Everything you need to know about the Valheim Vulkan API update

Smoother gameplay, bigger challenges.

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Valheim is the new hotness in the indie game scene. Even though it's still in early access on Steam, this Norse survival game has seen a large wave of popularity like Among Us, Rust, and Fall Guys have over the past year. According to the developers, over 4 million people have played the game since launch.

On February 25, update 0.146.8 added an exciting new feature: Vulkan API support. After this update, Valheim should look and run even better for some Windows PC players. This is what you need to know about the significance of this new update.

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What is Vulkan API?

"Vulkan is a new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices," its official description from its developer Khronos Group explains. Basically, its main purpose is to make 3D games run more efficiently with lower and more well-balanced CPU usage.

You can use it instead of the more common DirectX 12 in Valheim now. According to the official patch notes, players can opt into Vulkan support by going into the game's Properties tab in their Steam library and choosing "-force-vulkan" as a launch option." If your PC supports Vulkan, you can utilize that instead of DirectX from here on out.

How does Vulkan API improve Valheim?

The developers point out in the patch notes that "this might fix some random crashes related to GPU drivers." If Valheim has had trouble running on your PC, Vulkan support should fix that issue. While some issues are still reporting issues on Reddit, others have seen a performance boost.

This is really just a significant step in further optimizing the game for a variety of PCs. The biggest advantage most PC games have over console games is just how customizable they are in terms of performance. While Valheim isn't a super demanding game, this update will allow players with Vulkan to have an even smoother experience if they so choose.

Valheim update 0.146.8 patch notes:

While the Vulkan addition is the most interesting part of this new update, it's not the only part of this new patch. Update 0.146.8 also fixes some notable bugs, like ones that caused world data to be corrupted and that easily let players dupe items. It also makes some enemies and bosses harder. Check out the full patch notes below:

  • Crafting item-dupe bug fix
  • Harpooned player & ship bug fix
  • Fixed player ragdoll
  • Bonemass, Moder, and Yagluth difficulty tweaks
  • Moder music updated
  • Tombstone bug fix
  • Fixed world corruption caused by pressing ALT+F4 while logging out.
  • Deathsquitos have slightly longer audio range
  • Tweaked audio on blast-furnace & spinning wheel
  • Shared map position setting is saved per world
  • Updated network stats (F2)
  • Building destruction drop-fix
  • Vulkan support in windows builds
  • Network disconnection bugfix
  • Updated socket-backend

Valheim is currently in early access on PC.

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