Dragon's Dogma 2 PS5 Update
Image: Push Square

Dragon's Dogma 2 has been blessed with some notable improvements via its first post-launch update. With patch 1.050, Capcom has implemented several graphics settings on PS5, and we're happy to report that the open world RPG has taken a decent step in the right direction.

To start with, let's go over the options that patch 1.050 has added. They can be found under a new options tab, simply named 'Graphics'.

  • Frame Rate - lets you swap between the default Variable (uncapped) frame rate and the new Max 30fps option
  • Ray Tracing - toggles ray tracing (dynamic, more realistic lighting) on or off. It's on by default, and can only be changed through the start menu before loading your game
  • Motion Blur - toggles motion blur on or off
Dragon's Dogma 2 Cyclops
A cyclops fight with ray tracing off, resulting in much less visual depth, but a better frame rate. — Image: Push Square

Right off the bat, we can confirm that turning ray tracing off immediately benefits the game's frame rate. In its patch notes, Capcom stresses that disabling ray tracing and motion blur will not have a "significant" impact on the frame rate, but at least in our experience, the difference is noticeable.

With the frame rate still set to variable (uncapped), and with both ray tracing and motion blur disabled, Dragon's Dogma 2 runs quite a bit smoother — but it's still not close to being a stable 60fps (again though, Capcom set appropriate expectations for this update). The frame rate dips that occur in busy areas are much less pronounced, and generally speaking, the game's able to maintain 30fps and above much more often when ray tracing is off.

Of course, the downside to this is that the title's ray tracing does a lot to enhance its visuals. The dynamic lighting in Dragon's Dogma 2 is often superb, and when ray tracing is off, everything looks comparatively flat — especially when you're inside, or at night, when candles and torches cast realistic illumination. In our opinion, the removal of ray tracing isn't a dealbreaker — the game's baked-in lighting still looks nice — but it does drain the adventure of some atmosphere.

On that note, here are some comparison pictures we took straight from our PS5. The screenshots on the left have ray tracing on, while the screenshots on the right have ray tracing off.

So, you're going to have to choose between a noticeably better frame rate or a better looking game. This is basically Capcom offering your typical 'performance' and 'graphics' modes, except the performance side of things still isn't a solid 60fps.

Moving on, there's the new, optional 30fps cap, which can be toggled on and off at any time through the graphics menu. To be blunt, we don't really see the point. For most games, capping the frame rate at 30 should mean that you can enjoy rock solid but unremarkable performance. However, because Dragon's Dogma 2's frame rate already dips below 30fps in busy locations like cities, and during chaotic fights, the cap just means that you're just missing out when the frame rate does go above 30 — which is fairly frequently, especially with ray tracing turned off.

The 30fps cap might be useful if you're particularly sensitive to frame rate fluctuations, but again, just turning ray tracing off feels like a more effective solution if you're looking for overall smoothness.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Frame Rate PS5
Without ray tracing, the frame rate holds up noticeably better during scenes with a lot of visual effects, like this fiery dragon flashback that happens near the beginning of the game. — Image: Push Square

Still, it's a bit frustrating, isn't it? Clearly, it didn't take much for Capcom to implement the changes in this patch — so why did the game release with zero graphical options on consoles to begin with? A strange decision, but it's nice to see that things are already improving. What's more, the developer has specifically stated that the frame rate will be improved through future updates — and we're at least willing to believe the company on that front, given what it's already managed to do in the space of a week.

Are you going to try playing Dragon's Dogma 2 with this update? Let us know if ray tracing's getting chopped in the comments section below.