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Fallout 4's Next-Gen Upgrade Has Some Big Issues, Report Shows

The Fallout 4 upgrade has been put through its paces by Digital Foundry, with mixed results.


The Fallout 4 next-gen upgrade finally released this April in the wake of a renewed wave of interest in the franchise thanks to Amazon's TV adaptation, but not all players are satisfied with the update. Digital Foundry has now gone through all the changes across PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, to see where the update shines, but mostly where it falls flat.

While the update is focused on consoles, it notably added 21:9 ultrawide support on PC, but the feature has plenty of bugs, and generally is not as well-implemented as it could have been. Parts of the UI have simply been stretched from the standard 16:9 version, while other UI elements have visual bugs in the ultrawide view.

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Now Playing: Playing Fallout 4 In 2024

On console, the PS5 comes out the winner, with more meaningful improvements out of the upgrade. Bethesda's patch notes say consoles get two main graphics modes out of the update: the standard performance mode, which runs at 4K and 60fps with standard graphics settings, and a 4K 30fps mode running the equivalent to the PC's ultra preset. You can also choose to toggle 1440p and 120Hz modes.

Digital Foundry notes that the Xbox Series X currently only runs one graphics mode, however--the standard 60fps performance mode. While you can toggle this on or off, it doesn't actually change anything in the Xbox's graphical output. While Xbox players have raised this as a bug, Bethesda tweets have indicated that the update is performing as anticipated. The Xbox Series S version of the game operates similarly, however its performance mode runs a dynamic range between 1080p and 1440p rather than targeting 4K.

Because the game is stuck in performance mode, Digital Foundry points out that multiple visual settings controlling the level of detail in background elements such as foliage, objects, and terrain are actually now lower-quality than they were when playing the Xbox One version of the game on Xbox Series X pre-patch.

The patch holds up a little better on PS5 with all modes actually functioning as intended, including the 1440p and 120Hz modes--neither of which appear to work on the Xbox Series X version either. While the PS5's 4K 30fps mode gets closer to what you would expect from a PC ultra setting, the quality of elements like shadows and draw distance still aren't quite as high as you might expect.

On the positive side, both consoles are relatively reliable with hitting 4K 60fps in performance mode, something that was only previously achievable with mods, while the Xbox Series S hitting 60fps in 1440p is also a marked improvement.

The recent Fallout 4 update, which has been called a next-gen upgrade despite the fact that the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S are now over three years old, was messy from launch, with an early bug preventing PS Plus Extra and Premium players from accessing the free upgrade. The update has also been unpopular with PC players, largely due to compatibility issues with mods. A mod that reverts the game to its pre-upgraded state has become popular on Nexus Mods, as has one that stops Steam from downloading the update in the first place.

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