PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) 'temporarily' downgraded on Xbox One X to improve performance

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a battle royale game focused on scavenging weapons and using stealth or other tactics to be the last person alive. The title has see unprecedented popularity on Steam and other platforms like the Xbox One over the past several months.

As we all are painfully aware, PUBG doesn't perform that well on a base console or even the Xbox One X. However, at the moment, the Xbox One X problems seem to be more severe. Luckily, developer Bluehole is aware of these issues and is working to address them. Unfortunately, the way the team is addressing them will infuriate many gamers. A "hotfix" on September 18, 2018 will downgrade the visual settings in order to boost the frame rate on Microsoft's new machine. The weekly community post said, "This hotfix will include toning down many of the graphical settings on the Xbox One X."

This is definitely a drastic measure, and it's a little shocking because PUBG was in Xbox Game Preview for almost a year. The performance issues should've been the main priority back then, and sufficient optimization should've taken place before launch. While games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider feature advanced graphical effects and even achieve 4K resolution, PUBG is relying on a significant downgrade. You can read about all the graphical features being removed below. From the comparison screenshots, it seems like building interiors will suffer the most.

  • Dynamic and static shadow quality will be lowered.
  • Post-processing effects like motion blur, depth of field, and lens flare will be disabled.
  • Screen space ambient occlusion quality will be lowered.
  • The quality of eye adaptation will be lowered. This is the time it takes for your eyes to adapt when you go from a dark place to a bright place, and vice versa.
  • Screen space reflections will be turned off. These are the reflections from glass windows.
  • Light won't refract anymore.
  • Subsurface scattering will be turned off. This effect makes objects look real.
  • Dynamic particle light effects from explosions will be turned off. The number of particles created will also be lowered.

The good news is that the resolution and textures will remain the same. Bluehole claims that this "is only a temporary fix", and a long-term solution is in the works. The post reiterated that the team wants to eventually give players a 4K 30 FPS or 1080p 60 FPS option. It's unclear when this permanent fix will make its way to Xbox One X owners because the team has been promising this even before PUBG joined Xbox Game Preview.

It's not all bad news though. "War Mode" is coming to the console on September 21. Unfortunately, War Mode will only be available on select weekends. Unlike the ever-shrinking standard maps, War Mode takes place in a static zone and you can even respawn. It's basically your standard deathmatch.

What do you think about Bluehole's "temporary" solution? Let us know. It's a shame that the game still runs horribly even after years of development.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • I think Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode will take care of that.
  • I honestly don't see much difference between the pictures so it seems overblown IMO.
  • Extremely minor difference. The game wasn't the best graphically anyway. Would you rather hinder performance for a couple a effects or would you rather have smoother gameplay. From someone who had played on both the PC and Xbox, I would take a graphical hit if it meant movement and game play ran better.
    This is honestly not that big of a deal. I'm not putting up excuses for the devs (as you stated, this should've been fixed before exiting Preview). I'm just stating that this "downgrade" is being blown out of proportion.
  • Tbh this bits all games. Most games when shown off at e3 look better than when they release them when they are shown off 12 months before release as games get more and more added to them as they go along. For me a game is all about game play look at Nintendo games they never push the boundaries but always spot on with game play
  • How "bad" does PUBG play on the OG XBONE?
  • Like 25 FPS probably.
  • The game plays great on my Xbox One. These articles must be written by Fortnite fan boys.
  • I don't play Fortnite.
  • But it looks like crap. And it doesn't "play" great. It just has a stable framerate. It still plays like crap. RIP pubg, blackout is here