Halo Infinite Campaign: Quality Versus Performance Modes Explained

Which presentation mode is right for you on Zeta Halo?


The Halo Infinite campaign is just around the corner, and while players have already been diving into its free-to-play multiplayer for a few weeks, it’s the campaign that serves as the focus in many players’ minds. With the Halo campaign drawing nearer, you may be wondering which console presentation mode for Halo Infinite, quality versus performance, is right for you. That is, of course, a matter of opinion, but as the game doesn’t expressly say what each mode allows for, we’re here to fill in the details. Here’s everything you need to know about Halo Infinite presentation, the latest in the years-long conundrum of quality versus performance modes.

Halo Infinite quality mode

If you plan on taking on the Banished in quality mode, your results will vary according to the platform on which you’re playing the game. On Xbox Series X, quality mode will get you up 60 frames per second and a dynamic 4K resolution. If you’re on Series S, however, your visual experience will take a dip in both regards. There you’ll max out around 1080p and 30 frames per second according to Digital Foundry’s tech tests.

Halo Infinite performance mode

If you’d rather play on performance mode, you’ll sacrifice a bit of resolution, with the game dropping to 1080p, in favor of a crisper 120 frames per second on Series X. Keep in mind, though, that your TV must also support 120 frames per second gameplay in order for you to experience it. Series S performance mode does manage to hit 60 frames per second too, so you’ll still have the option for that smoother experience on the small white speaker-looking console.

Halo Infinite has come a long way in the last year.
Halo Infinite has come a long way in the last year.

Quality versus performance mode: Which is better for Halo Infinite?

One thing to really emphasize is that on Xbox Series X, you’ll never have to worry about playing at less than 60 frames per second. Typically, console games in this new era have allowed for frame rate modes of 60 or 30 frames per second, with resolutions offsetting at either 1080p or 4K respectively. In my personal experience, that’s meant always siding with performance mode, as I find the smoother frame rate to be more desirable when forced to choose.

But through the apparent magic of 343’s hard work--and probably the home-field advantage of being a platform exclusive--the Halo Infinite team is able to offer 60 frames per second minimum on Xbox Series X. There’s no need to worry about sacrificing 4K for 60fps or vice versa. Unless you really want the 120 frames per second, you can have it all at once in Halo Infinite--on Series X anyway.

The curious thing right now is that, on Series S, both modes seem to be targeting 1080p, which would suggest there’s no reason to choose quality mode on that platform. This is all based on a limited preview, however, so we may get a clearer picture on each mode’s capabilities when Halo Infinite’s campaign launches on December 8. One would assume the Series S quality mode is actually meant to hit 1440p or higher, so we’ll need to wait and see whether it can do that when it launches in full.

For now though, I would recommend choosing quality mode, on Series X at least, as this is one of those rare instances where it doesn’t disable the 60 frames per second benchmark. Halo is famous for its fluid combat, and Halo Infinite’s open-world aspects and fun new tools like the Grappleshot should mean this particular Halo is an especially good pick for high frame rate gameplay. Thankfully, Halo Infinite doesn’t demand a trade-off, so use quality mode and enjoy Halo Infinite at 4K/60.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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