Despite seemingly everyone asking for the contrary, it’s no big secret that more and more of the big publishers seem intent on forcing fixed frame rates on us. It doesn’t seem like much to ask to have an unlocked frame rate, but developers have come out with every excuse under the sun for not incorporating it, including that classic ‘cinematic feel’.
In the world of PC gaming we crave the best, but we also crave choice. On no other platform is there this level of choice on offer, and it can be frustrating when development studios don’t seem to cotton on to this, restricting our options, particularly when it comes to performance. If you spend $1500 on a gaming rig, you want to make sure you’re using all $1500 when playing the latest and greatest games.
In truth one of the clearer reasons why developers lock a game at 30fps is because it’s arguably better to have a game running at a solid 30 frames per second than one that can achieve 60fps with some noticeable dips. It’s far harder for the human eye to detect a lower frame rate if it’s rock-solid, it’s the fluctuations, no matter how small, that we really notice. 25fps can be perfectly playable, but dipping from 30fps down to 25 fps presents a lurching event, and it’s particularly noticeable in the console versions of Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Ultimately if your PC can hit 60 frames per second without wavering, then there’s no question that this is the best option for you, it will be twice as smooth as 30 fps. If the screen gets busy though and you get occasional drops down to 40 though, it’s going to look far uglier than playing at a steady 30.
Do you prefer uncapping the frame rate and pushing your hardware to the max? Or do you like to keep things steady and opt for a frame rate cap?