BenQ Knowledge Center

PS5 Game Presets and Getting 120 FPS

BenQ
2020/12/15

New PS5 feature Game Presets offers the best way to ensure 120Hz in titles like COD Black Ops Cold War. Take a look at this unique approach to console settings 

Unlike its peer the Xbox Series X, Sony’s PlayStation 5 doesn’t offer users the opportunity to set target frame rates via the operating system. As of this writing, you can only designate target resolutions, not frame rates. Xbox Series X allows for both.

So how do you “nudge” the PS5 towards giving you 120Hz in titles like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War? Sony changed things up considerably with the PS5 UI compared to its PS4 predecessor. In what we think was an attempt at improving accessibility, Sony engineers created what they call Game Presets. These are somewhat hidden, and are not in the display section of the settings tab. Instead, you’ll find them at “Save Data and Game/App Settings”. 

What Do Game Presets Do?

We have to note that the presets address, or try to address, a shortlist of internal game settings from the OS or UI itself. This is a somewhat unconventional approach, we’re guessing partly inspired by game profiles, something NVIDIA and AMD have been doing in their drivers for years.

As you can see below, the presets allow for surprising options such as determining game difficulty, point of view (first or third person), and language settings. Basically, these spare you the need to find said settings within each game. However, Sony clearly states that presets only work with games that have such settings, and presumably support the preset function. This will not force Demon’s Souls to suddenly have an easy mode, because no such thing exists in the game code. 

4K 60Hz Has You Covered

Choosing the performance preset causes the PS5 to try and force the highest possible frame rate, typically at the cost of resolution and setting fidelity. This only applies to games that have a performance/quality selector to begin with. In any case, right now this is the closest you have on the PS5 operating system to frame rate selection, which is a shame. We hope Sony will include frame rate settings and 1440p support in future firmware updates. Until then, if you want 120Hz in PS5 games you should go to Game Presets and select performance mode. Resolution mode clearly means preferring resolution, so if you’re on a 4K display and like sticking as close as possible to that resolution, then surely the obvious is going with resolution mode.

Again, this only works with games that have toggles for these settings and that support the game preset feature. If you want our honest assessment, we’d leave everything on default for the most consistent experience. 

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We Did Some Tests

Our hardworking product managers tested PS5 Game Presets with the MOBIUZ EX2710 144Hz gaming monitor, trying to achieve the elusive 120Hz refresh rate. The table below summarizes their findings: 

PS5 Resolution PS5 HDR PS5 Mode Output Resolution HDR Refresh Rate
PS5 Resolution
1080p
PS5 HDR
Auto
PS5 Mode
Performance
Output Resolution
1920x1080
HDR
Off
Refresh Rate
120Hz
PS5 Resolution
1080p
PS5 HDR
Auto
PS5 Mode
Resolution
Output Resolution
1920x1080
HDR
On
Refresh Rate
60Hz
PS5 Resolution
2160p
PS5 HDR
Auto
PS5 Mode
Performance
Output Resolution
1920x1080
HDR
On
Refresh Rate
120Hz
PS5 Resolution
2160p
PS5 HDR
Auto
PS5 Mode
Resolution
Output Resolution
3840x2160
HDR
On
Refresh Rate
60Hz

With regards to 120Hz, we discovered that even if the PS5 is set to 2160p or 4K in the performance setting, it will deliver a 120Hz frame rate at an actual resolution of 1080p within Black Ops Cold War. Since this game does have an internal 60Hz/120Hz toggle in its own settings menu, it appears that the Game Presets function works well here, though at the cost of resolution. Whether that’s a trade off you want to make is entirely up to you, and we are aware that 4K 120Hz was a much advertised and anticipated aspect of the new generation. But for now and until developers learn to make better use of the newer hardware, this is not a bad workaround for PS5 users. It does offer silky-smooth 120fps gameplay, and 1080p still looks just fine.

We’ll keep looking for new updates to the PS5 and evaluate them as we move forward. 

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