If you’re part of the Xbox Insiders Program, you’re about to get an early taste of the upcoming annual Spring Update, which stands to be perhaps one of the most impressive and encouraging of the Spring Updates in recent years.
The Alpha version of the update is being rolled out, and will feature support for Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) via FreeSync, as well as Auto-Low Latency Mode (ALLM), some very handy additions for those with the display compatibility to utilise these features.
The former in VRR is a powerful display feature, adapting the refresh rate of your display to the content being outputted from the console. The outcome is a smoother, cleaner and crisper visual offering for gamers, reducing screen tearing.
These specific update features are available on Xbox One S and Xbox One X, leaving anyone with a standard launch Xbox One console — or a console bought before either of those hit the market — unable to test these new additions.
The compatibility for VRR doesn’t stop there, however: you’ll need a display unit that actually supports FreeSync — the console supports AMD’s FreeSync 2 VRR tech — via HDMI.
ALLM works to improve latency dynamically, which addresses lag and allows for the changing of display settings intermittently. This is compatible on displays with HDMI 2.1 support.
You can easily check to see if your console and display are compatible: install the latest update, head to Display and Sound, then Video Output and Video Modes. Here you’ll see whether ALLM and VRR are compatible and available to use. If they don’t appear, well, you’re out of luck.
The update has been available since March 1, but many are only now getting a test of what’s fully on offer in the latest Spring Update.
Interestingly, the added support for 1440p resolution — which fits nicely between Full HD 1080p and 4K 2160p — will provide a nice, healthy resolution boost for gamers with monitors that fall beyond the 1080p spectrum, but below the 4K one. This can be activated under the Display And Sound section in system settings, and then under TV Resolution. Xbox One consoles will also output natively in 1440p from now own.
For the full list of updates in the Xbox Spring Update, head on over to Xbox Wire.