FPS Boost technology arrives on Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76: performances are remarkable but there are trade-offs - technical analysis

FPS Boost technology arrives on Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76: performances are remarkable but there are trade-offs - technical analysis

FPS Boost technology arrives on Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76

We analyzed the first wave of titles with support for Microsoft's FPS Boost technology and pointed out how impressive this is. We then moved on to testing two of Arkane's best games, Prey and Dishonored, and the results were even more exciting. Now it's time to take a look at two Bethesda Games Studios titles developed on the basis of the evergreen Creation Engine and, we must say, this time the results have been mixed. Skyrim runs beautifully and has gotten some noticeable upgrades, just as we expected, while the Fallout series proved a bit more problematic. Net of their respective technical capabilities, both Xbox Series S and Series X operate within 1080p to easily reach 60fps despite Xbox One X aiming for native 4K.

Fallout titles were somewhat controversial but, at the very least, it was great to be back on Skyrim after so many years. In the latter case we recorded true 4K at 60fps and it's nice to see that the FPS Boost and user mods we previously tested at Digital Foundry are officially supported. It is worth pointing out, however, that two different techniques are used to achieve this. The mods essentially work by removing the 30fps frame rate cap and disabling v-sync, allowing Skyrim to harness the extra power of the Series X | S consoles.

The end result is a solidly locked 60fps experience for the S Series at 1080p resolution, whether using FPS Boost or opting for mods. On Series X, however, the game runs in native 4K and looks stunning (although the price to pay is a drop in performance whenever volumetric or full-resolution alpha effects come into play). Overall, the legendary fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls runs at 60fps on both machines adding an extra layer of shine to what remains an excellent RPG. Yes, the presentation may look dated but the gameplay is still very fresh. And of course, PlayStation 5 users now have access to the same experience via their mods.

Tom Morgan and Rich Leadbetter compare notes on their experiences with Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 on Xbox Series X consoles e Series S with FPS Boost on.

Watch on YouTube. With the titles in the Fallout series, the situation is a little more complicated. As of Fallout 4, Microsoft appears to have opted to force the code seen on Xbox One S on both Series X and Series S. This means that the game runs at native 1080p but with no frame-rate limitations. Keep in mind that the game originally ran at dynamic 1080p on the Xbox One S and in 4K on the One X. The end result is an enjoyable 60fps experience for most of its duration.

Classic packages only bottlenecks like the Corvega industries still cause problems, with some performance drops on Series X and, more noticeably, on Series S. In general, however, gameplay feels pretty fluid but you can't help but think that the Series X could have done more. Ultimately, implementing an optional 1800p alternative over 2160p mode would be a good way to go.

However, there is an alternative if you want to get the best of Series X: 4K resolution and 60fps. If you turn off FPS Boost, you obviously go back to 4K / 30fps, albeit with far better consistency than the game running on Xbox One X. The next step is to apply a '720p60' user mod that delivers the frame. unlocked rate required for Series X (just search for it in the mod section of the game, activate it and restart the game). And this is where you can see why Microsoft has opted for consistency: the frame-rate isn't locked at 60fps in this higher resolution. In the Corvega area, 40fps are even reached and the general presentation appears decidedly less stable. It still remains a marked improvement over the stock experience on Xbox Series X, mind you, and many may prefer it. All of this brings us to Fallout 76, the chapter focused on multiplayer, where the configuration is similar to that seen in Fallout 4 with FPS Boost active. This time around, the Series X's 1080p and 60fps output is granite while the Series S has some small fluctuations from the lens, in terms of frame-rates. It's not perfect but it's a considerably better way to play although, again, we had to forgo the higher resolution on Series X to use this feature.

A while ago we tested user mods for Skyrim and Fallout 4 on Xbox Series X | S consoles at 60fps. Here's what we think.

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Curiously, there is a way to use FPS Boost technology without giving up 4K in Fallout games on Xbox Series X but we expect Microsoft to release a patch to that effect in the near future. Essentially, this involves loading one of the Fallout games with FPS Boost disabled, loading any other title, re-enabling FPS Boost on the Fallout you were playing, and getting back into action via the Quick Resume. This process unlocks the frame-rate thanks to FPS Boost while keeping the resolution of the One X version intact. It's a gimmick, it works, but it's easy to understand why Microsoft has opted for 1080p in the official version. To put it simply, 60fps is far from guaranteed, playing this way.

In summary, FPS Boost delivers exactly what we wanted, in the case of Skyrim. This technology guarantees a literally transformative experience, much more than we expected - it's really hard to go back. As for Fallout, however, FPS Boost still manages to offer visible improvements, especially if you own an Xbox Series S: basically the same resolution is maintained and the performance is brought to 60fps for most of the duration of the game. The Fallout series has historically been a problem for console CPUs, GPUs, and storage memory, and the enhancements provided by next-generation hardware can be truly remarkable. On Series X, however, you are forced to make a choice: 4K or 60fps, FPS Boost on or off. The overall boost is still impressive (games appear much smoother in gameplay) but, at least in this case, it's not the killer feature we hoped it would be.

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