Star Citizen moves into Vulkan, ditches DX12 support

Cloud Imperium Games moves away from DX12, and into the arms of Vulkan for Star Citizen.

1 minute & 30 seconds read time

Chris Roberts teased DX12 support for Star Citizen a while ago now, but after the disappointing DX12 games so far - the developer has changed gears, announcing that it will only focus on using the Vulkan API for Star Citizen.

Star Citizen moves into Vulkan, ditches DX12 support |

Cloud Imperium Games' Director of Graphics Programming, Alistair Brown, announced through the official Star Citizen forums that CIG will be pushing Vulkan into Star Citizen, making it the second large AAA game to drop DX12 in favor for Vulkan, the other being DOOM from id Software. Brown explained: "Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn't force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & Linux".

He continues: "As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn't effect any of our backers. DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan. The API's really aren't that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs".

Brown also discussed thousands of objects moving around in the world of Star Citizen without a performance hit, teasing: "In terms of number of objects, when using our dedicated systems for asteroids & debris we can already handle over 100,000 individually moving objects on screen at well over 60fps, and intend to use an imposter system to handle the visualization of millions more in the background, so there's no concerns there".

The shift to Vulkan for Star Citizen is a big deal, as it's easily the most ambitious PC game ever made - and moving away from DX12, is a big deal.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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