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There’s an easy way to make some Nvidia DLSS games run better

Cyberpunk 2077 running DLSS on PC
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Nvidia RTX graphics card owners who are fed up waiting for any given game to be updated to a newer version of DLSS by the developer can now take a DIY shortcut, hopefully bringing performance and image quality benefits to their gaming experience.

As Tom’s Hardware spotted, Tech PowerUp has made the decision to host a bunch of different versions of Nvidia’s DLSS libraries, and these DLLs can simply be swapped into the game’s folder to work instantly – with a number of caveats, as you might expect.

Firstly, the immediate danger that might occur is the integrity of the DLL files regarding anything potentially dodgy therein.

On that score, Tech PowerUp assures any would-be users that the 23 versions hosted – from DLSS v1.0.0 to v2.2.10 – are “hand-verified to be the unmodified originals”, and as a result, they’re a much better bet than the copies of these libraries which have already been flying around via file-sharing sites in terms of the possibility of them being malware-laden.

That’s a fair point, although still bear in mind that any download which isn’t from an official source (ie Nvidia in this case) could still carry an element of risk.

DLL switch

At any rate, should you wish to manually upgrade your version of DLSS in a game that supports the Nvidia tech, simply download the newer version you want to switch to, and replace the existing file in your game’s folder; the one named ‘nvngx_dlss.dll’, bearing in mind that both the new and old file will be called the same thing. (It’s probably worth backing up the original DLL in another folder, just in case).

Making the change is as easy as that, although note that when playing a game via a launcher app (like Steam), when game updates are applied (or game files are verified), the launcher may replace the new DLSS DLL file with the old (original) one, as strictly speaking that’s the one that should be in place. So you’ll need to copy the new version over again in this case.

Further note that it’s possible that after applying a newer DLL there may not be any apparent or visible benefits – or you could even see glitching or issues – and this could be dependent on all sorts of factors including the game you’re patching and the version of DLSS you’re applying. 

It’s definitely worth remembering that you can’t upgrade DLSS 1.0 games to DLSS 2.0+ versions, as the feature will simply disable itself. If you do encounter problems, of course you can always revert to the original DLL (so it might be worth saving that aside as mentioned before).

The potential benefits from a DLL upgrade include better image quality and performance, and in particular from the comments we’ve seen online, it seems like upgrading to the more recent versions of DLSS 2.1 or 2.2 solves some of the nasty ghosting issues which have plagued some games that use the feature.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).