Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Helldivers 2 CEO says DLSS is ‘not necessary’ — and he’s right

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The CEO for Arrowhead Games, developer of Helldivers 2, caught some flak for a controversial take on nowhere else than X (formerly Twitter), saying that Nvidia’s DLSS is “cool tech, but not necessary.”

The lack of branded upscaling tools in Helldivers 2 is strange, especially given the fact that the title has quickly become “one of the most entertaining co-op games” of the year, as you can read about in our Helldivers 2 review. Thankfully, Helldivers 2 doesn’t need DLSS.

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So hard… to not take bait… 🤣

Ok, I'll bite: DLSS – cool tech, but not necessary. If I have code time over I prefer to put that to good use focusing on the core gameplay as it's what is most important for a game to be successful.

This way of thinking seems to have paid off.

— Pilestedt (@Pilestedt) February 22, 2024

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The game uses its own Temporal Super Resolution (TSR), which offers either upscaling or supersampling depending on how much GPU power you have. You can read more about how it works in our Helldivers 2 PC performance guide, but the game is remarkably stable overall. Despite matchmaking issues, the performance of the title has been rock-solid since launch. That’s true even with pedestrian cards like the RTX 3060, where we were able to achieve above 60 frames per second (fps) at 1080p with all of the settings maxed out.

According to Johan Pilestedt, CEO of Arrowhead Games, upscaling tools like DLSS and FSR wouldn’t help much in Helldivers 2 due to the fact that “most of the performance load is on the CPU since we simulate everything.” Although upscaling may not drastically improve performance, frame generation features like DLSS 3 and FSR 3 could get around a CPU bottleneck.

It looks like that could be on the horizon. Pilestedt hasn’t said if DLSS or FSR is coming to Helldivers 2, but in a response on X, the developer agreed that both FSR 3 and DLSS should be added at the same time, if they’re added at all. At the moment, that doesn’t seem to be one of Arrowhead’s priorities: “I love DLSS and other performance-boosting tech. But when you are in a prio meeting and it’s ‘more awesome content’ versus ‘more tech’ the decision is easy,” Pilestedt wrote on X.

With matchmaking issues in Helldivers 2 mostly in the rearview mirror, it’s easy to appreciate how well the game runs on a variety of systems. Much unlike a title like Starfield, this is a game that doesn’t need to lean on a crop of upscaling and frame generation tech to achieve stable performance. That’s good news for PC gamers worried about developers leaning too heavily on upscaling tech to achieve playable performance.

Still, options aren’t a bad thing, so hopefully we see DLSS and FSR as additional settings in Helldivers 2 before long. Given the game’s massive popularity, it makes sense to have as many PC features available to players as possible — even if they’re not totally necessary.

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