Xbox One preview update adds FreeSync support and Auto Low Latency Mode

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has announced a pair of new features now available for Xbox One, for those enrolled in the Alpha ring of the Xbox Insider Program. Following a prior unveiling, support for "Variable Refresh Rates" (VRR) via FreeSync and "Auto-Low Latency Mode" (ALLM) has been brought to the console, delivering major upgrades for those with compatible displays. Both features are available for Xbox One X and Xbox One S, however, hardware requirements leave these features inaccessible to many.

VRR adapts the refresh rate of your display to that of outputted content, reducing screen tearing and stuttering, without the input lag suffered when using a similar solution known as V-Sync. Xbox One supports AMD's FreeSync 2 VRR technology, allowing the console to communicate directly with FreeSync-compatible displays. This makes for a much smoother overall experience for gamers, provided they have the hardware to take advantage of it.

To use VRR on Xbox One, you'll need to use a display that supports FreeSync over HDMI. While a range of devices offers FreeSync support over DisplayPort, the console's ports restrict which displays can be used. Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) is also limited to a smaller subset of monitors that support the FreeSync 2 revision.

To further enhance refresh rates comes ALLM, which automatically adjusts latency on the fly, to make for the smoothest, lag-free viewing experience. While display latency doesn't detract from navigating menus and watching video content, gamers strive for the quickest response times for their titles. When ALLM is enabled, display settings can be adjusted on the fly to account for the type of content currently on-screen. ALLM is restricted to a very small subset of displays under the HDMI 2.1 specification.

Support for both of these features can be found within the Settings app of your Xbox One console, under Display & sound > Video output > Video modes. Under here, checkboxes for both VRR and ALLM will be displayed. For these features to appear, ensure your console is running the latest available update (1804.180308-190) to Alpha ring preview testers.

This joins a range of upcoming features for Xbox One, via the Xbox Spring Update. Other improvements include support for 1440p displays, Mixer controller sharing and improved Twitter integration.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.