The Starfield modding community is facing a divisive issue with the introduction of a mod that integrates Nvidia’s DLSS 3 upscaling technology into the game. Bethesda initially opted for AMD’s rival FSR 2 technology, which has sparked criticism from some users regarding the modder PureDark’s decision to offer DLSS 3’s advanced frame-generation features exclusively to their Patreon subscribers, while the free version supports only DLSS 2, providing upscaling but not frame generation.
A History of Charging for Mods specially Starfield DLSS 3
Charging for mods has been a contentious topic in the gaming world, with past attempts causing significant uproar. Notably, in 2015, Bethesda and Valve’s collaboration allowed modders to charge for Skyrim mods via Steam. This move led to a backlash from the gaming community, prompting Valve to quickly backtrack on the decision.
Adding DRM and Bypassing It
PureDark’s mod has stirred further controversy by implementing digital rights management (DRM) to restrict access to DLSS 3 for non-Patreon subscribers. However, reports have emerged suggesting that this copy protection has already been circumvented. DLSS 3 distinguishes itself by offering frame-generation capabilities, particularly on newer Nvidia 40-series GPUs. It not only upscales the game to a higher resolution but also generates additional frames.
Performance of the Free Starfield DLSS 2 Mod
Despite the uproar surrounding Starfield DLSS 3 and its restrictions, the free DLSS 2 mod has garnered praise for its performance. Benchmarks indicate that it competes favorably with, and in some cases slightly outperforms, the official AMD FSR 2 support in Starfield. Furthermore, it offers slightly better image quality, making it a popular choice among players. Currently, PureDark’s “Starfield Upscaler” DLSS mod stands as the most sought-after release on NexusMods for Starfield.
PureDark’s Track Record and AMD’s Perspective
PureDark has established a track record of enhancing games with DLSS support, even when the games themselves do not officially offer Nvidia’s technology. Previous mods have been created for Bethesda titles such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim. While Starfield initially leans towards AMD’s FSR 2 technology, AMD has expressed openness to incorporating Nvidia’s DLSS if Bethesda chooses to do so. Despite being marketed as Starfield’s “exclusive PC partner,” AMD’s gaming chief, Frank Azor, has emphasized full support for DLSS should it become part of the game’s features.
This ongoing controversy in the Starfield modding community highlights the complex relationship between modders, game developers, and technology providers as they seek to enhance the gaming experience and navigate the preferences and expectations of players. The outcome of this dispute may influence the future of modding and technology integration within the gaming industry.