Sony has announced that the PS5 has finally received variable refresh rate support thanks to a much anticipated system software update. Variable refresh rate (or VRR) syncs the refresh rate of the display to the PS5 console, which Sony claims should minimise visual artefacts including screen tearing and frame pacing issues. This should result in smoother gameplay thanks to seamless rendering, sharper graphical performance and reduced input lag for more responsive controls.
There are some catches to this new feature however, the first being that VRR will only work on TVs that specifically support it, and it's still a fairly high-end feature. If you're looking for a VRR-capable set, check out our rundown of the best gaming TVs you can currently buy.
The other caveat is that VRR has only received official approval for a handful of PS5 titles, although Sony has assured that future titles may support VRR at launch. Here's Sony's list of officially supported titles:
- Astro's Playroom
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Destiny 2
- Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition
- DIRT 5
- Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Resident Evil Village
- Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
- Tribes of Midgard
There appear to be some pretty glaring omissions from this list. While third-party titles such as Elden Ring and Dying Light 2 can be somewhat excused, some recent first party titles, including Returnal, Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West, are frustratingly absent. With these being flagship next-gen experiences, one would have expected them to be prime candidates for the VRR upgrade. With any luck they will receive support in the coming months.
Crucially, you shouldn't need to download a new PS5 console update in order to access VRR, as it seems it was hidden within the update pushed to consoles earlier this month.
To enable VRR within the PS5 settings menu, navigate to the 'Screen and Video' menu which should, within 'Video Output' tab, contain a new VRR option. If it isn't there for you, simply restarting the console should make it appear.
The default VRR setting is Automatic, which will enable the feature if the game being played and the TV to which the PS5's connected both support it. If you'd rather play without VRR, you can switch the setting off altogether. Below the main VRR option is an extra toggle to 'Apply to Unsupported Games'. This will enable VRR even for games that don't have official support. It's worth noting that while in some cases this might improve game performance, in others it will do nothing and, Sony warns, others could suffer from 'unexpected behaviour'. Our suggestion is to enable this option but then return to this menu and switch it off if you encounter any graphical nasties in a specific game.
Despite the apparent limitations in the way Sony is delivering VRR, it's still a great feature to have on the PS5, especially considering Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S players have had this since day one. Within the officially supported games you should expect an even greater next-gen enhancement with those crisper graphics and smoother response times.
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