Valheim Vulkan vs. Normal | What’s The Difference?

Valheim Vulkan

When you pick up Valheim, you may have a question right after you hit the play button. That question is “what is Vulkan mode?” This startup option has no real explanation to it, so you may not know which to choose. What is the difference between Valheim in Vulkan mode vs Normal mode? Is one better than the other right off the bat? Or should you always be choosing one mode or another?

Valheim Vulkan vs. Normal Differences

Valheim Vulkan

There is no reason not to try Valheim in Vulkan mode. The Vulkan API offers minor decreases in graphical quality while providing moderate increases to GPU fidelity and FPS count. Most importantly, it offers a solution to players who are running into crashes because of GPU problems in the normal API. So, if you think the game is not running as it should be, Vulkan is a simple way to get around GPU issues.

Vulkan is an API system. Essentially, Vulkan offers a different way to render the game that is designed to make the game run more efficiently. With that being said, this is not a magical solution to all of Valheim‘s problems. Vulkan may not even boost your performance at all. Some players even got different crashes on Vulkan than on DirectX.

In addition, Vulkan is often not necessary unless your computer has an older GPU. The differences in graphics is minor between the two versions, and the difference in performance doesn’t get very dramatic until you start running at extended resolutions. You’re safe to try Vulkan, especially if DirectX 12 has performance issues. However, it’s not a miracle solution!

If you want to try Vulkan yourself, all you have to do is select the option upon launching Valheim. There’s no harm in using Vulkan vs. the normal API, nor is there any harm in just sticking to the normal mode. Try them both out, and stick to the one that seems to make the game look best.


Gotta love the new Hearth and Home update for Valheim and all that came with it! Check out some of our guides  to learn how to make the most out of all the game has to offer:

Jason Toro

Jason Toro

Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.