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Fallout 4’s next-gen update renders key feature useless on Xbox

Among the mounting issues for Fallout 4’s next-gen update, Xbox Series X|S players can only play Bethesda’s RPG in one graphics mode right now.

Fallout 4 xbox next gen update: An image of Vault Boy with his thumbs down in Fallout 4 and the Xbox logo.

For better or worse, the Fallout 4 next-gen update is out now on Xbox. Bethesda’s new layer of polish for the hit Fallout entry has been in the works for two years, but the update’s rollout has been far from slick. One key feature is the addition of Quality and Performance Modes, with the former bumping Fallout 4’s resolution. Well, that would be the case if it worked properly.

If you downloaded the new Fallout 4 update for Xbox Series X|S consoles, you’ll likely be tempted to switch between the two modes. Don’t worry if nothing changes visually in Bethesda’s massive RPG game, though, as it seems this is a major flaw attributed to the update. According to Digital Foundry’s Thomas Morgan, “only the 60fps ‘Performance Mode’ works right now. The update has a bug.”

Morgan claims that “disabling the Performance Mode seemingly does nothing,” and that the resolution and frame rate remain the same. Typically, activating Quality Mode in most new Xbox games would sacrifice higher frame rates for increased resolution, often targeting upwards of 4K depending on the game. Fallout 4’s next-gen upgrade offers 4K resolution in both modes, although some small sacrifices are made in Performance Mode to achieve 60fps. For those of you with the best Xbox monitors with 120Hz refresh rate, Quality Mode will deliver 40fps – when it works.

Fallout 4 Xbox next gen update performance mode: An image of Digital Foundry's Thomas Morgan on social media.

It’s a bizarre issue, given that Performance Mode is arguably the better way to play Fallout 4. That’s if you prefer frame rate boosts over visual clarity, and even with the open world game approaching its tenth anniversary, it still looks decent by last-gen standards. Bethesda is yet to address this issue, as it works through more prominent problems. This includes the mess it’s currently causing for PlayStation players, who can’t access the next-gen upgrade if they’re playing the game through PS Plus.

Despite these obstacles, the Fallout franchise is soaring sales-wise across all platforms right now. Fallout fever is in the air now, and it’s even managed to convince players to hop into the heavily divisive multiplayer game Fallout 76, even if it’s just to claim these free rewards.

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In related Xbox news, Gears 6 could be revealed at the Xbox Showcase in June if this actor’s tease is to be believed, and Xbox Game Pass Core just added a superb co-op game to its roster.