Gearbox Software's latest game, Borderlands 3, is enjoying enormous success on PC and console, though some gamers have run into performance issues on both platforms. Fortunately on PC, adjusting the resolution and tweaking the settings can yield immediate results (though some players have already asked for a framerate fix). The options on console are a bit more limited, though there is a simple setting that could improve performance.
The setting is also a bit deceiving. On the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, Gearbox allows Borderlands 3 to run at 3200x1800 for more visual pop, with framerates capped at 30 frames per second (fps). This is the resolution mode. Alternatively, users can prioritize performance over framerates, which drops the resolution to 1920x1080 in an effort to deliver 60 fps.
Logically, one would assume that the performance mode delivers better performance. The name implies as much, and simple math tells us that 60 fps is more than 30 fps. Case closed, right? Well, not so fast. According to some tests run by Eurogamer, there are "some genuine issues" with the performance mode.
According to those tests, the Xbox One X only maintains 60 fps in performance mode when traversing the landscape in Borderlands 3. Things take a turn for the worse during combat, with framerates dropping rather quickly, sometimes leading to frame-time stutters.
Things are even worse on the PS4 Pro, which is not quite as powerful as the Xbox One X. The framerates drop in the same scenarios, but they are more exaggerated on the PS4 Pro.
While it may seem illogical, the game performs best in resolution mode (1800p) with the framerates capped at 30 fps, at least on the Xbox One X. Even though the higher resolution is more demanding, the framerate cap results in a more consistent gaming experience, supposedly (we have not tested this ourselves).
Unfortunately, the same is not true for the PS4 Pro. In resolution mode, the action can sometimes dip the framerates into the mid-20s. So on the PS4 Pro, your best bet is to select performance mode. You could also try adjusting the field of view (FOV), as there are some reports that it makes a difference. However, your mileage may vary.
Hopefully a future patch improves things on both PC and console. Until then, if you are playing Borderlands 3 on the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, try toggling the resolution mode on the former and performance mode on the latter.