Box art - The Surge 2

The Surge 2 Graphics Settings | Should I choose performance or quality mode?

If you’re playing Focus Home Interactive and Deck13’s new Souls-like RPG on one of the enhanced consoles — that’s either the PS4 Pro or the Xbox One X — you may have noticed that tucked away in the options menu you’re presented with the choice to enjoy the game via one of two visual presets. This still being a relatively new phenomenon where console gaming is concerned, you’re likely wondering which The Surge 2 graphics settings you should opt for. Should you choose performance or quality mode?

The Surge 2 graphics settings | Should I choose performance or quality mode?

The Surge 2 graphics settings

The basis of each mode might be self-explanatory, but there are several key differences which you should definitely know about. Performance mode favors behind-the-scenes tech and will result in The Surge 2 outputting at a buttery smooth 60 FPS, but this comes at the sacrifice of resolution and asset quality. Meanwhile, opting instead for the quality mode will bump the display resolution up from 1080p to 4K and improve the quality of base assets, but the trade-off is a halved frame rate that now sits at 30.

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You have to reset the game between changes, which makes getting direct comparisons without extra equipment difficult, but after spending extensive time with both modes on a PS4 Pro it seems clear that performance mode wins the day. Quality undoubtedly looks markedly better, arguably even making The Surge 2 in performance mode look ugly by comparison, but an immediately noticeable loss of fluidity in the game’s controls makes it quite offputting on the whole.

After first playing the game at 60 FPS (in the default performance mode), the halved 30 FPS of quality mode can make it feel as though your personal performance been hamstrung. It introduces an ever so slight delay between pressing a button and seeing the relevant action replicated on the TV screen, which during intensely difficult enemy encounters can grow to feel like an eternity.

In a Souls-like game such as this gameplay fluidity and the responsiveness of controls are vitally important moreso than in many other genres, due both to the fact that defeat comes swiftly and you can tangibly lose progress by dying and dropping your acquired Tech Scrap (combined experience points and currency). We’d recommend saving yourself that potential frustration by exclusively sticking with performance mode; after all, looks aren’t everything.