September 22, 2021

Xbox One X

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Performance analysis: Fallout 76’s 47GB patch tested on all consoles

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As patches go, Fallout 76’s 1.02 title update is one of the biggest we’ve seen, weighing in at a mighty 47GB on each of the consoles – a marked difference from PC’s 15GB download. In its patch notes, Bethesda talks about bug fixes and performance upgrades, but to what extent is the game actually improved over its launch showing?

First of all though, it’s fair to say that the sheer size of the patch is somewhat baffling, especially bearing in mind the actual improvements to the end-user experience. Fallout 76 takes up 53GB before the patch – and yet despite updating with 47GB of data, it doesn’t stack on top of it. The final file size is still only 53.2GB with the patch installed – only 200MB more than it was before. Clearly then, Bethesda is updating the game’s files, but also replacing much of data you already had installed in the process. All the textures, sound files, and more fit into that same package – quite why they would need replacing is something of a mystery. “This update will be large compared to what we expect for patches going forward,” Bethesda has said. “Regular updates will always vary in size, but future updates should be much smaller in comparison.”

But once that mammoth patch is downloaded, what does it actually deliver in practice? A standout problem with Fallout 76 is the performance lurches, dropping down to 20fps and under on PS4, and even on Xbox One X. The first thing I checked was the Top of the World resort area that caused so many issues during our first analysis. On Xbox One X – before this patch – performance dropped as low as 10fps, with heavy stuttering bolted on top to create some shocking dips. With that in mind, it’s a surprise to see Xbox One X – with the update installed – runs this area flawlessly. The frame-rate is fine here at least. All might not be well across the game, but it’s a good sign.

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