God of War: Ragnarok Performance Analysis PS5 vs. PS4 Pro

God of War: Ragnarök Performance

Sony Santa Monica is back with another serving of God Of War. This time, we have the new generation consoles in the mix. The modes and outputs of the PlayStation 5 are significantly better than those on the PS4 or PS4 Pro. You are asked to choose Favor Resolution or Favor performance from the moment you load the game. The former offers the best pixel quality while the latter has higher frame rates. There is also a toggle that allows you to turn on or off High Frame Rate mode for either one. These are significant leaps from the previous generation.

Raised in Hell and Made in Heaven

No matter what platform you use, the core assets, such as character models, materials and particle effects, and animations, are almost identical. It’s amazing that the PS4 base, a piece of hardware that is almost 10 years old, still provides such exceptional visual and performance levels. It’s even more impressive to see how much the team has improved upon the original game. The team has made significant improvements to many areas since the first game in 2018. This includes the use of tessellated snow deformation, which now uses a more balanced blend of particles and refined eformation. These are combined with normal maps and lighting effects. This results in better self shadowing and a greater world interaction as snow displays your fury. This can be seen in the game’s use physics, both in animation and in the world. You can break down many objects or shatter them into pieces. This is evident in the gameplay through environmental puzzles that adhere to the basic laws of Physics .

God of War: Ragnarök Performance

The extensive special effects that heavily rely upon GPU-accelerated particles are a key component of God of War and its predecessor. Dead bodies are able to decay away by colliding with particles that combine an Alpha-tested noise texture and the core mesh. This allows each body to dynamically, and dramatically decay. This allows particle emitters to be created from any mesh point in the game. Ragnarok has this effect increased, with prophecy sequences having an exuberant number of particles spawning and colliding and glowing across both PS4 & PS5, giving life to the mysterious element of Norse mythology. The screen-swamping pyrotechnics from weapons such as Atreus’s bow and the Blades of Chaos, which spin up with fire embers spreading out across enemy and screen alike, have the greatest impact.

The stunning artwork and character designs in the game retain the same oil-like, matte painting style. As you travel through realms, old and new, they bring with them their own vibrant styles and colour palettes. PBR materials look extremely realistic with strong base colours, combined with a probe-based light system and baked elements thanks to the games fixed lighting model. This allows the team to focus on design and improves the performance of older hardware.

The engine employs a combination of screen space ambient occlusion, shadow maps and screen space shadows to enhance the quality and dynamic nature the game. These artifacts can be seen when they are occluded or dis-occluded within the depth buffer. These artifacts look like screen space reflections in a tile. They are mixed with a probe solution and projected cubemaps act as a fallback. The PS4 and Pro use a lower resolution, ray march, and cut-off for reflections than the PS5. While shadows and AO may still appear on small, incidental details on the screen, the quality of the reflections helps to improve character lighting and grounding into it. This is backed up by contact shadows on floors or walls. Sometimes you may see light bleed or incorrect specularity, even on PS5 which still uses the same core resources and lighting model. However, they are refined and enhanced like many other things in the game.

God of War: Ragnarok Platform Comparison

Resolution is the single greatest benefit of the PS5, as it improves all areas. The game’s Temporal AA helps to keep the IQ sharp and clean at 1080p. Both modes offer a sharp and clean image, which can be even noticed in comparison to the Pro’s dynamic solution in either mode. The previous game’s checkerboard resolution mode is gone. A new DRS solution replaces it. It starts at 1656p, and then scales down to 1440p.

The same solution is used in the Performance mode. However, the engine can scale down to 1080p and the framerate cap has been moved to 60 frames per second. The Performance mode on PS5 uses a similar solution to the Pro. It has the same edge-of screen breakdown as the Pro and lower quality pixels at the edges. It also uses DRS scaling between 2140p and 1440p at 60fps. The target is fixed at 1440p when High FrameRate mode with or without VRR is enabled. However, it does present a better overall picture than the Pro solution. The increase in temporal resolution due to the higher frame rate and higher resolution assets due to the larger RAM pool makes this possible. However, the TAA also includes a reconstruction pass for all formats and an internal sharpening pass. TAA seems to use 6 frames from its temporal buffer. Performance mode results can sometimes look sharper than the native 3840×2160 Resolution mode at 30fps. The game has a 4K 40fps option, which allows for a perfect compromise between performance and pixels. This makes it an excellent choice for people who can’t decide. This mode uses DRS and has a range from 1800p to 2160p in High Frame Rate mode or VRR mode.

We have some words to say about God of War: Ragnarok

God of War Ragnarok Review15.30Autoplay: On God of War Ragnarok Review

God of War Ragnarok is an enthralling spectacle and an exciting opportunity to run it. It combines action and adventure to create a unique, memorable Norse tale. It’s an amazing work of art, with flawless writing and pitch-perfect performances. It’s a continuation of its core themes. It is everything you would expect a sequel to be: respectful of its legacy, but willing to explore new territories. God of War Ragnarok, an incredible achievement, sets a new standard that makes its competitors look positively mortal. – Simon Cardy, November 3, 2022

Score: 10

You can read the God of War Ragnarok review.

Another difference between Resolution and Performance modes on PS5: Resolution mode has a wider shadow cascade. This means that more objects can cast shadows. Foliage and LoD are extended and enhanced with denser geometry at the middle and long distances, and fewer sprite imitations used for foliage. On the PS4 Pro, the clearest difference in image quality is when you go to 60fps. This mode tends to be at the lower limits of the 1920×1080 range. Temporal resolution is similar to the PS4 Pro, with twice as many frames per second. However, the base pixel count of the PS4 Pro means that the AA will need more work to resolve. This is mainly manifested as higher levels specular shimmer and movement on SSR reflections. It also emphasizes the dithered hair fins, alpha-tested hairs and beards.

The sub-pixel elements at 1080p can produce more noise depending upon the scene’s brightness and contrast. Although it’s not an eye sore, it was noticeable and alerted me that my screen was running below 4K. This mode is my favorite way to play on the Pro because of the stunning realms, monsters and effects as well as the faster frame rates and input time. The frame rate is 30fps lower than the base PS4. It matches exactly the PS4’s standard. The game’s entirety is available in this version, which I find to be the most impressive. The seamless camera and cinematics, rich and intricately animated enemies, vibrant worlds and combat scenes, as well as the fluid destruction systems that can sometimes look like a simulation, fast-paced travel and combat, all of this adds to the game’s wow factor. The audio experience is just as important and as vital as the visuals. I highly recommend that you have surround sound or get a good set of 3D headphones. The HDR option on the game, available across all platforms allows Ragnarok to enhance every fish-filled lake or snowflake.

God of War: Ragnarok Performance

Start with PS5 and use the Favor Resolution mode. The 30fps will be locked if your screen is 60Hz. If you don’t have a 60Hz screen, you can turn off the HFM in the menu. In heavier action, it can drop into the 30s occasionally and sometimes skips to the next refresh of 33ms. These are almost invisible because the difference between 25ms and 33ms takes only 8ms. VRR is also supported by the game. If you have a capable monitor, you can turn it on and the game will push beyond 40fps whenever possible. The small spikes can be controlled when the game is running at 48fps or higher. This mode is great for visuals and I found no problems.

The 120fps Favor performance mode doesn’t really show a noticeable reduction. After a while, you will only notice the lower Motion Blur because of the higher frame rate. It can reach 120fps in quiet sections, but it hovers around 80-90fps most of the time. This mode is the best if you are looking for fluid combat and action. It managed to maintain a steady 60fps even in heavy segments. If you have a 60Hz screen, the 30 and 60fps modes will work fine. However, the 120fps mode is highly recommended and appreciated.

The PS4 story has a simple 30fps lock. Only a few stutters were noticeable when I moved between sectors loading points or cutscene shifts. The game runs at 30fps in action and feels extremely smooth and consistent. This version is the base for our team’s goals and the fps readings back that up. This game is a stunning performance, so PS4 owners will not have to worry about it performing poorly.

The PS4 Pro is a game with two halves. Resolution mode locks as well as the PS4, but it is slightly more locked than the PS4. Although single dropped frames are less frequent, they occur less often. Without a framerate graph, both would be visible. This mode is recommended if you are looking for the best quality and the most consistent performance. While the dynamic resolution is closer to 1080p when it is active, the 60fps mode is less stable than the 60fps version and is actually 10 to 15% slower than the previous game. It averages between 60 and 52 frames per second in action, with judder visible and felt during exploration and combat. It is still responsive and very good, even though it is slower than the 30fps mode. The results are closer to the unlocked God of War 3 or Ascension framerates on PS3. However, don’t expect 60fps lock. It never exceeds 33ms frametime. This allows it to feel smoother and faster than 60fps mode.


God of War: Ragnarok provides a dramatic and dramatic finale to the Kratos chapter. The results are amazing, thrilling, and impressive, regardless of which console you have. The PS5 is the most advanced version, with better graphics, textures, faster frame rates and better controls. However, it’s still the same PS4 game, with a better painting job. The core game design, combat and exploration, as well as loading, are all within the capabilities of previous generations. The base PS4 is the most outstanding version, due to its incredible looks, performance, and playability. Every PlayStation owner can expect a remarkable improvement over the 2018 release.


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