error message, the fixes recommended below will work.

So check them all out below – the most likely to work being the first solution – and enjoy playing your game once again!

Fixes for “Failed to Open Descriptor File” Error Message

This is a very common error for various games that are played online. Here are the potential fixes that you should try, the top one being the most likely to solve the problem. But if it doesn’t do try the others as well!

1. Verify the integrity of the game files

This is the most likely fix for the problem. Simply check the integrity of the game files, let the installer update any corrupted files and your game will work like a charm.

In order to verify the integrity of the files do this:

  • Right click your game in your Steam Library and select Properties
  • In the new window, click Local Files and then “Verify integrity of game files”
verify file integrity

And this is it! In 90% of the cases, this will solve your problem and you won’t see that error message again.

2. Uninstall game, clear the cache, reinstall

If verifying the integrity of the local files won’t do the trick, you might have to uninstall the game, completely clear the file cache from your system and install it once more.

In order to do this, first uninstall the game from your system. (Right click it in your library -> Manage -> Uninstall).

Next, launch your Steam client and click on Steam – Settings in the top bar.

In the new window, click on “Downloads” and then the “Clear download cache button” as seen below:

clean download cache

Confirm the action, log back in to Steam and reinstall your game. You should no longer receive the “Failed to open descriptor file” message.

3. Move the game files to your System Drive

Some users have reported that simply installing their game on their system drive (where Windows is installed, usually C:\) fixes the problem.

Simply moving the game files manually won’t do the trick, so you will have to do this instead:

  • In your Steam client, click Steam – Settings – Downloads
  • Click the “Steam Library Folders” and under “Stroage Manager” click the + button to add your System Drive (if it’s not already there)
  • After adding it, scroll to the game you’re getting an error from, select it and then click the “Move” button
add new steam library folder

This will move all the game’s files in the System Drive. You might want to check their integrity once more before launching, too.

This will ensure that even if some files got corrupted during the move, they will not cause any problems.

Final words

The Failed to Open Descriptor File error is very common and many games end up giving this error message to their users.

Fortunately, as you can see above, the fixes are not very difficult and won’t take a lot of time, so definitely try them all and enjoy playing your game once more!

If you somehow manage to find a different thing that fixes this problem, don’t hesitate to let us all know by commenting below.

Leave a Comment