The Rainbow Six Siege developer Ubisoft today announced that the tactical shooter will soon be getting a whole new graphics API on the live PC version, giving players another option other than DirectX 11, which is now over a decade old. Vulkan has been in testing in the test servers for some time now, and with the upcoming patch 4.3 to the game, it will be available for everyone.
"The Vulkan API provides advantages over DirectX 11 that can help Rainbow Six Siege improve graphical performance," said the developer. "Moreover, Vulkan as a newer API has benefits that will help to reduce CPU and GPU cost, as well as support for more modern features that can open the door to more new and exciting things in the future."
Ubisoft says that even though coding complexity goes up, the bare metal hardware access graphics APIs like Vulkan provide developers enables more flexibility. The studio had also considered using DirectX 12, but its testing had shown better CPU performance on Vulkan.
The Vulkan implementation that arrives with Rainbow Six Siege patch 4.3 will be aimed at testing the API against "a broader variety of hardware and a larger population of players to help us ensure that overall stability with Vulkan is just as good or better than before." This also means that while Ubisoft optimizes the implementation, Vulkan performance could be the same or even lower than DirectX 11.
The 4.3 update doesn’t have a release date attached to it just yet, but when it is out, Uplay launcher will give players the option to launch Rainbow Six Siege in either DirectX 11 or Vulkan. Ubisoft recommends players to update their graphics drivers to the latest available versions for the best results as well, them being the AMD Radeon 20.1.4, Nvidia Geforce 441.87, or the Intel 220.127.116.1155 drivers.
More technical information on what improvements Vulkan brings - like Dynamic Texture Indexing, Render Target Aliasing, and Async Compute - can be found on the Ubisoft blog here.