October is a big month for Nvidia's DLSS technology, with ten more titles getting DLSS 2.0 or later (most are likely using 2.3.1 now). DLSS requires an RTX GPU, which are among the best graphics cards though they remain difficult to find in stock. If you have a card already and plan on playing any of the following games, you're in luck. Along with the news on the latest DLSS updates, Nvidia also released its 496.13 drivers (opens in new tab) today — a rather large numbering jump from the previous 472.12 drivers.
Back 4 Blood, a first-person zombie shooter, launches today, while other games either already launched or will come later this month. The remaining nine games include the Crysis Remastered Trilogy, Baldur's Gate 3, Chivalry 2, Sword and Fairy 7, Alan Wake Remastered, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch, and Swords of Legends Online. DLSS 2.x support is also coming for both Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, the latter of which came out in 2015.
We were very surprised to hear that Rise of the Tomb Rader would be receiving a DLSS update at all, considering the game is over five years old now. Traditionally, DLSS only gets implemented in modern titles, not ones made years ago that are no longer supported with regular updates. But Rise can still be quite demanding, and apparently Crystal Dynamics felt it was worth doing an upgrade.
If games this old can get full DLSS support, we could very well see other classic titles that were made years ago receive the DLSS treatment. (I'm personally hoping Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of those titles).
Shadow of the Tomb Raider originally supported DLSS 1.x, after the ray tracing patch came out, and the new update from 1.x to 2.x is also great to see. That leaves Battlefield V as one of the few games to still use the original DLSS algorithm, with the other major DLSS 1.x titles (Metro Exodus and now Shadow) having now made the jump to 2.x. Maybe one day EA and DICE will give the green light on a small DLSS 2.0 patch, especially since Battlefield 2042 will use the latest version.
DLSS Performance Benchmarks
Nvidia tested eight of the ten games in DLSS performance mode on several RTX 30- and 20-series GPUs, showcasing the immense FPS improvement that can be seen by switching DLSS on. Of course, Nvidia focused its testing on the settings that show the largest gains, namely 4K using DLSS performance mode (4x upscaling from 1080p). We generally prefer the quality mode (2x upscaling), or perhaps balanced mode (3x upscaling), which don't boost performance as much but also provide better image quality — only quality mode really has "visually lossless" image fidelity in our experience.
In performance mode, most titles received at least a 50% jump in framerates over native rendering. Some titles are seeing even better results, with over a 2x FPS improvement. Not surprisingly, the more complex a game is on the rendering side of things, the bigger the gains from DLSS. Alan Wake Remastered, Back 4 Blood, Baldur's Gate 3, Chivalry 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Swords of Legends all use traditional rasterization techniques, while Crysis Remastered Trilogy, FIST, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Sword and Fairy 7 use one or more ray tracing effects. Note that Alan Wake Remastered also appears to have a 120 fps framerate cap (or perhaps it hit a CPU bottleneck at around that speed).
Three of the games are already available (Back 4 Blood, FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch, and Alan Wake Remastered). Baldur's Gate 3, Sword of Legends Online, and the Crysis Remastered Trilogy will receive the update later this week, with the Crysis update coming at the same time as the game's official release on October 15th. The DLSS updates for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider will be happening on October 18th, Sword and Fairy 7's update comes on October 21st, and Chivalry 2 will be updated on October 26th.
We likely won't be running detailed benchmarks on most of these games, though we have poked around at FIST a bit and found it to be quite demanding. Back 4 Blood meanwhile is the long-awaited unofficial sequel to the Left 4 Dead series, and we suspect that will prove equally popular for quite some time — especially this month with all the Halloween goodness going on.