[Update: Lance McDonald has publicly released his “60FPS homebrew patch” for Bloodborne, though he has (understandably) avoided “providing instructions for how to make backup copies of Bloodborne, or how to run a backup copy of your game on your console.” If you’re already in a position to do that with your PS4 Pro, you can apply his patch to the most recent official version of Bloodborne, v1.09.]
Over the weekend, modder Lance McDonald showed Bloodborne running at 60 frames per second on a PlayStation 4 Pro – the culmination of lots and lots of tinkering. It’s as beautiful as we all imagined.
Before you get any funny ideas, McDonald says that “out of respect,” he won’t release his unofficial high-frame-rate patch until after the PS5 is out in November and Sony has “made it clear whether or not Bloodborne will be enhanced on that system in any way.” If an official patch never comes, “you’ll need a way to run unsigned code on a PlayStation console to use the utility once it’s released.”
As for how any of this is possible, well, his 15-minute video is a great showcase.
This modification was far from a simple flip of a switch with debug tools to uncap the 30FPS limit. “A vast array of features such as cloth physics, particle and special effects, environmental wind, enemy patrol pathing, motion blur, sampling rate, and elevator movement speed” needed “manual patching.”
McDonald was able to fine-tune everything by studying From Software’s PS4 Pro patch for Dark Souls III and applying his own “performance-focused optimizations” that weren’t in that game or Sekiro.
As a trade-off, the rendering resolution was dropped from a native 1080p to 720p. “The engine still scales this to 1080p for the final video output” but it has an impact on “the in-game visuals and UI.”
For a full technical rundown, check out Digital Foundry’s analysis from May. “A lot of you might have already seen me discussing this with Digital Foundry some time ago,” he said this weekend on Reddit, “but I finally spent time to test the entire game a few times through and filmed a ton of footage.”
The 60FPS footage was captured in a bunch of areas. According to McDonald, the frame rate holds up consistently “across the majority of the game’s campaign, including The Old Hunters expansion.”
Pressed for time, I’d suggest skipping to the 5:30 mark to see a boss montage (with major spoilers) that really highlights the patch’s dramatic improvement. These scenes – combined with the best-in-class soundtrack – make me want to drop what I’m doing and start a Bloodborne replay right this second.
I truly hope we can get an official PS5 patch. This game-of-a-generation deserves it.
Lance McDonald [Twitter]