Fortnite's new 'Performance Mode' promises better performance on low-end hardware

(Image credit: Epic Games)

So your PC is getting a little long in the tooth—or maybe you're dedicated to squeezing every possible frame per second out of it that you can: Either way, you love Fortnite but you wish it would run just a little bit better. If that's the boat you find yourself in, the new "performance mode," which will begin alpha testing tomorrow, might be just the thing.

The new mode, available in Battle Royale and Creative modes, will be selectable through Fortnite's settings menu, and can be switched on and off at any time, although you'll have to restart the game each time in order for the changes to take effect. It promises to increase framerates and decrease load times, and its release will also give players the opportunity to opt out of using high-resolution textures through the Epic Launcher installation menu, cutting the install size by more than 14GB of hard drive space.

(Image credit: Epic Games)

"Performance mode is made possible by lowering in-game visual quality to increase framerate and is a great way for users to hop in and experience the game as long as they meet the Fortnite system requirements," Epic said. "Along with the option to uninstall high resolution textures, players can now get in quicker than ever before and still enjoy the game as intended."

Epic didn't detail what exactly the mode will change, or how, but it did provide a couple examples of "typical" fps gains on in the current low-scalability mode versus the new performance mode running on laptops at 720p." The boost is significant.

(Image credit: Epic Games)

And it doesn't look terrible either. The edges in the image below are visibly more jagged than you'd see with the quality cranked up, but when people are shooting and everything is blowing past your eyeballs at high speed anyway, you're probably not going to notice, especially when it's all flowing like water.

Performance mode with high-resolution textures disabled at 720p in Chapter 2 Season 5. (Image credit: Epic Games)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.