In any case, here’s how you get the Vulkan version of DOTA 2 running on your system:
Opt in to the Steam client beta to grab the latest version with fixes for the Steam overlay on Vulkan games (Steam menu > Settings > Beta participation > Hit the change button)
Download the Vulkan version of DOTA 2 through the game’s DLC menu (right-click > View downloadable content > tick the box for “Vulkan Support”)
Update your GPU drivers to the latest available version
Add “-vulkan” into the launch options for the game on Steam (right-click > Properties > General > Set launcher options)
Keep in mind that there are hardware requirements for running Vulkan with NVIDIA and AMD’s latest graphics drivers. NVIDIA supports the API as far back as the Geforce 600 Kepler series, while AMD starts at GCN 1.0-based graphics cards. Older architectures like Fermi and VLIW on AMD’s side might get support eventually, but it is not likely to happen. You also need to be running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 64-bit, or 64-bit Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 as a baseline is probably the best for testing). SteamOS is also supported technically, but for now official Vulkan support will come in a new version of the OS.
One interesting point about the Vulkan update is that it pushes up the graphics requirements quite a bit. While standard DOTA 2 on Windows or Linux requires a Geforce 8600 or a Radeon HD2600-series GPU at minimum (the requirements for OS X are even lower), you need a GPU with at least 2GB of VRAM. The game will run with less, but crashes might be experienced. There’s also a shader caching mechanism in place to put resolved shaders into a cache on the system drive, and Valve cautions users that stutters will be seen when you load up the game for the first time – watching or playing a single match should give the game engine time to perform this operation, and you shouldn’t have an issue after that.
Other known issues include observed tearing on NVIDIA GPUs even when V-Sync is enabled in the game’s menu. A driver update is promised to fix this up. AMD seems to be all set for this update, so I’d recommend you try it some time this week if you’re running either GPU. Even some Intel GPUs are supported, so get cracking!
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