FIX: A fatal DirectX error has occurred in 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.
  • FFXIV DirectX-related errors, such as the one discussed below, are common.
  • 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 is displayed for some users when they try to launch FFXIV.

How can I fix the fatal DirectX error for FFXIV?

1. Check for updates for the graphics card driver

A lot of system and program errors occur as a result of antiquated graphics card drivers.

To check if your graphics card driver needs updating, we recommend using a third-party app such as DriverFix, since this is the quickest way to get this task done.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

  1. Download  DriverFix.
  2. Launch the software. (It will automatically start scanning your system.)
  3. Inspect the list of outdated drivers it will display (if any).
  4. Update the graphics card driver, if necessary.

Additionally, you can update all the other drivers that might cause disruptions as this will only improve your OS health.

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2. Open the game in windowed mode

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Click Documents on the left side of File Explorer’s window.
  3. Open My Games.
  4. Then open the FINAL FANTASY XIV subfolder within My Games.
  5. Right-click the FFXIV.cfg file and select Open with… Notepad.
  6. With the FFXIV.cfg file open, press the Ctrl + F hotkey.
  7. Type ScreenMode in Notepad’s search utility.
  8. 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 should launch in windowed mode.

Running FFXIV in windowed mode, instead of fullscreen, is one of the confirmed resolutions for fixing FFXIV‘s fatal DirectX error.


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

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

4. Add DirectX9 to Steam’s launch options

  1. First, open the Steam client software.
  2. Right-click Final Fantasy XIV in Steam to select Properties.
  3. Then press the Set Launch Options button.
    Set Launch Options button a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  4. Enter -dx9 in the Launch Options text box.
  5. Click the OK button.

5. Turn off SLI for NVIDIA GPUs

  1. Right-click your Windows desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.NVIDIA Control Panel a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv
  2. Click 3D Settings on the left of control panel to expand it.
  3. Then click Configure SLI to open the SLI settings.
  4. Click the Disable SLI radio button.
  5. Select the Apply option to save the new setting.

6. Turn off CrossFire for AMD GPUs

  1. Right-click the desktop and select the AMD Radeon Settings option.
  2. Select the Gaming tab on the AMD Control Panel that opens.
  3. Then select Global Settings to open further options.
  4. Toggle the AMD CrossFire option off if it’s on.
    The AMD CrossFire option a fatal directx error has occurred ffxiv

Those are some of the best resolutions for fixing the A fatal DirectX error has occurred error.

Some of them have been successfully tested by users, while others have not, but you can try them in turn.

FAQ: Learn more about Final Fantasy XIV and DirectX

  • Can I use DirectX 12?

As long as your PC meets the minimum requirements, you can 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?

You can find an installer on the Final Fantasy XIV official website. The process is quite intuitive.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2020 and was updated and revamped in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.