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How to enable Nvidia DLSS

If you own one of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics card, you might be able to use a special feature called DLSS to improve the frame rate performance of a game.

There’s a huge selection of games that now support the first iteration of DLSS, and while the new DLSS 3 technology (exclusive to RTX 4000 cards) only offers support for approximately 35 games and apps, we expect that list to expand in the coming months.

DLSS is a useful technology for demanding games such as Cyberpunk 2077 as it allows low- and mid-range graphics cards to achieve higher resolutions at a still playable frame rate.

But how do you activate DLSS on a PC? It’s important to note that the process is slightly different for each game, but this guide should still be of help in activating the technology.

What you’ll need:

  • A gaming PC
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card
  • Compatible game

The Short Version:

  1. Check your GPU drivers are up to date
  2. Boot up a DLSS compatible game
  3. Head to the graphics settings
  4. Enable DLSS
  5. Start playing the game
  6. Use FPS counter to check performance
  1. Step
    1

    Check your GPU drivers are up to date

    To ensure DLSS is working properly, you’ll need to make sure your graphics drivers are up to date. You can do this by downloading GeForce Experience.

    Once installed, open the application and click on the ‘Drivers’ tab in the top-left corner. Then check the top-right corner to see if your graphics drivers are up to date. If not, a download will be prompted.

  2. Step
    2

    Boot up a game compatible with DLSS

    Now it’s time to boot up a game that supports DLSS. You can double check compatibility via Nvidia’s own list here.

  3. Step
    3

    Head into the display settings

    You should then get the option to head into settings. Sometimes you can simply click this in a menu, while other times you’ll need to press the Escape key. Once in the settings, look for display settings.

  4. Step
    4

    Enable DLSS

    Within the display settings menu, you should spot an option to enable DLSS. If not, you may need to select an Upscale Method like with Horizon Zero Dawn.

    Set this to DLSS and the process should be complete. Some games also give you a Upscale Quality slider for DLSS, so you can favour graphics quality or performance. Don’t forget to hit the Apply button once finished.

  5. Step
    5

    Start playing a game

    DLSS should be activated now, but it’s worth double checking everything is working. Start playing a game, whether that’s hitting continue or starting a new save file.

  6. Step
    6

    Use FPS counter to check performance difference

    It’s difficult to determine the frame rate performance of a game with the naked eye. Instead, use an FPS counter. Both Nvidia and Steam offer functionality for this, or you can use third-party software such as Fraps. If DLSS is working correctly, there should be a boost to the frame rate performance.

Troubleshooting

What do I do if the option for DLSS isn’t showing up

If DLSS is blurred out or not showing up, then there could be one of many issues. Make sure the Upscale Method is set to DLSS and that your graphics drivers are up to date. It’s also worth checking if the game supports DLSS as there’s currently only a small selection of titles that are compatible. If the game is a few years old, it’s unlikely to support DLSS.

Also make sure your graphics card supports DLSS. At this moment in time only the RTX 2000, RTX 3000 and RTX 4000 Nvidia graphics cards support DLSS.

Does DLSS work at Full HD?

Yes, DLSS should work when games are set to a 1080p resolution, but the results won’t be as impressive. It’s best to use DLSS at a Quad HD or 4K resolution.

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