As someone who isn’t particularly good at Fortnite, I’ll gladly take any advantage I can get: fancy peripherals, an increased frame rate, you name it. So, naturally, I was very curious when I heard that OnePlus had partnered with Epic Games to deliver a 90 FPS mode for Fortnite that would be exclusive to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.
With a lot of intensive mobile games struggling to hit a consistent 60 FPS, I assumed that some sort of dark magic would be required for the likes of Fortnite to approach anything close to 90 on a handset. This is doubly true when you consider that the Nintendo Switch version targets 30 FPS, and even the enhanced current-gen consoles hover at around 60.
It goes without saying that concessions would have to be made to allow for the new mode. On loading up my first 90 FPS match, it became instantly clear that the visual presentation had taken a sizeable hit. Overall resolution remained the same, though finer details such as foliage had been stripped way back. Basically, the graphical settings had defaulted to low, and that’s just something you’ll have to deal with if you want to reap the potential benefits of the higher frame rate.
On mobile, however, the difference between 60 and 90 FPS isn’t as pronounced as it perhaps would be when using a mouse and keyboard. And you’re not actually getting a solid 90 FPS either, at least according to the in-game counter. I saw lows in the high 60s, though the fact that I only noticed these due to the counter suggests that, for me, the benefits of this mode are fairly negligible.
It’s also worth noting that the OnePlus 8 can maintain a relatively stable 60 FPS on higher graphical settings, so opting for the higher frame rate isn’t as easy a decision as you’d perhaps expect.
Fortnite on low graphical settings isn’t a looker; in fact, it’s really rather ugly. It loses a great deal of its personality, and its overall artistic direction is greatly compromised. That said, nobody is going to be using this mode for big events like the recent in-game concerts – it’s purely for those who want a slight advantage during standard matches.
Nevertheless, the mere existence of a 90 FPS mode for Fortnite on a handset is still an impressive technical accomplishment, even if it remains something of a curiosity rather than a revolution at this stage.
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