Should You Run Directx11 or Vulkan for Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)? – Answered

Your first choice comes even before you start the game up.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game that involves many choices, with every option changing the outcome of your story. What fans may not have expected, however, is the possibility that their first choice could come before the game is even launched. When bringing up the Launcher, you’ll have the choice of either running the game using DirectX11 or Vulkan and for those less familiar with the two, you may be struggling to find out which to use. Let’s help you get into your adventure with ease.

Should You Use DirectX11 Or Vulkan With Baldur’s Gate 3?

The answer to if you should use DirectX11 or Vulkan entirely depends on your computer setup.

There are a few different variables that you want to put into play before you decide which way you want to run the game, including;

  • Your Graphics Card Brand
  • Your CPU Brand

For those running the NVIDIA brand of cards, DirectX11 may be your best choice. DirectX11 loves to play well with NVIDIA-branded cards, such as the RTX 3080, but you may still run into issues. For those running AMD or Intel branded cards, using Vulkan is going to be your overall best choice.

The best thing we can recommend is jumping into Baldur’s Gate 3 using both options and see which is giving you better overall performance and visual clarity. Using a program like GeForce Experience or AMD Adrenaline while playing will allow you to see your system utilization, frame rate, and more so you can compare and contrast in real-time to see if Direct X11 or Vulkan is better for you overall.

Personally, I’ve been having better luck with Vulkan, even if DirectX11 runs BG3 just fine. While the performance buffs weren’t anything out of the ordinary, I’ve noticed that the game looks and plays smoother while running it on my AMD 6600 while using this particular option.

Just to test and see, DirectX11 would run Baldur’s Gate 3 on Ultra preset at 79 to 81FPS, whereas Vulkan would run it at 86 to 91FPS on average. Since I am running a full AMD build on my PC, this is what I would normally come to expect at this point in time. My PC specs at the time of writing are as follows:

  • GPU: XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 6600
    CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
    RAM: Corsair Vengence 32GB
    SSD: Crucial BX500 1TB
    HDD: SeaGate Barracuda 2TB Hybrid – BG3 is installed here

Related: How to Recruit the Dog in Baldur’s Gate 3

While I don’t have an NVIDIA card to personally test this theory with, DirectX11 should run the best on NVIDIA-branded cards, whereas Vulkan will work the best when it comes to AMD and Intel-branded GPU/CPU combinations. Other games have worked this way in the past when I had my old RTX 1650 Super, so I could imagine they would work the same in this instance.

Should You Use DirectX11 Or Vulkan For Baldur’s Gate 3 On Steam Deck?

While the Steam Deck is running a custom AMD chipset, we would recommend that you use DirectX11 to launch, as Vulkan is currently causing some crashing issues when launching the game. This should help Baldur’s Gate 3 run the best it possibly can on the Steam Deck, offering you both great performance and a bit of help on the battery life. Being able to take an adventure like this on the go is something extremely impressive, but if you need help to get it running the best it can be, try these settings;

  • Launch via DirectX11
  • Overall Preset: Medium
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Cloud Quality: Low
  • Framerate Cap: 30FPS
  • VSync – User preference
  • Resolution – 1280 x 800
  • FSR: Ultra Quality

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3: The Dark Urge Explained

Thankfully, due to the smaller screen, your adventures will still look just as stunning as they would on the big screen. Being able to jump into this unique fantasy world wherever you may like is already appealing enough, but knowing you can do so with it looking this good would have blown my 10-year-old mind while playing old Zelda games.

No matter if you’re just trying to get a solid night of sleep or you want to explore the world around you to the fullest extent, be sure to check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 section below to learn everything you need about this thrilling D&D adventure. We’re sure we’ll help you roll a Critical every time.

About the Author

Shaun Cichacki

As a fan of RPGs, Action & Retro titles, Shaun has been gaming since he was a young boy. With an overwhelming obsession involving Metal Gear Solid and Pizza Tower, you know you're in for a wild ride when it comes to things he's writing about.