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Borderlands 3 on consoles: Use ‘resolution mode,’ say experts

Digital Foundry says trading fps for image quality is the better choice for gameplay

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Vault hunters around a campfire in Borderlands 3 Gearbox Software/2K Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

As Borderlands 3 players complain of slipshod performance within the first week of the game’s launch, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has examined the console version’s framerates and found “some puzzling technical decisions,” but vouches for gameplay overall.

Specifically, Digital Foundry advises that Borderlands 3 on an Xbox One X in “resolution mode” — which favors better resolution over higher framerates — is “the only one … we’re comfortable playing for [any] length of time.” That’s because its 1800p image quality plays at an evenly paced 30 frames per second, where performance mode sees the game routinely dipping below 60 frames per second — down to 40 fps when fighting in a vehicle.

A PlayStation 4 Pro running Borderlands 3 in the same mode also sees the same performance issues, but worse than on Xbox One X. In resolution-priority mode, Xbox One X “plays well, but unfortunately, the [PS4] Pro does not follow suit,” Digital Foundry says. Framerate there routine sinks to the mid-20s in combat.

They’re going to tackle the PC version next, but for now there’s more detail on how the PS4 and Xbox One X versions perform in this weekend’s writeup.

The bulk of gamer disappointment in Borderlands 3’s performance so far is with the PC version, where they’ve lit up forums — including Borderlands 2’s on Steam — with pleas for help and descriptions of framerate stutter despite all attempts with the game’s performance settings. It may be no comfort, but at least they aren’t alone, if Eurogamer’s technical gurus are finding that consoles aren’t having an optimal go of it, either.