Does Alan Wake 2 Have Denuvo? – Answered

To Denuvo, or to not Denuvo.

Alan Wake 2 box art
Image via Remedy Entertainment.

Alan Wake 2 has officially released, and naturally, there’s questions around the ever-popular DRM. So here’s whether Alan Wake 2 has Denuvo on PC.

Does Alan Wake 2 Have Denuvo?

No, Alan Wake 2 does not have Denuvo. This means you can comfortably play the game without worry of the controversial anti-piracy DRM software tanking the game’s performance. However, this doesn’t mean Alan Wake 2 is without its performance issues.

Now, Alan Wake 2 actually seems to be wonderfully optimized for PC, especially compared to most recent game launches. Even on its lowest settings, Alan Wake 2 looks and runs great. And despite its very beefy minimum PC requirements, it will run on low-end hardware…just maybe not as well. Where you’re likely to run into issues is if you’re using a GPU that doesn’t support mesh shaders.

Mesh shaders are a relatively new feature that processes the billions of triangles a game is made of better than the traditional vertex shaders game developers use. It’s a fascinating piece of new tech that allows for more polygons on the screen, meaning more detail. But because the tech is so new, only the most modern GPUs of the last couple years are going to be able to run it.

To be clear, Alan Wake 2 will run on a GPU that doesn’t support mesh shaders. But it will run poorly enough that a more modern GPU will feel like a requirement. Developer Remedy recommends a minimum GeForce RTX 2060 or Radeon RDX with 8 GB VRAM to run the game at 1080p, 30 FPS, and low settings.

But, hey, at least Denuvo isn’t an issue.

What is Denuvo and Why Do Gamers Hate It?

Denuvo is a piece of DRM (digital rights management) software essentially designed to prevent piracy of games by protecting the game’s code. It’s extremely effective, often delaying cracked versions of games from releasing for weeks or months. However, many believe that the DRM can reduce the performance of games for legitimate players in the process. Whether these differences matter to you is a subject you’ll need to do some research for yourself, though it seems to impact at least a few frames across the board in terms of average FPS, as well as increasing load times.

Beyond performance issues, some gamers harbor concerns that the way Denuvo works can potentially leave them open to privacy threats. And because Denuvo is designed to block hackers and cheaters from altering a game’s files, it serves as a significant roadblock to the modding community. In short, gamers receive nothing from Denuvo but a poorer gaming experience.

So now that you know Alan Wake 2’s Denuvo status, you’ll probably want know where you can buy the game. Check out our guide on whether Alan Wake 2 is launching on Steam.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.