CPU does not have POPCNT” error mean in Apex Legends?

Recent patches have disappointed many fans of the shooter Apex Legends as the game stopped launching on their computers after the update. Instead of logging into the game account, gamers saw the error “CPU does not have POPCNT” or the related “CPU does not have SSSE 3”, and this despite the fact that the game was suitable for the system requirements. What to do with this now, how to fix a bug and get the opportunity to participate in the royal battle, we will consider.


What does the “CPU does not have POPCNT” error mean in Apex Legends?

To launch the software, certain conditions are necessary, and even if the components of the device fit in all parameters, and nothing previously interfered with the start, changes were made during the update, and therefore, along the way, new requirements were presented to the hardware, and more specifically to the processor.

Apex Legends Game Error: CPU Not Supported

First, let’s take a look at what exactly the error is reporting. In the first case, when instead of starting the game, a window appears with the message “CPU does not have SSSE 3”, it means that your processor does not support SSSE 3. An error with the text “CPU does not have POPCNT” that appeared a week after the release, informs about the lack of support by the POPCNT processor, without which the game simply will not start. So, in the notification about each of the errors, it is said that the CPU does not have the necessary parameters to work with Apex Legends.

Now we need to clarify what SSSE 3 and POPCNT are in the processor. Anyone who is well acquainted with the “internals” of the system unit knows that the characteristics of a CPU are not limited by the number of processing cores and clock frequency; among the parameters of the main component of a computer’s hardware there is also a set of supported instructions. The evolution in the world of computer technology also implies the appearance of new versions of instruction sets included in modern processors. The new commands are called SSSE 3 (Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extension 3). Intel, which introduced them into its products, added S to the fourth extension to the name instead of increasing the number. SSSE 3 has 16 unique packed integer instructions, each of which supports 64-bit (MMX) and 128-bit (HMM) registers. As for POPCNT, this parameter is included in SSE 4.2, it is also included in AMD’s SSE4A. There are three variations of the instruction – for 16-, 32- and 64-bit registers.

The same instructions used by processor manufacturers are also used by software developers, including computer games, in the case of Apex Legends these are SSSE 3 and POPCNT, which must be supported by your CPU. If the processor does not follow these instructions , it does not match the minimum requirements, then you should not count on launching Apex Legends. So, the adjustments made by the developers of Apex Legends, improving the game, weeded out a considerable number of devices that could pull it, which was the reason for the error. At the same time, the problem is not at all on the side of the developer, it’s all about the new requirements, which sent all processors of early generations to the outsider league.

To check if your processor meets the requirements, you can use the specialized CPU-Z utility. In the CPU tab under Instruction Set, you will see all the sets used by the CPU. To play Apex Legends, you need an updated SSSE 3 instruction, and not the outdated SSE 3, as well as SSE 4.2, while support for SSE 4.1 will no longer work.

How to choose a processor to play Apex Legends

Based on the foregoing, it is clear that it will not be possible to solve the problem in software, and in order to correct the situation, you need to act at the hardware level, namely, you have to upgrade your computer by installing a more modern processor. Then the error “CPU does not have SSSE 3” will stop bothering you, and you will get access to Apex Legends.

Intel Core i9 10900X processor

SSSE 3 instructions are supported by the following processor lines and newer:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo.
  • Intel Core i7.
  • Intel Core i5.
  • Intel Core i3.
  • Intel Atom.
  • AMD Bulldozer.
  • AMD Bobcat.
  • AMD Ryzen.

The SSE4.2 instruction set is supported starting with the following processor models:

  • Intel Core i7 starting with
  • Intel Atom starting with
  • AMD Bulldozer, Jaguar.

The minimum requirements for the game are Intel Core i3 6300 or AMD FX 4350, but users with computers with insufficiently powerful processors , unfortunately, will not be able to enjoy the shooter battles. Whatever the power of your computer, if the CPU does not support the necessary instructions for processing large amounts of data, you can not try to launch the game.

What to do if the CPU fits, but the game does not open

It also happens that the hardware is compatible with Apex Legends in all respects, while the software still does not want to start. Then we are talking about a bug, and it is often possible to fix it on your own, without languishing in anticipation of patches from the developers. One of the most effective solutions involves running the game in compatibility mode :

  • Right-click on the Apex Legends shortcut to display the context menu.
  • We select “Properties”.
  • In the “Compatibility” tab in the “Compatibility mode” block, put a check mark.
  • From the list, select Windows 7 or Windows 8, after which you need to apply the changes.
  • Optionally, you can run the Compatibility Troubleshooter.
  • We restart the computer and try to start the game again.

If this method does not solve the problem, you need to update all major device drivers to the latest versions. Reinstallation of gaming software, that is, complete removal with subsequent installation, can also help.

Ways to fix “processor does not have SSSE 3” in Apex Legends

If the error with the message “CPU does not have SSSE 3” or “CPU does not have POPCNT” has not gone anywhere, there are several more effective options for how to fix the situation.

Origin game platform window with a list of games

Launch Apex Legends and the Origin client as administrator

  • Right-click on the object’s shortcut to open the context menu, where we select the “Run as administrator” item.
  • Alternatively, select the “Properties” menu and in the “Compatibility” tab mark the option “Run this program as administrator”.
  • Click “Apply” and try to start the game.
  • We do the same with Origin.

Apex Legends update to install the patch

  • Open Origin, go to the library.
  • Right-click on Apex Legends and select “Update Game” or “Restore”.
  • Upon completion of the process, restart the device and restart the game.

Apex Legends CPU Command Line

  • Open Origin, go to the library.
  • Click on Apex Legends and select settings (gear icon).
  • Go to the “Advanced launch settings” tab.
  • In the “Command line parameters” field, enter the command -useallavailablecoresand save.
  • Launching Apex Legends.

It will not work to activate the SSSE 3 and POPCNT instructions for a processor that does not support them, so if there is a great desire to play this shooter, and the above methods did not work, you will have to splurge on a new CPU. It is unlikely that the developers will make changes in the software in the future , which will allow the inclusion of old device models in the list of supported equipment.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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