Before you even reach the character creator, Baldur’s Gate 3 has you make a decision on which graphics API you’ll use. They both should work to run the game, but most systems will have better performance on one than the other. The most important aspect of choosing one is your graphics card manufacturer, since they tend to prefer one or the other.
Finding your Graphics Card Manufacturer
If you aren’t sure how to find your manufacturer, you can easily find it by heading to the Windows Task Manager. Press CTRL, ALT, and DEL simultaneously, and select Task Manager. Navigate to the Performance tab and select GPU from the options on the left. Your graphics card name will now be in bold in the top right, with the manufacturer either being AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA.
For AMD and Intel systems, you’ll want to use Vulkan. It historically works better with AMD cards and that trend continues with Baldur’s Gate 3. Intel also favors Vulkan due to their cards working better on newer APIs, while DirectX 11 was originally released in 2009. Vulkan is also officially recommended by Larian Studios.
In some instances Vulkan will crash the first time you load the game but work perfectly for subsequent launches.
If you are using an NVIDIA card, you’ll want to stick with DirectX 11. It is highly recommended to enable DLSS on DirectX 11 with an NVIDIA card to boost the frame rate.
Its worth noting that your experience may vary from the suggestions here. There have been reports of NVIDIA cards working better with Vulkan and vice versa. At the end of the day, it is worthwhile to try both to see which one works better.
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Strategy game enthusiast, especially Paradox titles and the Civilization series. Whenever he's not writing he spends his time watching sports, enjoying coffee, or studying history.