NVIDIA's 'Game Ready' Drivers Will Soon Be Behind A Software & Registration Wall

If you're used to getting the most recent drivers for your NVIDIA card via Windows Update or NVIDIA's home page, you're in for a rude surprise. Starting mid-next month you'll have to not only install the GeForce Experience (GFE), but register with NVIDIA to get your fix of "Game Ready" software for your graphics card.

This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.

The first part of this move has already transpired with the latest GFE beta, as Reddit user dekenfrost discovered this morning:

Starting with the BETA update to GFE 2.8.0 I am no longer able to download Game Ready Drivers through GFE unless I sign up for an account ... Keep in mind that this is a beta version, but this is how it's going to look sometime in December when this gets pushed to the main channel. You will then only be able to download Game Ready drivers, that are optimized for new and upcoming games, if you register for a GFE account and have the software installed.

No need to panic just yet — this change has only been introduced in GFE's beta. For now, you can still grab the most up-to-date drivers via the usual channels.

Come December, you'll need GFE and registration to get NVIDIA's "Game Ready" drivers. These are pumped out ahead of a AAA release and include specific optimisations and tweaks for that particular title. NVIDIA won't shut you out entirely however, as Brad Chacos over a PC World wrote in October:

The drivers you can grab on GeForce.com or via Windows Update will be limited to quarterly releases for bug fixes, new features, security updates and so on. More frequent Game Ready drivers will be GFE-only.

If you're happy to use quarterly driver packages, nothing really changes. For those who prefer the cutting edge, it's an annoying barrier that will no doubt catch many off guard once the change is rolled out in full in December.

Nvidia Game Ready drivers are only available after registration with new GeForce Experience BETA update; Still available via Geforce.com and non-beta version for now [Reddit]


    What a load of garbage. GFE sucks and often you need these gameready drivers if you want SLI to work properly.

      What's so bad about GFE? It's a quick way to update, and it doesn't slow down your comp if it's reasonably powerful.

        Just like how Origin and uPlay does no harm but everyone hates it because reasons.

    oh no, I have to register and sign into an account in an app to get the latest drivers so I can play my new games at optimum on my expensive graphics card, oh woe is me, damn these first world problems.

      Oh no! I'm forced to conform to the inane and pointless desires of a big company just because I bought one of their products, and I should feel honoured at the privilege to be commanded thus because my ability to afford these products puts me in a global position that for some reason I should never feel entitled about.


    I already use GFE to download and install new drivers so signing up for an account is no big deal.

    Well, I hope they figure the major bug with GFE that prevents drivers from downloading... Issue with the net service, do a Google search and see how common it is and how many suggested fixes there are. I'm currently afflicted by it and nothing has worked so far....

      Yeah, I don't mind having GFE but it's too unreliable for updating drivers, so I always do that manually. Setting up an account just for drivers is a PITA.

    I already have a Nvidia account as I had to sign up to get my free games that came with GPU, so no biggie.
    I also have to sign up to Origin/Uplay/Steam to download and play my games, I got over it.

    I haven't been able to tell if 'game ready' is actually worth shit. The update notes are near non-existent, but apparently we need it for every latest (popular) game. What exactly is wrong with your drivers if you have to issue an update for a game (but only major ones)?

    It looks and smells like vendor lock in with a thin veneer usefulness on top. I'll take quarterly thanks.

      These "game ready" driver are actually just optimisations and game specific features. Like Fallout had a few nvidia features and if you want them to work properly you will need to update. Doesn't hurt if you don't update it as well just you might not be able to use those feature. AMD can't use those feature anyway so no biggie

    Ok, I personally don't mind that much. But on a large scale level, this is nvidia almost purposefully crippling their own hardware. Wtf.

    I understand needing to use GFE (I already do), I don't understand the reason to sign up... Like.. why?

      Account specific optimisations? Like if you upgrade or reinstall then just sign in and you can pull all the configurations you had.

        Shouldn't that be a bonus feature instead of making the whole process a requirement just for such a thing?

        Last edited 15/11/15 11:02 pm

          Do you use any razer products? It is sort of what they are doing now. Without their synapse your mouse works like a Normal mouse but if you want to use any feature or the full potential you have to download and login synapse.

          At the same time having something like gfe actually make users stay up to date with their driver. I remember around 5-6 years back I rarely upgrade my driver because there are just no way for me to keep up to date except constantly checking the drivers website. It was at the point that I will only update maybe once a year when I can't run some game properly hoping driver would fix it.

            I did. I'm not really fussed about it because I will likely sign up just because I actually do like using GFE but I just don't understand why the requirement to sign up just to keep getting updates. Razer made the claim that it could keep your mouse DPI settings where ever you go with Synapse. That is a little less applicable with graphics settings. I can comprehend requiring people to use GFE for regular updates (as opposed to allowing manual dl and install), I just don't get what purpose signing up is meant to serve. But like I said, I'll do it just because it's a minute set up to something I already use.

    So does this prevent being able to mod drivers for 'unsupported' cards?

    i.e. I have a 680m in my laptop that is 'unsupported' which requires a mod to drivers to get them to install. In the future I won't be able to do this at all? Or I can still download the drivers and mod them manually?

    It takes 30 seconds to add an email alias or make a throwaway account. Signing up for things really isn't a big deal.

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