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More FPS For Your FPS: Doom Launches Vulkan Support

A new Doom [official site] update has launched today, adding support for using the Vulkan API on supporting graphics cards. In short, Doom’s guts are now crammed full of the new hotness in goingfastness and the game should run better on most computers, letting you either bask in the glorious frames or crank up the prettiness.

The 158MB update is now live and should download for players in the usual Steamy way. If your graphics card is Vulkan-friendly – the FAQ says “if your graphics card meets the DOOM minimum requirements, it likely supports Vulkan” – you should see an option for Vulkan when you launch Doom and then you’ll get zoomapretties.

“Most users on the minimum spec end of hardware will experience better performance at higher video settings. Users whose have recommended or above specs will experience exceptional performance with DOOM’s advanced video settings cranked up to full effect.”

If you haven’t updated your drivers in forever, you’ll need to do that too. There are a few minor caveats for what will and won’t support it, and a few potential problems, so do check the FAQ if you run into trouble.

Oh, and asynchronous compute is only supported on AMD cards right now but will come later for Nvidia cards too.

Or if your computer’s far too slow for all this, hey, you can play Brutal Doom dual-wielding Doom 4’s guns.

If you want to get technical about Vulkan, Jeremy Laird had a good look for us a few months back. In short (and to massively simplify), it’s software which lets games use graphics hardware more efficiently. Neatly, Vulkan means we can get performance boosts without needing to buy new hardware as games start supporting it. Dota 2 added Vulkan support in beta in May, though I at least had a few technical problems with that. Not many games support Vulkan yet – The Talos Principle is the only other I know of – but it is spreading. Unreal Engine 4 is rolling out Vulkan support too.

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Alice O'Connor

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