Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation was one of the first games to run natively on DirectX 12, but a new update next week will allow players to use Vulkan in lieu of Microsoft’s API.
In terms of the gameplay experience, Vulkan is supposed to provide better performance. The studio further added that it can also reduce CPU load time and allow for scaling so that it “takes advantage of multiple cores.” Vulkan lets your PC easily work on other tasks while you play, and it’s also compatible across multiple OS versions, whereas DirectX 12 is exclusive to Windows 10.
If you’re playing the game on an older OS, chances are you're also using an older version of DirectX. When the update is live, the developers recommend that you to run the in-game benchmark to see if Vulkan provides a better performance score than your current version of DirectX. The studio went on to note that it will continue to release updates in the future to further improve and optimize Vulkan’s performance within the game.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is the latest title to support the Khronos Group’s API. Last year, Valve released a beta version of Vulkan for the massively popular Dota 2 (the game also supports DirectX 9 and 11, as well as OpenGL). Id Software’s Doom, which initially used OpenGL, also added the option to use Vulkan because it provided increased framerates. Most recently, Cloud Imperium Games, the studio working on Star Citizen, abandoned DirectX 11 in favor of Vulkan. The initial plan was to eventually support DirectX 12, but the studio didn't want to force players to get a new OS in order to play the game.
In addition to the new API, the update includes numerous improvements to the UI, campaign, and scenarios. Modders will get even more control over specific assets such as physics and unit formations. More importantly, the configuration files in mod directories will add onto the game’s base configuration. Based on the mod’s intended usage, this means that creators will no longer have to constantly update their work while developers continue to make improvements to the game’s foundational configurations.
The update comes out next week on August 24, but you can try a beta version of it today. For all the juicy details, you can read the lengthy (and detailed) changelog on the game’s forum page.