Baldur’s Gate 3: Should You Choose Vulkan or Directx 11? Answered

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Larian Studios

Are you wondering if you should choose Vulkan or Directx 11 in Baldur’s Gate 3 and what the differences are? In most cases, Vulkan has the potential to improve performance compared to DX11, although it may currently be slightly less stable. However, this isn’t always the case, and knowing when to choose one over the other will depend on your specific hardware. Here is everything you need to know about the differences between Vulkan and DX11 in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Should You Choose Vulkan or Directx 11 in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

As a base recommendation, we suggest using Vulkan as the default Graphics API. However, Baldur’s Gate 3’s Vulkan implementation is currently in Early Access. This means you may run into issues with performance and stability on your specific gaming rig. Please note that Vulkan should not be used as a definitive measure of overall performance during the early access stage. If you’re experiencing performance issues, we recommend trying out the DX11 API.

For example, I spoke to one of our writers at Attack of the Fanboy who mentioned that he was running an RTX 2080ti, and swapping from Vulkan to DX11 made the graphics, menus, and text go from blurry to sharp like he just got new glasses. You will notice quickly if one of the APIs isn’t working correctly for your specific hardware setup.

You are swapping from one graphics API to another needs to be done when launching Baldur’s Gate 3. When the client launches, you will see two radial buttons for Vulkan and DX11. Click which one you want to swap to and then launch the game. You are now running the other API and can determine the best based on the game’s appearance and performance.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 Multiplayer Guide – How to Play With Friends

What is Vulkan in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Image: Vulkan

Regarding technical aspects, Vulkan has more similarities with DX12 than DX11. Vulcan is a branch of the OpenGL API and is modeled after AMD’s Mantel API. Vulcan and DX12 belong to the “low-level” APIs category, so they are closer to the hardware and have less intermediary software. This results in less overhead and improved performance. Additionally, both Vulcan and DX12 are more effective in using multi-core CPUs than DX11. For most users, Vulcan is preferable as it provides a better experience than DX11. Two popular games that use Vulkan are Hades and Path of Exile.

Author’s Note: I wrote this guide while playing Baldur’s Gate 3 on Steam Deck and my Lenovo gaming laptop.

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.