How to Fix FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error

You’re all set to embark on your next epic adventure in Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), and suddenly, out of nowhere, it shows an error – A fatal DirectX error has occurred. If you’re getting this error, I can understand your frustration. In this guide, I will walk you through several effective ways to resolve the FFXIV fatal DirectX error.

Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) available for Windows users. The game has been well received by players as it has garnered very positive reviews on Steam. However, like any other game, FFXIV too has its own share of problems. Many players can’t get past the launch screen as the window gets stuck after showing the “A fatal DirectX error has occurred” error message.

FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error

The error message says there’s an issue with DirectX on your computer. Check out the next section to understand the problem, and then I’ll take you to the solutions.

Understanding the Error and Its Potential Reasons

Looking at the error message, one can quickly tell that there’s an issue with DirectX. But it’ll still be unclear until you know about DirectX. It’s nothing but a collection of APIs used by games, such as FFXIV, for handling graphics and multimedia tasks.

If DirectX fails on your Windows, the game may not be able to communicate with computer hardware components such as graphics card (GPU), sound card, etc. This could be the reason why you’re seeing the error message soon after launching the game.

According to various reports on the internet, the error is caused by using DirectX 11 in fullscreen games. Running the game in a borderless window has done the trick for many players. Hold on; I’ll tell you all the steps in the solutions. For now, let’s look at other reasons that can trigger the DirectX error:

  • Outdated Graphics Drivers: Running an outdated graphics driver on your PC is a common reason for DirectX errors. You must update the drivers to their latest version.
  • System Requirements Mismatch: DirectX error can show up if your computer does not match the minimum requirements to run Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV). You can check the requirements on the official website.
  • DirectX Version: FFXIV works with DirectX 11. However, running the game on DirectX 9 did the trick in some cases. So, try switching between the DirectX versions to check if it can solve the problem.
  • Incompatible GPU: If your PC does not have an FFXIV-compatible GPU, it can very well be the cause of the error you see during the game launch.
  • Overclocking: A Windows computer with an overclocked CPU or GPU may cause a DirectX error for some games. If you have done it, revert the changes to see if it resolves the DirectX error.
  • Software Bugs: Your PC may have software bugs/glitches, causing DirectX errors on FFXIV. Restart your device and check if the error has disappeared.

How to Fix FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error?

Try these solutions individually until you find the one that works for you.

1. Run FFXIV in a Borderless Window

Many players got rid of the fatal DirectX error in FFXIV by running the game in a borderless window. It’s easy to do this via in-game settings. However, since this error won’t let you enter the game, we need to edit the configuration file to achieve this.

  1. Close the game if it is opened.
  2. Launch File Explorer on your computer.
  3. Tap on Documents from the left pane.
  4. Open My Games and double-tap on FINAL FANTASY XIV to open this sub-folder.
  5. Right-click on FFXIV.cfg, hover your cursor over the Open with option, and select Notepad.
  6. Press Ctrl + F to search for ScreenMode.
  7. Change the ScreenMode value to 2.
  8. Tap on File in the top-left corner and click Save to save the changes. You can also use the Ctrl + S shortcut for this purpose.
  9. Exit Notepad.

After making the required changes to the configuration file, launch Final Fantasy XIV and check if the problem has been resolved.

You can easily switch to the full-screen mode during the game by pressing Alt + Enter.

2. Update Your Graphics Drivers

If you have not updated graphics drivers on your device, they could be causing DirectX errors. Ensure that your computer has the latest graphics drivers installed.

Steps to update graphics drivers on Windows:

  1. Press Windows + X and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display Adapters option by double-tapping on it.
  3. Right-click on your graphics driver and choose Update driver. A new window should appear.
  4. Tap on Search automatically for drivers and follow on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Windows automatically is sometimes inconsistent. Even when a new version is available, it shows, “The best drivers for your device are already installed”. I highly recommend downloading the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

Here are direct links for NVIDIA and AMD drivers download page:

Go to the official website, select your graphics, and download the latest driver. Install the latest drivers on your computer, reinstall it, and launch FFXIV to check if the problem is fixed.

The fatal DirectX error in FFXIV could also occur if your computer has a corrupted graphics driver. If the problem started surfacing after you recently updated the driver, it probably didn’t go well. The update may have failed, or the drivers are incompatible with the game.

You can try uninstalling the driver and installing it again:

  1. Press Windows + X and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display Adapters option by double-tapping on it.
  3. Right-click on your graphics driver and choose Uninstall device.
  4. Click Uninstall again to remove the driver.

After removing the graphics driver, restart your computer. The device will automatically install missing drivers for you.

3. Run the Game Using DirectX 9

If your computer is running Windows 10 or 11, the game, by default, uses DirectX 11. Although the official system requirements page also mentions DirectX 11 as one of the requirements, it creates problems on some computers. Several players have claimed that switching to DirectX 9 resolved the fatal DirectX error in FFXIV.

You can quickly disable DirectX 11 from the in-game settings by navigating to Settings > System Configuration > Graphics. But, since you can’t launch the game because of the DirectX error, we have to use a different approach.

Steps to enable DirectX 9 for FFXIV:

  1. Launch the Steam client on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the Library section in Steam and locate the Final Fantasy XIV in your Steam library.
  3. Right-click on the game and choose the Properties option.
  4. Tap on SET LAUNCH OPTIONS and type -dx9 in the bar. If there are other launch options, separate this one with a space.
  5. Click the OK button to confirm your changes.

There’s another way to enable DirectX 9 for Final Fantasy XIV. Right-click on the game’s shortcut icon and select Properties. Then, go to the Shortcut tab and add -dx9 at the end of the path. Click Apply and tap on OK to save the changes.

4. Disable SLI for NVIDIA GPUs

SLI (Scalable Link Interface) is an NVIDIA technology for using multiple NVIDIA GPUs in a single computer. Although it enhances the performance, you may experience issues with games not supporting multiple GPUs.

There’s no official word on whether Final Fantasy XIV supports NVIDIA SLI or not. However, if you are encountering a fatal DirectX error while launching or playing FFXIV, consider turning it off.

  1. Close the game, if opened.
  2. Right-click on your desktop and select the NVIDIA Control Panel option.
  3. Expand 3D Settings options in the left navigation pane.
  4. Tap on Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX.
  5. Select the Disable SLI option.
  6. Click Apply to save the changes.

Launch FFXIV to check if the DirectX error has been resolved.

5. Disable Crossfire for AMD GPUs

Crossfire is AMD’s technology of combining multiple GPUs in a single computer. It is similar to NVIDIA’s SLI. If you’re getting the fatal DirectX error when launching FFXIV, try disabling AMD Crossfire.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Gaming tab within the AMD Control Panel window.
  3. Click Global Settings to view additional AMD options.
  4. Toggle off the AMD Crossfire option, if it’s enabled.

Wrapping It Up

It’s frustrating when you can’t play your favorite game. But, with the right troubleshooting methods, you can fix the error and get back to gaming with even more excitement.

If you are getting the fatal DirectX error in Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), begin your troubleshooting by updating your graphics drivers. If it does not help, run the game in a borderless window or try using DirectX 9. You can also troubleshoot the problem by disabling CLI (on NVIDIA GPU) or Crossfire (on AMD GPU).

If you tried the aforementioned solutions from this guide but to no success, reach out to Square Enix for further help. Check out out gaming section to learn more tips, tricks, and troubleshooting techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.