Starfield is out on PC as part of its Deluxe Edition September 1 early access perk, and players have confirmed that it doesn’t support Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology for better resolution and performance. Many had suspected as much when Bethesda announced an exclusive partnership with rival chip maker AMD, but thankfully DLSS support has already been modded into the game.
As IGN noticed, the open-world RPG’s settings menu currently only supports the latest iteration of AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution feature, FSR2, meaning players with Intel or Nvidia graphics cards that use different machine learning upscaling algorithms are out of luck. AMD gaming chief Frank Azor wouldn’t confirm if that was a requirement for its partnership with Bethesda, but recently told The Verge the studio could support DLSS if it wanted. “If they want to do DLSS, they have AMD’s full support,” he said.
The good news is that a “Starfield Upscaler” which allows players to replace FSR2 with DLSS or XESS was one of the first mods uploaded to the NexusMods website after the game went live. It’s not bug free and some PC players are still reporting issues getting their preferred upscaling tech to work, but it’s a start and will no doubt continue to get refined in the days ahead.
Bethesda’s exclusive partnership with AMD caused a big controversy when it was announced earlier this summer precisely because of the chip company’s pattern of locking out competitors’ features. The whole point of PC gaming is that it’s supposed to give players freedom to pick and choose their preferred builds, unlike on consoles where fans are locked into the manufacturer’s ecosystem.
Fortunately, the modding community still exists, and DLSS support for Starfield is just the start. If years of Skyrim and Fallout 4 mods are any indication, the sky, or in this case the galaxy, is the limit.