Starfield Mod Controversy: DLSS 3 behind DRM Paywall, Cracked within Hours

The modder has acknowledged issues with new mod, including game crashes and performance drops.

Starfield-Gameplay-Bethesda

Starfield, while still in early access, has stirred the gaming community due to a mod that supports 's DLSS 3 upscaling technology. Bethesda chose not to incorporate this in , opting instead for AMD's FSR 2. The modder, known as PureDark, decided to restrict the advanced frame-generation features of DLSS 3 to those who subscribed to their Patreon. The freely available version of the mod only supports DLSS 2, which provides upscaling but not frame generation.

Past Controversies Over Paid Mods

The idea of charging users for mods isn't new and has been a point of contention in the past. Bethesda and Valve experienced backlash in 2015 when they allowed modders to charge for their Skyrim mods via Steam. The feature was removed shortly after due to the controversy.

DRM Protection Easily Bypassed

Adding to the controversy, PureDark incorporated DRM into the DLSS 3 Starfield mod to prevent non-subscribers from accessing it. However, reports suggest that this protection was cracked in a short span. Dexerto further highlighted that the mod was shared on websites soon after its release. A user on the Steam Underground forums, Seeburschbanause, commented on the situation, stating, “Looks like we came to the age of DRM mods.”

Alternative Free DLSS 3 Starfield Mod

While the DRM-protected mod was making headlines, another modder, LukeFZ, released a free Starfield mod that incorporates Nvidia's DLSS 3, including its frame generation feature. This mod has been tested and confirmed to work, especially in enhancing the game's performance.

On the official Patreon post, PureDark acknowledged some issues with the mod, including game crashes and performance drops. Some users reported a stable experience with previous versions, while others faced challenges with the newer updates.