Playing Valheim using Vulkan could improve your frame rate and fix crashes

A Viking stands on top of a snowy hill during sunrise, surrounded by trees that have been covered

Valheim’s bosses aren’t the only thing to get a buff in the Viking game’s latest update, as the introduction of Vulkan support for Windows players means your gaming PC might see a boost in performance. Unlike its DirectX 12 counterpart, Vulkan is designed to have less of an overhead on processors, helping the game run more efficiently.

In fact, the patch notes explain that using Vulkan “might fix some random crashes related to GPU drivers,” but this doesn’t mean it’ll work miracles, as Valheim’s still firmly in Steam’s Early Access program.

Processors that are showing their age will benefit most from running the API, as it gives the component room to breathe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t boost fps running it with the best gaming CPU. On the GPU side of things, you shouldn’t need to worry about compatibility, either, as Vulkan runs on most modern graphics cards and Valheim’s system requirements recommend a minimum of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 to run anyway.

To enable Vulkan and try it out for yourself, you just need to right-click Valheim in your Steam library, head into properties, and type -force-vulkan into the launch options field. If you experience any problems with it, simply delete what’s in the field and try booting again.

Some folks on Reddit are seeing a staggering jump in performance, with Vulkan achieving over 30fps more than DirectX 12. Others either don’t see a noticeable difference worth mentioning or their configurations don’t play nicely with the new API, causing crashes where there were none before.

So, should you play Valheim using Vulkan? It’s worth a shot considering it’s so easy to set up and revert if something goes wrong. At best, you’ll see your frame counter climb higher and at worst you’ll need to put things back to the way they were before.