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From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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This product is no longer playable in any capacity. It is covered here for historical reference.
Darkspore cover
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows April 26, 2011
Monetization One-time game purchase
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, RPG
Themes Sci-fi
Series Spore
Darkspore guide on StrategyWiki
Darkspore on MobyGames
Darkspore on Wikipedia
Spore 2008
Darkspore 2011


This game requires a constant internet connection for all game modes.

Darkspore is a bird's-eye view action and RPG game in the Spore series.

The game became unplayable following the shutdown of the online services on March 1, 2016.[1]

An open-source server replacement project, titled Resurrection Capsule, is being developed, but is not complete, with only the hero editor currently usable.

General information

EA Answer HQ
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Always online (requires a constant internet connection to play)
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Origin (unavailable)
Always online (requires a constant internet connection to play)
Steam (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Always online (requires a constant internet connection to play)
Icon overlay.png
The videogame require a constant internet connection for all game modes.
The game was delisted from digital storefronts on August 23, 2013.[3][4]

Version differences

Limited Edition

Retail editions of the game. Contains special pre-order items along with unique in-game content.

Digital Deluxe Edition

Digital edition of the game distributed by EA. Contains the same unique items as the limited edition along with a unique special hero called Meditron.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\DarksporeData\Preferences\
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/99890/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

All save game data was stored online on Maxis/EA's servers.

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Progress are stored in the game's server.
Steam Cloud
Progress are stored in the game's server.


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
Darkspore has been shown to work on multiple monitors,[5] though it is not officially supported.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
"On" or "Off"; no additional settings.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Brightness can only be set while in fullscreen.

Widescreen resolution

Command line argument[citation needed]
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Use -r:widthxheight for example -r:1920x1080.
Set via in-game options[citation needed]
  1. Make sure your computer is running at your non-standard resolution (e.g. multi-monitor setup).
  2. Go to %APPDATA%
  3. Delete the DarksporeData folder.
  4. Start Darkspore (it will launch in its default resolution).
  5. From the in-game options set the Screen Size (resolution) to one of the resolutions available.


In-game keybindings.
In-game keybindings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Only keys can be rebound, not all keys can be used. Attacking on left click can be disabled.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Stereo and 5.1 Surround sound are available.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


A re-install is required to change localization.
Language UI Audio Sub Notes


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Online play
The official multiplayer service has been shut down.

Connection types

Issues unresolved

Error 73003


Affected users will find that they can start up Darkspore, but attempting to log into their account will fail, displaying error code 73003.[6]

Brief history

  • Error 73003 was a long-standing, login issue with Darkspore that affects only specific users and has resisted multiple fix attempts by Maxis.
  • The exact cause is unknown, though the Error Code's description as provided by Maxis to the Official Darkspore Forums' Community Moderators is "Unable to login to sporenet".
  • The error has been fixed for some users in the past following server updates, but at the same time, others users have found themselves become affected by it.

Attempting to determine the cause

All testing by the community so far leads to the issue being account side on EA/Maxis' end.

In each of the following cases, an account unaffected by Error 73003 was tested and was able to log in.

Known to have no effect:

  • Uninstalling Darkspore, removing all user data and then reinstalling it.
  • Attempting to log in on a different computer on the same network.
  • Attempting to log in on a different computer on a different internet connection.

Possible workaround for players yet to purchase Darkspore

Assuming that Error 73003 can affect players attempting to play the demo, players should download the Demo before purchasing Darkspore and should check that they can play the demo on their account. If they cannot, they should create a new Origin account and attempt to log into Darkspore with that account when playing Darkspore. This process should be repeated until an account is not affected by Error 73003. The player should then purchase Darkspore for this account.

Contacting EA if affected

A number of players have talked about how they have contacted an EA Game Advisor complaining about being affected by this error. A lot claim to have received money off of other games and in some cases, full games of similar value when trying to obtain a refund for their purchase. These claims cannot be confirmed however.

Issues fixed

Darkspore not available for play. Try again during a scheduled play test

Check computer clock and wait[citation needed]
  1. Make sure the computer's clock is correct.
  2. Wait a few minutes to see if Darkspore will resolve the issue itself by contacting Maxis' server.
Download the newest patcher/launcher[citation needed]
  1. If the above fails, download the newest patcher/launcher from

Patcher error [102]

This occurs when Darkspore is installed into a folder that your user account cannot modify.
Run as the game as administrator[citation needed]
Reinstall Darkspore to a location that does not require administrative privileges to modify.[citation needed]

Login error [4001000]

This occurs when there is something invalid with your account details, likely an invalid date of birth.
Contact an EA game advisor[citation needed]
  1. Follow the EA Answer HQ guide to contacting a game advisor to get them to fix your account details.

Most graphical glitches/bugs

A lot of forced graphics settings do not play nice with Darkspore and can mess with Darkspore's graphics.

Known graphical glitches include:

  • Green outlines around everything.
  • Massively distorted 3D models.
  • Missing text/icons.
  • Very brightly glowing heroes.
Update your graphics drivers[citation needed]
  1. Ensure that your graphics drivers are up to date.
  2. See Drivers.
Set all Darkspore graphics settings to "Application Controlled"[citation needed]
  • For AMD graphics cards, open Catalyst Control Centre and go to the Gaming tab. Either change all the System Settings to "Use Application Settings" where available, or create individual application settings for <path-to-game>\Darkspore\DarksporeBin\Darkspore.exe.
  • For Nvidia graphics cards, open the Nvidia Control Panel and set all settings for <path-to-game>\Darkspore\DarksporeBin\Darkspore.exe to 'Application controlled' where available.

In-game reg row key consumption widget is temporarily unavailable

Originally, logging into Darkspore with an account that does not have a Darkspore retail key registered to it, would open an in-game web browser displaying a page where you could activate your retail key or cancel. This page is no longer available.
If attempting to play the demo[citation needed]
  1. Go to %APPDATA%.
  2. Delete the DarksporeData folder.
  3. Launch and log into Darkspore.
If attempting to log into an account that does not have a retail key registered to it yet[citation needed]
  1. Redeem the retail key (serial code) in Origin, see Redeem Your Serial Code In Origin.
  2. Once done, log back into Darkspore with the account used to redeemed the key on (you may need to restart Darkspore).

Unable to save hero

The server performs validity checks when saving your heroes and will refuse to save them if it finds a problem not picked up by the client.
Clear out excess items (Error code 500)[citation needed]
Supposedly an issue with memory when a very high number of parts/details is held.
  1. If items have been sold in the buyback section, clear them by starting a mission and then quitting back to the Arsenal.
  2. If still not fixed, sell unequipped parts and details to lower the total number of parts/details (clear the buyback section once done).
Reset your hero (Other error codes)[citation needed]
  1. In the editor, reset the hero that is failing to save.

Other information


Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX

Installing mods

Instructions[citation needed]

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP3
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 10 GB
Video card (GPU) 256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
A persistent internet connection is required at all times.[7]


  1. Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. EA - Online Service Updates - last accessed on July 4, 2016
  2. Welcome to Games for Windows Marketplace - last accessed on 19 August 2022
  3. SteamDB - Displaying change #U:282469 - last accessed on 2019-11-25
  4. Eurogamer - The lights go out on Darkspore next month - last accessed on 2019-11-25
  5. YouTube - Darkspore on 6 monitors - last accessed on May 2023
  6. EA Answer HQ - Thread in Darkspore section - last accessed on May 2023
  7. EA Help - Darkspore Minimum Requirements - last accessed on May 2023