Dead Space’s first PC update will allow gamers to turn VRS off
PC Gamers Rejoice – Dead Space’s next PC patch aims to add a VRS toggle
EA has confirmed that a patch is in the works for Dead Space’s recently released remake that aims to address some of the early issues that gamers have encountered. Additionally, this update aims to give PC gamers the option to disable VRS (Variable Rate Shading), a performance-increasing graphics options that is not playing nicely when used with upscaling solutions like DLSS.
VRS, Variable Rate Shading is designed to increase system performance by allowing some areas of games to be shaded at a lower rate. For example, if an area is covered with motion blur, why shade that area with full detail levels before that blur is applied? VRS is marketed as a performance increasing feature on compatible hardware, but unfortunately the feature has often be used to aggressively, resulting in noticeable losses in graphical fidelity. If used well, VRS can deliver moderate performance increases with minimal losses in graphical fidelity, but if used aggressively, it can make many areas of games become a blocky mess.
With VRS enabled alongside upscaling solutions like Nvidia’s DLSS or AMD’s FSR 2.0, the artefacts caused by Variable Rate Shading can increase in size and become a lot more visible. In Dead Space, VRS with DLSS can result in huge areas of the screen looking blocking, especially in darker areas of the game. This has resulted widespread complaints from PC gamers, because Dead Space is a dark game, and VRS is not an optional feature. Adding a VRS toggle will prevent this graphical issue, assuming that it defaults to off when upscaling solutions are used.
If implemented well, VRS has the potential to give gamers a “free” performance uplift by lowering the shading rate of unimportant areas of the screen. The problem is that this feature is rarely implemented in a satisfactory way, making it a feature that PC gamers rarely want to use. Let’s hope that Dead Space’s VRS toggle update launches soon, and developers can find a way to make VRS play more nicely with upscaling solutions in the future.