I'm trying to launch a Steam game on my computer (it's Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones, but I believe the issue is much more common). Every time I launch I get a message that says:

You cannot launch the game, because OpenAL32.dll was not found

I googled the solution, but most of what I get is "download an exe file that will install the dll". I don't trust this solution. I don't know the sites I can download it from, therefore I can't be sure if I'm not accidently downloading malware.

My question's are:

  1. What is this library for?
  2. How is it usually appear on my computer?
  3. What is the safest way to get one for my computer?
  • 2
    OpenAL is a sound library.
    – Powerlord
    Dec 30, 2015 at 21:33
  • 1
    Will answer tgis when Im at a PC, if I have time. -1 for no research, though.
    – user106385
    Dec 30, 2015 at 21:35
  • Have you tried verifying the game cache? If the game was dependent on some library, it may have not been installed when you first ran the game. I'd suggest verifying the game cache through Steam (right click the game in Steam and look in the properties) and re-installing. Edit your question letting us the results.
    – zero298
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:04
  • @zero298, why would you add the title tag after OP specifically detailed why they didnt? This is not a question specific to the title, and this applies to a wide range of titles.
    – user106385
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:14
  • Seeing your comment, I can atest that this is not specifically related to the game. OP is missing a library file. It would ve the same if OP asked what direct X was and where to get it
    – user106385
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:16

3 Answers 3


In your steam folder where that game is installed, there should be a "CommonRedist" folder. Dive into that and look for an "OpenAL" folder. Look in there (or a subfolder) for the install file, should be called "oalinst.exe"

If it is there (it should be), this is part of the game's required install files bundled with the game, so no worries about random internet downloads.

OpenAL is the audio library the game makers have chosen to handle sound for the game.

  • A sound means to install it from steam. That said, it is worth mentioning that OpenAL is an API, not a library
    – user106385
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:31
  • 1
    Well, it is a library. An API is an interface to a library or a specification for an interface. A library is an implementation of an API. But really, this is far too pedantic for Arcade, especially considering that what we care about is the DLL: a Dynamic-Link Library
    – Yorik
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:40
  • As Timelord64 suggested I tried to reinstall first. But that didn't help. Your solution actually worked. Thank You, @Yorik. Dec 31, 2015 at 9:30

OpenAL is a multi-platform audio interface that was created by Creative Technology to provide an efficient means to render sound in 3D.

In other words, this is interface behind the games ability to play sound realistically, in a 3D environment. It allows the game to account for distance, degradation, and even replicate the Doppler effect. This interface is common across a broad range of games and platforms, including emulators such as dolphin, and blender.

Ultimately, the best means to aquire openal32.dll securely is through steam. As Yorik details, you should have an installation for it provided. Should your install file be missing, it would be worth validating the game via Steam, to ensure you have not simply deleted it by mistake.

You can find the official OpenAL website here, and the official developers homepage here. This might help you with authenticating alternate methods of download, should the intended means fault out. I generally recommend only downloading DLL files from the source, but Creative Technology only provide the SDK files.


There is one way to solve this problem without using any additional software - download the missing dll library file and add it into the directory. You can follow the instructions from here: http://fix4dll.com/openal32_dll. I'm sure you'll fix it fast. Good luck.

  • 1
    Downloading DDLs from random sites is always something I'd approach with healthy dose of paranoia. Are you sure there's no equivalent download at the offical OpenAL-site?
    – DJ Pirtu
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:30

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