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The DirectX Tool Kit (aka DirectXTK) is a collection of helper classes for writing DirectX 11.x code in C++


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DirectX Tool Kit for DirectX 11

Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.

June 4, 2024

This package contains the "DirectX Tool Kit", a collection of helper classes for writing Direct3D 11 C++ code for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for Windows 11, Windows 10, Xbox One, and Win32 desktop applications for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later.

This code is designed to build with Visual Studio 2019 (16.11), Visual Studio 2022, clang for Windows v12 or later, or MinGW 12.2. Use of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update SDK (19041) or later is required for Visual Studio.

These components are designed to work without requiring any content from the legacy DirectX SDK. For details, see Where is the DirectX SDK?.

Directory Layout

  • Inc\

    • Public Header Files (in the DirectX C++ namespace):

      • Audio.h - low-level audio API using XAudio2 (DirectXTK for Audio public header)
      • BufferHelpers.h - C++ helpers for creating D3D resources from CPU data
      • CommonStates.h - factory providing commonly used D3D state objects
      • DDSTextureLoader.h - light-weight DDS file texture loader
      • DirectXHelpers.h - misc C++ helpers for D3D programming
      • Effects.h - set of built-in shaders for common rendering tasks
      • GamePad.h - gamepad controller helper using XInput, Windows.Gaming.Input, or GameInput
      • GeometricPrimitive.h - draws basic shapes such as cubes and spheres
      • GraphicsMemory.h - helper for managing dynamic graphics memory allocation
      • Keyboard.h - keyboard state tracking helper
      • Model.h - draws meshes loaded from .CMO, .SDKMESH, or .VBO files
      • Mouse.h - mouse helper
      • PostProcess.h - set of built-in shaders for common post-processing operations
      • PrimitiveBatch.h - simple and efficient way to draw user primitives
      • ScreenGrab.h - light-weight screen shot saver
      • SimpleMath.h - simplified C++ wrapper for DirectXMath
      • SpriteBatch.h - simple & efficient 2D sprite rendering
      • SpriteFont.h - bitmap based text rendering
      • VertexTypes.h - structures for commonly used vertex data formats
      • WICTextureLoader.h - WIC-based image file texture loader
      • XboxDDSTextureLoader.h - Xbox One exclusive apps variant of DDSTextureLoader
  • Src\

    • DirectXTK source files and internal implementation headers
  • Audio\

    • DirectXTK for Audio source files and internal implementation headers
  • MakeSpriteFont\

    • Command line tool used to generate binary resources for use with SpriteFont
  • XWBTool\

    • Command line tool for building XACT-style wave banks for use with DirectXTK for Audio's WaveBank class
  • build\

    • Contains YAML files for the build pipelines along with some miscellaneous build files and scripts.


Documentation is available on the GitHub wiki.


All content and source code for this package are subject to the terms of the MIT License.

For the latest version of DirectXTK, bug reports, etc. please visit the project site on GitHub.

Release Notes


For a full change history, see

  • Starting with the February 2023 release, the Mouse class implementation of relative mouse movement was updated to accumulate changes between calls to GetState. By default, each time you call GetState the deltas are reset which works for scenarios where you use relative movement but only call the method once per frame. If you call it more than once per frame, then add an explicit call to EndOfInputFrame to use an explicit reset model instead.

  • As of the September 2022 release, the library makes use of C++11 inline namespaces for differing types that have the same names in the DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 version of the DirectX Tool Kit. This provides a link-unique name such as DirectX::DX11::SpriteBatch that will appear in linker output messages. In most use cases, however, there is no need to add explicit DX11 namespace resolution in client code.

  • Starting with the July 2022 release, the bool forceSRGB parameter for DDSTextureLoader Ex functions is now a DDS_LOADER_FLAGS typed enum bitmask flag parameter. This may have a breaking change impact to client code. Replace true with DDS_LOADER_FORCE_SRGB and false with DDS_LOADER_DEFAULT.

  • As of the October 2021 release, the DGSLEffect no longer directly supports skinning. Instead, make use of SkinnedDGSLEffect which is derived from DGSLEffect.

  • Starting with the June 2020 release, this library makes use of typed enum bitmask flags per the recommendation of the C++ Standard section Bitmask types. This may have breaking change impacts to client code:

    • You cannot pass the 0 literal as your flags value. Instead you must make use of the appropriate default enum value: AudioEngine_Default, SoundEffectInstance_Default, ModelLoader_Clockwise, or WIC_LOADER_DEFAULT.

    • Use the enum type instead of DWORD if building up flags values locally with bitmask operations. For example, WIC_LOADER_FLAGS flags = WIC_LOADER_DEFAULT; if (...) flags |= WIC_LOADER_FORCE_SRGB;

  • The UWP projects and the Win10 classic desktop project include configurations for the ARM64 platform. Building these requires installing the ARM64 toolset.

  • When using clang/LLVM for the ARM64 platform, the Windows 11 SDK (22000) or later is required.

  • The CompileShaders.cmd script must have Windows-style (CRLF) line-endings. If it is changed to Linux-style (LF) line-endings, it can fail to build all the required shaders.

  • Xbox One support for DirectX 11 requires the legacy Xbox One XDK. See February 2023 or earlier releases of DirectX Tool Kit for the required project files.


For questions, consider using Stack Overflow with the directxtk tag, or the DirectX Discord Server in the dx9-dx11-developers channel.

For bug reports and feature requests, please use GitHub issues for this project.


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., status check, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

Tests for new features should also be submitted as a PR to the Test Suite repository.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.


This project may contain trademarks or logos for projects, products, or services. Authorized use of Microsoft trademarks or logos is subject to and must follow Microsoft's Trademark & Brand Guidelines. Use of Microsoft trademarks or logos in modified versions of this project must not cause confusion or imply Microsoft sponsorship. Any use of third-party trademarks or logos are subject to those third-party's policies.


The DirectX Tool Kit is the work of Shawn Hargreaves and Chuck Walbourn, with contributions from Aaron Rodriguez Hernandez and Dani Roman.

Thanks to Shanon Drone for the SDKMESH file format.

Thanks to Adrian Tsai for the geodesic sphere implementation.

Thanks to Garrett Serack for his help in creating the NuGet packages for DirectX Tool Kit.

Thanks to Roberto Sonnino for his help with the CMO, DGSL rendering, and the VS Starter Kit animation.

Thanks to Pete Lewis and Justin Saunders for the normal-mapped and PBR shaders implementation.

Thanks to Andrew Farrier and Scott Matloff for their on-going help with code reviews.