Xbox FPS Boost Makes Old Games Look and Play Better

Microsoft has launched Xbox FPS Boost for the Xbox Series X|S, bringing select older games to 120 Hz at the cost of resolution in some cases.

Published: April 22, 2021 1:32 PM /


Xbox FPS Boost cover

Microsoft has launched Xbox FPS Boost for the Xbox Series X|S console line, taking select older games up to 120 Hz — but some of these improvements might force you to play at a lower resolution.

Late last year, Microsoft talked about how the Xbox Series X|S could double the framerate on some older games. More info was shared back in February 2021, explaining in detail the various ways the new flagship console line would make Backwards Compatible games look a lot better than they did on the Xbox One and Xbox One X. Now, some of those promises have come to fruition with the launch of FPS boost for the first wave of games.

Xbox FPS Boost slice

The Good and Bad of Xbox FPS Boost

There's good and bad news with Xbox FPS Boost, so let's start with the good: some older games are getting a serious bump in framerate all the way up to 120 Hz. Even some less-optimized games are getting boosts up to 60 Hz, which is certainly a heck of a lot better than running at a lower framerate.

That's certainly cool, but Microsoft's magic can only go so far: FPS boost comes at a cost in some cases. Getting those extra frames means that a game has to run at a lower resolution. This difficult choice has been the norm for many next-gen games: do you play at a higher framerate or a higher resolution? Microsoft has smartly decided to leave Xbox FPS Boost off in the cases where the game's resolution would go down.

"In some instances, because there are higher graphics requirements to enable FPS Boost technology, we’ve had to reduce a game’s resolution to ensure it both runs smoothly and plays great," read a blog post from Xbox's Major Nelson. "In those select cases, FPS Boost is not automatically enabled for Xbox Series X gamers, but can easily be turned on under the Compatibility Options in the Manage game and add-ons setting."

Xbox FPS Boost can be turned on by opening up the game in the Guide, selecting Compatability options, and turning FPS Boost on (if it isn't already on by default). There are 20 or so games with the feature available today; you can read the full list of FPS Boost-compatible games on Major Nelson's website.

What do you think of Xbox FPS Boost? Would you prefer to play games at a higher framerate or a higher resolution? Let us know in the comments below!

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N