How to Change TF2 & DirectX

By Paul Higgins

Updated September 22, 2017

Changing your DirectX settings in "Team Fortress 2," or TF2, allows you to either increase or decrease the graphics quality to, for example, take full advantage of a powerful graphics card or to improve the game's overall performance. TF2 is a multi-player video game from Valve Corporation thatyou can download and install by using Steam, a proprietary gaming platform from the same developer. TF2 uses the DirectX Application Programmation Interface (API) from Microsoft Corporation, which allows game developers to create games for the Windows operating system. You can edit the DirectX settings of TF2 by editing its launch parameters in Steam.

Right-click on the Steam icon in the notification area of your Windows task bar and select "Library."

Right-click on "Team Fortress 2" in the left pane and select "Properties," then click on the "Set launch options" button.

Type "-dxlevel" in the field (without quotation marks), followed by a space and the version of DirectX you want TF2 to use. If you want to use DirectX 9.0, you can select any number between 96 and 99 for optimal quality, 95 for higher quality or 90 for medium quality. If you prefer to use DirectX 8, you can either type 81 for higher quality or 80 for regular quality. Finally, if you want to use DirectX 7, you can type 70. As an example, if you want to use DirectX 7, simply type "-dxlevel 70" in the field.

Click "OK" and then click "Close" to confirm your new DirectX settings.


Using older versions of DirectX, such as DirectX 8 or 7, will significantly decrease TF2's graphics quality. It will, however, also allow your game to run more smoothly, especially if you have an older computer.