How to Band-Aid Fix SteamAPI Initialization Issue on macOS

I do want to make it clear that this isn’t the usual ‘how to fix’ tips post. Instead, I’m hoping to log what I’ve learned for indexing purposes. I do have a band-aid solution for the time being, but I wouldn’t call this an ideal fix. Perhaps someone will pick up where I left off, or someone will make a breakthrough. Or perhaps the problem lies with the Steam or the games distributed through Steam and fixes come out of there.


In my case, it happened with the game Carrion. I believe the problem started sometime in 2021, and I didn’t think too much about it at the time as Steam for macOS generally had ‘instant crash’ issue. On Mac, some games wouldn’t reopen from Steam (instantly crash without error message or won’t launch) and requires complete reboot, or like what I am experiencing, it just won’t launch after reboot at all.

Most obvious fixes, such as reinstalling Steam, rebooting the computer didn’t help. I’ve tried dual booting another version of mac on the same machine just to see if erasing and reinstalling the OS would help, but to no avail. This all happened on an Intel Mac. On another Mac I own, an Apple silicon, the game launches without a hitch.


This temporary fix will only work if the game specifically asks for “steam app id”.

  1. From Steam Library, right-click on the game and open Manage > Browse Local Files.
  2. From the Finder window, right-click on the game itself, and click on Show Package Contents.
  3. Under Contents/Resources, create a text file named steam_appid.txt.
  4. From Steam Library, right-click on the game and open Properties. Under Updates, there is an App ID (made out of series of digits). Copy the ID and paste it to the text file created in step 3. Save it. The text file should only contain the app ID.
  5. Try launching the game from the Finder, just like any other apps.


I was able to find this band-aid solution when I tried launching Carrion from Resources. A Terminal window gave me more detailed directions than what the game log said, (i.e. SteamAPI initialization failed) either launch the game from Steam or feed Steam app ID.

The problem was, there wasn’t much else to go on with. When I started googling for the exact error message, most posts and threads were concerned with pirated games, and remaining discussions revolved around publishing experiences and troubleshooting Steam API for developers. I’m trying to play a game as a gamer, not as a pirate nor a dev.

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