Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the New Era of Graphics Settings on Consoles

Though customizable graphics settings have been a part of the PC gaming experience forever, they’re finally making their way to the latest generation of consoles. My first foray into the new era came with Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

At this early stage of graphical customization, Miles Morales only features two graphical settings: Fidelity and Performance. By default, the game is set to Fidelity, which prioritizes the sharpest image quality in exchange for a framerate of 30 FPS. On the other end of the spectrum is Performance mode. Fewer graphical effects for a lower-quality image in exchange for buttery 60 FPS.

When I started the game, I opted for Performance mode. Since I started the game on stream, I figured much of the graphical effects would be lost to viewers. As such, I went for the more immediately-noticeable framerate bump. The image quality still looked noticeably better than what I was used to seeing while also being able to see Miles swing and fight more fluidly thanks to the framerate increase.

The next time around, I put the game in Fidelity mode with an eye on taking the best looking screenshots for the site. The additional visual effects really shined during one sequence in Harlem where the street lights reflected off puddles on the ground. Couldn’t stop geeking out over how sharp the picture looked while paying little mind to to the fluidity taking a dip.

In an ideal world, I would love having it all. Give me all of the frames and all of the effects. But in a world where developers don’t have infinite power, decisions have to be made with regards to where that power is distributed. Thankfully, both Fidelity and Performance modes in Spider-Man: Miles Morales look fantastic, even if they achieve a satisfying presentation in different ways.

While PC players picking up the game may want more granular control than what’s provided here, I’m thankful that graphical settings are finally becoming a thing on console. For certain games, such as fighting games or shooters, I’m always going to prefer having a higher framerate. In other games where fidelity is a key selling point, I would prioritize visuals. Having the choice is a huge win for the console space, as it allows players to tune the experience closer to their liking.

When it comes to Fidelity vs. Performance, which do you prefer? Not just in Miles Morales, but in games as a whole. Let me know in the comments!

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