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What is Vulkan in Valheim?

What is Vulkan in Valheim?
What is Vulkan in Valheim? / Photo by Iron Gate Studio

What is Vulkan in Valheim? Vulkan is not a reference to any item, creature, or weapon in the game, but rather an Application Programming Interface (API). Support for the Vulkan API was added in Valheim's latest patch, and it is already making an upgrade to the game's performance.

Valheim released just over a month ago and is currently in its early access phase. As developer Iron Gate Studio continues working toward a full product, Valheim's graphic performance can be hit or miss in early access. While the art and fluidity are still top-notch, some environmental graphics are still rendered in an 8-bit display.

What is Vulkan in Valheim?

Vulkan is a 3D graphics API developed by the Khronos Group, a conglomerate of leaders in the tech and gaming industries that includes Epic Games, Valve, and more. The API was designed as an alternative to the widely used Microsoft DirectX11 and DirectX12. Vulkan has an impressive track record of graphics enhancement and performance.

Vulkan's most notable feature is the full support of ray-tracing technology for all games. Ray tracing accurately depicts the way light reflects off of objects to make gaming environments more lifelike. The enhanced visuals aided by ray tracing are noticeable in Valheim shortly after switching to the Vulkan API.

To run the Vulkan API when playing Valheim, select it from the options popup that appears after booting up the game. You can also type in "-force-vulkan" under the LAUNCH OPTIONS tab. This will make it so Valheim automatically runs with the Vulkan API equipped upon booting up.

Valheim is exclusively available on Steam where it has quickly surpassed five million users. Iron Gate Studio recently revealed a roadmap for the game's development, which highlighted the anticipated Hearth and Home update.