Fortnite for iPhone X could run at 60fps but Epic Games won't allow it. According to the Fortnite developer, the iPhone X A11 Bionic SoC is up to the task, having the ability to produce per-frame rendering times in-line for what's needed to run Fortnite at 60fps. However Fortnite is capped at 30fps instead. A perplexing decision when you consider that last year's iPad Pro can run the game at 60fps. It appears that raw power alone isn't the only factor when deciding Fortnite's frame rate on mobile devices like the iPhone X. In a breakdown of Fortnite's 60fps performance on iOS devices, Digital Foundry explains that Epic Games had to keep the iPhone X's thermals in check too.
"According to the developer, per-frame rendering times vary between eight to 16ms. In more complex scenarios it would be tight, but that's fast enough to hit 60 frames per second for the majority of the game's duration. However, the reality is that running the last-gen A11 Bionic flat-out would overheat the device, leading to lower CPU and GPU clocks, severely impacted performance and highly compromised battery life. Epic's solution is simple then - lock to 30fps and in the process give the device the thermal headroom to stay cool enough to run at peak frequencies."
Following the announcement of Fortnite Team Rumble LTM via the Fortnite 6.31 update, Epic Games has confirmed that Fortnite Mobile on iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR now runs at 60fps. What this means is, if you play Fortnite Mobile on iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR, you will have the highest possible frame rate Fortnite has to offer on mobile devices. While this performance upgrade did not make it into the Fortnite 6.31 update patch notes, Epic Games employees took to Twitter to confirm the news.
"Not sure why it didn't make it in to today's patch notes, but if you play Fortnite on an iPhone XS/XS Max/XR, you can now play at 60fps," tweeted Epic's Nick Chester. "That's an impressive technical achievement by the team and it looks great! Turn it on in the options."
Naturally some wondered why recent devices like the iPhone X hasn't got the 60fps option. Chester didn't quite rule it out at the time.
"Performance is constrained by hardware, and the devices listed and more powerful than the X," he tweeted. "That said, the team is always looking at ways to get better performance on all devices all of the time!"
While it's unlikely that the iPhone X will see 60fps support in light of the Digital Foundry report, it will be interesting to see if and when Android devices get the similar feature, allowing for silky smooth gameplay.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.