Horizon Forbidden West’s latest PS5 update adds a ‘Balanced’ 40Hz graphics mode

The patch also adds variable refresh rate support.

Sony / Guerrilla Games

Horizon Forbidden West was already one of the best-looking games on PlayStation 5, and now developer Guerrilla Games has found a way to make it look even better. With Forbidden West’s latest update, the studio has added a 40Hz “Balanced” rendering mode and support for both variable refresh rate (VRR) and high refresh rate (HFR).

VRR is a feature that’s relatively new to console gaming. It syncs your TV’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the game you’re playing, thereby helping to eliminate screen tearing whenever there’s a drop in performance. Meanwhile, the new Balanced setting promises to give you the best of Forbidden West’s existing Performance and Fidelity modes by offering a happy medium between the two.

If you’re curious about how you get “balanced” graphics from rendering a game at 40Hz, here’s how the math works. At 30Hz, it takes 33.33 milliseconds for your console to display a new frame. By contrast, at 40Hz and 60Hz, it renders a new frame every 25 and 16.66 milliseconds, respectively. So while it might seem counterintuitive, 40 fps is precisely halfway between 30 fps and 60 fps in terms of update speed. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart also offers a 40 fps mode, and when Insomniac first introduced the feature, Digital Foundry called it “a potential game-changer” for console gaming.

Outside of those improvements, patch 1.17 includes the usual assortment of bug fixes, with some designed to address glitches that could stop you from finishing the game. You can read the entire changelog on Reddit.