New DCS modules don't have a serial number
With a release of DCS 2.5.5 all products are keyless, except of A-10C Warthog, Flaming Cliffs 3, Black Shark 2.
Your successful order in E-shop means that you have access to this module.
It's important to be logged with your account to DCS World game.
You can check your Licenses on the page My licenses
More information about new keys system here:
If you need to activate the newly purchased module by serial number on DCS version 1.5, please contact support.
Some terms about activation process by Star-Force keys
Each game license has 10 activations and 10 deactivations, some modules has more than 10, all campaigns has 3.
You can activate your game up to 10 times, campaigns 3. The number of installations is unlimited!
This game also allows Activations Automatically (“AAA”) technology that enables you to create a new activation once every 31 days.
This function is enabled after all 10 (3) default activations have been used.
If the copy protection system detects changes to your computer hardware/software, an activation will be required.
It's important to note that deactivations are utilized to save your activations when altering your PC hardware/software.
Again though, you can install the game as much as you wish. Don't worry, activations are endless.
Attention: this applicable only for new serial numbers with StarForce parameter - Add activation automatically: Enabled
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Some frequently asked questions:
Q: What happens if the number of activation has been exceeded?
A: “AAA” technology enables you to create a new activation once every 31 days
Q: If I use all the activation for my modules, do I have to purchase the terrains/campaigns again?
A: No, just wait 31 days and new activation will be added
Q: I had to reset my PC and I might have to do it again, what can I do in this case?
A: Before conducting a PC upgrade/OS reinstall, you can deactivate the product and when complete, reactivate without a loss of activation.
Q: I recently had to wipe my computer due to a problem. Would it be possible to regain the lost activation for each of my modules?
A: No, it is not possible.
Q: I want to reinstall the game on the same PC, do I need to use deactivation?
A: If you just uninstall the game and then reinstall it again on the same PC without reinstalling your operating system or changing hardware, you do not need to use a deactivation
Q: Can I play DCS World on Virtual PC (online PC, Shadow and e.t.c) with the products protected by Star-Force?
A: You can play, but every time you start DCS, the product will lose the activation because of hardware change. When all 10 activation will be lost, you need to wait 31 days to obtain new one. In the case of Virtual PC you have to use the DCS only with keyless products
How can I activate my products (modules)?
The Automatic Activation method is the preferred method; an Internet connection is necessary.
Install the game to your computer. Launch it and fly a mission. The Activation window will be displayed. Please follow the directions.
Enter your Activation Number which is printed on the DVD Quick Start Guide sticker or was provided to you via e-mail from E-shop. Press the Next button.
The Automatic Activation is now complete.
An activation Guide can be found in the local folder ..\Eagle Dynamics\DCS World\Doc\DCS World Activation Guide EN
and the same file on DCS site: DCS World Activation Guide EN
How can I deactivate the products (modules) in order not to lose the available activations?
You can deactivate the module directly from the Module Manager in DCS World, by clicking on the DRM button.
The number of deactivations is limited to ten attempts.
How to manually deactivate the product:
Run the <product name>_protect.exe file, which is located in associated
product folder into DCS World\Mods\aircraft or terrain or tech folder\bin\.
Select the deactivate application command as displayed in the
window, then press the Next button.
Press the Deactivate link in the displayed window (the Serial Number used to
Activate the application is indicated in this window by default).
After pressing the deactivate link a window requesting deactivation
confirmation is displayed.
Press the Deactivate button; the following message is then displayed.
Press Yes button to begin the deactivation process.
Confirm the application deactivation with the OK button.
The Automatic Deactivation is now complete.
The same you can find in the guide:
In case of old Black Shark 1:
To deactivate the Black Shark run protect.exe from \bin\x86\stable folder in your Black Shark installation, select "Activate or deactivate application", press next, in the next dialogue hit the blue Deactivate link and confirm your decision.
You have an error with Campaign - "Warning : This mission requires activation"
You can try to solve this error ...
1. If you are using user mods Reshade/SweetFX, please remove it.
2. Some antivirus can interfere with activation of modules, please disable it.
3. Comodo Firewall can be incompatible with some DCS campaigns.
Disable firewall may not be enough, you have to uninstall it completely.
4. If you already tried all these hints and it didn't help, write us a support ticket
Problem with Activation due to significant changes of the PC or integrity fault of the Activation Key
If you have this message: The Activation Key is not valid any more due to significant changes of the computer Hardware configuration (Invalid Hardware Code), or Unable to run the application due to integrity fault of the Activation Key.
Also the error can appear in different instances and not just hardware changes. For example, in case of the common DCS World update with MiG-21 module
These reg files can help you if you did an upgrade of PC without correct procedure of de-activation of the serial number and all other instances of this error.
You should use it whenever you have an issue with activation.
You have to download reg file for affected module (you can use Save Link As ... option).
Please run the reg file it will delete old (wrong) information about activation from your Windows registry.
Then please try to activate your product again.
Registry fixes for modules:
Registry fixes for campaigns:
If for some reason reg file doesn't fix the activation problem, you need to delete the wrong entry manually
Here is an example for MiG-21 keys:
run Regedit command and manually delete all the entries under the DCS:MIG-21Bis\Keys node.
Please find the entry not only under hkey_local_machine but also under current_user subtree too.
You have to delete the Keys node manually from BOTH subtrees:
How to use Regedit (you can Google it) :