One of the unsung heroes of the Steam Deck is DXVK, the software layer that translates DirectX games into Vulkan. If you’re not familiar with Vulkan, it’s the high-performance, low-level graphics stack that beats the pants off of DirectX in virtually every instance. It’s the reason Doom Eternal and other idTech games feel so slick.
Anyway, the latest release of DXVK brings massive changes. If you’ve been following any of the news about HDR coming to Deck, then you’ll know that (at the moment) this feature is kind of a hack. Well, DXVK 2.1 makes it that much less hacky. Currently, no major Linux desktop environment supports HDR so, in order to use it, you’ll have to use Gamescope. Gamescope is “game mode” on the Steam Deck. Also, this is only for games that run D3D12 on AMD graphics cards… with vkd3d-proton version 2.8
So while this official release is less of a hack, suffice it to say only the bravest of souls will be able to get this running for the time being.
Other changes to DXVK include shader compilation improvements, sample rate shading and many, many bugfixes.