DirectX 10 for Windows XP

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 8, 2007
Updated • Jul 18, 2013
Windows, Windows XP

We all know that Microsoft has decided to make the latest version of DirectX available on Windows Vista only. This has most likely been done to drive sales of the new operating systems. Some independent developers have decided to create a working version of DirectX 10 for Windows XP with the goal to run any application that requires DirectX 10 also on that operating system.

The current release is a alpha release and probably only interesting for developers or coders. The plan is however to support the two games that have been released for Vista only. Halo 2 and Shadowrun are the two games that can only be installed and played using Windows Vista at the moment as they both require DirectX 10 on the system they are installed and run on.

It is however likely that additional games will come out eventually that are Vista-only. I would not advise anyone to install the preview yet but bookmark the page and be the first when a first official version will be released that supports the games. You can download the preview from the Falling Leaf website and keep yourself informed at the official Alky Project blog.

Update: The latest version of DirectX 10 for Windows XP has been released on Monday, April 25, 2011. The latest version can be downloaded from the developer website. Please make sure you backup your system before you start to install Directx10 on Windows XP.

An alternative has been posted on the Softpedia download portal. DirectX 10 for Windows XP RC2 is available for direct download at the site. It is not clear how both versions differ. The Softpedia version has last been updated in January 2010. This may indicate that newer games may not be compatible with those versions of DirectX.

Update 2: No further releases have been published as of March 2013. This is a strong indicator that the project is dead. What's interesting though is that game developers and publishers never really jumped on the DirectX 10 only bandwagon. Games that were released in past years almost always included a version that would run on Windows XP without issues.

There is virtually no need to upgrade if you are a gamer, as the vast majority of games for Windows support the latest version of DirectX 9 as well. It is likely that this will change once Windows XP reaches its end of support date in 2014.


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  1. Q said on November 18, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Any updates on DirectX for Windows XP (might be article worthy)?

    I have seen some projects that allow use of DirectX 10 features on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

    One such project yielded “DirectX10 RC2 Pre Fix 3”. The project seems to no longer be maintained. More Information on the use of this specific implementation may be found at:

  2. proenixtolea said on August 1, 2007 at 8:08 pm


  3. Thinker said on June 9, 2007 at 12:04 am

    It’s great news, Windows Vista bring us lower performance and higher resources requirements. There is no real reason to switch to Vista but Aero … :|

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