Starfield DLSS Update Hands On

I think I caught several smiles!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

I made it to the other side! I shuffled some things around on my SSD to make room for Starfield once again. Now that the Nvidia DLSS update is available to us, I figured it was time I gave it a try.

If you saw the description of the YouTube video, it’s basically all I can say. The GamersTM were right on this call. When the game was close to release, a lot of the community was calling out Bethesda for its lack of DLSS support. I was skeptical then. Now, I’m a believer.

I have plenty of stream archives that show what the performance of Starfield was before this patch. While I could get decent performance out of the game, it struggled to hold a steady 60 FPS. Of course, I chalked this up to being a Bethesda game and they’d be kinda chunky to run. Besides, I played most of this game on my Steam Deck via my Xbox Series X so most of my experience was locked to 30 FPS anyway.

But, boy, did this update open my eyes. No matter where I was, I was seeing at or above 60 FPS. Wide open spaces were some of the more difficult places. I loaded a save where I was outside. I then walked into the building and the frame rate jumped up. This remained a consistent experience no matter the environment. Even Neon Core, all lit up, proved no challenge.

It was at that point, I had somewhat of an epiphany. Most games I play nowadays have DLSS enabled at the start and they tend to struggle. I’m not entirely sure why. I have a Ryzen 9 5900x and a RTX 3080 Ti. I shouldn’t be struggling the way I am with games, especially with DLSS, but I am. It didn’t make me want to really believe that DLSS actually did anything significant as games were just getting too big. I’m glad I was partially wrong. DLSS can do something, but only if the game isn’t leaning on it as a crutch to squeeze performance out of an unoptimized game.

The only other game that I’ve played start to finish without DLSS and didn’t play well at all was Star Wars Jedi Survivor. That game has since come out with DLSS support, but it looks to have come out around the time Starfield did. I don’t think I tried it. Maybe I should go back.

After all, the GamersTM were right about Starfield.

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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