Cyberpunk 2077 Patch Adds FSR 2.1: With every update, cyberpunk gets better and better. The game is constantly being updated with new features and enhancements including the recently included 60fps performance mode for the Series S and the PS5’s enhanced performance and ray tracing settings.
With the 1.61 updates, developed by CD Projekt RED, AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution v2.1 is implemented. Though this is great news for PC players, FSR2 is also included in the console versions.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, FSR2 is an intelligent upscaling technology developed by AMD with the goal of rendering a high-quality 4K output image from a single internal 1080p image. This can greatly boost speed.
Moving to FSR2 also provides the chance to fine-tune the native rendering resolutions on each system.
Tests show, however, that native resolution goals on consoles remain mostly unaffected and that dynamic resolution scaling continues to function as intended. If we take the Xbox Series S as an example, we have a 1440p target resolution in quality mode, but the minimum resolution appears to have changed from 1296p in version 1.6 to 1080p with this update.
It should be emphasized that on Series S, the normal rendering resolution between these positions is equivalent. Like the standard mode, the performance mode on the Series S aims for 1080p as its highest resolution, albeit it lowers to closer to 1344×756 in GPU-taxing places, which is lower than the 800p we observed before the patch.
For the Series X and PS5? The natural 1440p resolution is unaffected in both ray tracing modes. Next, FSR2 reconstructs it such that, in still images, it looks like a 4K image. With performance mode enabled, you may switch the resolution between 1728p and 1260p.
The adoption of FSR 2.1’s image treatment is the key to patch 1.61’s improvement in picture quality, and this has a number of advantages and disadvantages. To begin, it’s important to note that, unlike on PC, there is no switch or menu option to activate FSR on the console. Instead, it is permanent, replacing CDPR’s previous default temporal anti-aliasing approach.
Fortunately, this rarely has any negative consequences. Whether you’re looking at a still picture, a moving one, suffering from aliasing, or experiencing disocclusion (when objects in the foreground move, exposing previously concealed information), FSR2 will make a noticeable difference.
Consider that in the 30fps ray tracing mode, the entire image is significantly more crisp and clear, better resolving sub-pixel detail and detail in general. This is especially clear in a wide-angle picture of the city at night; from a distance, you can make out finer details like the letters on storefront signs and the shape of leaves as they swing in the wind.
Improving the level of detail is only part of the story. Another one of FSR2’s strong points is its ability to rationally choose which parts of the screen should be muted. Even if visual noise, aliasing, or flicker isn’t completely eradicated, FSR2 performs a better job of reducing it than previous methods.
It’s true that the flickering artifact appears worse than the earlier TAAU approach in certain cases (such with barbed wire fences; watch the video up there for more detail on this one), but overall, it’s a gain for image quality.
And what about live-action gameplay? Here we see a major improvement in the care of very inconsequential things like hair. FSR2’s processing of these smaller, sub-pixel information results in less break-up and more temporal stability, hence reducing the distraction.
The ghosting artifacts introduced by CDPR’s earlier approach are, luckily, significantly reduced or eliminated in FSR2. In other words, moving objects leave behind less noticeable banding traces.
The ultimate test for upscaling algorithms is fast motion, and FSR2 passes with flying colors, improving overall clarity when we walk or even drive swiftly ahead. Given the nature of FSR2, it is to be assumed that lateral motion will experience some degree of disruption.
The edges of the screen provide FSR with fresh visual input, and in a fast pan, the majority of the data within the frame will be different from the last. Cyberpunk 2077 benefits more from FSR2 than without it, although when switching to performance mode, the internal resolution drops and the algorithm has less of an effect.
FSR2 on PS5 still provides an improvement in clarity when combined with the performance settings of the Series X and S. It’s also worth mentioning that increasing the frame rate to 60 frames per second provides additional data for a temporal-based solution, which aids FSR2’s performance in motion.
It’s important to talk about how things are going in terms of performance. We’re used to seeing a compromise between visual quality and frame rate, so the real question is whether or not the advantages of FSR2 actually change the gameplay experience compared to the PS5 or Series consoles.
Historically, consoles’ performance suffered the most in densely populated locations (the market, for instance), and this is most likely due to a CPU bottleneck that will be unaffected by FSR2. This is true even after the 1.61 updates when using the PS5’s 60 fps performance option as an example.
Side-by-side comparisons with the last patch we tested, version 1.5, reveal a change, although an inconsistent one. On occasion, Patch 1.61 will advance the state of affairs, but other times it will lag behind. In later gunfights, the latest patch does cause a noticeable dip in framerate to below 50fps. Given that perfect synchronisation during games is unachievable, however, this may be only accidental.
In terms of overall performance on patch 1.61, PS5 and Series X are quite close. Drops to below 50fps are conceivable, as they were previously. While the addition of FSR2 isn’t closing the performance gap to a smooth 60 frames per second, it also doesn’t appear to be hurting anything.
In the meanwhile, there is some indication (in the area of mirrors) that the Xbox Series S is a little quicker with FSR2, albeit this may be due to adjustments to dynamic resolution and/or the arrival of AMD’s upscale. It’s hardly a huge improvement, and further tests conducted within the city at night have failed to demonstrate any discernible benefit. The feature of the PS5 Series X and S is the enhanced picture quality.
In the end, FSR2 is a net win for all modern consoles, since it intelligently picks out the things we want to improve while also fixing picture flaws like ghosting on movement and flickering on hair. At longer ranges, there is a higher emphasis on precision because of increased stability and less noise.
The main drawback is that the algorithm is still in development; AMD is actively striving to enhance the technology. There is still an issue with the image breaking apart, and with the Series S in particular, there are times when this happens even during normal forward motion. However, cyberpunk has advanced much since its inception. Even minor updates, like 1.61, seem to have an effect, suggesting CD Projekt RED isn’t finished yet.