Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How To Hit Peak Performance On Your Xbox Series X

The critically acclaimed Xbox Series X is the latest and most powerful addition to Microsoft's lineup of home consoles. It has a few differences from the Series S and even has some advantages over the PS5. The Series X is full of unexpected features and packed to the gills with powerful tech like an 8 core Zen 2 CPU from AMD (which can produce 12 teraflops of processing power), 16GB DDR6 RAM, a lightning-fast SSD, and a graphics card capable of hitting 4K at 120FPS on some games. It's a true beast, though no one's sure when gamers will actually be able to buy one due to production issues. For the lucky few who managed to buy one of these beauties, how can gamers optimize the Series X's performance?

It's one thing to know your new gaming console is capable of hitting spectacular speeds and resolutions and another to get the machine to actually do it. The best features on the system aren't enabled in the default settings and gamers have to know how to get in and change them manually. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks for dialing in the highest settings on the Xbox Series X which should help unlock its true potential.

Make sure you have the right display

Before changing any settings, players need to make sure their display has a high enough resolution and refresh rate to accommodate the Series X. A gaming device is only as powerful as the screen it's played on, after all. The Xbox Series X was designed to be able to handle 4K gaming at a stable 60FPS (or frames per second) which matches the resolution and refresh rate of most modern televisions, but that doesn't mean that's as fast as it can go.

According to one of the leading producers of graphics ware, NVIDIA, high FPS is important for games where the screen moves quickly. Shooters and racing games are some of the genres that benefit the most, but all games look better with a higher frame rate. This helps prevent motion blur and keeps the images on the screen looking smooth. The Series X is capable of reaching a super fast 120FPS with the right settings, but gamers need a television or monitor with a minimum of 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate if they want to be able to actually see the results of their console's labor. If a display doesn't support these features or doesn't support an HDMI 2.1 connection, then the Series X will actually tell the user it isn't compatible with 4K/120FPS settings. There are plenty of compatible displays out there. Unfortunately, many of them cost a pretty penny.

Enabling 4K and 120Hz on the Xbox Series X

Unlocking the Xbox's true potential is actually pretty simple. Both Microsoft and Core Xbox posted instructions detailing how players can go about activating 4K and 120Hz settings on their Xbox Series X. Gamers who wish to do so should start by pulling up the dashboard using the "Xbox button" on the controller and navigating to the Settings menu. Next, go to TV & Display options and select 4K TV Details. There will be checkmarks next to Native 1080p at 120FPS and/or Dolby Vision4K 120Hz. Check any unchecked boxes so that all of these features are enabled. At this point, the Xbox will notify the user if the display isn't compatible either because it isn't 4K 120FPS or it doesn't support an HDMI 2.1 connection.

After that, return to General Settings. The Xbox Series X Refresh Speed option can be found in the column on the left-hand side. Adjust the dropdown menu to 120Hz. This option will not appear if it isn't supported by the connected display.

Assuming all that went as planned, the Xbox Series X should now have its full functionality enabled. It still may not be able to hit 120FPS on every title, but many games will now run much better.