Xbox Series X update adds 60 fps to Skyrim, Fallout titles — but there’s a catch

fallout 76 image
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Update: Prime Video's Fallout TV series has begun filming — here's what it looks like.

Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 players will miss out on one of the key benefits of Xbox's new FPS Boost feature, despite other Bethesda titles getting the full upgrade.

FPS Boost arrived last month, giving some older Xbox games a frame-rate boost to 60 fps on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. A selection of Bethesda titles was added to the list just over a week ago — but according to testing over at Digital Foundry, the two Fallout games won't be able to handle 60 fps and 4K at the same time.

Though FPS Boost instantly unlocks 4K 60 fps on the likes of Skyrim, Digital Foundry's testing found that on Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, the frame-rate boost is only available at 1080p.

That's a disappointment for Fallout fans, who'll now have to choose between having FPS Boost on and making do with 1080p graphics, or turning it off and enjoying 4K.

The real surprise is that the limitation applies to the Xbox Series X as well as the Series S. The latter console is the smaller and less powerful of the two next-gen Xboxes, and is only designed to reach 2160 resolution at the best of times — so 1080p @ 60 fps is a reasonable offering. But the Xbox Series X is a lot more powerful and shouldn’t have any trouble handling those specs. 

However, as Digital Foundry notes in its testing video, Fallout 4 was a very taxing game on last-gen systems; running it at 1080p may be the best way to ensure a consistent 60 fps frame rate.

Fortunately, there are a couple of workarounds. Firstly, there's a Fallout 4 mod called '720p 60fps' which (rather confusingly) unlocks 4K 60 fps. The downside is that while Digital Foundry found that 90-95 percent of the game ran at 60 fps, frame rates dropped quite significantly at certain taxing points.

There’s also a way to trick the Xbox Series X into running the game at 4K 60 fps without the mod. You need to load up Fallout 4 without FPS Boost enabled, quit to the dashboard and activate it, then use quick resume to jump back into the game. 

For Fallout 76, which doesn’t have access to the 720p 60fps mod on account of it being an online game, you need to use the hack. Start the game without FPS Boost, quit and turn it on, quick-resume a different game, then jump back into Fallout 76. Unfortunately, Digital Foundry found that Fallout 76 struggles to ever run at 4K 60 fps, typically peaking at around 50 fps. But it's still worth trying until the trick presumably gets patched away.

Sadly, neither the PS5 nor the Xbox One X gets these features — so if you want to try FPS Boost for yourself, you'll need to buy an Xbox Series X or Series S. For help on that front, check out our guide on where to buy Xbox Series X, so you can get all the latest news on upcoming stock updates.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.