Alan Wake 2 is almost here – it hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC on Friday, October 27. Developer Remedy Entertainment released the game this week after delaying it for 10 days earlier this summer. While there are plenty of visual options for players playing on PC – check out Alan Wake 2’s PC spec requirements here – there are only two graphics modes for those picking it up on PS5 and Xbox Series X (and only one on Xbox Series S). But first, remember to read Game Informers Alan Wake 2 Review.
Below, we dive into two graphics mods for Alan Wake 2 on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and then a handful more. Game Informer Editors who play the game share the mode they chose to experience the latest in relief.
Best graphics mod for Alan Wake 2
Earlier this month, we dived into the best graphics mods for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from developer Insomniac Games, and there were clear winners. However, Alan Wake 2 has fewer mods to take advantage of on consoles – and that’s okay – so choosing the best mod for you will ultimately come down to personal taste (as with most games).
Before breaking down each mode, it’s worth mentioning that Remedy developed Alan Wake 2 as a 30fps experience, as we learned last month from the studio’s director of communications, Thomas Puha.
I’m happy to say that Alan Wake 2 will have a Performance Mode on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The game was built from the start as a 30fps experience with a focus on visuals and atmosphere, but somehow we managed to add solid performance. Mod. We will talk about the details later.
— Thomas Puha (@RiotRMD) September 27, 2023
But as you can see in the tweet above, Remedy has also added a last-minute performance mode to the game.
We discovered some game play using both Quality Mode and Performance Mode:
- Quality: Alan Wake 2’s quality mode has an output resolution of 4K, a render resolution of 2258 x 1270p, and a mostly locked 30 FPS framerate with occasional dips.
- performance: Alan Wake 2’s performance mode prefers 60 FPS over its resolution and the output resolution is 1440p with a render resolution of 1505 x 847p. The game hit its 60 FPS target well, but it’s clear that 60 FPS isn’t 100 percent locked.
Both of these modes are available on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but if you’re playing on Xbox Series S, the output resolution is 1440p.
Alan Wake 2 has live-action video components, the solution used with its Xbox-exclusive Quantum Break, and they seem to aim for a standard cinematic 24 fps (though admittedly, it could be 30 fps; point frames are below 60 fps, which you might experience in Performance mode).
Graphics methods Game Informer Staff are using
- Alex Van Aken, both: No game, I always start in performance mode. Personally, a high – or stable – frame rate is more important than fidelity. However, if the pace of the game is slower and more emphasis is placed on elements like story and atmosphere, I would like to check out the quality mode to fully appreciate its beauty. I am sticking to this routine for Alan Wake 2.
- Blake Hester, Quality: I’m playing in quality mode because the game defaults to it and I didn’t think about changing it. Looks good to me!
- Charles Harte, exhibit: I am playing in performance mode on PS5. The difference in graphical quality between the modes is pretty negligible in my view. Playing at a higher frame rate, however, makes a big difference. A game being good is more important to me than looking good, and Alan Wake 2 looks great regardless.
- Kyle Hilliard, show: As I do with all games, after making sure the subtitles were on and the vertical view was inverted because I’m a broken man, I changed the settings to Performance. I always go for the show. I personally can’t tell the difference when quality mode is on and prefer the smoother gameplay experience. I want to play better than look better, and for this generation in particular, turning on Performance Mode accomplishes both. I’ve had my technical issues with Alan Wake 2, but while the game runs well, I’m grateful for the smooth framerate.
- Marcus Stewart, quality: I am playing in quality mode. For a slow game, I don’t need everything running at 60 FPS. I want good art direction (especially in dark places) to shine as much as possible.
- Matt MillerQuality: I’m running in quality mode with a view to seeing the maximum visuals that Remedy can create after such a long departure from the franchise.
- Wesley LeBlanc, quality: Knowing that Remedy designed Alan Wake 2 with its 30 fps quality mode, it was easy for me to go with this scene option. 60 FPS is nice, but I’m a sucker for fidelity, and Alan Wake 2 shines on that front. Plus, the more cinematic it feels, the more cinematic mode makes sense to me.
I’d like to note that at the end of the day, you should use whatever visual settings and graphics modes you want – there’s no right or wrong answer, but I spend a lot of time (too much most of the time) tinkering with these kinds of settings and technologies and hopefully help guide you towards a mod that matches your preferences. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below!
Alan Wake 2 hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC on October 27.
For more information about the game, read on Game Informers Get hands-on with Alan Wake 2’s Saga Anderson section and then read what we thought about playing as Alan Wake. After that, watch this Saga Anderson-focused Alan Wake 2 NGT, and then check out this Alan Wake-focused NGT. Make sure your PC is ready for Alan Wake 2’s beefy system requirements. read Game Informers Alan Wake 2 review for our full thoughts on the game.