From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) created by Microsoft for the Windows operating system and the Xbox family of consoles.
Since Windows 10 and Server 2016, newer builds of DirectX are distributed through Windows Update.
- Legacy optional components for older games (mainly DirectX 9.0c) were distributed through end-user runtimes, often bundled on game discs or digital game download repos.
- These are not installed by default on any version of Windows, which causes compatibility issues with games programmed to use them. This is recognizable by an error message reporting that a
d3d9_##.dllfile was not found on the system.
- Manual installer (archived mirror)
- Web installer
|Using the manual DirectX End-User Runtimes installer|
- Direct3D (D3D) renders 3D graphics whilst prioritising performance. It is the main competitor to OpenGL / Vulkan.
- Direct2D renders 2D graphics and vectors. It can interoperate with Direct3D. It is a replacement for DirectDraw, but is not backwards-compatible with it.
- DirectWrite renders text.
- DirectCompute supports general-purpose computing on graphics processing units.
- DirectX Graphics Infrastructure (DXGI) provides a mapping between graphics APIs and the graphics kernel since DirectX 10.
- XACT3 and XAudio2 are high- and low-level audio APIs, respectively.
- DirectStorage is a GPU-oriented input/output API, most relevant to the Xbox Series range of consoles.
- DirectX Raytracing (DXR) is Microsoft's implementation of ray tracing support, introduced in DirectX 12.
- Direct Machine Learning (DirectML) is a GPU-accelerated machine learning and artificial intelligence API, introduced in DirectX 12.
- DirectX Diagnostics (DxDiag) is a tool for diagnosing and generating reports on components related to DirectX. It can be opened by calling the Run window (⊞ Win+R) and typing
- DirectPlay handled multiplayer connections. Some games checked for its presence on startup instead of just the multiplayer component. As of Windows 8, it is moved to the "Optional Features" section of the Windows Control Panel and is disabled by default, as it is long deprecated.
- DirectDraw rendered 2D graphics in DirectX 7 and earlier. Compatibility with newer Windows versions has worsened over time, so games which relied on it require custom wrappers; see the DirectDraw troubleshooting article for more information.
- DirectInput handled peripheral input in DirectX 7 and earlier. Replaced by XInput.
- DirectSound, DirectSound3D and DirectMusic were audio APIs in DirectX 7 and earlier. Replaced by XAudio 2 and XACT3.
- DirectSetup checked for the newest version of DirectX and installed the latest version. Now handled through Windows Update.
- DirectX Media included: DirectAnimation, DirectShow, DirectX Transformation and Direct3D Retained Mode, as well as DirectX plugins for audio signal processing and DirectX Video Acceleration.
|Enabling DirectPlay on Windows 8 and newer|
- Archive of older DirectX versions (1.0 through 9.0c from April 2009)
- Minor build variations are not listed here; refer to the equivalent table on Wikipedia: DirectX
|1.0||September, 1995||Originally named Windows Game SDK|
|2.0||1996||Shipped only with select third-party applications|
|2.0a||June 5, 1996||Exclusive to Windows 95 OSR2 and NT 4.0|
|3.0||September 15, 1996|
|3.0a||December, 1996||Last officially supported version for NT 4.0; default on NT 4.0 SP3|
|3.0b||December, 1996||Hotfix for Japanese version of Windows 95|
|5.0||August 4, 1997||Available as a beta for Windows 2000; could install on NT 4.0|
|5.2||May 5, 1998||Default on Windows 98|
|6.0||August 7, 1998||Default on Windows CE|
|6.1||February 3, 1999|
|6.1a||May 5, 1999||Default and exclusive to Windows 98 SE; last version to support 486 processors|
|7.0||September 22, 1999||Default on Windows 2000|
|7.0a||December 17, 1999|
|7.1||September 14, 2000||Exclusive to Windows Me exclusive; last version to support RGB software rendering.|
|8.0||November 10, 2000||Default and exclusive to Windows 98 SE; last version to support 486 processors|
|8.0a||January 24, 2001||Last version to support Windows 95 and software rendering in |
|8.1||October 25, 2001||Default on Windows XP RTM and SP1, Server 2003 and Xbox|
|8.1a||2002||Update for Direct3D|
|8.1b||June 25, 2002||Update for DirectShow on Windows 2000|
|8.2||2002||Update for DirectPlay|
|9.0||December 19, 2002||Introduced new version of High Level Shader Language (HLSL) support in Direct3D.|
|9.0a||March 26, 2003|
|9.0b||August 13, 2003|
|9.0c||July 22, 2004||Default on Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Server 2003 SP1 and R2, and Xbox 360.|
Introduces support for Shader Model 3.0.
Periodical updates for optional components were released until June 7, 2010 (see Legacy versions).
Support for Windows 98 dropped after the original July 2004 release, Windows Me after April 2006, Windows 98 SE after December 2006, and Windows 2000 after February 2010. The final June 2010 release is also the last DirectX version supported on any version of Windows XP.
|10||November 30, 2006||Default and exclusive to Windows Vista|
|10.1||February 4, 2008||Default on Windows Vista SP1 and SP2, and Server 2008 RTM through SP2|
|11||October 22, 2009||Default on Windows 7 RTM and SP1, Server 2008 R2 RTM and SP1|
|11.1||August 1, 2012||Default on Windows 8, RT and Server 2012|
|11.2||October 18, 2013||Default on Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2, and Xbox One|
|12||July 29, 2015||Default on Windows 10, 11, Xbox Series.|
Various updates have added support for ray tracing, Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Depths Bound Testing and Programmable MSAA.
Support for Windows 7 SP1 is limited to a plugin for select games (e.g. World of Warcraft).