How to Fix Game Crashing Due to DRM Software on Devices With Alder Lake (12th Gen) Intel Processors

Intel recently published the names of 52 games that are unable to run on devices with Intel’s Alder Lake processors. Alder Lake is the code name for Intel’s 12th Generation processors, which have separate specialized cores for power efficiency (E-cores) and performance (P-cores).

Modern games today have embedded software that protects the copyrights of digital media. This software is known as Digital Rights Management (DRM). Some games that have DRM software are incompatible with Alder Lake processors. According to Intel, some third-party DRM software is recognizing the E-cores as a separate system, rendering the game incapable of running at all.

If you have experienced any games that are unable to run on your computer, this might be the reason. Continue reading this blog to learn how to mitigate the issue, while the vendor for the DRM works on a solution.

First, you must check if the game you are unable to run on your device is on the list published by Intel.

List of Affected Games Unable to Run Due to DRM Issue in 12th Gen Intel Processors

For Windows 11

The following games are unable to run on a Windows 11 platform on devices that have 12th Generation Intel processors. That said, Intel claims that these games will be patched through Windows Update sometime mid-November 2021 and the issue will no longer remain (for these games only):

  • 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

There are more games affected by the DRM incompatibility problem on Windows 11. Intel has not confirmed if and when the games mentioned below will receive a patch to fix the issue. If you are facing a similar problem in these games, we suggest you read the post to the very end to learn how to fix it:

  • 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

For Windows 10

The following games have been affected for the Windows 10 OS on devices that have the Alder Lake processor:

  • All games for Windows 11 mentioned above
  • 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

Intel intends to keep the list updated. To view the latest list, check here. If your game is mentioned in the list of the respective OS, then you ought to confirm which generation of Intel’s processor do you have.

How to Check Processor Generation

Checking the processor’s generation is quite simple in Windows. Here is how:

  1. Type in msinfo32 in Run to open System Information.
  2. Now look for the information ahead of Processor. You will find the processor’s generation in the integers written after the hiphen (-) after i3, i5, i7, or i9. The first integer, or the first 2 integers define the generation of the processor on your device.
    processor
    In the image above, you can see that our processor is of the 8th Generation.

If the numbers are a total of 5 digits, it is usually because the generation of your processor is 10 or above, and the first 2 integers will define its generation. If the processor’s generation is 9 or less, the numbers are usually only 4 in total (8400 in the image above).

Now that you have confirmed that you have a 12th Generation Intel processor and the name of the game is in the list above, you should now proceed to mitigate the issue manually, whilst both Microsoft and third-party DRM vendors work on a permanent fix.

How to Fix DRM Software Incompatibility with Intel 12th Gen Processors

Although the fix that has been suggested by Intel themselves is not a permanent solution, rather a workaround so that you can enjoy your games until the issue is fixed by the vendors.

The mitigation process involves putting the e-cores, which were identified as a separate system by the DRM software, on standby. This can be done by enabling the Legacy Game Compatibility Mode from the system BIOS. Here is how:

  1. Restart your computer and enter system BIOS.
  2. Now look for “Legacy Game Compatible Mode” settings and switch it On.
  3. Now save your BIOS settings and reboot your computer normally.
  4. Once rebooted, press the Scroll Lock key from your keyboard to toggle on compatibility mode.
  5. Launch the game and check if it runs.

The game that you were unable to run previously due to DRM software and Intel Alder Lake incompatibility should now run smoothly. Remember to toggle the Scroll Lock button again when you are no longer playing the game to bring the E-cores back to their original state.

Closing Words

When applying this fix, we observed that some people referred to the Scroll Lock button as the new Turbo button. Upon further investigation, we discovered that there was a Turbo button on keyboards long before our generation was born.

Turbo buttons were used to increase or decrease the computer’s processing speed. There is still debate on the internet regarding whether it was simply a gimmick or if it was effective. Even so, people now refer to the Scroll Lock button as the Turbo button, although toggling the Scroll Lock button does not directly affect the system’s performance.

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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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