On Game Pass, The Ascent lacks DLSS and ray tracing but not on Steam.

The Ascent is a ray tracing and DLSS-enabled cyberpunk action RPG. Sometimes. It’s occasionally a cyberpunk action RPG with ray tracing but no DLSS. That ray tracing implementation may not always work. And whether or not you receive those Nvidia settings is entirely dependent on where you access the PC version.

The Microsoft Game Pass version of The Ascent appears to be a lighter version than the build available today on Steam. On Valve’s shop, both DirectX 12 ray tracing and DLSS are front and center and operating out of the box, however, if you get The Ascent as part of your Game Pass subscription, you’ll only have direct access to a portion of the settings. It all depends on how you access the PC version.

I’ve been playing the game from my Steam library, and it looks and performs fantastically. It’s demanding as hell with everything set up to extreme, including ray-traced shadow, reflections, and ambient (sic) occlusion. Even with DLSS enabled and at 3440×1440, the GeForce RTX 3090 in this computer is struggling at 75 to 90 frames per second.

Our Jacob, on the other hand, is having a terrible time with his Game Pass installation. For starters, there are no DLSS choices at all, which has been strangely highlighted as absent in a Reddit post where it is listed as not a platform feature of Windows 10, and only available on Steam.

After the DLSS.dll files were made available via TechPowerUp, you’d think it would be as simple as dragging and dropping them into a specified binary folder. Unfortunately, that is not how Game Pass games are delivered to your PC. They’re packed as nearly distinct entities, and while we could navigate around the directories, we couldn’t add in the required files and were simply informed there wasn’t enough room to drop them in as if the game itself were a disc.

We’ll have to hope that the creators, Neon Giant, are able to patch the Game Pass version to include DLSS because there is currently no Nvidia AI support for your in-game frame rates.

This would be a bigger issue if ray tracing functioned in Microsoft’s version.

When I turn off ray tracing on my machine, the performance immediately jumps to meet the 144Hz refresh rate of the screen because I have VSync enabled.

For Jacob, it makes no difference whether ray tracing is enabled or not; he achieves the same performance statistics either way, and the image on the screen appears the same. In summary, we must presume that ray tracing is also broken in The Ascent Game Pass edition. It would be more of an issue if ray tracing functioned in Microsoft’s version.

When I turn off ray tracing on my machine, the performance immediately jumps to meet the 144Hz refresh rate of the screen because I have VSync enabled.

Jacob is using an AMD RX 6900 XT, but we’ve seen the same thing happen with Nvidia computers running from a Game Pass account as well, so this isn’t a matter of red vs. green.

Sure, he can still play the game, and the environment of The Ascent is rather beautiful, in a gritty cyberpunk kind of way, even without ray tracing enabled. However, the idea that we have two separate versions of the game operating on the same platform is quite odd. All we can infer is that Neon Giant had to provide an earlier build of the game to Microsoft for Game Pass day one availability and that they are better equipped to offer up-to-date builds via Steam.

Whatever the case may be, it’s strange. Although, with Game Pass, this is not unheard of.

At least in the case of Nier: Automata, the Steam version was the broken build at the time. Still, multiple versions of the same game should not be available on various stores on the same platform. We haven’t found any confirmation that a future DLSS patch will be released, but here’s hoping for an update for our Game Pass friends over the weekend.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.