Red Dead Redemption 2's Frame Rate and Resolution Come Up Short on Stadia

Red Dead Redemption 2's Frame Rate and Resolution Come Up Short on Stadia

Digital Foundry went deep on Red Dead's two streaming modes for Stadia.

One of the major selling points for Stadia Pro, the premium subscription tier for Google's new game streaming platform, is that it will allow users to play games at 4K resolution and 60 FPS if their internet connections allow for it. Early inspection of Stadia titles has shown that, for now, that simply isn't happening. A new analysis of Red Dead Redemption 2 on Stadia, one of the most graphically intensive titles on the platform, indicates that Stadia currently won't deliver the title at either a native 4K resolution or a stable 60 FPS.

Digital Foundry's Alex Battaglia tested the Stadia version of Red Dead Redemption 2 and measured both its "Pro" 4K and "Balanced" 1080p modes and discovered they respectively render at 1440p at 30 FPS and 1080p targeting 60 FPS. In practice, if Stadia detects that your connection can accommodate the high bandwidth usage of a "Pro" stream, you have a choice between an upscaled 4K stream at a lower frame rate or a native 1080p stream that targets 60 FPS but frequently dips down.

Resolution and frame rate aside, Battaglia notes that video compression has a significant impact on Red Dead Redemption 2's overall visual quality on both stream settings, something he found especially noticeable in the first chapter. "A lot of the edges in general look decidedly less soft and fuzzy [on "Pro"] in comparison to that 1080p stream," says Battaglia, but "the larger video compression artifacts will of course remain, so that general macroblocking and color banding is still there."

While the graphical fidelity of Red Dead Redemption 2 may suffer on Stadia, the service did do all right under Digital Foundry's latency testing (which it also fared well-enough in earlier this year). On the "Balanced" 1080p stream, Stadia's input latency measured 29 milliseconds longer than that of a PC at 60 FPS (triple buffered) while it came in at 50 milliseconds faster than an Xbox One X running the game locally.

Digital Foundry's broader analysis of Stadia's fidelity and performance at launch also found Destiny 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider rendering below 4K on "Pro" streams. Combined with this deep dive into Red Dead Redemption 2, it seems as though Google's game streaming service has yet to deliver its promised performance, even under ideal conditions. For more on Stadia, be sure to read Mike's review and his assessment of Stadia's performance in less-than-ideal connection settings.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

Read this next

Red Dead Online Legendary Bounties

Here's how to catch Red Dead Online's Legendary Bounties.

Red Dead Online After One Year: Has Rockstar Learned From GTA Online's Mistakes?

Red Dead Online has still had a rough year, but it's progressed at a much faster clip than its online predecessor.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Moseying Over to Steam Next Week

Looks like the exclusivity arrangement was just for one month.

Google Defends 4K, 60 FPS Claims For Stadia While Placing Responsibility on Developers

"We expect that many developers can, and in most cases will, continue to improve their games on Stadia."

Best Places for Fishing in Red Dead Online

Fishing can be more profitable than any hold-up, if done right.

More News

Kairi Joins the Battle in Kingdom Hearts 3's Re Mind DLC, Out Next Month

A leaked trailer shows off new playable characters, additional exploration of Scala ad Caelum, and more.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

With Reconstruction Complete, Starbreeze is Pinning Its Future on Payday

After a tough year for the publisher, Payday seems like its best bet.

In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over

Allegations against Dangen Entertainment and its CEO are coming to light after a falling out between the company and some of its dev partners.

More on Google Stadia

Google Defends 4K, 60 FPS Claims For Stadia While Placing Responsibility on Developers

"We expect that many developers can, and in most cases will, continue to improve their games on Stadia."

Cyberpunk 2077 Likely Won't Come to PS5 or Scarlett Around Launch

Keanu's only got eyes for the current gen.

"Stadia Nailed the Impossible, and Then Failed the Possible"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A time of technological transitions for companies like Google, Valve, Game Freak, Microsoft, Sony, and more.

More Action Games

Kairi Joins the Battle in Kingdom Hearts 3's Re Mind DLC, Out Next Month

A leaked trailer shows off new playable characters, additional exploration of Scala ad Caelum, and more.

"beYOOOOOOOW Beyowwwwwwww:" The Story Behind Sony's Iconic PlayStation Opening Chime

The music that defined a generation. Oh and Nirvana, I guess.