How to Fix Diablo 2 Error Code 1 – Unsupported Graphics on Windows 10

Some people reported that after purchasing Diablo 2 from Blizzard’s Store and installing it, they end up seeing the Error Code 1 – ‘Unsupported Graphics’ when trying to launch the game. This issue is mainly encountered on Windows 10.

Diablo 2 Error Code 1

After inspecting this problem, it looks like there are a few possible causes for this error to appear. Here’s a shortlist of distinct scenarios that might lead to this particular Diablo 2 error on Windows 10:

  • Game’s old age – Diablo 2 was published in 2001, so the game’s resolution is way too old for the new PCs nowadays. Fortunately, this problem can be fixed by using a glide wrapper to transition from the traditional rendering techniques used on legacy games to modern ones used on Windows 10.
  • .Missing admin privileges – As it turns out, you can also expect to see this error code when launching Diablo 2 due to a permission issue. Other users dealing with the same problem have managed to fix the issue by forcing the game’s executable to launch with admin access.
  • Windows 10 incompatibility – Diablo is a legacy game that was not really designed to be rendered on Windows 10 and that might be the reason for this issue. Fortunately, you can make it seem like you’re running it from an older Windows version by using Compatibility mode. 
  • GPU doesn’t support the default resolution – According to some affected users, the game refuses to boot up with certain newer GPUs while in 640×480 or 800×600 resolutions. In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by forcing the game to run in windowed mode. 

Now that you know every possible scenario, here’s a list of methods that can help you fix this Diablo 2 error on Windows 10:

Method 1: Run Diablo 2 with Admin access

In most documented instances, this issue appears due to a permission issue that prevents the game from making use of every required dependency needed to render every asset. A few reports suggest that by forcing admin access to Diablo 2, the error no longer appears. 

Here’s how to modify the default behavior of the main executable of Diablo 2 so that it always runs with administrator privileges:

  1. Right-click on the Diablo 2 shortcut on your desktop, and click on Properties.
  2. After that, select the Compatibility menu and at the Settings section, check the box where it says ‘Run this program as an administrator’.

    Running Diablo 2 as administrator
  3. Apply your change and launch the game to see if the unsupported graphics error still appears.

If the error still pops up on your screen, go to the next method below.

Method 2: Run Diablo 2 in Windowed mode

It’s a known fact that newer graphics card models have lots of issues rendering legacy games that are configured to run on the lowest resolutions by default. Diablo 2 is running in 640×480 by default, so a lot of users are blaming the error at Diablo’s default resolution. 

If you’re using a motherboard that does not support a resolution this low, you should be able to circumvent the apparition of the Error Code 1 – ‘Unsupported Graphics’ by forcing the game to run in windowed mode. 

The fix consists of editing the Properties for Diablo 2 in order to force the game to start in windowed mode.

Here are the step by step instructions on how to do that:

  1. Right-click on the Diablo 2 shortcut on your desktop, then click on Properties.
  2. After that, click on the Shortcut menu on the top side.
  3. Where is the Target section, you need to add -w at the end of the game’s location.

    Modifying the Target window of Diablo 2

Even if the game will be in windowed mode, you shouldn’t encounter the graphics error anymore.

If this solution didn’t help, check below for the next one.

Method 3: Run Diablo 2 in Compatibility Mode with Windows 95

The game’s old age is a problem because of the incompatibility with Windows 10. This is an even bigger issue if the Anniversary Update is installed on Windows 10. Fortunately, using the compatibility mode, you can change the perceived Windows on which the game is running on. 

Some users recommended using Windows 95 as the Compatibility OS. Follow the steps to see how to change it:

  1. Right-click on Diablo 2’s icon on your desktop, and open the Properties menu.
  2. Select Compatibility, then go to Compatibility mode and check the box where it says ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for:’.

    Forcing the game to run in Compatibility Mode
  3. After checking the box, it will unlock a list of other versions of Windows, select the list and click on Windows 95.

    Forcing the game to run in compatibility mode with Windows 95
  4. Then click on Apply and launch the game to see if the graphics error still occurs.

If neither of these solutions worked, check the last one below.

Method 4: Use Sven’s Glide Wrapper with Diablo 2

A major issue on why you might see the Error Code 1 – ‘Unsupported Graphics’ is if the game is unable to render the graphics assets because they were originally developed with technologies that have since been replicated.

Fortunately, you can convert the old rendering techniques with the new equivalents using Sven’s Glide Wrapper.

Note: Sven’s Glide Wrapper is a tool that translates the Glide API commands to be recognized by OpenGL or DirectX, allowing GPUs to run older games that use Glide for 3D acceleration.

This wrapper is exclusively written for Diablo 2, so it won’t work with other games.

If you want to see how to install and use Sven’s Glide Wrapper, follow the next steps:

  1. Download the latest version of Sven’s Glide Wrapper from this link here, then unzip the file in an easy-to-access folder.
  2. Then, find the location of Diablo 2 and copy-paste ‘glide3x.dll’ and ‘glide-init’ in that folder. If you can’t find the folder’s location, right-click on the shortcut that you have on your desktop, and it will show you the exact location.

    Setting Sven’s Glide Wrapper
  3. After that, open ‘glide-init’ to set your settings for the game.

    Sven’s glide wrapper
  4. Before entering the game, right-click on Diablo 2’s icon and open the 
  5. Properties menu. If you used the ‘-w’ parameter for windowed mode, write right after ‘-3dfx’. By doing that, the game will manually select the glide wrapper.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.