The third installment of the critically acclaimed Dark Souls franchise just got a new lease of life on Xbox Series consoles, thanks to the transformational powers of FPS Boost, which is now supported by nearly 100 Xbox classics. The Xbox Series X/S owners can now experience Dark Souls 3 at 60 frames per second (fps) on the backward-compatible version of the game.
According to IGN, the free FPS Boost update was revealed on Twitter by Xbox, specifically targeting Xbox Series X/S systems, bringing the game’s performance levels to those seen on PlayStation 5. And while the game locks at 1080p at 60fps on PlayStation 5, through backward compatibility with Sony’s previous generation of hardware, the Xbox Series S/X version still only supports 900p resolution but now running at 60fps. As a result, the FPS Boost, along with the Xbox Series console’s SSD drives, offers a noticeable increase in performance, which makes Dark Souls 3 worth another look.
This is a much-requested upgrade for Xbox Series X/S console owners, given the game’s overall popularity and playability, which was hindered by the last-gen performance profile. Dark Souls 3 initially released in 2014 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, featuring a firm 30fps cap. However, the 30fps limit was removed by a PlayStation 4 patch, offering frame rates of up to 60fps – a questionable upgrade at best, given the PS4 Pro’s variable level of performance. But it worked out for Sony since PlayStation 5 has enough horsepower, which is about to be upgraded, to push backward-compatible games with ease – locking Dark Souls 3 at 1080p running at 60 frames per second.
Unfortunately, the same didn’t happen with the Xbox One version of the game. From Software, the game’s developer, never added the support to Xbox One X’s superior graphics power, locking the game at 900p at 30fps, which was the upper limit of performance on Xbox consoles since the game’s original launch. Put simply; the reduced framerate produced a noticeable judder to the game that even the extra horsepower of Microsoft’s new consoles couldn’t smooth out. Luckily, the FPS Boost upgrade circumvents the frame-rate limit imposed by the original game, providing the Xbox Series X/S with the same 60fps performance as on PlayStation 5.
However, the updated Dark Souls 3 isn’t without issues, as the game occasionally dips to 53fps on the Xbox Series S console, but only for a brief moment, before returning to smooth 60 frames per second. This dip wasn’t spotted on Xbox Series X, and the game operates beautifully on both systems, apart from the upscaled 900p image. This isn’t as noticeable on smaller 1080p screens, like a recently announced 11.6-inch screen that would make Series S console portable, but becomes really noticeable on 4K displays, which is sad, as it doesn’t exploit the full processing potential of the Series X console.
And while this update doesn’t cover all of Dark Souls 3’s problems on Xbox, it’s a significant improvement to the classic game, especially when paired with faster loading times enabled by the SSD storage. For now, the game offers a noticeably better experience on the Series X/S consoles, but we hope that Microsoft continues to upgrade Dark Souls 3 and its other Xbox classics.