Switches between 3d engines. Accepts D3D11_LEGACY, D3D11, D3D12, gll or opengl as parameters.



Automatically selects a graphics API.

Possible Settings

Old single-threaded rendering backend using DirectX 11, similar to the functionality of DirectX 11 in 8.0.1. Enables World of Warcraft to use Shader Model 4 and 5.
New multi-threaded rendering backend using DirectX 11.
Multi-threaded rendering backend using DirectX 12 for hardware, drivers, and operating systems that support it. There are some performance improvements in 8.1.5, but it is mainly the same as the 8.1.0 release.



Apple's current API for accelerated graphics on macOS

Changing this setting

To change the setting, exit WoW, open the file, and add the following line:

SET gxApi setting

Changing the setting with a graphics engine restart in-game crashes the client.

Patch changes

Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.5 (2019-03-12):

  • New DirectX 11 graphics API added. [1]
  • DirextX 12 user mode runtime added for Windows 7. [2]

Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):

  • DirectX11 compatibility mode added - "d3d11"
  • DirectX 9.0c functionality replaced with DirectX 9.0c Memory management system 2.0 (previously d3d9ex)

Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.3 (2010-03-23): Mac users default to "GLL" again after fixes to the engine.
Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.2 (2010-02-01): Mac users default back to "OpenGL".
Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08):

  • New backend for Windows users added to the game engine. To enable, change this CVar to "d3d9ex".
  • This CVar now defaults to "d3d9" from "direct3d" for Windows users.
  • Mac users default changed to "GLL" from "OpenGL".

Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): New backend for Mac users to increase fps/better GPU usage as an alternate to "OpenGL" introduced. To enable, change this CVar to "GLL".

See also