The Controversy Surrounding Starfield DLSS Mods: Paid vs Free

The release of Starfield, the highly anticipated RPG from Bethesda, has sparked a new debate in the gaming community. While the game lacks Nvidia DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) support at launch, modders have stepped in to fill the void with their own DLSS mods. However, one modder, PureDark, has taken a controversial approach by offering his advanced DLSS mods on Patreon for a monthly subscription fee.

The Demand for DLSS in Starfield

PC users have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion of Nvidia DLSS technology in Starfield. DLSS, known as Deep Learning Super Sampling, is an upscaling technology that enhances graphics and provides better visuals in games. The absence of DLSS support in Starfield’s initial release has left players clamoring for a solution.

PureDark’s Paid DLSS Mods on Patreon

PureDark is a modder who specializes in creating DLSS mods for games. With the release of Starfield, he introduced his DLSS3 mod on Patreon, restricting access to it behind a $5-per-month subscription. The mod utilizes Digital Rights Management (DRM) to authenticate users. PureDark also offers a less advanced DLSS2 mod for free on NexusMods.

While PureDark has been offering paid mods on Patreon for some time, the prominence of Starfield and its related mod has reignited the debate over paid mods in the modding community. Some argue that modders deserve compensation for their work akin to game developers, while others believe that mods should remain freely available to the community.

The DRM Dilemma

The addition of DRM authentication to PureDark’s mod hasn’t deterred the modding community from cracking it. In an interview with IGN, PureDark defended the decision, stating that the mod was intended to be a service that grants subscribers access to all his previously made mods, even after their subscription expires.

Although the cracked mods may function, PureDark plans to make things more challenging for these individuals in the future. He claims to include hidden mines in his mods, making it difficult for those who use cracked versions to fully enjoy the mod’s functionality. These hidden mines may cause glitches, crashes, or unexpected behavior, leaving users unsure if it’s a bug or a consequence of using a cracked version.

The Backlash and Alternatives

The introduction of a paid mod has generated backlash on social media platforms. Many argue that adding DRM to a paid mod is unfair and goes against the principles of the modding community. However, PureDark remains unfazed by the criticism, emphasizing that he intends to move on to other games once the Starfield mod reaches a stable state.

In response to the paid mod controversy, modder LukeFZ created a free alternative named “Starfield Frame Generation - Replacing FSR2 with DLSS-G” on NexusMods. Although LukeFZ stated that his motivation was not a direct response to PureDark’s paid mod, the availability of this free alternative offers an option for those who oppose paying for mods.

The Future of DLSS in Starfield

Despite the ongoing debate surrounding paid mods, Bethesda has confirmed that official DLSS support for Starfield will be added in the future. Players can look forward to enhanced visuals and improved graphics once this feature is implemented. Until then, modders like PureDark and LukeFZ continue to provide alternative options for users seeking DLSS technology in Starfield.