Whether you start Baldur’s Gate 3 on PC from Steam or the Larian Launcher, you will have to make a choice before you even launch the application. This choice is between two different Graphics APIs, DirectX 11 and Vulkan. If you’ve been gaming on PC for a while, you’ve undoubtedly seen DirectX 11 or 12 before, as it what’s many games use. B
oth DirectX 11 and Vulkan are how graphics are displayed in Baldur’s Gate 3, but does either one offer additional benefits over the other?
For most of Baldur’s Gate 3 early access, DirectX 11 was the better choice, as there were some texture issues with the Vulkan API. However, in the full build, the issues with Vulkan have been fixed, and players will need to know which API to pick if they want the best visuals and performance on PC.
DirectX 11 or Vulkan in Baldur’s Gate 3?
First off, no matter what you pick, it likely won’t make a major difference in your game. DirectX 11 is the more basic API of the two while Vulkan is supposed to offer a slight performance boost.
From what I can tell in the full build, playing on Vulkan did offer a slight 1-5 FPS increase in most areas of Baldur’s Gate 3. I also couldn’t tell any difference in the overall graphical quality between both APIs. This means that playing on Vulkan is likely the recommended choice if you’re looking to squeeze every bit of performance possible out of your PC for Baldur’s Gate 3.
However, the performance boost isn’t anything too drastic to force your hand. If you want to keep things simple and continue playing on DirectX 11, you’re not missing out on much, especially if you have a PC with newer hardware. If you’re playing on a machine with hardware that is under the recommended requirements, though, then switching to Vulkan could help you see more frames in Baldur’s Gate 3.