Gears Tactics and Gears 5 now have full VRS Tier 2 support, big performance gains on PC and Xbox Series X|S

Gears 5 Hivebusters
Gears 5 Hivebusters (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Gears 5 and Gears Tactics now support Variable Rate Shading (VRS) Tier 2 on all DirectX 12 Ultimate supported devices.
  • VRS is a development technique that can have significant performance gains with GPU-intensive titles like the Gears games.
  • With Tier 2 support, Gears 5 and Gears Tactics are on the cutting edge and can gain bigger performance boosts with fewer visual anomalies.
  • The Coalition has also released a blog post detailing how they implemented VRS Tier 2 and how it helps their games.

The Coalition, the studio behind the storied Gears franchise, is well-known for constantly pushing the boundaries for what can be accomplished on Microsoft's hardware. Still, they're far from stopping after the release of next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Today, the DirectX 12 Ultimate team has announced that Gears 5 and Gears Tactics now support VRS Tier 2 on all supported devices, including Xbox Series X|S and certain PCs running modern GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA.

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Variable Rate Shading (VRS) is a rendering technique that can improve performance in GPU-intensive games by analyzing a scene and applying more GPU power to more essential parts of the screen. VRS Tier 1 already provided pretty sizeable gains for games like Gears Tactics, but VRS Tier 2 increases the performance gains while reducing any visual tears or anomalies that occasionally occurred before. The Coalition have officially implemented VRS Tier 2 in Gears 5 and Gears Tactics, with up to 14% gains in performance with no visual impacts!

If you want the full run-down, Microsoft has a new blog post up detailing everything you need to know about VRS Tier 2 in Gears 5 and Gears Tactics. Either way, this is impressive tech and hints at the future of the Xbox Series X|S and the kinds of things DirectX 12 Ultimate will be capable of as we move forward with brand-new gaming hardware.

Gears 5 and Gears Tactics are already lookers, but the games and VRS both shine, especially when playing at higher resolutions like 4K. To get the most out of both, consider one of the Best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X|S to upgrade your visuals. Both games are also available through Xbox Game Pass, so you can play them without needing to commit to a full purchase.

Related: Read our Gears Tactics full review!

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.