Don’t pay to add DLSS 3 to Starfield — a free mod is already available

An astronaut stands on the moon in Starfield.

Starfield has already been the center of a ton of controversy concerning its decision to exclusively use AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2 (FSR 2). Modders launched versions of Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling 3 (DLSS 3) just hours after the game released, but even that has been the topic of discussion due to a subscription requirement.

Now, there’s a free version.

Modder LukeFZ has uploaded a Starfield mod that adds Nvidia’s DLSS 3 into the game, including DLSS Frame Generation. I’ve downloaded the mod and tested it on an RTX 4090, and I can confirm it works.

At the time of writing, the mod has been downloaded just over 4,000 times. For context, a mod from PureDark that adds DLSS 2 into the game has been downloaded over 200,000 times. PureDark is the main modder you see adding DLSS to games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but the dev has been at the center of some controversy with their Starfield mod.

As with the developer’s other DLSS 3 mods, you can only access them by signing up to their Patreon, which requires a minimum of a $5-per-month subscription. The problem this time around was PureDark’s choice to use a Digital Rights Management (DRM) tool to keep non-subscribers from accessing the mod.

The DRM protection was cracked within a few hours of it being discovered, according to Rock Paper Shotgun. PureDark currently has 9,244 members on their Patreon page.

By contrast, LukeFZ, who released a free DLSS 3 mod for Starfield, has 14 members and is making just shy of $50 per month off the page. If you download the mod, make sure to donate or sign up to the Patreon to show your support. The developer says they weren’t even able to test the mod because they don’t own an RTX 40-series GPU, instead relying on two friends to help test.

In my brief time with the mod, it massively improved performance in Starfield. Frame Generation was able to push the RTX 4090 above 100 frames per second (fps) in demanding areas like New Atlantis, even with all of the settings maxed out.

Although it’s great to see a free DLSS 3 mod, make sure to check out my guide on the best settings for Starfield to maximize your performance in the game.

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