Bethesda adds the Fallout 4 graphics settings the community wanted from the first next-gen update, but the devs "highly recommend" you don't use them

 Fallout 4.
Fallout 4.

Bethesda's put out a new Fallout 4 update addressing its last Fallout 4 update – appropriately titled "Next Gen Update 2" – and adding some PS5 and Xbox Series X graphics settings that were conspicuously absent, but somewhat worryingly the devs "highly recommend" you stick to the defaults anyway.

The latest Fallout 4 patch notes confirm that, "thanks to your feedback, we’ve been able to implement the ability to control your graphic fidelity and performance." Great! But wait, here comes the other shoe: Bethesda says "we highly recommend you run with the default settings but now you can change your options to better fit your playstyle and display."

Given how poorly the first next-gen update was received, I am not filled with confidence after hearing Bethesda advise against using the display settings it just added. I understand that games shoot for a stable baseline, and maybe Bethesda is just trying to encourage what it views as the optimal experience, but this wording isn't exactly what you want to hear when your game gets new, highly requested settings.

If you're feeling adventurous, here's how it works. The updated frame rate target lets you choose between 30, 40, and 60 FPS, with 60 being the default. However, "it is important to note that to select 40, your display must be able to support 120hz."

There's also new graphical prioritization in the form of a visual and performance mode, with performance being the default. Bethesda was quick to add the equally worrying line that you can choose between these modes "while trying to maintain frame rate target."

The game will try to maintain the frame rate target that the devs "highly recommend" not altering. Am I just being cynical, is this verbiage a bit unfortunate, or does this sound less than ideal for a patch called Next Gen Update 2, itself a follow-up to a patch announced over two years ago?

"If you choose Frame Rate Target of 60, we recommend selecting Performance," Bethesda clarifies. "Both modes may adjust internal resolution dynamically when scenes or action get heavier."

The patch's attached bug fixes do promise "general stability improvements" and fixes for a "visual issue with certain imagespaces," and we still need to see performance analyses with the new patch, but I'm feeling a little gun-shy about all this. There's not much for the PC crowd, with the only mention of the much-maligned widescreen setting being a fixed "issue with character name field when in widescreen mode." Auto HDR has been re-enabled on Xbox Series X, which is nice. That said, I get the feeling we're still due for a Next Gen Update 3, and I do love a good trilogy.

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