Variable Refresh Rate has finally landed for PS5 users with the update rolling out over the course of this week. VRR is one of the bigger features of HDMI 2.1 especially for video games. Essentially, VRR dynamically syncs the refresh rate of the display to the graphical output of the device connected to it. This enhances a games visuals by minimizing artifacts like screen tearing and can also improve frame pacing. Gameplay with VRR enabled will feel smoother as scenes render more seamlessly, and graphics can improve as dynamic resolutions don’t need to scale as much.
A great example of why this is important is none other than GOTY front runner, Elden Ring. For all of the things that Elden Ring gets right, peak performance is not one of them. The game was dissected by Digital Foundry and even though the PS5 typically ran smoother than Xbox Series X, at a base level, VRR was able to help the Xbox present a smoother experience.
Xbox Series X is greatly improved by its system-level support for variable refresh rate (VRR) if you have a supporting display. VRR helps minimize the perceived judder in its 45-60fps range in frame-rate mode, creating a smoother experience by matching the screen refresh to the frame-rate.
— Will Judd, Digital Foundry
Its also worth noting that even though VRR is now supported by the PS5, you will also need a compatible TV and HDMI 2.1 cable for it to work. The latter is included with your PS5, while the former is paid DLC at your favorite electronics retailer.
Alongside the launch of this update Sony has also revealed a number of games that will support VRR out of the box. Those titles being:
- Astro’s Playroom
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Destiny 2
- Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition
- DIRT 5
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Resident Evil Village
- Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
- Tribes of Midgard
Astro’s Playroom being a game included with all PS5s, Destiny 2 being free to play, and Godfall being a recent PS Plus title make them great candidates for testing out VRR. Tribes of Midgard is rumored to be in next months PS Plus line up as well. The biggest supporter out of the gate seems to be Insomniac Games, as they have released updates for every one of their PS5 titles and even provided a memo on their website, stating:
“If your TV also supports 120 Hz high frame rate input and the 120 Hz Display Mode option is active along with VRR, you will get a variable, uncapped frame rate that can exceed your chosen Graphics Mode’s 30 or 60 fps target by 50% or more (depending on gameplay).”
50% more frames as I swing through Manhattan as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Yes please.