Why Hasn’t Red Dead Redemption 2 Received a Next-Gen Upgrade?

Among the most puzzling mysteries of the current gaming generation is why Red Dead Redemption 2, a beloved and critically acclaimed title, has yet to receive a remaster or 60fps upgrade for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Many PS4 and Xbox One games have been enhanced for the latest consoles, but Rockstar's epic western remains stuck in the past. Given the capabilities of the PS5 and Series X, it seems there’s no technical reason preventing a significant upgrade.

Why Hasn’t Red Dead Redemption 2 Received a Next-Gen Upgrade?
"Why hasn't Red Dead Redemption 2 received a next-gen upgrade? Explore potential 60fps enhancements and future insights for PS5 and Xbox Series X."

Current Limitations

As it stands, the only way to play Red Dead Redemption 2 on these new consoles is through backward compatibility, meaning they run the last-gen versions of the game. On the PS5, this results in a 4K checkerboard resolution locked at 30fps, while the Xbox Series X offers a native 4K experience, but still at 30fps. Essentially, these versions are barely different from what you get on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Modding to the Rescue

Modder Illusion has stepped in to show what’s possible, releasing a frame-rate unlock mod for the PS5 version of Red Dead Redemption 2. This mod bypasses the 30fps cap, allowing the game to run at 60fps on exploited PS5 consoles. According to tests, the PS5 handles this effortlessly, maintaining 60fps even in the game’s most demanding scenes. Another mod by Illusion disables v-sync, letting the frame rate go even higher in 1080p mode.

Hypothetical Next-Gen Upgrade

Then, what should a real next-gen upgrade be like? We set out to answer this on PC, playing the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 on a custom-built rig that mirrors the performance capabilities of Xbox Series X. We wanted to test the game's more commonly available current-gen graphic hardware, in the shape of AMD's 4800S desktop kit and an AMD Radeon RX 6700.

Performance and Quality

We ran the game at several resolutions with a 60fps target and tested equally at settings that we optimized available on both consoles. While the full 4K was a step too far for my PC, a resolution of 1800p performed well indeed, seeing it stick largely to a framerate of 60fps. That could see the 60fps experience you'd get on next-gen scaled down, but running very well all the same.

To envision a quality mode, we increased settings like lighting, global illumination, and shadow quality to see how much we could push the visuals while maintaining 30fps. The results were impressive but highlighted just how demanding Red Dead Redemption 2 remains.

Comparisons and Future Prospects

Take-Two has recently commented on using 're-releases of our older titles to 'helpfully deliver on the franchise's potential' when it comes to its back catalog, and if Rockstar can retrofit ray-traced sun shadows in GTA 5 for PS5 and Series X, there's no doubt the developer has the tech know-how to spruce up its back catalog. GTA 6 will feature ray-traced reflections, and global illumination, these would look great in Red Dead Redemption 2-an upcoming title While ray-tracing support for Red Dead 2 could be a tall order, some form of visual boost does seem likely.


While that is not the case for Red Dead Redemption 2, it is clear that potential is there. But thanks to mods, PC benchmarks, which we saw today, both the PS5 and the Series X are easily powerful enough to deliver a game-changing 60fps experience. Whether or not Rockstar does eventually decide to give fans this long-overdue update, the world of gaming will await what could be a beautiful improvement to a game that is already so wonderful.

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