Direct3D 8 Games Like GTA 3 Get Even Better Performance on Steam Deck

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The Steam Deck is quite possibly one of the best devices to play older games on. Almost every game that was released in 2016 and before will run really well, and with the Deck being a PC, we can play games that even go back to the early 1990s and before, thanks to emulators. While there is no issue with performance for these older titles, it is always nice to see any improvement that could help performance. Yesterday, there was a new change to DXVK, made by Valve's own Joshua Ashton, that will make Direct3D 8/Direct X 8.0 games perform better overall.

GTA 3 Direct3D 8

Per yesterday's Merge on Github, and reported on Phoronix, The D8VK project has now been merged into DXVK, meaning many Direct3D 8 games, like Grand Theft Auto 3, F.E.A.R., and Max Payne 1 and 2, should have some nice performance boosts. There are also some games that weren't released on Steam that do have PC builds, like Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, that will also benefit from this!

For some reference, DXVK is an essential part of the Proton compatibility layer that Valve uses to get Windows games to run on the Steam Deck. DXVK specifically is a Vulkan-based translation layer that translates Direct3D 9, 10, and 11 into a Vulkan-readable format, which allows the game to run on Linux. D8VK is essentially the Direct3D 8 version of this kind of layer, and with it being implemented, we should now be able to more easily translate these older games, too.


A lot of these games do already run quite well on the Steam Deck, but having something that helps to improve it further is awesome. You can check out a full list of all PC games using Direct3D 8 on PCGamingWiki, but some of these awesome titles come from around 2001 - 2008, with some outliers released later.

DXVK is part of Proton already, so you shouldn't have to do anything to take advantage of it. We most likely won't see the improvements until a Proton update is released, but if you have the new Proton GE 9-10, which just updated today, you should be able to try the improvements out.

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