How to Enable Direct Storage for Faster Game Loads on Windows 11

Key Takeaways

  • Direct Storage is a new Windows 11 feature that allows games to load assets directly to the GPU for faster loading times.
  • Enabling Direct Storage requires a compatible NVMe SSD and GPU that supports DirectX 12 Ultimate.
  • Following the steps in this guide will optimize your system for using Direct Storage with supported games.

As an experienced tech writer and Windows expert, I understand the importance of optimizing your gaming experience. One of the most exciting new features in Windows 11 is Direct Storage, which promises significantly faster game load times. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through enabling Direct Storage and ensuring your system meets the necessary requirements.

What is Direct Storage?

Direct Storage is a technology introduced with the DirectX 12 Ultimate API that allows games to load assets like textures, geometry, and compute shaders directly to the GPU’s video memory. This bypasses the traditional method of first loading assets into system RAM and then transferring them to the GPU, which can create a bottleneck and slow down load times.

By loading assets directly to the GPU, Direct Storage eliminates this bottleneck, resulting in faster game load times and potentially improved overall performance. However, to take advantage of this feature, your system must meet specific hardware and software requirements.

System Requirements for Direct Storage

To enable and use Direct Storage, your system must meet the following requirements:

Operating System: Windows 11 (version 21H2 or later)

Storage: An NVMe SSD that supports the DirectX 12 GPU Vendor-Specific Extensions. Many modern high-end NVMe SSDs should meet this requirement.

GPU: A GPU that supports DirectX 12 Ultimate, such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series or newer, or AMD Radeon RX 6000-series or newer.

Games: Games must be specifically optimized to take advantage of Direct Storage. As of now, only a handful of games support this feature, but more are expected to be added over time.

Enabling Direct Storage on Windows 11

Follow these steps to enable Direct Storage on your Windows 11 system:

  1. Check for Updates: Ensure your Windows 11 installation is up-to-date by going to Settings > Windows Update and installing any available updates.
  2. Enable GPU Scheduling: GPU scheduling is a prerequisite for Direct Storage. To enable it, open the Start menu, search for “Graphics Settings,” and select the “Graphics Settings” option. In the Graphics Settings window, toggle the “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” option to On.
  3. Enable Direct Storage: Open the Start menu, search for “Storage,” and select the “Storage settings” option. In the Storage settings window, scroll down to the “Advanced Storage Settings” section and click on “Enable Direct Storage.”
  4. Select the NVMe SSD: In the Direct Storage window, select the NVMe SSD you want to use for Direct Storage. If you have multiple NVMe SSDs, choose the one you want to dedicate to game storage.
  5. Restart Your System: After enabling Direct Storage, you’ll be prompted to restart your system. Click “Restart now” to apply the changes.

Once your system restarts, Direct Storage will be enabled and ready to use with compatible games.

Optimizing for Direct Storage

While enabling Direct Storage is a straightforward process, there are a few additional steps you can take to ensure optimal performance:

1. Update GPU Drivers: Ensure you have the latest GPU drivers installed from either NVIDIA or AMD. These drivers often include optimizations and bug fixes for new technologies like Direct Storage.

2. Use a High-Performance NVMe SSD: While any compatible NVMe SSD will work with Direct Storage, using a high-performance model with fast read/write speeds will provide the best experience. Look for SSDs with PCIe 4.0 support and high sequential read/write speeds.

3. Dedicate the NVMe SSD to Games: For the best performance, consider dedicating the NVMe SSD you selected for Direct Storage solely to game storage. This will prevent potential slowdowns caused by other applications or files on the same drive.

4. Monitor System Temperatures: Direct Storage may increase GPU and SSD temperatures due to the increased data throughput. Ensure your system has adequate cooling to prevent thermal throttling.

Supported Games and Performance Improvements

As of now, only a handful of games support Direct Storage, including:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
  • Gears 5
  • Resident Evil Village
  • The Riftbreaker

More games are expected to add Direct Storage support in the future, especially as the technology matures and more developers optimize their games for it.


Direct Storage is an exciting new technology that promises to revolutionize game load times on Windows 11. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your system is properly configured to take advantage of this feature with supported games. While the list of compatible games is currently limited, more titles are expected to add support in the future, making Direct Storage an increasingly valuable feature for gamers seeking the best possible performance.