MSI Motherboards With ‘Legacy Game Compatibility Mode’ Will Let You Run All Games on Intel Alder Lake Without DRM Issues

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It was recently reported that Intel Alder Lake CPUs will have trouble running a large list of games due to their hybrid design. But it looks like MSI has come up with a solution within the BIOS of its latest Z690 motherboards.

Can't Run Your Favorite Games on Intel Alder Lake CPUs Due To DRM? MSI Has A Solution For You!

The issue occurs when DRM (Digital Rights Management) software in a range of games mistakenly identifies the hybrid design on Intel's Alder Lake CPUs as two separate PCs. Intel's Alder Lake CPU lineup comes with two separate core architectures, the Performance Cores (P-Core) powered by Golden Cove architecture and Efficiency Cores (E-Core) powered by Gracemont architecture. DRM treats these two separate core packages as two different PCs whereas they are part of the same chip.

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PCMag managed to get a hold of a list of games that were affected by this issue and there are at least 51 titles. There are some titles that should be patched by Mid of November while other titles on Windows 11/10 have no definite timeframe given for a fix. Motherboard manufacturers stated that they were working on offering a 'Legacy Game Compatible mode within the BIOS to address the issue.

Intel Alder Lake DRM Issue (Affected Games in Windows 10 and 11):

Should Be Fixed by Patch Mid November No Definite Time Frame for Fix
Anthem Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Bravely Default 2 Far Cry Primal
Fishing Sim World Fernbus Simulator
Football Manager 2019 For Honor
Football Manager Touch 2019 Lost in Random
Football Manager 2020 Madden 22
Football Manager Touch 2020 Maneater
Legend of Mana Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit Remastered
Mortal Kombat 11 Sea of Solitude
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
Total War: Warhammer 1 Tourist Bus Simulator

Intel Alder Lake DRM Issue (Affected Games in Windows 10 Only):

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

Following are statements from MSI and ASUS to PCMag:

"Regarding Legacy Game Mode, this should be included in a future BIOS update...we have 0705 coming up and a couple of others scheduled for release. [We will] check with our HQ to see if this feature will be included in 0705." - ASUS via PCMag

"This functionality is not yet implemented into our BIOS or any board makers’ BIOS. Stay tuned for when it’s available in a new BIOS release." MSI via PCMag

We also talked to MSI from our own end and it looks like they have the feature implemented in all of their Z690 motherboard BIOS.

Legacy Game Compatibility Mode” is already available in our BIOS.

For Z690 Carbon WiFi, it’s available since beta BIOS v111. (The public BIOS on website is v100, which doesn’t have this option.)

via MSI

While we wait for other manufacturers to offer this feature, MSI has become the first major vendor to enable this feature on their motherboards. In the picture posted below, you can see that MSI has provided the Legacy Game Compatibility mode on their MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi motherboard. This is disabled by default so if you run into any DRM-related issues when running a game, it is better to enable this feature with hybrid Intel Alder Lake CPUs.

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For those interested, the following BETA BIOS have the feature listed so if you want to try them out, you can give it a go:

Doing so will make your Intel Alder Lake CPU-based PC run the gaming title without any issues & is a very handy feature until these games get patched in by their developers. Aside from this, Intel is also detailing a resolution for this issue which is listed below:

Temporary workaround for games with DRM software that can’t recognize 12th Gen Intel® Core Processor, causing games to crash or not load.


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.


A software fix has been identified by the vendor of the affected DRM software and is being rolled out. Intel is working to accelerate this process as well. See the list of known affected games.

In addition, a workaround has been found to allow for games to launch and be played. The reference implementation for a Legacy Game Compatibility Mode will allow a user to dynamically place E-cores on standby when playing games.

Workaround steps for end-users to enable Legacy Game Compatibility Mode with affected games that have not received a software fix:

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