The pirated version of Final Fantasy XV is faster than the Steam version with Denuvo

The other day there was information that the version of the game Final Fantasy XV, which is devoid of any protection, that is, "pirated", is faster than the same game bought and downloaded on Steam. In order to prove this statement, enthusiasts conducted a whole group of tests and showed that this is the case.

The system we tested during the tests has the following characteristics: Intel i7 4930K processor overclocked to 4.2 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, NVIDIA GTX980Ti graphics adapter, Windows 10 64-bit OS. The drivers for the video card are the latest loaded. Both pirated and Steam versions are installed on the hard drive.


Game settings

The first results were already visible at the start of the game. The pirated version booted faster than the Steam version with Denuvo. It took the pirate about 3 seconds to launch for the first time, while the licensed copy barely loaded after half a minute. The restart took about 8 seconds for the Steam version, while the pirated version booted up again in 3 seconds. Of course, this is not so much, but we are comparing the download speeds of two different versions of the same game. And the difference is simply striking.

In the pirated version, even game cards loaded much faster - 58 seconds versus 1 minute and 40 seconds for the licensed version. Below you can see the video with the test results.


The legal version, among other things, sometimes also craps. This does not happen so often, and it is not always possible to notice, but the problem exists. The reason was found out after studying the processes. As it turned out, Steam somehow accesses the hard drive all the time, which leads to slight delays in the process. Of course, SSD owners may not notice anything. However, the slower operation of the game on the HDD, and the licensed game, raises questions.



As for performance measurements, the test was conducted at a resolution of 1280 * 720 pixels at the highest settings, however, without the effects of NVIDIA Gameworks. In this case, both versions of the game proved to be almost the same.



True, everything changed after the resolution was increased to 1080p and the protagonist was released "in the field", that is, in the most open location with a lot of landscape details.

In this case, the pirated version proved to be much better - there were no "brakes", unlike the licensed version. And the farther the gamer went in the game, the worse the Steam version showed itself. For example, after 10 minutes of the game, the frame rate (fps) decreased to 60. But if you just restarted the chapter, it turned out 75 fps on the move. And this was relevant only in relation to the Steam version, the pirate did not suffer from such problems. Even after an hour of play, performance did not decline.

Interestingly, after a while, Square Enix released a patch that, however, did not solve any of the above problems. All questions regarding the performance of a legal copy remain valid even now.



At the time of its appearance, the protection of Denuvo games was very reliable. It entered the market about four years ago, and was then positioned by its developer, Denuvo Software Solutions GmbH, as the most reliable. Protection allows you to cover up weaknesses such as reverse engineering executable files, debugging, and making changes. Plus Denuvo does not require a permanent connection to the network, there is no limit on the number of activations of new equipment, and you can play on any platform where the title is installed.

By the way, Denuvo does not provide complete protection of the game from hacking. This was once a very serious obstacle for those who wanted to launch a protected game “in people”. But at the end of last year, South Park: The Fractured but Whole with Denuvo was hacked in just a day. This kind of protection is becoming less and less effective, there is even an opinion that soon the games will stop defending, because it is pointless. True, the developers of Denuvo also do not sit idly by. They are trying to improve and update DRM protection methods. Maybe soon a new version will appear that will be better protected from hacking than previous ones.