Elden Ring Performance Analysis: What to Expect on PS5, Series X / S and PC

Elden Ring Performance Analysis: What to Expect on PS5, Series X / S and PC

Elden Ring Performance Analysis

The launch of Elden Ring was accompanied by very favorable reviews praising its gameplay and art direction, but also by questions about its technical performance on every platform: PlayStation, Xbox and PC. Here at Digital Foundry, our analysis is ongoing on the recently released version 1.02 of the game, but we wanted to provide some initial thoughts, recommendations and performance expectations for anyone planning to purchase the game. This will be followed by our full analysis as soon as possible, with details on PC and console performance.

First, let's take a look at the situation on consoles. The performance metrics we saw in the game's network test last year seem largely unchanged on the PS5 and Series X. Both continue to offer two display modes: a frame-rate mode and a quality mode. However, even with patch 1.02 released on dayone, the frame-rate mode continues to run in a range of 45 to 60fps on PS5 and Series X, while quality modes settle between 30 and 60fps. Both machines run at fully unlocked frame-rates, and just like in the network test, there's still no option to lock the frame-rate to 30fps to level the staggering performance in quality mode. The result? A very variable performance for quality mode in particular, where 60fps is rarely (indeed almost never) achieved on PS5 or Series X.

Our 2021 network test video can give you a basic overview .

Watch on YouTube. In comparison, PS5 typically operates at a higher frame-rate than Series X, although clearly neither machine delivers ideal performance - neither console delivers a consistent 60fps in the final version. That said, there are solutions for each platform that are worth considering. The Xbox Series X version is greatly enhanced by system-wide support for Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) if you have a display with this type of technology. VRR helps minimize perceived judder in its 45-60fps range in frame-rate mode, creating a smoother experience by matching screen refresh to frame-rate. This may not be a solution for everyone but for those with compatible TVs it's the best option on Xbox right now. Series S users also benefit from VRR support. Given that this platform's frame-rate mode runs between 40-60fps, it's a viable, if not perfect choice right now, as the S Series performance veers more often towards the lower end of this range than the Series X.

In the meantime, hitting a stable 60fps threshold on PS5 involves another tactic. Sadly, VRR support isn't available on Sony's machine at the moment, but as with the network test, simply running the PS4 app on the PS5 results in a stable 60fps frame-rate. The compromise? The game runs at a lower resolution (to what appears to be a rebuilt 1800p) and at lower settings in grass density than the native PS5 version. This is basically the PS4 Pro codepath, which uses the PS5's increased power to achieve a more consistent level of performance. Even with these trade-offs, running the PS4 app on PS5 is currently the best option on any console to achieve consistent 60fps - we recommend it if you prefer more stable performance in spite of image quality and top-of-the-line graphics. high.

The PC situation also deserves clarification. At present, the PC version using the latest patch 1.02 has a number of issues that will affect all hardware configurations on all graphics settings. Elden Ring is From Software's first foray into low-level APIs on PC and the game uses DirectX 12. As we've seen in other DX12 titles, there can be serious and annoying stuttering issues.

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Firstly, there are stutters of up to 250 milliseconds when new effects, enemies and areas appear on the screen. These types of stutters lessen as the gameplay experience progresses and the enemies, areas and effects are revisited by the player. A second and more pervasive stutter appears to be related to loading new game areas (e.g. when traversing the game world and switching between areas, it can cause small one-off frame drops a couple of times a day. minute, or at worst, frame-time issues causing the frame-rate to drop from a constant 60 to 40fps).

Variable refresh rate monitors using G-Sync or Freesync help alleviate some of these problems but relying on this technology isn't a good solution in light of how console versions don't suffer from these stutters. Other issues to note are the lack of ultrawide monitor support, no support for frame-rates above 60fps, and unintuitive graphics options. As we've seen with other titles suffering from similar issues, such as Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Halo Infinite, it might be reasonable to wait for more patches before investing time in the PC version of Elden Ring.

So all in all, it's a bit of a mixed situation for Elden Ring right now across all platforms. Many of these issues could and should be addressed in future updates and we hope From Software will be able to bring the game's performance to an appropriate level for the rest of the title's quality. We'll go deeper in the next videos and articles, so stay tuned.

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