Bluepoint Games Explain Why Developers Target 30 FPS For Their Games Instead Of 60 FPS

When it comes to frame rate in most console games, we often hear about 30 fps instead of 60 fps for most of them. Although for some recent games – especially for some first party titles on the PS4 – the frame rate is unlocked, and often runs above 30 fps in games like inFamous: Second Son, TitanFall, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and Killzone: Shadow Fall.

In a recent interview with Digital Foundry, Bluepoint’s President Andy O’Neill talked about this 30 vs 60 fps debate, explaining the reason why developers usually go for a locked 30 fps.

Bluepoint Games recently shipped TitanFall on the Xbox 360, which ran at unlocked frame rate at the cost of screen tearing, but it also had a locked 30 fps option available for the players – for those who prefer it. Andy talks about the reason why they went for unlocked frame rate.

We’d set a 30fps cap for large scale test, and it had ‘stuck’ due to concerns about tearing with a variable frame-rate. While we were working on the day-one patch, we snuck in a 60Hz on/off option and didn’t tell anyone about it. It didn’t take Respawn very long to find it, and they much preferred the feel of the unlocked frame-rate like we did. EA found out about it a bit later [laughs].

He explains that while 30 fps can be preferred, if developers lock the frame rate from the start and target 30 fps, it becomes the expectation instead of 60 fps. “If you lock the frame-rate at 30 for too long during development for demos or stability etc, 30fps becomes the expectation and you’ll never ever hit 60,” said Andy.

Bluepoint Games ended up with unlocked frame rate as default option because of the low input lag that the game gives at an unlocked frame rate, although it came at the cost of screen tearing.

PlayStation 4 exclusives Knack, Killzone Shadow Fall and inFamous: Second Son, all run at an unlocked frame rate, which is certainly an interesting situation here. It seems like developers have enough leg room on the PS4 to target close to 60 fps, although even if that is not fully achievable, they can get close enough to the target that they feel confident to ship the end game with unlocked frame rate. Killzone: Shadow Fall did end up with a 30 fps lock option, and inFamous: Second Son’s latest patch is going to do the same, and introduce a 30 fps lock option. Similarly, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ran at an unlocked frame rate on the PS4 and locked 30 fps on the Xbox One.

What do you think about the statement made by Bluepoint Games? Do you prefer unlocked frame rate over locked 30 fps? Let us know in the comments below.

  • invadurxzim

    O.o some are just babbling and repeating whats in the post good job!
    your eyes cant actually see much faster then 32-34fps so what is the point to 60fps? smoother play? b.s.
    60fps works the hardware twice as hard eventually ending in overheating specially in consoles if you dont take extra steps for cooling
    if response is what you seek simply increasing the sensitivity on your controls wiill give you exactly that
    there are many 30fps games thet play as well as or better then 60fps
    as for pirating….wow what rock in africa are you hiding under? consoles are just as bad!!!!!!!!!!!! you obviously have no idea its just as easy to steal console games as it is pc
    Go look at steam sales and tell me pc gamers arent buying pc games…..
    i wish console gamers would stop defending their overpiced hardware as if they were jesus…
    my pc is over a year old and makes the ps4 and xb1 look like last gens…..[nvidia gtx 650 nuff said]
    as for ports…..you are aware all games are made on computers correct? sooo all games on consoles are technically ported from computers 😛
    how well the game is programmed/coded has a much bigger impact then graphics/resolution
    i have seen low graphic games bog systems down…dont beleive me? play angry birds on anything for 10 minutes then tell me it isnt trying to overheat what its playing on…..the best they can do is offer options…wait pc have had those since forever…….i just dont understand why people like being limited to consoles? with computer you have nothing but options and you dont have to buy a whole new system to play a newer game just upgrade a component or two and bam play all the new stuff.the stupid part consoles really are just heavily limited computers with far less options….wake up people!

  • Reddz Foxx

    So less screen tearing or more input lag… The choices are Real. Ultimately both ruin overall game experience so the trade off is graphics which isnt usually in the equation or is a real touchy subject for most gamers.

    But at the end of the day when your talking last gen console graphics arent great anyhow why not water down the graphics a bit more to achieve less screen tearing and increase frames so the experience is way more enjoyable.

    Even the PS4 and XB1 have limits so favorable input lag and no screen tearing will ultimately out weight the number of sparklies on the screen. First person shooters must be 60 FPS or people will complain due to the reasons above.. washed out graphics are fine as long as its a consistent experience and runs flawlessly in terms of no screentearing and low input lag.

  • dreyfuss keller

    60>30 without question. People who claim to not be able to tell the difference, are either trolling or have something very wrong with their eyes, as the difference is clearly night and day. Perhaps devs should stop trying to pump their games full of unnecessarily high textures for backgrounds and character costumes etc and lower the fidelity somewhat, then maybe the machines won’t have such a hard time dealing with 60fps. The devs put in stupidly high textures into their game worlds, so they can produce countless BULLSHOTS that work for the advertising of their game. Kids go doolally over the hi-res images sent out to magazines/sites and piss their panties, waiting for how great this game is going to be. Then on release, the game looks sharp, yet runs at 30fps or LESS, and the controls also suffer and the game sucks. EA are the very worst for this. Their game’s framerates are consitently poor, but the ad campaigns featuring over the top HD bullshots help them screw the casuals over again and again. Console fans are wholly to blame for this trend as they always are happy to settle for less, meaning that devs are consistently getting away with crap like this. Thank heavens for PC gaming, because consoles are just moving things backward every generation, with one exception…higher resolutions and textures. Doesn’t matter if the games suffer, as long as we can pump out those bullshots to draw in the mouth breathers….

    • Branden Thomas

      Console owners aren’t the ones making shitty PC ports. PC Master Race insecurity at it’s finest.

      Glad I play all platforms because reading this shit gives me cancer.

    • Axe99

      If PC gamers spent less time ranting and pirating, and more time actually paying decent money for PC games, then there’d be more exclusives that take advantage of PC – it’s got nothing to do with console owners. Devs and publishers will go to the audience that rewards them for their hard work.

  • Joseph Lan

    I prefer unlocked, because of lower input lag and more responsive controls/gameplay.

  • Dennis Crosby

    Some people will say they want 60fps over 30fps but in my opinion idk if the game is enjoyable at either fps im ok with that devs should make the best possible game they can