Hogwarts Legacy: The best PS5 and Xbox graphics options

Hogwarts Legacy: The best PS5 and Xbox graphics options

Hogwarts Legacy: The best PS5 and Xbox graphics options

While PC games often have endless menus and submenus of graphics settings to tinker with, console games have always worked the same for everyone on the same hardware. More recently, as consoles have diverged into multiple versions, such as the PS4/PS4 Pro or Xbox Series X/Series S, you may have the choice between Quality and Performance modes (usually emphasizing resolution or frames per second), but that’s about it.

In Hogwarts Legacy, however, the Xbox and PS5 versions of the game have up to five graphics settings available. That’s more than the usual Quality/Performance split, and the details of each can be a bit opaque. That’s especially true considering that one of console gaming’s biggest selling points is that you don’t have to worry about settings or compatibility issues.

Which one to choose depends on several factors: your preference for bright eyes over smooth movement, and whether you have a TV that supports VRR (variable refresh rate) and HDR.

Briefly, the five Hogwarts Legacy graphics settings are:

  • Loyalty mode
  • Loyalty mode with ray tracing
  • Performance Mode
  • Balanced mode
  • HFR (High Frame Rate) Mode

The question boils down to: Do ​​you want the game to look better or run smoother? Quality settings, called Fidelity in this case, in console games typically increase resolution and add graphical detail and complexity, but often lock the framerate to 30. Performance settings can lower resolution and remove or downgrade graphics features, but they offer higher frame rates, ideally at least 60fps, but not always. Newer TVs with higher refresh rates (or variable refresh rates) can run even faster frame rates.

The fidelity mode with raytracing is on the left, with more precise reflection. Performance mode is on the right.

Screenshot by Dan Ackerman/CNET

When testing Hogwarts Legacy, it’s no surprise that I ended up on the balanced setting. It’s a shame to skip the high-end graphics that the PS5 (and Xbox Series X) are capable of. But at the same time, playing at 30fps feels jerky and unsatisfying. Hence, the middle option.

I was also spoiled by testing the game on a series of High-end gaming PC. On the new Razer Blade 18, which has an Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU, I was able to run the game at its highest graphics settings with QHD resolution and get frame rates over 100fps at most cases.

Even a slightly older gaming laptop with an Nvidia RTX 3070 was able to run at 60fps for the most part on high graphics settings and FHD resolution. Both of these boxes, when connected to a 65-inch LG OLED TV, were visually far superior to any PS5 options and didn’t require me to choose graphics quality over frame rate.

What do all these performance mode settings actually do?

Since Hogwarts Legacy is mostly exploration and conversation with combat, you can get away with Fidelity Mode and not feel like you’re losing any gameplay. Fast-paced action or competitive online games typically require these higher frame rates for effective gaming.

The addition of the ray tracing option changed the visuals slightly on the PS5, notably adding more realistic reflections. But it also seemed to degrade performance further. It’s worth checking out, but you might not stick with it.

Besides the Balanced setting, the Performance setting also falls somewhere in the middle. It cuts out some Balanced detail, but feels like it hits 60fps more consistently without the occasional slowdown of Balanced mode.

The extreme option on the other end is HFR performance, which maxes out the frame rate but makes the game worse. Again, a casual adventure/exploration game like this doesn’t need anything over ~60fps, and only some TVs even support it.

What performance setting should I choose for Hogwarts Legacy?

For my money, if I was playing on a PS5, I’d choose balanced mode, but only after also sampling the other available options. My second choice would be Fidelity mode, and in fact I could switch between the two depending on my mood.

But the best overall experience will be on a gaming PC, and our breakdown of the specs required for that is here. Finally, below is a quick visual guide to the PS5 settings that I posted on TikTok earlier.


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