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Borderlands 3 DX12 is busted… and AMD’s performance edge has gone with it

Borderlands 3 has just launched, and it’s already run into a bit of trouble with Microsoft’s latest API, DX12

Borderlands 3 launched today, but it’s unfortunately run into teething trouble with Microsoft’s latest API, DX12. The videogame published by 2K was “built for the ground up” for AMD graphics cards, however, it now seems that some of the features proprietary to red team tech are stuck behind a broken DX12 implementation.

Support for Microsoft’s DX12 API is currently still in beta with Borderlands 3, which means there’s likely a fix incoming soon. We’ve reached out to AMD for any news on an update or fix, but ultimately it will be down to Gearbox Software to deliver one. It’s also worth noting this issue isn’t localised to AMD cards alone. In our testing Nvidia’s lineup also seems to struggle to load into the main menu with DX12 enabled.

We noticed the issue with DX12 during our testing today, however, it looks like reports across the web are also appearing confirming the API may be broken or causing elongated load times. Whether or not this affects all players we do not yet know, however, we are yet to find a working combination of components ourselves.

Without DX12, AMD GPUs are unable to make the most out of Asynchronous Compute, a performance-enhancing feature the red team has been touting in Borderlands 3. With this it claims it will have the edge over Nvidia in-game. That’s because the game was built specifically for its latest Navi graphics cards and RDNA architecture in mind.

“Developed from the ground up with AMD, Borderlands 3 will take full advantage of the most powerful PC hardware available,” a press release from 2K read prior to the game’s release, “and is optimised for top performance and incredible gaming experiences on AMD Radeon graphics cards and Ryzen CPUs.”

AMD’s FidelityFX image sharpening tool is available in DX11 mode.

If you’ve opted for DX12 in-game and are now unable to get past the initial loading screen, follow these steps below to switch back to DX11:

  • Head to Documents
  • My Games
  • Borderlands 3
  • Saved
  • Config
  • WindowsNoEditor
  • Open the file GameUserSettings in Notepad
  • Locate PreferredGraphicsAPI entry
  • Change ‘DX12’ to DX11’
  • Save

That should revert Borderlands 3 back to the DX11 API and ensure you don’t run into any instability, vastly extended load times, or crashes.