Tarkov Devs Block Filters That Make The Game Better

dwm_lut tarkov

Moments ago, Battlestate Games revealed on Twitter that it has effectively blocked players from running Escape From Tarkov if they are using the DWM_lut filter on their monitors. This has emerged as a recent trend, put in place by those looking to improve their overall Tarkov experience by making some of the lighting in hard-to-see areas… Not so hard-to-see.

In the words of the developers, it offers some players an ‘unfair advantage’, despite the fact that it has no true interaction with the game itself – only the player’s monitor. It would be the same as them blocking players from altering their colour settings through the Nvidia Control Panel, for example.

It’s a little deeper than that with DWM_lut, but at the end of the day, most players using it were just trying to fix the game themselves in lieu of Battlestate addressing countless concerns.

What is DWM_lut and Why is it Banned in Tarkov?

LUT stands for Look Up Table, and – to put all the technical stuff aside – it’s a coded document that effectively applies a colour grading to your monitor, altering the appearance of the pixels that make up your displayed image.

Here’s a video from popular creator, Trey24k, showcasing the DWM_lut filter in the game:

Now, players running the DWM_lut in Escape From Tarkov are doing so because it brightens up darker areas and removes fog from certain maps – like Interchange. It’s a tool used to get a clearer, better perspective on what might have been an awkward, dingy map, and in some ways, yes, it’s being used to gain an advantage over the players that don’t run it.

It’s also an indictment of how Battlestate Games has plugged its ears against the community that is going to extreme lengths to fix even the most basic, fundamental things in Escape From Tarkov. In a message on Twitter, Battlestate was clear about how they’d shut down the usage of the DWM_lut in the game:

This isn’t the first time Battlestate Games has done this, though. In 2019, they posted the exact same Tweet regarding ReShade, another third-party application that is used to alter colours and lighting in games.

Battlestate has stressed that the use of DWM_lut (and ReShade) won’t result in a ban at present, but as the game cannot be launched while DWM_lut is in use, it’s a relatively moot point. There were jibes from the community regarding this fact, with countless voices crying out, demanding why Battlestate couldn’t put that blocker in place for the plague of users running hacking and cheating software in the game.

In 2019, though, Battlestate said there would be no bans for using ReShade. Today, in 2023, Battlestate explained there’d be no bans for using DWM_lut but expanded on that by explaining that:

Using any similar program in the future will be considered as the breach of the Terms of Service and result in a ban.

So, that’s Battlestate at the end of its tether. When will the community join them?

For more Insider Gaming news, check out our coverage of the massive success Hogwarts Legacy is seeing during its launch window.

  1. People cry “ban cheaters”! What is a cheater? Def: Someone abusing/ignoring rules/mechanics to gain an unfair advantage. BSG says we will ban you for using an unfair advantage. Then people cry because they did what they asked for. Bottom line is the filters are unfair to those that don’t have them. “It’s free, just go get them.”, and should I also download the free cheats too? At launch detecting which color pallets your going to use is easy because you know what to look for. Detecting a program that sends and receives data just like the game expects to happen from multiple processes to and from the game as a hook to inject foreign code is looking for a needle in a haystack.

  2. it doesnt make the game better, it ruins the experience for people who actually play.

    leave it to a sports gambler to make a clickbait title, go play real games at a casino.

  3. You sound like you’re just upset you can’t get an unfair advantage anymore. And yes, it’s unfair. Majority didn’t know it existed.

  4. You’re an idiot if you think “they’re correcting errors with the game”, it’s not an error, it’s supposed to be dark so you use nvg and flashlights otherwise they’re obsolete

  5. Pretty defensive article, let’s be clear, improving viability is not akin to a “better” experience. Perhaps if the “community” were happy to enjoy the game as is intended, instead of treating it like a hyper competitive scramble to the top, BSG wouldn’t have to take such measures against people who are, in effect, cheating.

    1. Exactly… Even in the video example, which I’m assuming is shown to explain the difference between third party and non, streamer 1 sees the enemy while team member can’t. This directly implies he has an unfair advantage due to third party programs which is cheating… But I’m sure this game was meant to due jumping headshots from blind cover right? Developed to be “hyper-realistic”.

      Only defensible argument for third party filters are for those with specific vision defects not corrected by the game.

      Also to be fair I”m not saying this as an absolutist for all games either. Battlefield 4 for instance was greatly improved with third party filters due to an aging game or lack of options at time. The major difference is that there is no design decision for poor visibility cured through gear, or efforts(however poorly implemented) to give an authentic visibility level under those conditions.

  6. It’s just a file that adds a big red box around players and scavs that makes them more visible. /s

  7. This article reads as if you were using DWM LUT and are annoyed it has been removed. It certainly doesn’t make the game “better” – but it does give players using it an unfair advantage, and using third party software to alter the game is akin to cheating imo. This sentence – “most players using it were just trying to fix the game themselves in lieu of Battlestate addressing countless concerns” – just comes across as an excuse for why you were using it, when really you wanted an edge over other players.

  8. Using a third party software to gain a visual advantage is cheating… the people using the software should be banned because they are able to see things normal players can’t see

  9. Grant, I have kappa and around 4200 hours on tarkov. All with no filter. How exactly do filter make the game “better” also what is your PMC kda and hourage?

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