A $5 Starfield mod to enable DLSS Frame Generation has been cracked to remove modder's DRM

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(Image credit: Starfield)

A Starfield mod that replaces the game's native FSR 2.2 support with DLSS 3.5 and enables Frame Generation has had its DRM cracked. The premium mod had been previously locked behind a Patreon paywall to support the mod's developer, PureDark, but has swiftly been removed by a popular cracking website. 

Starfield offers so-far exclusive support for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.2 (FSR 2.2)—a decision that raised the hackles of many on the internet. It's generally seen to be a result of AMD's partnership with Bethesda for the game, and not for technical reasons. Somewhat proven by how swiftly modders have since added DLSS and XeSS support into the game's settings menu.

There are multiple mods already available over on Nexus Mods that promise to swap out AMD's own upscaler for Nvidia or Intel's. One from PureDark and two from LukeFZ.

PureDark has so far released two such mods for the game: one that enables DLSS 2.0 or Intel XeSS support, which has been released for free on Nexus Mods; and another that enables DLSS 3.5 and Frame Generation, which is behind a $5 Patreon paywall and was protected by DRM. 

Just as swiftly as these mods were released, just so the PureDark Frame Generation mod has been cracked by a popular cracking website and posted to the r/CrackWatch subreddit.

Members of that subreddit have been particularly vocal in opposing the decision to add DRM to this mod, or any mod for that matter. Some go as far to say that they hope the modder is sued by Nvidia, a trillion dollar tech company, for the DRM implementation. No matter where you stand on DRM vs. no DRM debate, that's clearly taking things too far.

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Users in the r/PCgaming subreddit are generally cheerier at the service that PureDark is offering ahead of Starfield's official release date. It's a divisive subject, however, as some argue it should have never been placed behind a paywall, while others don't feel the $5 fee is all that much to ask for an independent modder.

This isn't the first time we've come across the concept of paid-for mods. In fact, Starfield developer Bethesda toyed with the idea for Skyrim mods back in 2015, before pulling the program due to a public outcry. Though paying a game's developer a percentage of a mod's fee versus supporting a small-time independent mod developer are entirely different prospects.

Potentially making this whole argument a moot point, a mod from LukeFZ adds support for DLSS Frame Generation and is available for free from Nexus Mods. Similarly, DLSS 3.5 can be added to the free version of PureDark's Starfield Upscaler mod with a few tweaks, as outlined in this video

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.