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
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for 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 caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

44 Comments
  • That should make it........ seem faster.
  • ( ° ͜ʖ °)
  • Cool. Some many people are obsesed with 1080p but how many hrz are there tv?????? If its only 60 get a new tv 240 is better for gaming.
  • Actually processing features like 240 hrz introduces a lag (input lag) between when you push a button and the result is rendered to the TV. It's worse for games that require fast reaction times. The TV needs time to process stuff like intrapolated frames and cleaned up images. That's why the "Game Mode" on HDTVs tends to disable a lot of those features.
  • If the game is only displaying at 60, even a 600hz tv isn't going to show more frames. You only get out what you put in.
  • Your totally correct my tv has a 120hgz. I'm wanting to get a 240.
  • aaaawwww, nice to see how they choose to ignore MCC's troubles.
  • What do you mean?
  • Most of the game is fixed I do hear different problems still happening to people. Like finding a match or odd an glitch once in a while. The main problem I have with MCC is the dedicated servers that never seem to be working.
  • Completely unrelated.  Anyone talking about MCC and applying it's problems to H5 doesn't understand the tiniest sliver of the technology. 
  • Sweet. I'm so excited for Halo 5!
  • Aaaaarrggghhh, I can't wait!!! =]~)
  • No pc version? Lame. This would make a great universal app
  • There's a big difference between a universal app and a full AAA game. So no, it wouldn't. Now a companion app to Halo would make a great universal app.
  • You expect it to run on a cellphone?
  • No not on cellphone, just on pc and console.
  • What I like about Halo is that even with next-gen graphics it can always run at 60fps. That's a must for FPS games. I've been trying to play Evolve for the past days and I've been struggling with the low frames per second. Really hard to get any precise aiming. 
  • Can't wait for Halo 5 to drop. Still have to preorder it, though ... I want the limited edition box but the game in digital form. No more swapping CDs, pls
  • Dude, I've been looking for the same solution. They already do it with the limited collectors edition, why not with the regular limited edition?
  • Yeah ... well, I don't get Microsoft sometimes ...
  • Arghhhh, not enough time to complete Reach/ODST and 4. Anyone know how to stop time???
  • Not telling :P.
  • Others will disagree, but I think I'd rather have a crisp 1080p/30 presentation for campaign. Destiny achieves this with great visuals and the gameplay remains smooth and satisfying most of the time. I understand how 60fps makes a real difference in twitch multiplayer competition, but the campaign for me is about story and narrative, and I find that graphics do make a difference for immersion and world simulation. I value this ahead of twitch response, at least for the campaign. I suppose the the ideal option would be to give gamers a choice of v-synced 1080p/30 vs. 60fps dynamic scaling, but it's a niche customer at best who will care about this.
  • I'm pretty sure, you won't even notice the game dropping from 1080p to 900p and back in the middle of the tight action scene. And 60fps will add more details to immerse you into gameplay.
  • Soooo is DirectX 12 come into play eventually with the Xbox??
  • Fast gameplay is better than a laggy one (BF4 MP 32vs.32 map)
  • Thats one way to look at it.  If the gamer addicts want to count frames, then let them count frames.  Simply degrade the picture to maintain framerate.  Idiots.  Movie theater shows 24 frames per second.  Good enough.  Is 60 really perceptable from 30?  Are these the same people that buy aftermarket aircleaners for the cars thinking that they will go faster?
  • The difference if pretty noticeable. Both visually and how controls respond. With 24fps movies there is significant "stutter" especially with wide scenes. But it might be good enough for you and that's fine. Some folks are fine with a Fiat and others like Tesla
  • From my experience, yes. 60 is really noticeable to see when compared to 30. Try out a YouTube video at 480p then try 720p60fps. I'm sure you can notice it
  • Saying that 60 is perceptable from 30 is and understatement. It's night and day.
  • And you can't really compare a game to a movie. You don't control a movie, do you ?
  • 60 fps and 30 fps is a huge huge different to me. Really.
  • Dammm, Did I said that I luv this "cloud" thing already?
  • "Halo universe...forever transformed"?? What the heck could that mean? If Master Chief dies, I swear i will quit Halo...doubt that will happen. I call Cortana returning, but in a different form...some human /forerunner hybrid. Mark it down...i predicted it first!!
  • Okay
  • Pc please
  • Just get an xbox if you actually want it. sheesh. They cost less than a phone.
  • I've only noticed this on my Lumia 1020. Lumia 930 doesn't seem to have any delay at all in the previously most recent build. I thought it was something to do with devices that have Glance at first, but even turning off Glance on the 1020 has the delay - I thought it was just due to the lower specs of the 1020 initially. The problem could be more difficult than it seems, as long as they are making progress it's all good at this point.
  • I'm going to have so much fun playing this. Halo is king!
  • I am ok with everything that was said.  Dedi servers, 60fps, cloud compute, 1080p with dynamic scaling, physically based rendering. Damn son, this game will look and play beautifully. 
  • I really don't give a rat's ass whether it's in 60 fps or 35.678 fps, just let my friends play on the same xbox. 343 is way too conceited of making this not a big deal when it is. Give us the option!!! Stop adhering solely to the hardcore community.
  • Couch Co-Op games are slowly withering away sadly.
  • If you're interested in how this is implemented from a DirectX / rendering point of view then look here: https://channel9.msdn.com/events/Build/2013/3-062 The feature involved is called Hardware overlay support, starting around 11m 30s into the video.
  • It sounds like this going to be the best Halo ever.