Starfield is one of the biggest game releases of this year, but its performance on PC leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, modders have already added NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) support to the game through alternative means. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to add DLSS 3 support to Starfield through mods.
What Are Starfield DLSS Mods, and Why Use Them?
Starfield is a new game from Bethesda, the studio is known for popular action role-playing games like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls series. It’s not only a new title, but the first game to feature a brand-new game universe from Bethesda in over twenty years.
The game was highly anticipated by the gaming community, but just before launch it was announced that Starfield would only support AMD’s upscaling technology FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). It was a highly controversial decision because it locked NVIDIA GPU owners from using DLSS to improve the performance of the game.
However, Modder LukeFZ has successfully added DLSS support to Starfield, just days after its launch. Compared to AMD’s FSR technology, DLSS provides a significant improvement in performance, especially when using ray-tracing. The DLSS mod also improves the average FPS of the game even in demanding areas like New Atlantis. Some users might not experience immediate FPS gains, but will certainly notice a better image quality when compared to AMD’s FSR2.
Fortunately, the mod works on both older and newer NVIDIA graphic cards. However, the frame generation feature included in DLSS 3 is limited to the RTX 4000 series GPUs. If you have a RTX 4000 series graphic card you can enable DLSS 3 for Starfield by using this mod. However, older NVIDIA graphic cards will run on DLSS 2.
There’s also an alternative DLSS mod for Starfield made by user PureDark, who has also added DLSS to games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. However, the DLSS 3 support for PureDark’s mod is locked behind a paywall. Unlike PureDark’s mod, LukeFZ has made his Starfield DLSS 3 mod completely free and can be downloaded from Nexus Mods.
Other than that, the only difference between the two mods is that there’s no separate menu for LukeFZ’s DLSS mod. Due to this, you won’t be able to make any real-time changes to the game, but you can configure various settings for the mod by editing the config.json file in the game directory.
How to Find the Starfield Game Directory
The first step in most game modding is locating the game directory and game files, and modding Starfield is no different. Fortunately it’s easy to find the game files for Starfield.
On your PC, you can find the root folder for Steam and Xbox apps by following the steps given below. Select the method based on whether you purchased Starfield through Steam or through the Microsoft Store. Whether you bought the game through Microsoft or you’re playing for free with Xbox Game Pass for PC, use the Xbox PC app instructions.
Locating the Starfield Game Directory on the Xbox PC App
Right-click on the game in your library > Click on ‘Manage’ > Click on ‘Files’ > Click on ‘Browse’. Then go into the ‘Starfield’ folder, then ‘Content’ – you should now see ‘Starfield.exe’.
Locating the Starfield Game Directory with the Steam Client
Right-click on the game in your library > ‘Manage’ > Click on ‘Browse local files’. It should open the root folder containing ‘Starfield.exe’.
How to Add DLSS to Starfield
Go to Nexus Mods website and download the files corresponding to your game version (Steam or Xbox/Microsoft Store). You will need to create a Nexus Mods account to download the files.
Once downloaded, extract the files into the game directory. (FSR2Streamline.asi along with the other files/folders from the ZIP should be next to Starfield.exe)
Download both the latest DLSS and DLSS-G DLLs and place them in the ‘streamline’ folder in the game directory. Download links to both DLLs are provided here, DLSS and DLSS-G, courtesy of TechPowerUp, the makes of GPU-Z and other popular utilities.
Once you’ve placed them in the ‘streamline’ fold, launch the game and go to Settings > Display > set Upscaling to FSR2. Even though it says FSR2 in reality it is using NVIDIA’s DLSS mod. You can also adjust ‘Sharpening’ and ‘Render Resolution Scale’ to adjust the performance of the game. If you are confused by the Render Resolution Scale percentage, use the information given below.
- DLAA = 100% Render Resolution Scale
- DLSS Quality = 66% Render Resolution Scale
- DLSS Balanced = 58% Render Resolution Scale
- DLSS Performance = 50% Render Resolution Scale
- DLSS Ultra Performance = 33% Render Resolution Scale
How to Enable DLSS 3 for Starfield
You can tweak various settings by editing the config.json file by using any text editor. Open the file and enable DLSS 3 by changing “enableFrameGeneration”: false to “enableFrameGeneration”: true.
Unfortunately, just like PureDark’s DLSS mod, this mod also experiences crashes when loading or switching to a menu. According to the developer, limiting the frame rate should decrease the chances of experiencing a crash. You can limit the FPS of the game by editing config.json file and changing “reflexFpsCap”: 0 (0 means no frame cap).
This Starfield DLSS mod should significantly improve the performance of the PC version of the game. You can also try out the PureDark DLSS mod if you prefer to see real-time adjustments to the game. If you download the mod and enjoy it, please consider making a donation to the mod creator or signing up to LukeFZ’s Patreon to show your support.