Valve recently released an update for DotA 2 which adds support for the Vulkan application programming interface (API). Currently, the update is in beta state. The patch is optional and is available for players who want to play the Vulkan version of the game.
Launched by Khronos Group, Vulkan was originally built from the components of AMD’s Mantle. It is a low-overhead API that can easily be disabled and enabled with a console command. DotA 2 is the second PC game to add Vulkan support. Available through Steam’s downloadable content (DLC) feature, the beta update doesn’t use Vulkan by default; the game must be set to launch with the flag ‘-vulkan, removing DirectX and OpenGL flags. Vulkan works on PCs and gaming laptops that support OpenGL ES 3.1 or OpenGL 4.X and up including AMD GCN 1.2 to Polaris, Nvidia Kepler to Pascal,or Intel Westmere to Kaby Lake. colon changed to semi-colon
Valve admitted that there are a few issues in the Vulkan update — a short stuttering on the game’s startup and some screen tearing for Linux players using Nvidia graphics card. Due to these reasons, Valve installed a standalone tracker on GitHub for reporting issues and checking feedbacks on the performance of the Vulkan beta update.
To join the Vulkan beta test program: go to Steam’s Setting and you’ll see the Beta Participation Section. Click on the Change button and select one of the beta programs shown in the drop list, apply changes and restart Steam.
DotA 2 support for Vulkan promises a lot potential for the free-to-play MOBA game which includes a massive performance boost with its control features. The update is considered by many as a major step by Valve, following id Software’s Doom support for Vulcan. Valve support for Vulcan also opens the door for more games to come to Linux-powered Steam machines.