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Want a leg up in Battlefield 1 multiplayer? Get a PS4 Pro

Higher and smoother frame rate for the win

Battlefield 1 train screenshot 1920
A train, one of the “behemoth” vehicles in Battlefield 1’s multiplayer component.
EA DICE/Electronic Arts
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Many potential buyers of the PlayStation 4 Pro may be wondering about whether the console provides any tangible benefits beyond a visual upgrade. There’s at least one game where that’s the case: In Battlefield 1, the Pro delivers a marked improvement for multiplayer performance as well as the campaign, according to an analysis by Digital Foundry — and that could translate into a competitive advantage.

Digital Foundry previously examined the PS4 Pro’s impact on Battlefield 1’s campaign. The site found that the beefier console provides "a big, big boost to image quality overall," bringing fidelity up to "a mid-point between the existing consoles and the top-end PC experience." The campaign also benefits from increased resolution and a smoother frame rate.

Frame rate is the focus of the PS4 Pro’s upgrade to Battlefield 1’s multiplayer component, according to Digital Foundry. The site’s testers had to figure out a special setup to test the comparison, and came up with a clever solution: They ran an original PS4 and a PS4 Pro side by side, with both people playing together in the same online match, in the same squad, one person closely following the other.

In these tests, Digital Foundry discovered that the PS4 Pro offers a consistent advantage of 10-15 frames per second over a standard PS4. The new console also runs Battlefield 1 with more consistency in frame times, and never dips below 33 ms (30 fps). That means that the frame rate is noticeably smoother on a PS4 Pro, and the system manages to pull this off while delivering some of the same resolution and image quality improvements as seen in the campaign.

"In the heat of the action, PS4 Pro offers more visual feedback and crisper response," said Digital Foundry. "While player skill is obviously the key factor in how well you’re going to perform in Battlefield 1, high-end players will get more out of the game running from Pro hardware — it’s simply smoother and more responsive as a result." You can watch Digital Foundry’s full breakdown below.

It doesn’t seem like a significant enough advantage to upset the balance on the battlefield; EA DICE shouldn’t have to separate players on a PS4 Pro from those using an earlier PS4. But in a multiplayer shooter, a split-second slowdown could mean the difference between life and death.

For more on Battlefield 1, read our review.

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