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
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
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
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
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.