Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Runs Better On The PS5 vs. The Xbox Series X

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Runs Better On The PS5 vs. The Xbox Series X
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Before both the Xbox Series X and PS5 were released, fanboys were adamant: The Xbox Series X was the more powerful console, and we’d truly see that power when multiplatform titles started shipping on both consoles. But Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has a very different story to tell.

There’s finally been a major breakdown of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla‘s performance across the next-gen consoles, and it makes for a fascinating breakdown.

For the most part, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X target 60 FPS at higher resolutions, which Digital Foundry found would range from 4K down to 1440p on both consoles. The Xbox Series S only runs at 30 FPS — as you’d expect from the smaller-size console — but it also targets a dynamic resolution above 1080p.

The big problem between the two main consoles, however, is a peculiar one. The Xbox Series X has a substantial problem when it comes to frame tearing — something that’s much more manageable if you have a variable refresh rate-capable display. For everyone who doesn’t, it’s hard not to notice.

The frame rate is a bit more stable on the PS5 too. To be clear, the PS5 has some occasional stutters and instances of tearing, but Valhalla ends up being more consistent and stable than the Xbox Series X consoles.

There’s even weird instances of frame rate drops on the Xbox consoles that don’t happen on the Sony platform. The simple act of pulling out your torch causes surprisingly massive frame rate drops on the Xbox Series X. On the PS5, there can be some tearing, but it’s largely a stable 60 FPS — which is what you’d expect from a next-gen console.

A lot of this is stuff that should be sorted out on the developer end, to be clear. And it can’t be easy trying to optimise across current and next-gen consoles. But there’s weirdness that is just really hard to explain. The way the Xbox Series X and S have unusual stuttering during cut scenes — not drops in frame rate, but jutters due to a lack of smoothness from the way the camera moves. That’s not a factor on the PS5, but it also shouldn’t be a factor at all.

Valhalla has been pretty well received, thanks to some refinements of the Assassin’s Creed formula and, generally, Vikings. It is still an Assassin’s Creed game at heart though, so if you’ve never jived with the direction of the franchise post-Unity, then Valhalla isn’t going to convert you. Fortunately, there’s always Yakuza.


  • The power myth has been an enduring problem for quite a few generations now unfortunately.
    It means little if it’s not utilised and you can’t expect others to do it for you.

    • True though this game is being patched anyway we’ll continue to see improvements. There is nothing uncommon about this. Even Assassins Creed Odyssey ended up with higher settings on Xbox one X after further patches so i’m not worried.

  • “Valhalla has been pretty well received, thanks to some refinements of the Assassin’s Creed formula and, generally, Vikings.”

    VIKINGS FUCKYEAH! Absolute truth to this. Besides pirates and ninjas, vikings are one of my favourite character types.

  • can 100% confirm the that enabling variable refresh rate on you tv fixes all the series x issues. I noticed when i booted the game up for the first time the screen tearing was crazy, flicked on VRR and it almost completely disappeared. Barely any noticeable frame drops as well. And yes, digital foundry clearly say its on the developer to fix this

  • Its very simple, there are two main reason why this is happening.

    1 – The 16 percent advantage in theoretical GPU performance isn’t that great of a deal and is clawed back a little from higher refresh rates of the PS5

    2 – While DirectX12 is amazing, the API for the PS5 is second to none for performance and h0w close to the metal it is. Sony basically started the bare metal programming API concept with libGCM and it has the almost unique (along with Nintendo) ability to make these API’s around just the single feature set – They can implement the AMD hardware as AMD intended it. Not how nvidia and intel and the various hardware generations they have used it.

    While you can still code right to the bone with MS, you practically have to give up much of the API support to do it. That is REALLY hard and almost impractical.

    Just think if you give up that support and you need to make your game at the very least work on PC windows as well as the 4 very different xbox machines (which all Xbox titles, including exclusives now must). Very hard, spend a year to eek out another 15%…

      • If that’s an option for your display — and it’s not for most people because HDMI 2.1 is still very very new. (Also, even without that, this degree of tearing shouldn’t be happening.)

        • I don’t have a 2.1 HDMI. the Samsung qleds, mine is a 2018 q7fn, have variable refresh rate added with firmware updates.

          I’m also shocked digital foundary didn’t do some more investigating. Apparently there’s a fix by making sure your TV isn’t set 120 fps (most tv’s will do 1080 p ant 120fps) and set it to 60fps. Problem solved.

    • Wasn’t Sony’s GNM/GNMX API (the one they developed for the PS4/PS5) effectively equivalent to DirectX?

      If anything, the PS3 taught Sony that processing power is useless if it is hidden behind architecture or APIs that developers are unfamiliar with. So for the PS4 they designed hardware and APIs that would make porting games easier, and reaped the rewards.

  • The most powerful console ever! (j/k)
    I’ve read a few times that the API available to devs for the SX was a bit behind, and a near future update should alleviate many of the issues (allegedly).

  • what do you expect from ubisoft? 2 consoles on nearly the same hardware and they still cant optimise a game? theyre about as good as apple who releases updates that break its own software when they only target their own devices.

  • It’s strange that XBox seems jankier. From everything I know about the consoles hardware the PS5 – which is nearly the same as XBox only slightly less powerful and with extra quirks that you need to interact with to get the best performance out of it – should have been harder to optimize and suffered as a result. All the PS5 has going for it is better sound processing – which doesn’t need to be resource intensive – and much faster storage.

    • It really depends on who you talk to.

      The was a lot of excited chatter in developer circles over how easy it was to develop for the PS5 and the Xbox had some good feedback too.

    • Yeah this is also just one early example. Take a look at other new multi plat games and it’s a different story. Give it some time for devs to elamr how to get the most our of both of the consoles. As I’ve mentioned above though, there’s a fix for the series x so it’s definitely developer issues

  • COD comparisons are also reporting slightly better performance to the PS5. It would appear that the SDK for the PS5 is more mature and performing better. The PS5 GPU is also clocked higher with less Compute Units, so its easier to maximise throughput than the XSX which has a lower GPU clock but more CUs. Will be interesting to see what optimisations Microsoft can do to help developers get the most out of the console and how long that will take to happen.

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