Why Steam Needs To Install DirectX Every Time

By   /   Aug 3, 2011


You must have noticed that Steam installs DirectX every time you install a new game. It’s same for every game whether it’s new or old and even when you are re-installing after a long time. Why Steam has to undergo such practice? Valve explains the reason.

John McCaskey, Valve’s software engineer says:

Games which don’t use the D3DX helpers (such as Source engine games) don’t need running the annoying installer on first launch as they only depend on major D3D9/10/11 versions being installed. However, games that do use D3DX must run it as it’s the only way Microsoft has allowed for distributing and checking the version info on the files

They can’t help it as it’s due to bad packaging and redistribution licensing.

We can’t stop. It’s required due to a bad versioning/packaging scheme as well as bad redistribution licensing terms on the D3DX libraries

He further added:

The one thing that could be made better on our side is that Steam could be smart enough to know if an exactly matching version of the DX installer is already downloaded and share that content so you don’t download it with each game. Since the installer is relatively small compared to most game installs that wouldn’t be a huge win, though, and requires a good deal of new complexity for partners in how they package up their games and manage installation dependencies

So it’s an issue with Steam rather a requirement for every installation. Next time, when you have to install the DirectX again, Steam, apparently is not to be blamed.

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