As promised, Starfield’s big DLSS update is now live in beta testing on Steam, which means Nvidia owners can finally take advantage of the higher frame rates their GPUs are capable of.
It seemed weird that Starfield did not support DLSS at launch, given that more than 80% of PC gamers have Nvidia graphics cards in their rigs (according to the most recent Steam hardware survey). Fingers were pointed at Bethesda’s partnership with AMD on the game, although AMD later said that the developer could throw in DLSS support anytime it wanted. Modders picked up the torch, but even so it was welcome news when Bethesda confirmed last week that official support for Nvidia hardware was on the way.
Now it’s here, albeit in a pre-release state. Today’s update enables owners of compatible Nvidia cards to take advantage of DLSS Super Resolution, Deep Learning Anti-aliasing (DLAA), Nvidia Reflex Low Latency, and DLSS Frame generation. You’ll need to have Vsync switched off to see any advantage from DLSS Frame Generation right now, but Bethesda said that will be made an automatic adjustment in a future update.
It is important to note that this beta is not actually an update, but an entirely separate build of the game. This means that you’ll be able to continue playing from where you left off, but any saves made in the beta branch will not be compatible with the live version until the update is fully live. That shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have space for two separate Starfield installs, but it could potentially become a headache if the beta turns out to have some catastrophic bug that pops up four hours in. Hey, there’s a reason they call it a beta test.
If that doesn’t put you off and you want to give this thing a rip before it goes fully live, you’ll need to right-click the Starfield entry in your Steam library, then select Properties, and then the Betas tab in the window that opens. Select “Beta” from the beta dropdown menu, then hold on to your hat while the new build downloads and installs.
DLSS support is obviously the centerpiece here, but it’s not the only change on the table. The update also enables players to eat and drink food items as soon as they’re found (apparently this was a “popular request”) and makes a number of other bug fixes, optimizations, and gameplay tweaks. The patch notes are below—assuming things don’t go horrifically wrong during the beta, the update is expected to be rolled out to all players later this month.
Performance And Stability
- Addressed a number of memory related issues and leaks.
- [PC Only] Add some GPU performance optimizations, which will be more impactful on higher end cards.
- [PC Only] Improved renderer threading model, improving CPU usage most notably on higher end systems.
- Various stability and performance improvements.
- Added the ability to eat the food placed in the world
- Adjusted stealth to be a bit more forgiving.
- Fixed an issue where Andreja’s head would stay permanently cloaked.
- Fixed an issue that could prevent players from firing their weapons.
- Fixed issues where some NPC could be seen not wearing clothes.
- Fixed an issue where already in-progress skill challenges could stop progressing after reaching the Unity and starting a new game.
- Fixed an issue that could temporarily prevent opening the inventory or saving after entering the Unity.
- PC: Fixed an issue where mouse movement could be choppy.
- Fixed a rare issue that could cause the home ship to be lost.
- Fixed an issue where the ship services technician might be missing.
- Addressed an issue with how ambient occlusion appeared in ultrawide resolutions.
- Optimized initial shader compilation that occurs on start-up.
- Added the ability to adjust Brightness and Contrast in the Display Settings menu.
- Added the ability to adjust HDR Brightness provided that the system supports it. (Xbox & Windows 11 only).
- Addressed a number of materials that could sometimes present an unintended pattern under certain conditions.
- Fixed various visual issues related to the new FOV slider options.
- Improved the appearance of the eyes on crowd characters.
- Addressed a number of minor visual issues related to lighting, shadows, terrain, and vegetation.
- All That Money Can Buy: Fixed a rare issue where players couldn’t sit during the negotiation with Musgrove.
- Blast Zone: Fixed an issue where the hard rocks that need to be cleared out by players will not appear on Ngodup Tate’s land.
- Echoes of the Past: Fixed an issue where the Grylloba Queen could sometimes not be reachable during the objective “Secure the Shuttle Bay”.
- Eye of the Storm: Fixed an issue where players’ quest progression could potentially be blocked due to a missing docking prompt.
- Grunt Work: Addressed an issue where progress could appear blocked if “Supra et Ultra” was completed while returning to the Lodge during “High Price to Pay”.
- No Sudden Moves: Fixed an issue the that could prevent the entrance door to the Scow ship from being opened again.
- Operation Starseed: Fixed an issue where the key that is needed to exit the facility could sometimes not be present.
- Sabotage: Fixed an issue where David Barron could potentially not be found by players.
- Short Sighted: Fixed an issue where players could rarely become control-locked while speaking with Vladimir.
- The Heart of Mars: Fixed an issue where players might not be able to mine the “The Heart of Mars”.