Dying Light 2’s performance, balanced, and quality modes: which is best?

Which mode will you choose?

Dying Light
Image: Techland

Dying Light 2 includes three distinct graphical modes for console: Performance, Balanced, and Quality. Each offer individual settings based on framerate, aesthetics, and general visual preference. This begs the question: What does each encapsulate, and which mode is best?

While these modes don’t offer anything close to the performance and visual selection that PC gamers are accustomed to, it’s still a valuable way of prioritizing between things like framerates, resolution, and visuals.

Each mode is available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, with slight variations between the two. Also, previous generation consoles feature limited options. For accurate details for your console of choice, navigating to Dying Light 2’s official patch notes is the place to check out.

Dying Light 2
Image: Techland

Performance mode: 60 FPS, Full HD

Dying Light 2’s Performance Mode sacrifices high resolution for standard high definition 1080p, locking the game at a steady 60 fps. This makes for a consistently smooth gaming experience, albeit mediocre resolution. Gameplay feels more responsive, stable, and has less input lag—which can feel more apparent when top-tier performance is demanded. Actions like Parkour segments feel more fluid, making movements more achievable thanks to responsive controller actuation.

Quality mode: 30 FPS, 4K resolution

Quality mode prioritizes visuals over performance, locking the frame rate at 30 fps and maximizing the console’s resolution as close to 4K as possible. Unsurprisingly, last-gen consoles aren’t capable of reaching 4K, although electing with Quality mode on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X still enhances clarity, visuals, and higher resolution.

Although Quality mode is geared to make the game look incredible, the drop from 60 fps to 30 fps is noticeable—with some gamers feeling the hit more than others. 30 fps can feel sluggish, laggy, and less responsive. Although, some argue that’s a small price to pay for an incredibly fine-tuned and gorgeous game.

Balanced mode: targeting 60 FPS, QHD

Balanced mode runs at 60 fps in QHD or 2560 x 1440 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Balanced combines the best of both worlds from Performance and Quality mode. Despite running at the same framerate, the jump from Performance to Balanced is visually significant. A QHD resolution paired with improved shadow quality make’s for gorgeous visuals, without going too over the top. Players can expect a game that runs as good as it looks, making Balanced mode a popular choice for most.

As far as which mode is best, that’s entirely up to the gamer. Although leaving much to be desired on the visual front, Performance mode makes the overall experience feel more responsive and smooth. On the other hand, Quality mode turns Dying Light 2 into a breathtaking visual experience, albeit taking a big hit to the things that make Performance mode desirable. Balanced mode combines Performance mode and Quality mode into an appealing package, drawing the strengths of each and yielding a game that looks as good as it feels.