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StarForce is the copy protection technology that is contained within TrackMania, TrackMania Sunrise and TrackMania Nations ESWC.

How it Works

When one installs TrackMania, a copy protection tool is installed which prevents casual copying of the CD. A hidden device driver is installed without the player's knowledge or consent.

It is unknown what exact methods StarForce uses, but it is believed that it measures the angle between the first and last written sector on the CD. Only original copies made from the master disk have the same properties which is difficult to reproduce.

Problems

The StarForce drivers are often linked to system instability, computer crashes and CD-ROM drive slowness.

Reputation

StarForce is designed to be difficult to reverse-engineer. Games are often cracked but this takes time due to the secretive nature of StarForce.

Ubisoft dropped the use of StarForce after a $5 million lawsuit relating to security breaches which allegedly occurred because of the software.

The following games have had StarForce removed using an official patch.

  • Area 51
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V
  • Restaurant Empire
  • The Fall: Last Days of Gaia
  • X2: The Threat

External links

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