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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  1. DanMan says:

    There are supposedly a few bugs in relation to the Steam Overlay. So if something doesn’t work right, try disabling that first.

  2. jj2112 says:

    I don’t care about graphics in this game. I’m playing the game on Nightmare on my crappy XOne and having one hell of a time.

  3. yabonn says:

    Somethingsomething, gaming on Linux, it is coming!!

    • subedii says:

      Doom’s a bit of an odd one in that respect.

      It actually functioned almost to Windows speeds when running under Wine during the multiplayer beta.

      Come official release, and it’s no longer compatible, it’s largely suspected that this is down to the Denuvo DRM.

      So basically it pretty likely could run Penguin side without too much issue (doubly so now that it’s on Vulkan), but that would quite possibly require disabling the DRM.

      That and well, Bethesda have been fairly averse to porting to Mac, let alone Linux.

      It’s a shame really, with everything else considered, Doom would be an ideal candidate to port.

      • blur says:

        Though all things considered, running through Wine isn’t the same as running on Linux. It’s more tantamount to playing Zelda on a PC through an emulator.

      • Neutrino says:

        “Denuvo DRM”

        Nice. THat’s one game I can tick off my already too long want-to-get list then.

    • C0llic says:

      That’s a shame. ID used to be good at supporting Linux back in the Carmack days. Doom 3 had a native linux version (using OpenGl of course); that was rarer than it is now for a large AAA game.

      I don’t really bother linux these days, so I’m not up to date with how things are Penguin-side.

    • Janichsan says:

      The very first thing Bethesda did after acquiring id was killing any Linux support: the (already released) Quake Live client got shelved and any work on the port of Rage got stopped.

      So don’t hold your breath.

  4. subedii says:

    Related to this, one of the engine programmers behind Doom chimed in saying that Vulkan is much preferable over DX12 at the moment and more devs should go that way:

    link to

    • mattevansc3 says:

      That seemed a bit to OTT and slightly fanboyish. Getting annoyed that other devs are choosing a different set of development tools and loudly proclaiming others are spreading FUD and propaganda? That’s more the actions of a paid evangelist than a 3rd party.

      There’s also issues with his argument. Bethesda chose not to release on Linux, Android and Mac which is one of the big selling points for Vulkan. Also while there is still a large number of people using Win7 its already been overtaken by Win10 on the Steam hardware survey. As Win7 isn’t being actively distributed Win10’s will grow and slowly decrease that benefit of Vulkan, especially over the course of a AAA game’s development cycle.

      Apart from fringe benefits and negatives both APIs seem to be on par with each other.

      • DanMan says:

        But what he says makes total sense from his POV. Just like all the stuff about DX12 makes sense from MS’ POV.

        Also, DX12 has been on the market 6 months longer and it hasn’t been impressive in all cases, to say the least. So far we only have Doom (Talos is still mostly a proof-of-concept) on Vulkan, and the results are impressive.

        From a political standpoint Vulkan has more going for it. The only unique DX12 feature is cross-vendor multi-GPU tech, which has to be implemented by the game devs though. Everything else can be achieved with Vulkan, too, and on more platforms.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          The results of Vulkan vs OpenGL on AMD hardware (the benchmark used by ID software is for the new AMD 480) are no more impressive than results between DX11 and DX12 results on AMD hardware.

          This also isn’t an Obi Wan moment. This is a developer actively slating other developers for using a company’s APIs.

      • subedii says:

        Actually I believe he’s saying that MS is spreading FUD and propaganda. Which I’d basically concur with. I mean they did the exact same thing with OpenGL (man is there some history there). The talk of how DX12 is inherently superior in performance, and makes it super easy porting between XBone and W10: talk. It doesn’t match up with the actual reality of implementing it.

        That, and well, if we’re talking “fanboyish”, that would be trying to imply the engine programmer is making that statement because he was paid off.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          No, that’s being a shill.

          Not disagreeing Microsoft has a history of FUD but where is it for Vulkan? Or the propaganda against it from Microsoft?

          Microsoft hasn’t talked about Vulcan, let alone how DX12 is better than it so not quite sure how you concur with Axel Gneitling in that regard.

          They’ve also never said it would be super easy porting from Xbox One to PC. What they have said is that by a mixture of development tools and DX12 being a low level API its easier to port over console style optimisations. They never said Vulkan couldn’t do it or that it was unique to DX12.

          The only ones to have really commented on the Vulkan vs DX12 situation has been Valve and Axel Gneitling. Both of which have favoured Vulkan quite “enthusiastically”.

          • DanMan says:

            That’s no surprise. Having to wait for MS to release a new DX version to be able to innovate at all has been a thorn in devs’ side for quite some time now. That stranglehold has to be released. Vulkan is extensible by design.

          • mattevansc3 says:

            So was OpenGL but that caused it problems in the end.

            Khronos haven’t really been the best stewards of APIs either. They are last to the party and even then had to base it on someone else’s work.

            We aren’t seeing the competition to unseat Microsoft and DirectX. Khronos seem to be sitting complacently in the “alternative” seat in much the same way the Lib Dems and Green party are “alternatives” to Labour and the Tories or Pepsi is the alternative to Coca-Cola. None of them are competing with the top dogs.

      • k.t says:

        From a technical standpoint I mostly agree. On the non-technical side, however, allowing Microsoft to dictate the rate at which developers get access to the hardware is insane.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          I agree, no one company should dictate that but Axel and Valve’s statements aren’t helping that.

          Valve and Bethesda both make their money from a series of closed platforms so their championing of an open platform rings a bit hollow.

          Windows 7 is a diminishing market and the Mac and Linux market share is languishing in a combined single digit. Doom wasn’t even released on Mac or Linux and Valve’s SteamOS seems quite half hearted.

          Vulkan is the alternative for people who have issues with Microsoft. It’s not being made into a replacement or a better alternative and nobody is championing it as such.

          Vulkan needs to be better than DX12. It needs to be significantly more efficient than DX12 or give better performance or be easier to use with better tools. It has to stop being the low level API for non-Windows 10 users otherwise it’ll settle into its niche like OpenGL did and we’ll return to the DX11/OpenGL stagnation.

  5. kael13 says:

    Adaptive Vsync doesn’t seem to work with Vulkan, so the game is actually less smooth to play for me than buttery OpenGL.

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      If you get 60fps then you don’t need adaptive V-Sync. All it does is turn V-Sync off if your frame rate is below 60fps. I’d put it on Borderless too, if you’ve not already.

  6. noxohimoy says:

    Too late. Is already finished and deleted from my disk.

    By the way, this Doom was way over-hyped. Is the only one I didn’t wanted to play again. Repeatable. Felt like a generic shooter.
    The gore nests were designed like multiplayer arenas against bots. The entire game felt like that. It was the same formula again and again

    • Faults says:

      After the hype, I gave in and bought the game in the Steam sale, and I could not have been more underwhelmed if I tried. Whole thing was so unbelievably rote and formulaic. The only good thing about it was Mick Gordon’s goddamn incredible soundtrack.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Different strokes for different blokes.

      • UncleLou says:

        There wasn’t any hype pre-release, quite the contrary. It was word of mouth post-release, which is a different thing.

        • Distec says:

          Yep. Pre-release “hype” for this game didn’t really exist from most outlets I read. The most positive sentiment you could get from anybody was generally “Err, I hope it’s good but I’m not sure”.

          A crappy, misguided, underwhelming multiplayer beta not only reinforced those opinions, but in some circles it signaled the death knell of the game.

          It’s truly a testament to the campaign’s quality that it managed to rebound the way it did. There seemed to be every reason to write this game off, and lord knows it can be difficult for a game to shake off those negative preconceptions lest they taint the experience. But somehow Doom succeeded in spite of that.

          I’m not going to tell anybody that they must like Doom, or that their reasons for disliking it aren’t valid. But there have been very few “pure” shooters of its ilk that are of any quality for a long time. “Rote” seems to harsh a word when I quite enjoy it’s simple, pure-combat focused systems, and “formulaic” isn’t a dirty word when the formula itself has been given short thrift by most modern shooters.

  7. Faults says:

    This is all great, but has anybody else noticed how much the action music in the first level of the game sounds like an angry industrial metal version of Pulp’s seminal britpop classic Disco 2000?

  8. arbiter says:

    more fps huh? opengl in start of 2nd to last level i get 100fps, same spot using vulkin only get 75-80fps. AMD Cripple ware at work?

    • Faraxon says:

      No. I was able to go from medium to ultra settings at 1440p on 290x.

      • arbiter says:

        Well i have a gtx1080 1440p 165hz monitor, same level in game ultra settings, and nightmare on the 2 that have that option. go from 90-130fps on opengl to 60-90 on vulkcan. Since seems to work on amd cards, sounds like amd cripple ware is confirmed.

  9. Daedalus says:

    I go up a good 20 frames with vulkan and my 980m. Remember to update your drivers, but also remember that nvidia has been shit at supporting vulkan and directX12 alike so their drivers aren’t so good lately. Doom works great for me though.