Gaming Console 101

What is PS5 Refresh Rate?

what is ps5 refresh rate featured

PS5 is designed to support anywhere between 1080P @ 30Hz all the way to 4k @ 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, there is a direct relationship between refresh rate and FPS.

In other words, PS5 can support up to 120FPS on its games on 4K resolution IF you have a TV or a monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate supported.

Just as an FYI, it is one thing to have a rated refresh rate of 120Hz, but it is completely different to actually support it on your game of choice. Whether 120Hz (120FPS) will actually be supported depends upon not just the TV you have, but also upon the game you play.

NOT ALL GAMES SUPPORT 120HZ refresh rate.

In the following text, I will talk in detail about what is PS5 Refresh Rate, what display modes it supports, and how to enable high refresh rate gaming.

Refresh Rate vs Frame Rate

Refresh Rate and Frame Rate are two different specs – albeit related.

Refresh Rate is the function of the TV or the monitor; whereas, Frame Rate is the function of the gaming hardware (PS5 console in this case).

Refresh Rate indicates how fast the monitor or a TV can update the picture (frame). So, a TV with a 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate can change the picture 60 times and 120 times respectively.

Video is essentially nothing more than moving or changing pictures that we call frames.

Now frame rate, in terms of gaming, is the number of frames the gaming hardware has the ability to produce in a second. The more powerful the gaming hardware, the more frames it would be able to produce in a second.

So, if you have a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate, it is not necessarily true that your gaming hardware (PS5 console) would be able to produce 120 FPS. The heavier the game, the less likely PS5 will have the ability to push a higher number of frames in a second.

So, what is PS5 Refresh Rate?

The lowest refresh rate PS5 can support is 30FPS and the maximum refresh rate it can support is 120Hz refresh rate.

The following display modes should give you an idea about all the video output specs PS5 can support.

  • 1080 @ 30Hz – 30 FPS
  • 1080 @ 60Hz – 60 FPS
  • 1080 @ 120Hz – 120FPS
  • 1440 @ 30Hz
  • 1440 @ 60Hz
  • 1440 @ 120Hz
  • 4k @ 30Hz
  • 4k @ 60Hz
  • 4k @ 120Hz

Average TV or monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz. If you want to enable high refresh rate display modes, then you will need to the appropriate TV or monitor.

PS5 DOES NOT Support 144Hz, 165Hz, 240Hz Refresh Rates

It is worth mentioning here that, unlike PCs. PS5 is very stringent in the display modes or the refresh rate that it can support.

As is the case, particularly with monitors you may find them offering a wide variety of unconventional refresh rates i.e 75Hz, 144Hz, 165Hz, 240Hz, etc. Unfortunately, none of these are supported by PS5.

Take for instance a 144Hz monitor – a fairly common refresh rate for gaming monitors. However, if a 144Hz monitor does not specifically have a 120Hz refresh rate mode, then PS5 will NOT support it.

The following are the display modes of the 144Hz monitor Dell S2719DGF:

Dell S2719DGF display modes

Take note that despite being a 144Hz monitor, it DOES NOT have a specific 120Hz refresh rate mode – But it does have 60Hz mode. Hence PS5 will NOT dynamically scale the refresh rate down to its supported 120Hz on this monitor. Instead, it will play only on the next compatible refresh rate which is 60Hz.

Also Read: Does PS5 Need 120Hz TV?

PS5 Has HDMI 2.1 Interface But it is Capped

Another point to note is that PS5 has the HDMI 2.1 interface – Since only HDMI 2.1 can support 120Hz at 4K resolution.

Now while technically the HDMI 2.1 interface can support up to 10K @ 120Hz refresh rate, PS5 is capped at 4K @ 120Hz refresh rate only and of course for good reasons.

PS5 has a hard time cracking 4K @ 60FPS gaming let alone 4K @ 120FPS and beyond.

Not All Games Support a 120Hz Refresh Rate

As alluded to earlier, while PS5 does support 120Hz, not all games can be played at 120 FPS.

The list of games, particularly newer ones, that can be played at FHD @ 120FPs or 1440P @ FPS is very short let alone the list of games that can be played 4K @ 120Hz.

In fact, as we have seen with the newer games such as the God of War Ragnarök, Gotham Knights, and Plague Tale: Requiem, if you wish to play at 4K, these games are capped ONLY at 30FPS. Meaning even a 30Hz refresh rate would suffice for 4K resolution.

Newer more demanding games such as God of War Ragnarök can support 1440P @ 60FPS at best.

How to Enable High Refresh Rate?

PS5 games can be played in different graphics modes. These are generally different from game to game, but in a nutshell, can be summarized as follows:

  • Performance Mode: For those who prefer higher frame rates
  • Quality Mode: For those who prefer higher resolution

Some games can have several modes in between. God of War Ragnarok for instance has 6 graphics modes.

god of war ragnarok display modes

What the performance mode and quality mode entail differs from game to game.

On older and/or less demanding games Performance mode entails 120FPS (120Hz) gameplay. For newer games such as God of War Ragnarök and A Plague Tale Requiem, the performance mode entails only 60FPS.

This is quite unfortunate as PS5 was originally designed with the notion of offering at least 120FPS gameplay in performance mode and 4K @ 60FPS in quality mode. But it seems the newer games are pushing the PS5’s hardware to its limit already.

Final Words

PS5 has a refresh rate support ranging from 30Hz to 120Hz. However, you have to realize that refresh rate DOES NOT equate to frame rate.

Just because PS5 can support a refresh rate of 120Hz DOES NOT mean that all games will be playable at 120 FPS. That is hardly the case particularly given the current trend of AAA games being way too taxing on the PS5 hardware to push even 60FPS.

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of and a huge gaming nerd. Thanks to the vast gaming experience under his belt, you can often find him writing detailed pieces of content on gaming hardware and console. But in all honesty, nothing gives him more pleasure than 'one-shotting' everyone as a stealth archer in ESO: Skyrim.

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