In brief: While it looks as if Intel’s Alder Lake processors will finally give AMD’s Ryzen chips some serious competition, certain games don't work with team blue’s new CPUs. But patches are coming, and there is a workaround that involves disabling Alder Lake’s efficiency cores.

We’ve been very impressed by what we’ve seen of Alder Lake so far, awarding both the Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700KF scores of 90. The chips offer excellent gaming performance, too, but early adopters will find that some titles, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, won’t boot due to Digital Rights Management (DRM) software issues.

Intel explains that the problem stems from DRM software incorrectly recognizing Alder Lake’s efficient-cores (E-cores) as another system. This can prevent games from launching, cause crashes during gameplay, or shut them down unexpectedly.

Intel has released a list of games impacted by the Alder Lake/DRM issue; more titles are affected if you are running Windows 10 instead of Windows 11. The company says it will be releasing a patch with the Windows 11 update sometime in mid-November to address the games highlighted in bold, and it is working with developers on a fix for the remaining games.

Windows 11

  • 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

Windows 10

  • All of the above games, plus
  • 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

Luckily, there is a way to avoid the issue before the patches roll out. It involves enabling Legacy Game Compatibility Mode, which will place the E-cores in a standby mode while playing games. Here’s how to enable the feature:

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.