Skyrim and Fallout 4 can be modified to run at 60fps on Xbox Series X.
Last week, it was learned that with a simple mod, the owners of the Xbox Series X console were able to revisit The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, and reproduce it with a full resolution of 4K at 60 frames per second. The evidence looked convincing and I wanted to try it – and once confirmed, I had a bunch of other questions that I wanted answers to. Would the mod work on the Xbox Series S? What about PlayStation 5? And since Fallout 4 also supports console mods, I had to ask myself if there was any way to run the game at 60fps, ahead of the official Microsoft patch set to do the same thing?
The news of a working Skyrim 60fps mod first appeared on Reddit, courtesy of user Annathetravelbanana, and looking at it, the story behind the mod doing what it does on Series X is intriguing. The original mod – known as Uncap FPS by Smudgey5000 – appears to be very old, and was in fact designed for the original Xbox One. The way it works is to allow a higher frame rate, disabling v-sync and removing the stiff 30fps limit. In the hardware of the past generation, its effects and its overall usefulness are limited. In the introduction when we are in the carriage, the Xbox One X with 30fps lock becomes 33-43fps with a lot of judder and tearing. I imagine it is used in combination with other mods designed to improve the frame rate to push global production up. Regardless, that in itself is not particularly impressive.
The perspective is transformed into the Series X thanks to the backward compatibility features of the console. First of all, it is worth noting that, once installed, Skyrim needs to be shut down and restarted for the mod to take effect – and the improvement is transformative. Most of the game is blocked at 60fps and the tearing caused by the mod disappears completely. Indeed, the Uncap FPS mod removes the 30fps limit, while the backward compatibility features in the Series X reinforce the v-sync, giving a mostly flawless presentation. Yes, Achievements are disabled because a mod is being used. However, this can be worked around simply by deactivating the mod and starting the game. Remember, the mod needs a restart to activate – and it’s the same when we deactivate it.
The good news continues because Skyrim on the Series S not only works with the same mod, but actually adheres more closely to 60 frames per second than the Series X. This is due to the fact that it is running on the Xbox-connected codepath One S, which means 1080p resolution. The GPU performance improvement ratio is higher when going from One S to Series S than when going from One X to Series X, which gives you more graphics compared to the much lower resolution. There are obvious visual disadvantages, but having this additional overhead means that you can stack in additional graphics modes, increase the GPU load, and have a better chance of sustaining 60fps.
On PlayStation 5? Well, I tried. Mods are available, but there is no frame rate mod that I have found that can do the same job as Uncap FPS on Xbox machines. What is achieved is a much tighter lock at 30 frames per second than the PlayStation 4 version of the game, but it is not clear whether a frame rate unlock mod is even possible on the Sony platform. In general, it is understood that the support of mods is a little more limited, but if the opportunity exists, it is expected that when showing how Uncap FPS is a transformer will bring a mod to PS5.
Going back to the Xbox Series consoles, it turns out that Uncap FPS probably fine-tunes an .ini variable in a configuration file that users can’t see, and since Fallout 4 is based on the same underlying technology, I had to ask myself if a similar mod. Of course, Microsoft announced its own plans to unlock the frame rate for Fallout 4 as part of adding value to its backward compatibility offering, but it turns out that there is a similar mod that could allow Series X owners to run the play at 4K60. Again, it appears that the information was initially shared on Reddit, this time by the user Winring86. Look for a mod called ‘720p 60fps’ by Tenebris and it’s ready to go.
This mod was designed to reduce the resolution on Xbox One consoles in order to improve performance – again, apparently by turning off v-sync – but unfortunately, it has a great edge effect in the process. However, the resolution adjustment included in the mod does not affect the Xbox X Series at all – the frame rate is unlocked and, again, the console’s backward compatibility features take effect, limiting the frame rate to 60fps, without any type of screen support. I didn’t play much, but it seems to be doing the same job as Uncap FPS – and maybe it’s a taste of what the Microsoft patch is going to offer? The only bad news here is for the owners of the S Series, who get the actual 720p resolution with borders and also a series of visual artifacts. However, my bet is that removing the resolution bits from the mod would produce an effect such as Uncap FPS for Skyrim, meaning all the frame rate benefits without the unfortunate side effects in the S Series.
All told, the story is positive for the owners of the new Microsoft consoles. Even modulated in the eyes, Skyrim clearly shows his age, but the game itself is fantastic and running the title at 60 frames per second is an excellent bonus for Series machine owners. Fallout 4 is also transformed, whether through the next fix from Microsoft or through an adjusted version of the 720p 60fps mod, a solid display on the Series consoles is welcome – especially given how the game ran into some problems deep storage and CPU power on machines of the past generation. Access to the Zen 2 processor hardware plus solid-state storage really allows this game to shine.