The error “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” appears when the system does not have the appropriate Direct3D Hardware Feature Level required by the game engine. This particular error message is signaling that the application engine is unable to use Direct 3D Feature Level version 10.0.If the operating system has the latest DirectX version, the error is usually a sign that the GPU doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements or is running on outdated driver software. Users will encounter this error when trying to run games and other applications that require extensive graphical processing.
What is DirectX?
DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) developed by Microsoft to handle tasks related to game programming and multimedia on all Microsoft-affiliated platforms. The collection of APIs provides DirectX-compatible programs with hardware-accelerated multimedia support. Among other things, DirectX provides the means for a program (game or other application) to determine your hardware capabilities and adapt its parameters to provide the best experience.Many of the APIs present in the DirectX subsystem are mandatory and should be regarded as essential to everything from simple video playback to demanding 3D video games.
DirectX Runtime vs Direct3D Hardware Feature Level
A lot of users are confusing the DirectX runtime environment with the Direct3D Hardware Feature Level. The DirectX Runtime describes the DirectX version that OS software can support. On the other hand, the Direct3d Hardware Feature Level describes the support that your video hardware (GPU) provides.
With this in mind, having the latest DirectX runtime environment installed on your PC does not mean that your hardware is capable of supporting Direct3D Hardware Feature Level 10.0. Even if your Windows version is equipped to handle the latest DirectX APIs, your GPU card might not support the required feature levels. This is often the case with older or integrated GPUs.
How to find out if DirectX is installed
If you have Windows 10, DirectX 12.0 Runtime was automatically installed with the operating system (assuming that you have the latest Windows updates). But in order to use the new DirectX APIs, your GPU card needs to support them.
To confirm this and check which DirectX version is supported by your OS, you’ll need to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool (dxdiag). This built-in Windows tool can be accessed on any Windows version by opening a Run box (Windows key + R) and typing “dxdiag“.
You can view your DirectX runtime version under System Information in the System tab.
In order to see if your GPU is capable of supporting the required feature levels, go to the Display tab under Drivers and see which Feature Levels are supported by your graphics card.
If you find that feature level 10_0 (10.0) is not showing among the Feature Levels entries inside DirectX Diagnostic Tool, it’s one of the following scenarios:
- Your graphics card (GPU) is running with outdated drivers that need to be updated. Unless your system has a driver that instructs the graphics hardware on how to use the respective feature level, it won’t shop up inside the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
- Your OS requires an additional platform update. Only applicable to Windows 7 and Windows XP users.
- Your graphics card does not support Feature Level 10.0. In this case, the applicable fix would be to buy a new graphics card (GPU).
Keep in mind that DirectX has backward compatibility – if you have DirectX 12, all the previous runtime distributions should be present on your system. The same goes for DirectX 11 and DirectX 10.
However, some legacy games need older DirectX APIs that are since obsolete on Windows 10 and can only be found on DirectX 9.0c or lower. In this case, you will be required to install that particular distribution in order to run the program. Even though the latest DirectX version is 12.0, the vast majority of games still rely heavily on feature levels implemented with DirectX 10 runtime.
Fixing the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” error
If the DirectX Diagnostic tool revealed that you have DirectX 10 runtime or newer and you GPU supports the required Direct3D feature level, you should have the necessary components to run the application in question. However, if you still get the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” error despite meeting the requirements, one of the fixes in this article will enable you to fix the error.
Below you have a collection of solutions that users have found helpful in fixing the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” error. Please follow each method in order until you encounter a fix that works for you.
Note: The methods below are only applicable if you’re certain that your GPU supports Feature Level 10.0. Before trying out any of the fixes, it’s recommended that you do some research on your graphics card specifications to see if it’s capable of supporting Direct3D Feature Level 10.0.
Method 1: Running the application with the dedicated GPU
If you’re seeing the error on a laptop or notebook, chances are you have both a dedicated GPU and an integrated solution. If you have two cards, your system will decide on which GPU card to use by analyzing how many resources are required by the application engine. However, this can be overridden by your battery-saving utility – if it’s set to battery-saving mode, it might force the system to start the program with the integrated GPU since it consumes fewer resources.
This can be easily remedied by setting the utility to “Performance mode” or by uninstalling the software altogether. But if you don’t wish to uninstall the battery manager, you can force your dedicated GPU by right-clicking on the game shortcut and choosing Run with graphics processor. Then, select your dedicated card and see if it starts without the “DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine” error.
If it starts successfully, you can return to this setting and click on Change default graphics processor to set a permanent rule for the program in your GPUs Control Panel settings.