RDR2 Vulkan vs DirectX 12 – How to Change API

Vulkan and DirectX 12 are graphics APIs you can choose from in Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC. Vulkan is the default option, but a lot of folks are getting much better performance with DirectX12. Others who are experiencing performance issues are wondering how to change API, to get as many fps as possible. Our Red Dead Redemption 2 Vulkan vs DirectX 12 guide will show you exactly that.

rdr2 vulkan vs directx12 how to change api
RDR2 Vulkan vs DirectX 12 – How to Change API

How to change graphics API in Red Dead Redemption 2

It’s a simple task – just open up the settings and head on over to the graphics settings page. Once you’re there, you’ll need to unlock the advanced settings – scroll down to the advanced graphics part and you’ll see it. When you’ve unlocked the section, the first option you see will be Graphics API. This is where you choose between Vulkan and DX12.

If you’re wondering which one is better – well, there’s no easy answer there. You should try both and see which gives you the best results. Reports seem to vary wildly – some say they’re getting much better frame rates with Vulkan, others claim DX12 is the one that resolves their freezing issues. Try both out, preferably with a FPS counter in the corner of your screen, so you can monitor stuff while testing.

Also, if you’re having performance issues (and you probably are, since you’re here), you could try turning off two of the three types of anti aliasing the game uses (TAA, FXAA, MSAA). We don’t know which ones are the most resource-heavy, or which affect the visuals the most, but a little experimentation should reveal which ones you can afford to live without (our reader Matt says that FXAA is the “cheapest” one, so try leaving that one on and turning the other two off). If you’re having any other problems with the game, make sure to check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 PC errors & problems guide.


If you end up getting stuck at another point, you might want to check out some of the other guides we have. We’ve written about mysteries like the missing person Gavin, the Rhodes Gunsmith prisoner, the locked door at Valentine doctor. We also have instructional guides that show how to rob stores without getting bounty or where to sell jewelry and gold bars. If it’s collectibles or key items you’re after, we’ve found all the Penny Dreadful comic books, Chick’s treasure map location, or that famous pipe for Dutch. Finally, if you don’t care to explore the map yourself, you could take a look at our Watson’s Cabin and Catfish Jackson’s Homestead locations guides. In the latest Red Dead Online Moonshiners Update you’ll have a chance to find Navy Revolver and Best Shack Locations.


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