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.

In other news

Apex Legends' Revenant Resurfaces on EA's Website

Respawn can't quash the speculation.

Real-Life Jewel Thief Breaks Down Inaccuracies of GTA 5's Jewelry Heist Mission

Larry Lawton's not too impressed with Lester Crest.

Nioh 2 Will Get Three DLC Expansions After Launch

A brand new story trailer is here.

Need help?

Apex Legends Vaults - Where to Find the Vaults and How to Open Them

Need to know how to find a Vault Key in Apex Legends to open one of the three vaults? We've got you covered.

Gears 5 Collectibles - How to Find All Collectible Locations

Here's our guide to the Gears 5 collectible locations, including Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 collectibles.

Devil May Cry 5 Devil Breakers - Devil Breaker Arm Abilities in Devil May Cry 5

Here's our complete breakdown of every Devil Breaker arm ability for Nero in Devil May Cry 5.

Sekiro Tips - How to Beat Every Boss and Survive in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

This is our complete beginner's guide to surviving Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, including a list of essential tips and tricks.