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Darkstar One

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Darkstar One
Darkstar One cover
Ascaron Entertainment
Retail (Europe) Ascaron Entertainment
Retail (North America) cdv Software Entertainment
Retail (Russia) Akella
Digital Strategy First
Release dates
Windows May 18, 2006
Metacritic 71
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Vehicle combat
Vehicles Space flight
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Darkstar One on HowLongToBeat
Darkstar One on IGDB
Darkstar One on MobyGames
Darkstar One on Wikipedia

General information Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
TAGES 5 DRM.[1] in English release.
ProtectDISC Software 6 DRM in German release.
StarForce 4 DRM[Note 1] in Russian release.
Custom DRM code may sabotage the game by increasing in-game prices tenfold.
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Green Man Gaming
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ZOOM Platform
StarForce DRM for this game does not work on modern versions of Windows (see above for affected versions).
A free demo can be downloaded from 4players or Gameswelt.

Essential improvements


The latest patch for the retail version is 1.3, available from PCGamingWiki (English only) and (multiple languages).
Digital distribution versions already include this patch.
A hotfix for contemporary Nvidia cards experiencing a crash in trade stations was also released.

Skip intro videos

Use replacement ascaron.bik

Extract the empty video file to <path-to-game>\video\Movies\[language] and overwrite the existing file.

Do not delete the file completely, or the game will crash on startup.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Ascaron Entertainment\Darkstar One\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12330/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Ascaron Entertainment\Darkstar One\Save\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12330/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Video settings.
Video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Some resolutions crash the game, see #Some resolutions crash the game.[4]
3D elements are rendered at a lower resolution.
If game has black graphics, disable in-game FSAA.[4]
4K Ultra HD
Menus and texts do not scale accordingly.
Field of view (FOV)
Cockpit FOV can be changed by pressing F3, and the perspective with F4.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Works with Borderless Windowed.[5]
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FSAA. May cause black graphics at higher resolutions.[4]
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Locked to 60 fps.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Mouse-based space flight uses a cursor so it can not be inverted.
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Click the red rectangle beside the axis to toggle inversion.
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Supports vibration.
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Advanced controls

The game poorly explains its controls. Strafing sideways and flying backwards can be used to the player's advantage, but some keybindings do not appear in the options menu - look those up in the manual (digital versions contain it in the game directory).


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Ambient, Effects and Speech.
Surround sound
Set Speakers in-game accordingly.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only.
Retail, and Zoom Platform only.
Retail only; download for digital releases. The German manual is available here.
Retail only.
Retail only.
Retail only.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
User created game profile, see important hints on copy protection issues with retail game here: vorpx forum profile introduction.

Issues fixed

Some resolutions crash the game

Darkstar One may crash when using certain resolutions due to bundling an outdated version of iphlpapi.dll.
Delete Darkstar One's iphlpapi.dll[4]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Delete or rename iphlpapi.dll
  3. Darkstar One will now use Windows' version of this file instead.

Black graphics at higher resolutions

Disable FSAA in the game optoins[4]

"netman.dll not found" error

This is caused by Darkstar One shipping with an outdated version of this file.
Delete Darkstar One's netman.dll and iphlpapi.dll[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Delete or rename netman.dll and iphlpapi.dll
  3. Darkstar One will now use Windows' versions of these files instead.

Ship throttle is backwards

If the controller's throttle is detected the wrong way around (e.g. putting it at the full speed position makes the ship stop instead), invert the "Throttle" axis by clicking the red rectangle beside it.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 1.1
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video


Hidden Clusters

Massive Expansion. English Machine translation

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000 SP4
Processor (CPU) 1.6 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 3
ATI Radeon 8500
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9 compatible
Shader model 1.1 support
Sound (audio device)
Nvidia GeForce 4 MX cards not supported


  1. This version of StarForce DRM does not work on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows 11.[2][3] For supported versions of Windows the StarForce driver may need to be updated manually using SFUPDATE.
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/12330/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (12330) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.