AMD sponsored titles are notorious for not including DLSS support.
Screenshot of player in Starfield wearing a space suit and looking at a distant planet from another planet.

AMD announced that they have entered into a partnership with Bethesda for the latter's upcoming release of Starfield. This announcement just happens to come at a really bad time for AMD.

Team Red recently avoided answering whether they block the use of alternative scaling technologies like Nvidia DLSS and Intel XeSS in their partnership terms with developers. It has been noted by several outlets and fans alike that there are only a few AMD sponsored titles that also include Nvidia DLSS in addition to AMD's own FSR solution, while most Nvidia sponsored titles also include AMD FSR and sometimes also Intel XeSS. It's a very lopsided situation here that hasn't painted AMD in a very favorable light.

Cut to today's announcement from AMD and Bethesda saying that Starfield will be an AMD sponsored title. Shortly after the announcement was made, fans looking forward to playing Starfield are suddenly up in arms with the belief that it will not include Nvidia DLSS support. After all, there is historical precedence here to lend some validation to these concerns.

The concern has been shared on social media including across Twitter and several different tech focused subreddits. Even on r/AMD, users are voicing concern that this title won't ship with DLSS support given AMD's history. Not only is the concern over a lack of non-FSR solutions, but people are noting that this probably means that any ray tracing features in Starfield will be quite limited. While AMD hardware does support ray tracing, the performance, even on their latest GPUs, still continues to lag well behind Nvidia.

Those over in r/Nvidia are taking the news a bit differently from their Team Red pals. Some users now believe that it will be up to mod makers to add in DLSS functionality after the game is released, as has already happened with some previous AMD sponsored titles. Others are worried that the game will just be poorly optimized, though this fear isn't directly related to today's news. The fear of the game being unoptimized stems more from the fact that many recent AAA releases have had very poor PC ports that have severely underutilized even the most powerful of hardware.

The argument being made when it comes to AMD sponsored titles lies in the fact that ever since FSR2 was released, implementing both FSR and DLSS into a game is almost trivial if one was already implemented. Nvidia even created a tool that will help developers add in DLSS, FSR2, and XeSS without much issue. The other argument being made against AMD partnerships is the fact that while FSR2 is great for some cases, the latest versions of DLSS are almost always better at producing a superior looking final image.

In a new video, Bethesda's Todd Howard says that they "have AMD engineers in our code base working on FSR2 image processing and upscaling and it looks incredible." This is good news for those with AMD hardware and those with older Nvidia hardware. It could also offer some benefit to those who will play on the Xbox Series X|S given that they are powered by AMD technologies. However, Starfield is said to run at just 30FPS on consoles. This means that any FSR implementation on Xbox will be used only to maintain that 30FPS target and possibly also used for very minor image quality improvements.