When it comes to running graphic intensive video games like Fortnite, PUBG, Crysis, Witcher 3 or software programs like Fusion360 and SolidWorks, your video hardware needs to be able to handle the latest DirectX APIs. If you are running an integrated card (one with your central processing unit) or an older dedicated graphics card, you may see the error: “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine”.
What Does This DirectX Error Mean?
The DX11 is a short form for DirectX11, which is an application programming interface or API that is developed by Microsoft and runs on Windows computers. Its job is to handle your computer’s hardware that deals with multimedia elements like your graphics card, your sound card, and your operating system. It provides programs with hardware-accelerated support and determines your hardware’s capabilities and adapts it as needed, so you get the best performance possible. As of 2021, the latest generation is DirectX12.
When you get the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” error, it means that your computer system, specifically your graphics processing unit, does not have the most recent or appropriate Direct3D hardware to run the application you are trying to run.
Wait, There’s a Difference Between DirectX Runtime & Direct3D Hardware?
Yes, the DirectX Runtime Program determines what DirectX version your operating system can handle, as older operating systems may not be able to run the latest generation of DirectX API. Whereas, the Direct3D Hardware Feature Levels is what describes and determines what your GPU can run or is compatible with.
Just because you are able to download and install the latest DirectX Runtime Environment, does not mean that your GPU will be able to run the latest Direct3D Hardware. This is the case, even if you have the latest operating system.
Can I Find Out Which DirectX Is Installed?
To check which DirectX version you are running, you will need to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool which is built directly into Windows. You access it by doing the following:
- In your computer’s search box (start menu) type in “Run”.
- Open up the Run Dialogue Box.
- Type in: “dxdiag” and hit OK.
- Under System, look for the DirectX Version.
If your graphics card is up to date, you can view which Direct3D Hardware Feature Levels it supports by doing the following:
- Go to the Display tab which is beside the System tab.
- Look under Drivers.
- Find Feature Levels.
- Make sure that DirectDraw Acceleration, Direct3D Acceleration, and AGP Texture Acceleration are enabled.
If you are running the latest Windows 10 Operating System, you will have DirectX12 and should be able to run DirectX11 and DirectX10 as well. If you are running a legacy application or game, these might only take up to DirectX9, which will require you to download and install a distribution for it.
6 Solutions for Fixing the DX11 Feature Level 10.0 is Required to Run the Engine Error Message
1. Run the Application With a Dedicated GPU
Check to see if your computer system has both an integrated graphics processing unit and a dedicated graphics processing unit. If you are working with a laptop, you can view this either by the stickers on the inside by the track pad, or you can look in your Device Manager under Display Adapters to see. If you see an integrated graphics adapter in the list and a dedicated GPU, you will want to disable the integrated. Here is how to do it:
- In your computer’s search box (start menu) type in “Device Manager“.
- Open Device Manager and find Display Adapters.
- Expand the Display Adapters list.
- Right-click the integrated graphics unit.
- Choose to disable it.
- This will switch to using your dedicated graphics card.
- You can re-enable the integrated unit anytime by repeating these steps.
If your GPU supports DirectX11 and Direct3D Hardware Features for 10.0, you will no longer get the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” error message.
2. Install All Game Patches & Updates
If you know that the application you are trying to run went through a recent update, download and patch the application. Developers for video games and in-service software solutions are always releasing patches to fix bugs and oversights in the programming. Failure to update to the latest patch may cause the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” error message.
3. Update Windows 10 to the Latest Version
If your Windows 10 Operating System isn’t up to date, this may be the reason you are getting the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” error message, as the latest updates ensure you are running the latest DirectX. Check to see if your Windows 10 is up to date and if it is not, update it using these steps:
- In your computer’s search box (start menu) type in settings.
- Click on the Update & Security option.
- Click the Check for Updates button.
- Update your Windows 10.
- Restart your computer.
- Relaunch your application.
Try running your application again and see if the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” error message pops up. If it doesn’t, you are good to go but if it does, move on to the next solution below.
4. Install the Newest Version of DirectX
If your Windows 10 computer is up to date, you will have the latest DirectX automatically integrated into the system, so there’s no need to download it. The same goes for DirectX11 for Windows 8/8.1 and DirectX10 for Windows 7/Vista. However, if for some reason you do not have the latest DirectX, you can download it here. The easiest way to do this is to use the web installer.
5. Update Your Graphics Driver
If your Windows is up to date, you’ve downloaded the latest application patches, and you have the latest DirectX, see if your graphics card drivers are out of date. This is often the main culprit since drivers are frequently released for both integrated and dedicated graphic processing units. There are several ways you can update your graphics drivers.
Updating the graphics driver using the Device Manager:
- In your computer’s search box (start menu) search Device Manager.
- Find Display Adapters in the new window.
- Drop down its menu and right-click on your integrated or dedicated unit.
- Hit the update option from the menu.
- Search automatically for the driver.
- Windows will scan for new drivers and install them.
If Windows does not find any new drivers, the next best thing to do is to update them manually from the manufacturer’s website.
- If running an Intel integrated processing unit with a laptop or notebook, then go here and download based on the manufacturer.
- If running a dedicated Nvidia graphics card, go here. You will need to fill in the product type, series, and product itself as well as your operating system.
- If running a dedicated AMD graphics card, go here.
If you do not want to manually download and install the drivers, both Nvidia and AMD have official driver software that you can download and use for your GPU. This is reliable, works great, and you don’t ever have to worry about messing up the install. For Nvidia, you can use the GeForce Experience and for AMD, you can use the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition.
6. Repair Your DirectX
If your DirectX Runtime Environment is damaged or becomes corrupted from a virus, you will need to repair it as this may be the cause of the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” message you see. To repair your DirectX, do the following:
- Head to Microsoft’s DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer Page.
- This page can be found here.
- Select your required language and hit the download button.
- This will allow you access to a number of runtime libraries for applications and games that use DX9/10/11.
- Once downloaded, install it with administrator privileges.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Restart when repair is done.
This should give you the distribution files needed so that you no longer get the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine,” message when running applications.