FIX: A fatal DirectX error has occurred for Final Fantasy XIV

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG based on the award-winning Final Fantasy franchise.
  • The game is rather resource-intensive, so errors related to DirectX are not uncommon, such as the one described below.
  • For more great guides about this amazing game, check out our dedicated Final Fantasy XIV hub.
  • Even more interesting articles can be found on our dedicated Gaming page.
A fatal DirectX error has occurred for Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV is among the more widely played MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) for Windows. One of the more prevalent errors that arise for FFXIV on Windows has an error message that states:

A fatal DirectX error has occurred.

That DirectX error arises for some users when they try to launch FFXIV.


This is how you can fix the A fatal DirectX error for FFXIV

1. Open the game in windowed mode

  1. Running FFXIV in windowed mode, instead of fullscreen, is one of the confirmed resolutions for fixing FFXIV‘s fatal DirectX error.
  2. Open File Explorer’s window by pressing its taskbar button.
  3. Click Documents on the left side of File Explorer’s window.
  4. Open My Games within Documents.
  5. Then open the FINAL FANTASY XIV subfolder within My Games.
  6. Right-click the FFXIV.cfg file and select the Open with option. Select to open it with Notepad.
  7. With the FFXIV.cfg file open, press the Ctrl + F hotkey.
  8. Type ScreenMode in Notepad’s search utility. Then click the Find Next button.
    Find search utility a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  9. Change the ScreenMode’s setting value in the FFXIV.cfg file from 0 to 2.
  10. Click File > Save to save FFXIV.cfg. Thereafter, FFXIV might launch in windowed mode.

2. Add DirectX9 to the game’s desktop shortcut target

    1. If you’ve installed FFXIV outside of Steam, try adding -dx9 (DirectX9) to the game shortcut’s Target box.
    2. To do so, right-click the shortcut for Final Fantasy XIV and select Properties.
    3. Next, select the Shortcut tab on the window that opens.
    4. Add -dx9 to the end of the path in the Target text box.
    5. Then the target path for the game will look something like this: C:/Program Files/FFXIV/FFXIV.exe
    6. Select the Apply option.
    7. Click OK to close the window.

3. Add DirectX9 to Steam’s launch options

  1. Those who play FFXIV via Steam will need to configure the game to run with DirectX9 by clicking Set Launch Options in Steam.
  2. First, open the Steam client software.
  3. Right-click Final Fantasy XIV in Steam to select Properties.
  4. Then press the Set Launch Options button.
    Set Launch Options button a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  5. Enter -dx9 in the Launch Options text box.
  6. Click the OK button.

4. Turn off SLI for NVIDIA GPUs

  1. FFXIV’s fatal DirectX error can be due to the SLI setting for NVIDIA GPUs.
  2. To disable the SLI setting, right-click your Windows desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
    NVIDIA Control Panel a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  3. Click 3D Settings on the left of control panel to expand it.
  4. Then click Configure SLI to open the SLI settings.
  5. Click the Disable SLI radio button.
  6. Select the Apply option to save the new setting.

5. Turn off CrossFire for AMD GPUs

  1. Some users with AMD GPUs might need to disable the CrossFire setting to fix the fatal DirectX error.
  2. To do that, right-click the desktop and select the AMD Radeon Settings option.
  3. Select the Gaming tab on the AMD Control Panel that opens.
  4. Then select Global Settings to open further options.
  5. Toggle the AMD CrossFire option off if it’s on.
    The AMD CrossFire option a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv

6. Check if your graphics card driver needs updating

  1. The A fatal DirectX error has occurred issue can also pertain to an antiquated graphics card driver.
  2. To check if your graphics card driver needs updating, click Free Download on Driver Booster 7’s homepage.
  3. Install Driver Booster with the downloaded setup wizard for it.
  4. DB 7 will start scanning when you first launch the software.
  5. Select the Display adapters check box if the scan’s list includes a graphics card.
    Driver Booster 7 software a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  6. Click Update Now to update selected drivers.

Those are some of the best resolutions for fixing the A fatal DirectX error has occurred error. They aren’t entirely guaranteed resolutions, but they have fixed the issue for some users.


FAQ: Learn more about Final Fantasy XIV and DirectX

  • Can I use DirectX 12?

As long as your PC meets the minimum requirements, yes, you can install DirectX 12. Check out this detailed article on how to install DirectX 12.

  • IS DirectX updated frequently?

DirectX releases a new major version of the program every few years, but each new iteration brings plenty of tools that compensate for that.

  • How do I install Final Fantasy XIV?

Go to the Final Fantasy XIV official website > Download the installer > Launch the installer. After launching the installer, the region/language selection screen will be displayed. Select your preferred language for the installer and the game and then click Next.