Cyberpunk 2077 Patch 1.6: The Xbox Series S 60fps update tested


Six months have passed since the release of Cyberpunk 2077 update 1.5, the landmark patch that finally added native support for current-gen consoles. CD Projekt RED hasn’t been idle though, the new 1.6 ‘Edgerunners’ update arrived last week, tying in with the new anime. A number of new content features are added, but the focus of this piece is on a new Xbox Series S performance mode, along with optimizations for the 30fps ray tracing mode on PS5 and Series X, where the complaints Longstanding over high input lag is finally addressed. Going into this one, we had two separate goals: to put the Series S’s new 60 frames per second mode to the test, and also to quantify latency improvements on the more powerful consoles.

Until the arrival of the new patch, the Series S only ran at a cap of 30fps at 1440p dynamic resolution, going down to 2304×1296 minimum via dynamic scaling. There was no mode switching like on PS5 or Series X, no choice between quality and performance. Adding to the disappointment, the Series S also had no option for ray-traced shadows. Patch 1.6 doesn’t add the RT features, but at least there is the option to switch between fidelity and frame rate.

The quality mode on today’s Series S works more or less as it did before the patch, in its default mode: it runs the gamut from 1440p to around 1296p, with a reasonably tight lock of 30fps with a constant frame rate. . The new performance mode inevitably downgrades some settings. In terms of pixel metrics, we’re looking at a range of 1080p at its peak, dipping to 800p at its bare minimum, most obvious in areas where the game can’t meet its 60fps target. As always, the CDPR engine also uses a form of TAA and reconstruction to produce a final 1080p resolution.

See how the Cyberpunk 2077 60fps update looks and runs on Xbox Series S, plus how RT modes have been improved on the other current-gen consoles.

Ultimately it seems smoother than the 1440p quality mode, but it still holds up, and the increased smoothness is an obvious win. The biggest flaw in the presentation comes from the fine sub-pixel elements, like barbed wire, for example. The TAA enhancement does not have enough data to work with, resulting in a shiny mesh, most noticeable in the inner area. However, within the city, this is less of an issue.

In general, first impressions are strong. Image quality takes a hit, but we’re locked to 60fps in most cases and in our stress test scenarios the game still behaves reasonably well, with any performance falling well within the VRR window. I think the Series S is in great shape with this update. We get parity from a performance standpoint with PS5 and Series X, even if the resolution drops to 1080p or lower.

Beyond resolution, other compromises have been made to get Cyberpunk 2077 running at 60fps. There are strategically targeted drops in the quality of shadows and textures. Interior lighting generally makes the edges more pixelated and harsh, depending on the angle and distance of the light from an object. The second big change for the Series S performance mode is its reduced NPC count, with significantly reduced crowd density. The same is true on PS5 and Series X, with this change reducing the load on both the CPU and GPU. This end result is so effective on the Series S that it makes you wonder what additional challenges the CDPR team had to reach 60fps and why this feature took so long to arrive.

The original technical revision of Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.5, which introduced native support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.

The other key area of ​​testing for this patch is improvements to input lag in X-Series/PS5 ray tracing mode. I used a 240fps camera to record myself taking 50 shots with a pistol, measuring the time from when the button is pressed until the muzzle flashes when the weapon is fired. As of patch 1.6, Series X has an average latency of 136ms. That’s still on the high side, honestly, but it’s definitely an improvement over the remarkably high 163ms in patch 1.5. That’s an input lag reduction of 27 ms on average over the 50 measurements. On PS5, the average was 135ms in patch 1.6, another improvement from 27-28ms. This is easily noticeable and is a huge improvement over the previous version of the game. However, if you’re looking for the most responsive experience, Performance mode is still a huge improvement, with my result on the Series X coming in at just 51ms – an excellent result.

In short, I’m happy to say that the Edgerunners update brings only good news overall. The input lag improvement in PS5 and Series X RT mode is welcome, of course, but the addition of 60fps to the Series S is an excellent addition. It’s really solid and I think the sacrifices to make it feel fair too. Resolution drop, reduced shadows, and lower NPCs are all trades I’m happy to make. Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most technically demanding games out there, so the idea of ​​a £250/$299 console delivering that experience at 60 frames per second is a brilliant one.

In the meantime, work continues on the game with the Phantom Liberty expansion next year, and only for PC and current-gen consoles. We have always felt that the game was held back by the need to support older consoles. Hopes are high that the game will continue to push its technology well into the future, unfettered by the need to adapt to older hardware.


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