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. 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.

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