After the launch of the PS5, Sony was unable to provide PS5 VRR to address the problem of screen tearing at higher refresh rates. On the other hand, Microsoft with its Xbox Series X/S has included support for AMD FreeSync technology which is a basic standard for most gaming monitors nowadays.
Thankfully, Sony has changed things for good. PS5 recently received support for VRR or Variable Refresh Rate, and Sony is constantly working to provide VRR compatibility to the majority of their games.
If you are fortunate enough to own a PS5, and are in the dark about how this added feature can affect your gaming experience, we have got you covered. This concise article should cover the basics of VRR and also give an overview of how to set up VRR for yourself and have a smooth gaming experience.
What is VRR?
VRR is an adaptive display technology that is used to counter the problem of screen tearing. The issue is common in games and happens when the refresh rate of your monitor or TV is not able to match up with the in-game frames per second (FPS). VRR can effortlessly change the refresh rate of the display on the fly while matching the in-game FPS.
If you are not well versed with the concept of screen tearing and how it is a disaster for gaming, try and recall if you have ever seen different images stacking on top of each other as if the screen had been momentarily split into two parts. This can be considered both a visual anomaly and performance limitation. It makes the game less enjoyable because of the resulting lack of immersion.
PS5 as the next generation PlayStation console successfully implemented 120Hz support for numerous games, but since VRR was in the void, it made 120Hz less reliable. Higher refresh rates are significantly more vulnerable to the problem of screen tearing as there is a larger scale for the imbalance between display refresh rate and in-game FPS.
Now that PS5 supports VRR or Variable Refresh Rate, 120Hz can be enjoyed while the visuals are undisturbed and pixel perfect. Games like Fortnite, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection and Spider-Man can now be experienced at silky smooth visuals and reduced input latency.
As the PS5 continues to grow its library of graphically extensive AAA games, we have noticed that some games do tend to be inconsistent with frame rates. A prime example of this is the deemed game of the year, Elden Ring. VRR can help reduce our perception of stuttering in-game as it will not eliminate stuttering but rather make us notice it far less.
Overall, VRR is a highly welcome feature for the PS5 and you should definitely make use of it given you fulfill the core requirements.
How to use PS5 VRR?
If you are convinced of the advantages and want to indulge in some VRR supported games, there are certain requirements and steps that you need to keep in mind.
Requirements for PS5 VRR
1) The first major pre-requisite is to ensure that your display - TV or monitor - supports VRR. Most displays do support AMD FreeSynch Technology, but VRR support is still quite rare.
2) Make sure that your TV or monitor has HDMI 2.1 ports, which is a must for VRR. Most displays that do support HDM 2.1, should be able to enable VRR off the bat, but this is not a guarantee.
3) Do specific research and find out if your display supports VRR or not.
We recommend experiencing the feature on a large TV that supports a 120Hz refresh rate. Check out this list of the best TVs that support PS5 VRR.
How to set up PS5 VRR
If you are unsure whether you will have to update your console to enable VRR, thankfully there is no need. However, you may need to reboot your console if you have not turned it on in some time.
The majority of people will natively be able to access the VRR option in settings. Within settings, go to Video Output - Screen and Video - VRR.
Sony has implemented VRR settings incredibly well, and users can choose between three settings - Off, On, and Automatic.
Automatic mode effortlessly switches VRR On or Off, depending on whether the game being played is natively supported by PS5 VRR. Currently, only a select few titles support the feature by default, although that does not mean you cannot enjoy VRR with other games.
Sony has done this so that you can enable VRR even on unsupported games. THe company claims that this will add the benefit of making the majority of the games more responsive, but certain few may be impacted negatively.
The PS5 VRR is one of the most important features to have been implemented for the console. It offers a great promise in refining gaming with smooth visuals and countering the problem of screen tearing at higher refresh rates.
The only downside is that the technology is limited to certain hardware. We hope Sony can gather more support for VRR for different displays and make the technology highly accessible. If you already have the console and a PS5 VRR supported display, you should rest assured that your gaming experience will be enhanced tenfold.