Darkstar One

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Darkstar One
Darkstar One cover
Ascaron Entertainment
cdv Software Entertainment
Kalypso Media
Strategy First
Release dates
Windows June 16, 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

Key points

Some resolutions may cause crashes due to bundling an outdated DLL; see some resolutions crash the game for the fix.

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions
GOG.com 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.
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Green Man Gaming
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StarForce DRM for this game does not work on modern versions of Windows (see above for affected versions).


A free demo can be downloaded here or here.

Essential improvements[edit]


The latest patch for the retail version is the retail 1.3 Patch. 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[edit]

Use replacement ascaron.bik

Apply the Darkstar One intro skip.

Advanced controls[edit]

The game does a rather poor job explaining its controls. You can actually strafe sideways and fly backwards - use these to your advantage, they make combat much more fun. Some keybindings do not appear in the options menu - look those up in the manual (in the game directory, e.g. Steam\steamapps\common\Darkstar One for the Steam version). For example, you can play in 3rd person perspective by pressing F4 and change the FOV of your cockpit by pressing F3.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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

Save game data location[edit]

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[edit]

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
If the game crashes delete <path-to-game>\iphlpapi.dll.[4]
3D elements are rendered at a lower resolution.
If game has black graphics set in-game FSAA to Off.[4]
4K Ultra HD
4k makes menus and texts very small, they don't scale accordingly.
Field of view (FOV)
You can change the FOV of your cockpit by pressing F3, and you can change perspective with F4.
Choose in Options.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Works with Borderless Windowed.[5]
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FSAA. Choose in Options. May cause black graphics at higher resolutions.[4]
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Locked to 60 fps.


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 can't be inverted.
Controller support
Enable in Options, Gameplay.
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Click the red rectangle beside the axis to toggle inversion.
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Supports vibration.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


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


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Only included in retail. German patch for Steam and GOG version can be downloaded here. German manual is available here.

VR support[edit]

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

Issues fixed[edit]

Some resolutions crash the game[edit]

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.

netman.dll not found error[edit]

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[edit]

If your 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.

Black graphics at higher resolutions[edit]

Disable FSAA[4]

Set in-game FSAA to Off.

Other information[edit]


Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements[edit]

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


  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.