Fix: FFXIV ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ Fatal DirectX Error

A fatal DirectX error has occured

FFXIV is a game from one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time but its PC port suffers from plenty of performance issues and errors. The FFXIV Fatal DirectX error is one of them and it has been striking PC gamers since the game was released.

FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error
FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error

There are several working solutions for the problem, including a very successful workaround which might spoil the overall experience but it will most definitely solve the problem for you. Check out the methods we have prepared for your below!

What Causes the FFXIV Fatal DirectX Error?

The error is often caused by using DirectX 11 in fullscreen games which apparently goes wrong on some graphics cards and some setups. Running the game in borderless window and switching back to fullscreen after a while might do the trick.

Apart from that, you should check if your drivers are outdated or if a new driver has messed things up. You can uninstall the current one and try out several different ones to see if it helps. Finally, using the SLI technology has always caused the game to crash so you might consider disabling it completely when your play the game.

Solution 1: Run the Game in Borderless Window and Enter Fullscreen Afterwards

Since the game often crashes during startup, changing the in-game settings regarding the display is practically impossible. Still, one method is to easily edit a configuration file in order to run the game and use a key combination to switch to full-screen later on. Check it out below!

  1. Open the File Explorer on your computer and navigate to Documents by clicking its entry at the left navigation pane.
Opening Documents
Opening Documents
  1. Locate a folder named FINAL FANTASY XIV and double-click to open it. Also, locate a file named “FFXIV.cfg”. Right-click the file and choose Open with >> Notepad from the context menu in order to edit it.
  2. Use the Ctrl + F key combination or click Edit at the top menu and choose the Find option from the dropdown menu in order to open the Search box.
  3. Type “ScreenMode” in the search box and change the value next to it to 2. Use the Ctrl + S key combination in order to save the changes or click File >> Save and exit Notepad.
Final Fantasy XIV Configuration file
Final Fantasy XIV Configuration file
  1. Try running the game again in order to check if the FFXIV Fatal DirectX error keeps occurring after performing these steps.

Note: Since the game will now launch in a borderless window, you might want to go back to fullscreen easily. Since it’s probably difficult to go to in-game settings each time to switch to fullscreen, you can use the Alt + Enter key combination for the same job!

Solution 2: Update or Roll Back Your Graphics Card Drivers

As almost all DirectX errors go, it definitely may be caused by the faulty or outdated graphics card driver and you should replace it as soon as you get the chance. However, there are two different scenarios which may have occurred: you might have updated your drivers and the error started to occur or you didn’t update them in a while. Either way, you can choose your drivers easily!

  1. Click the Start menu at the lower left part of the screen, type in “Device Manager” afterwards, and select it from the list of available results by simply clicking the first one.
  2. You can also press the Windows Key + R key combination in order to bring up the Run dialog box. Type in “devmgmt.msc” in the dialog box and click OK in order to run it.
Running Device Manager
Running Device Manager
  1. Since it’s the graphics card driver you want to update on your computer, click the arror next to the Display adapters section, right click on your video card and choose the Uninstall Device option.
Uninstalling the graphics card driver
Uninstalling the graphics card driver
  1. Confirm any dialogues or prompts which may ask you to confirm the uninstallation of the current graphics device driver and wait for the process to complete.
  2. Look for your graphics card driver on the card’s manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions which should be available on the site. After performing a search for your card, OS, and CPU architecture, you should try various different drivers, starting from the newest one.
  3. Save the installation file on your computer and run the executable from there. Your computer may restart several times during the installation.
Downloading the drivers
Downloading the drivers
  1. Check to see if the FFXIV Fatal DirectX error message appears after launching the game.

Solution 3: Disable SLI

SLI is an NVIDIA technology for multiple graphics cards in the same setup and it’s a great thing for users who are really all about performance and running everything maxed out. However, this feature appears to be rejected by many games and setups and it causes various issues. If you are receiving the Fatal DirectX error, you should definitely consider disabling SLI.

  1. Right-click on your desktop, at the blank side without icons, and select the NVIDIA Control Panel entry from the context menu which will appear. You can alsodouble-click the NVIDIA icon in the system tray if you see it. NVIDIA Control Panel can also be located in the regular Control Panel by switching to the Large icons view and locating it.
  2. Once you’ve opened the NVIDIA Control Panel, head over to the 3D settings menu at the left side navigation pane and click the Set SLI configuration option.
Setting the SLI Configuration
Setting the SLI Configuration
  1. At the end, select the Do not use SLI technology option and click on Apply to confirm the changes. Launch FFXIV again and check to see if the same error still appears.

Solution 4: Run the Game Using DirectX 9

The error may simply be related to using DirectX 11 which is the default one to be launched if you using a relatively newer version of Windows. Still, problems may appear and users have found out that switching to DirectX 9 might solve the problem. There is an in-game option to stop using DirectX 11 and you will find it in Settings >> System Configuration >> Graphics tab but you can also do the same without entering the game!

  1. Start up Steam on your PC by double-clicking its entry on the Desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu. There are other ways to locate it as well.
Running Steam
Running Steam
  1. Navigate to the Library section in the Steam window by locating the Library tab at the top of the window, and locate Final Fantasy XIV in the list of games you have in your library.
  2. Right-click on the game’s entry in the list and choose the Properties option from the context menu which will show up. Click the Set launch options button.
Steam - Set launch options
Steam – Set launch options
  1. Type “-dx9” in the bar. If there were some other launch options located there from before, make sure you separate this one with a space. Click the Ok button in order to confirm the changes.
  2. Try launching the game from the Library tab and see if the FFXIV Fatal DirectX error still appears.

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.