Sekiro's Technical Performance is Disappointing on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro

Sekiro's Technical Performance is Disappointing on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro

Fans of From Software's games will feel right at home, though not in a good way.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a compellingly difficult action game that doubles as a kind of spin-off for the Dark Souls and Bloodborne titles. Sekiro is also a From Software game, which means its captivating art direction might've come at the cost of its performance. How does it fare? Not bad, but not as well as it ought to on advanced consoles.

As usual, Digital Foundry is on the job. It has a detailed breakdown of everything under Sekiro's hood, and the verdict should ultimately feel familiar for established fans of From Software's games.

On one hand, Sekiro's image quality is very good. "[W]hen you first load up Sekiro, there are plenty of visual similarities to Dark Souls 3 engine-wise but a lot of changes and improvements as well. This is most evident when it comes to image quality," writes Digital Foundry's John Linneman. "Bloodborne's off-putting chromatic aberration effect is gone, while its noisy anti-aliasing is far more refined. All four platforms produce a strikingly clean and smooth image, distant detail resolves nicely, and everything feels very stable."

Unfortunately, Sekiro's "uncapped" frame rates on the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro are a disappointment. "[D]espite all the media leading up to release showcasing the game running at 60fps, I can assure you that this is not the case on consoles," writes Linneman. "It's very much an unstable frame-rate usually in the upper 30s to upper 40s[.]"

Linneman also says "eyebrows will raise" when comparing the frame rates between the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. "Neither comes close to 60fps, but you can clearly see that Sony's machine has taken the lead here."

All's not lost for Xbox One X owners, though. Interestingly, Linneman discovered Sekiro "benefits greatly" from the Xbox One X's support for 120Hz displays. "[W]hen connected to a 120Hz screen, frames are presented at 16.7ms, 33.3ms—or at 25ms, a new mid-point made possible by doubling the refresh rate," he writes.

Ultimately, there's no clear winner here. "Basically—when playing on a standard 60Hz display, the PS4 Pro version looks smoother due to the higher average frame-rate," Linneman writes, 'but if you can utilise 120Hz support on Xbox One, it appears visually smoother on that platform despite the lower frame-rate."

As for the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, you can seemingly expect a level of performance similar to Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3. In other words, not amazing. "I'm borderline speechless here: community complaints here have persisted for years now—since the launch of Bloodborne - but nothing has changed," Linneman writes. "It just does not work as it should and the result is constant, noticeable judder and stutter."

Linneman Sekiro's general performance does have one advantage over Dark Souls and Bloodborne: Its load times are swift, which is important in a game where you die, die, and die some more.

We're enjoying Sekiro in spite of its performance jank, so read our in-progress review for more info.

If it's more Shadows Die Twice coverage you're after here at USG, then we've got you sorted. You can check out our pages on Sekiro Prosthetic Attachments, Sekiro Dragonrot cure, how to parry in Sekiro, How to Save in Sekiro, Sekiro Terror Status, Sekiro Healing Gourd, Sekiro Skill Trees, and Sekiro Prayer Beads. We've also got boss guides for the Sekiro Snake, Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa, Sekiro Armored Warrior, Sekiro Ashina Elite Jinsuke Saze, Sekiro Snake Eyes Shirafuji, Sekiro Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe, Sekiro Genichiro Ashina, Sekiro Lady Butterfly, Sekiro's Demon of Hatred, Sekiro Corrupted Monk Sekiro Headless bosses, and Sekiro Great Shinobi Owl. We've also got a look at if Sekiro is better on Xbox One or PS4, as well as our full Sekiro boss rankings.

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.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

The Best Games of 2019 After Six Months

Our ongoing list of what we believe are the best video games of 2019.

Bloodborne Best Weapons - The Top Weapons in Bloodborne

Here's all you need to go about finding the best weapons in Bloodborne, including the Saw Cleaver, Burial Blade, and the Hunter's Axe.

The 25 Best Steam Games: Now Updated for 2019

A rotating list of the best games on Steam may seem impossible on the surface, but against all odds, we've done it!

Why 2019 Has Thus Far Been an Underwhelming Year for Games

After being spoiled for two solid years, we've hit a major lull. Will it get better in the second half?

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.

The 25 Best PS4 Games: Now Updated for 2019

Our rotating list of the best PS4 games, now updated again for May 2019!

Bloodborne Bosses Ranked - The Hardest Bosses in Bloodborne

This is our full Bloodborne boss ranking, including bosses from the main game plus The Old Hunters DLC.

More News

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

More on PlayStation 4

What's The Best Video Game Spaceship?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | In honor of No Man's Sky Beyond, let's look back on the coolest spaceships around.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is Axing the Damage Stacking

No more stacking up those auras.

Epic Isn't Budging On Fortnite's Mechs, Despite Player Protests

The massive machines of destruction seem like they're here to stay.

Classic Doom Ports No Longer Require Bethesda Net Login to Play

That login screen should be fully optional now.

No Man’s Sky Base Building (Beyond Update 2019)

Everything you need to know about Base Building in No Man’s Sky.

No Man’s Sky Nexus: Nexus Social Hub, Multiplayer Missions, Construction Research Terminal - Everything You Need to Know

The Nexus is a brand new social hub in No Man’s Sky. Here’s everything you should know about it.

More Action Games

Call of Duty Mobile Release Date - Android, iOS, Battle Royale Details

This is our guide on Call of Duty Mobile, including the release date, platforms including Android and iOS, battle royale details, and more.

Fortnite Memorial to a Cube - How to Visit a Memorial to a Cube in the Desert or by a Lake

Here's our guide to the Fortnite cube memorial locations, within the desert and by a lake.

GTA 5 Cheats

Discover all the GTA 5 cheats with this handy GTA 5 cheats PS4, GTA 5 cheats Xbox One, and PC guide. Plus get all the GTA 5 cheats for Xbox 360 and PS3.