Starfield DLSS Support Review - Before and After Beta Patch

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starfield dlss support grav jump animation

Starfield's much anticipated DLSS patch has finally arrived and answered the woes of many players struggling to reach a stable high framerate. Starfield is an extremely demanding game in terms of system requirements, and many players have been waiting for the addition of DLSS so that their rigs can run the game at a stable FPS.

So, let's look at Starfield's DLSS Patch, its addition of DLSS support, and how much it has improved the game.

What is DLSS?

NVIDIA DLSS is a feature for gamers that boosts your game's graphics quality without needing a more powerful computer. It uses AI to enhance the game's visuals smartly, making everything look sharper and more detailed. This means you can play games with high-end graphics smoothly on your current setup, enjoying a better visual experience without upgrading your PC. It's a neat trick to get more out of your games visually without extra hardware costs.

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NVIDIA's DLSS is often preferred over AMD's FSR 2.0 mainly because it delivers better image quality and smoother gameplay, especially for gamers with NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, particularly when using resource-heavy features like ray tracing.

Although FSR 2.0 is also good and works with various graphics cards, DLSS is optimized explicitly for NVIDIA's hardware, making it a more effective choice for those with compatible GPUs. Additionally, DLSS is continuously improved by NVIDIA and is widely supported by game developers.

Our Testing

We'll discuss Starfield's performance pre-patch with the launch version FSR 2.0 and then with DLSS support to see how far Bethesda has come in easing system requirements for players. For reference, the rig used to run Starfield sports an RTX 3070 paired with a Ryzen 5600, an NVMe SSD, and 32 GB of DDR5 RAM.

The game was run at 1440p with unlocked FPS and all settings and rendering at maximum. It's an NVIDIA system, so you can expect a significant boost in performance. This test is for people who want to know how much improvement they can expect on their NVIDIA rigs. No Mods were used.

Starfield Without DLSS

Luckily, we had a copy of Starfield's launch version lying around (Don't ask us how), so we could compare the performance between the launch version of Starfield and Starfield Version 1.8 with DLSS support. As we mentioned, Starfield was using FSR2 for upscaling at launch, which was intended to provide stable frame rates but was heavily disliked by the community. Here are the settings we used:

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So, in terms of results, here's the kind of performance we got from Starfield at launch:

  • Space Travel and Space Combat yielded around a stable 60-70 FPS that rarely dipped below 60.
  • For ground travel, there were several stuttering issues, and the FPS would fluctuate between 30 and 40 and even down to 20, depending on how populated the area you were exploring is. New Atlantis is the biggest culprit.
  • FPS drops were widespread during combat, and the game would freeze occasionally. On average, we got 33 FPS during combat on an isolated moon.
  • Explosions would drop combat FPS down to 20.
  • CPU usage remained at 30%, while GPU usage was around 90-99%.

Starfield With DLSS

After downloading and updating Starfield with the 1.8 Patch, we finally got access to DLSS support. Here are the settings we used for the DLSS testing:

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starfield dlss settings used
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Compared to FSR2, DLSS improved significantly over the former in every section of the game. Here's the performance breakdown:

  • Space Travel and Space Combat easily hit 120 FPS and remained stable above 100 FPS.
  • Ground exploration also received a major FPS boost and remained at around 70 to 80 FPS, finally sustaining a stable 60 FPS.
  • Combat still suffered from stuttering, and FPS drops when things got hectic but generally managed to remain above 60 FPS.
  • The only exception where the FPS would suffer during combat was when there were a ton of explosions and effects going on simultaneously. In these cases, it would drop down to 50 FPS.
  • CPU usage increased to 50%, while GPU usage remained at around 95%.
  • Overall stability was much better compared to FSR2.

Overall Thoughts

As evident from our results, DLSS support has almost doubled the average FPS in nearly every section of the game. Ranging from space travel to exploration and combat, it's evident, at least with our NVIDIA GPU, that it has made playing the game at the highest resolutions much more feasible for powerful rigs. Furthermore, older rigs will also be able to take advantage of this feature, and Starfield has been made much more accessible to a wider variety of gamers now.

That covers our short performance review for Starfield's DLSS patch and the expected performance increase on your NVIDIA GPUs.

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