Halo 5: Guardians uses dynamic resolution scaling to maintain its 60 FPS frame rate

Microsoft recently gave us Halo 5: Guardian's opening cinematic, as well as some fresh 1080p gameplay footage - but how gorgeous will it be on your Xbox One?

The answer is very. In a huge post, on Halo Waypoint, Josh Holmes, and other 343i team members outlined Halo 5's technical features in detail.

Josh Holmes reiterates that Halo 5: Guardians will feature an epic storyline, one that promises to change the Halo universe forever:

..."The campaign for Halo 5: Guardians is a sweeping adventure that will take players on an epic journey across the galaxy. Along the way, you'll visit multiple worlds, and by the end of our story, the Halo universe will be forever transformed."...

Holmes moves on to discuss the game's engine. 343i overhauled it for Halo 5: Guardians to make use of "important technical advances":

..."We've implemented a new physically-based rendering system that improves the realism of our lighting model and materials in game. One of the advantages of this system is the flexibility it allows in achieving a wide variety of different looks, including alien-looking materials, while remaining plausible in appearance and behavior."...

Holmes went on to list some of Halo 5's technical advances:

  • The game will use dedicated servers for both the co-op campaign and multiplayer, including custom games.
  • 343i uses Xbox Live's cloud computer to calculate physics and A.I. in both Warzone and campaign co-op.
  • Halo 5: Guardians uses dynamic resolution scaling to maintain a solid 60 frames per second. The resolution targets 1080p, but will scale down dynamically to prevent highly demanding sequences from battering the frame rate.
  • "Much of the campaign" will render at 1080p

The Witcher 3 and other games have utilized dynamic scaling on the Xbox One for smoother frame rates. Considering the amount of action on-screen during Halo 5's Warzone battles and the apparent size of its campaign combat areas, I think maintaining the frame rate in this way is a welcome addition. Indeed, Josh Holmes seems to feel the same way:

..."Framerate is king for us on Halo 5. Gameplay is defined by the way that players experience the game from controller to screen. We want the connection between you and the game to feel seamless and instantaneous. From the beginning, we set ourselves the goal of delivering consistent 60fps gameplay across all modes of play."...

The article moves on to discuss the game's campaign, with comments from various members of the 343i team. It certainly seems as though Halo 5 is going to be far larger than previous titles, as described by Justin Dinges:

..."Players are taken all across the galaxy: from snowy mountain tops to mysterious alien jungles. Within these unique locales, we have crafted complex layouts for each of our missions, allowing players the freedom to come up with their own ways of playing. In fact, you could replay the entire campaign more than a few times and never have to fight an encounter in the same way twice."...

Every time Microsoft offers a new piece of information, the hype grows just a little bit more. I urge you to check out the full article from Halo Waypoint. It's a big one, but it explains in detail how 343i are keeping the game locked at 60 FPS without sacrificing the incredible visuals we've seen so far.

Halo 5 Guardians launches on October 27th as a Xbox One exclusive.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!