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How to Fix a d3d11-compatible GPU (feature level 11.0 shader model 5.0)

As the technology industry has advanced over the years, older components become less expensive but less compatible with newer units, while newer technology gets increasingly more complex and geared to work with newer systems. 

This mayhem of mixing and matching affordable pieces with compatible ones makes it a challenge to troubleshoot errors as they arise, such as the “d3d11-compatible GPU” error that sometimes displays when trying to launch Fortnite.

To fix the d3d11-compatible GPU error, you’ll want to update your Windows, then update your GPU drivers. If the problem persists, you may need to install the DirectX End-User Runtime file from the internet. If this error message still displays after following these steps, your GPU may be older than 5 years and not support the required graphics.

While the problem may seem like a bigger issue, the solutions are relatively simple. In this article, I’ll discuss the steps for troubleshooting the “d3d11-compatible GPU” error code so that you can get back to clutching W’s.

Let’s drop in.

How to fix all crashes and a d3d11 compatible GPU error in Fortnite

Also, Check Out Nvidia’s Most Compatible D3D11 GPU

How to Fix a d3d11-compatible GPU (feature level 11.0 shader model 5.0)

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How to Fix All Crashes and a d3d11-compatible GPU Error in Fortnite

Though this article is geared toward troubleshooting the “d3d11-compatible GPU” error code, these solutions will work for most common crashes and bugs that one might experience when launching Fortnite.

Update Your Windows

The catch-all solution to error codes is to update your Windows version to a newer one. Typically, the d3d11-compatible GPU error will display if your Windows version is older than Windows 10, if your OS is the problem.

To help you root out the cause of the error, start by updating your Windows to Windows 10 or 11. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Start (Windows) button on the bottom-left corner of your screen or keyboard.
  2. Select Settings to open up your system preferences hub.
  3. Select Update & Security, then select Windows Update.
  4. Wait for all updates to finish installing, then restart your computer and launch Fortnite. If problem persists, continue to the next solution.
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Update Your GPU Drivers

Just as new models and upgrades are constantly coming out for computer hardware, so too are the various software that power the components. Even if you have a brand-new, powerful GPU in your rig, Nvidia and AMD are always releasing new driver updates to enhance the performance of your hardware.

With that in mind, your GPU drivers might be out-of-date, which could be causing the “d3d11-compatible GPU” error to display. Follow the steps below to update your GPU drivers and get back in the zone.

  1. Verify you are signed in as an administrator (if you are unsure how to check this, select Start > Settings > Accounts)
  2. Press Win+r on your keyboard to open the Run program.
  3. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
  4. Find the row labelled Display Adapters and right-click the item that represents your graphics card, then select Properties.
  5. Select the Driver tab from the top row, then click Update Driver.
  6. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
  7. Follow the instructions displayed on your screen and, once the updates are installed, restart your PC and launch Fortnite.

If this solution doesn’t work, you should visit your GPU vendor’s website and follow their directions for installing driver updates directly from them.

Install DirectX End-User Runtime

The “d3d11-compatible GPU” error code references Direct3DX 11 (or D3DX 11), which is the interface that Windows uses to render 3D graphics. When this error code displays, it’s telling you that your GPU is currently incompatible with D3DX 11, which is sourced from DirectX 11, a more recent version of DirectX.

While all Windows versions since Windows 8 have included DirectX files on installation, Microsoft often releases updates to improve performance, which might be why your game suddenly stops working. You can solve this by installing DirectX End-User Runtime; this won’t change the version of D3DX your system is running, but will update the version you have so that it will work properly again.

Follow these steps to install DirectX End-User Runtime:

  1. Navigate to the Download DirectX End-User Runtime page on Microsoft’s website.
  2. Select a language and click Download.
  3. Click Open or Run this program from its current location.
  4. Wait for the up-to-date files to finishing installing.
  5. Restart your system and try launching Fortnite again.
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If you have tried all three of these solutions, Fortnite should be running smoothly again and you won’t have anything to worry about until another big driver or Windows update comes out.

What If These Solutions Don’t Work for Me?

Despite following the instructions for the solutions above, your system might still display the “d3d11-compatible GPU” error code when you try launching Fortnite. If this is the case, there is only one likely cause left: your GPU is outdated.

GPUs are one of the most complex components that go into a PC system and, as the technology driving their innovations steadily grows more advanced, older GPUs become less capable of keeping up.

If your GPU is older than 5 years or so, there’s a good chance that it won’t be able to handle D3DX 11, and thus won’t be able to run Fortnite. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the newest, most expensive GPU; rather, you should upgrade to the best you can afford and ensure that it can handle D3DX 11 before purchasing.

Our Final Take

For most PC users and Fortnite players, the “d3d11-GPU compatible” error code is an easy enough fix with some quick updates. There are some, though, whose GPUs are too old and outdated to handle the requirements of Direct3D 11, which you need to have installed to run Fortnite. Check how up-to-date your system is, update or upgrade where you need to, and get back in the game.

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