DRM breaks games on Windows 10 and 11 Alder Lake PCs

Windows[German]Owners of PCs equipped with the Intel Alder Lake CPU could run into trouble when playing games. The Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection breaks games under Windows 10 and Windows 11, which can no longer be used. Intel has since published a list of affected CPUs.


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Intel released the 12th generation Alder Lake CPU for desktop systems just a few days ago. Its microarchitecture is supposed to be optimized for Windows 11. But there are unpleasant surprises lurking in the details, as I read here. In an Intel document (Game Dev Guide for Alder Lake) the manufacturer warns about DRM compatibility issues.

Are there any potential compatibility issues with Data Relationship Management (DRM) middleware?

If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular. Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms.

Intel describes the problem this way:

Certain third-party gaming Digital Rights Management (DRM) software may incorrectly recognize 12th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors efficient-cores (E-cores) as another system. This prevents games implementing that DRM software from running successfully. Games may crash during launch or gameplay, or unexpectedly shut down.

Neowin.net has published a list from Intel containing the affected games.

  • Anthem*
  • Bravely Default 2*
  • Fishing Sim World*
  • Football Manager 2019*
  • Football Manager Touch 2019*
  • Football Manager 2020*
  • Football Manager Touch 2020*
  • Legend of Mana*
  • Mortal Kombat 11*
  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2*
  • Warhammer I*
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla*
  • Far Cry Primal*
  • Fernbus Simulator*
  • For Honor*
  • Lost in Random*
  • Madden 22*
  • Maneater*
  • Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit Remastered*
  • Sea of Solitude*
  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order*
  • Tourist Bus Simulator*
  • Maneater*

Intel is working with Denuvo to fix the problem via a software fix. This is probably being rolled out for the games right now. A workaround for Windows 10 has been identified for the following titles.

  • Ace Combat 7*
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey*
  • Assassins Creed Origins*
  • Code Vein*
  • eFootball 2021*
  • F1 2019*
  • Far Cry New Dawn*
  • FIFA 19*
  • FIFA 20*
  • Football Manager 2021*
  • Football Manager Touch 2021*
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint*
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands*
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising*
  • Just Cause 4*
  • Life is Strange 2*
  • Madden 21*
  • Monopoly Plus*
  • Need For Speed Heat*
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World*
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider*
  • Shinobi Striker*
  • Soulcalibur VI*
  • Starlink*
  • Team Sonic Racing*
  • Total War Saga – Three Kingdoms*
  • Train Sim World*
  • Train Sim World 2*
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood*

The DRM problem in the above games can be fixed by upgrading to Windows 11. Or you can try the workaround provided by Intel called Scroll Lock Workaround, which enables Legacy Game Compatibility Mode.


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  1. Power-up system and enter system BIOS setup.
  2. Enable switch Legacy Game Compatibility Mode to ON (one-time only) in BIOS.
  3. Save BIOS setup changes and exit.
  4. Boot to OS.
  5. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key ON.
  6. Launch affected game title.
  7. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key OFF after ending game title.

I don't know, if this helps in all cases.


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