DirectStorage is here to speed up PC games on Windows

Microsoft has finally brought its API to Windows 10 and Windows 11, which promises to better utilise gaming SSDs for faster load times in PC games

Windows 11: A series of videogame thumbnails firing out from a desktop monitor with a Windows 11 logo

It’s been so long since Microsoft last talked about its plans to bring DirectStorage to Windows 10 and Windows 11 that you’d be forgiven for forgetting about it. However, the company has surprised everyone this week by suddenly launching the API, which promises to speed up load times in all PC games that ship with it.

Microsoft heralds the release of the DirectStorage public SDK as a “new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games by allowing developer to more full utilise the speed of the latest storage devices.” However, we don’t yet know what the first videogame will be to support the API, nor how easy it is for developers to retroactively implement it into their existing titles.

DirectStorage will be supported on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems, and Microsoft says that you “may see benefits on any kind of storage device” when using it. That said, the company explicitly recommends that you upgrade your gaming PC to Windows 11 and pairing it with one of the best SSDs for gaming featuring NVMe technology, in order to get the most out of the API.

If you’re curious about the inner workings of DirectStorage, both Microsoft and Forspoken developer Luminous will be presenting GDC presentations on the API later this month.

In the meantime, we’ll be ready and waiting to benchmark the new technology for you as soon as it appears in one of the best PC games. Part of us hopes the load times end up being so fast that it’s hard to test, but we’ll try to keep our excitement in check.