Here are the games that don't work on Intel Alder Lake, but there is a workaround

Intel Core i9 12900K up-close images with the chip exposed
(Image credit: Future)

Intel Alder Lake processors are out now, and they're seriously speedy in games as you'll find out in our Core i9 12900K review and Core i5 12600K review. Though, there are a few games that the exact opposite is true—where DRM, or Digital Rights Management, prevent the processor from booting the game whatsoever.

It's an issue we were made aware of in the run-up to Intel's 12th Gen release, and one that I ran into during testing with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. Intel gave me the following response: "We are aware of an issue with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and we are working with the game publisher on a fix."

Today, there's a complete list of games that are currently incompatible with Intel Alder Lake (nice spot, Andreas Schilling), but which ones work and which don't will depend on whether you have Windows 11 or Windows 10 installed on your PC.

Incompatible games (Windows 11)

  • Anthem
  • Bravely Default 2
  • Fishing Sim World
  • Football Manager 2019
  • Football Manager Touch 2019
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Football Manager Touch 2020
  • Legend of Mana
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2
  • Warhammer I
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Fernbus Simulator
  • For Honor
  • Lost in Random
  • Madden 22
  • Maneater
  • Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit Remastered
  • Sea of Solitude
  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  • Tourist Bus Simulator
  • Maneater

Incompatible games (Windows 10)

  • All of the above, plus:
  • Ace Combat 7
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey
  • Assassins Creed Origins
  • Code Vein
  • eFootball 2021
  • F1 2019
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • FIFA 19
  • FIFA 20
  • Football Manager 2021
  • Football Manager Touch 2021
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising
  • Just Cause 4
  • Life is Strange 2
  • Madden 21
  • Monopoly Plus
  • Need For Speed Heat
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Shinobi Striker
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Starlink
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Total War Saga - Three Kingdoms
  • Train Sim World
  • Train Sim World 2
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood

The games in bold, Intel states, are set to receive a patch with the Windows 11 update sometime mid-November, which should put this issue to rest. For the remaining games, Intel says it is working with the developers on a fix.

By the looks of it, too, there's all the more reason to run Alder Lake on Windows 11 over Windows 10. Not only will you net the best performance out of your chip, but you won't have to worry about quite so much incompatibility with DRM software. That does, however, mean using an OS that we're still a little on the fence about in Windows 11.

Intel Core i9 12900K up-close images with the chip exposed

(Image credit: Future)

Scroll Lock Workaround

Intel does mention a workaround, however, and it's partially to do with Intel Alder Lake's brand new Efficient Cores (E-Cores).

According to Intel, DRM software may wrongly assume these E-Cores are an entirely different system to the other CPU cores included in Alder Lake, the Performance Cores (P-Cores). Thus, preventing the game from running successfully.

So, one way to get around that would be to disable your E-Cores. Now that's not great, as that's one reason why Alder Lake processors are so impressive, but when need's must.

It's possible to do so by enabling Legacy Game Compatibility Mode, which is a fairly simple process:

  • Power-up system and enter system BIOS setup.
  • Enable switch Legacy Game Compatibility Mode to ON (one-time only) in BIOS.
  • Save BIOS setup changes and exit.
  • Boot to OS.
  • Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key ON.
  • Launch affected game title.
  • Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key OFF after ending game title.

That should do it, and while not the ideal fix we're hoping for, it does at least mean these games aren't entirely off the cards with your brand new Alder Lake-powered PC.

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.