The PlayStation 5 launched with 4K and 1080p output modes, but the ability to output 1440p has since been added via a firmware update. This output bridges the gap between HD and 4K displays, but there’s one drawback you should be aware of.
What Does 1440p Mean?
In display terms, 1440p refers to a resolution of 2560×1440. It’s a middle-ground between the higher UHD or 4K resolution (3840×2160) and HD or 1080p (1920×1080). It’s commonly used in computer monitors, where you may hear it referred to as QHD or 2K. Some of the best gaming monitors have a resolution of 1440p.
A lower resolution better suits less powerful mid-range gaming PCs, since 4K can be very demanding on the GPU but many gamers are past the point of 1080p. 1440p monitors are often thought of as a “sweet spot” with higher refresh rates at more competitive prices, which can mean smoother motion during gaming and work.
In 1440p mode, the PS5 will either output a native 1440p image (in supported games) or downscale a “supersampled” 4K image to fit a 1440p display. It’s always been possible to connect a 1440p monitor to your PlayStation 5, but previously this relied on an inferior 1080p image being upscaled by the monitor.
This mode is mostly aimed mostly at PC gamers (or those with a compatible monitor) who want to make the most of their display’s full abilities. If the monitor is capable of high refresh rate gaming at 120Hz or better, the PS5 can take advantage of that in this display mode too.
How to Put Your PS5 into 1440p Mode
You can put your PS5 into 1440p mode by visiting Settings > Screen and Video Select “Test 1440p Output” and run some tests on your monitor to see whether your monitor is capable of outputting the full gamut of supported refresh rates.
Once you’ve run the test you’ll be able to force “1440p” under the “Resolution” menu or leave it at “Automatic” (your console should already be in 1440p mode if you passed all of the tests).
Note: 1440p mode was added via a software update that arrived in September 2022. If you don’t see the option available, make sure you’re running the latest version of the PS5 firmware by visiting selecting the “Update System Software” option under Settings > System > System Software > System Software Update and Settings.
1440p Mode Lacks Support for VRR
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the PS5 lacks support for variable refresh rate (VRR) when running in 1440p mode. VRR adapts the refresh rate of your display to the frame rate of the console, eliminating screen tearing and making for a smoother gameplay experience. It works between 48Hz and 120Hz, which means games that run at lower frame rates won’t necessarily see the benefit.
At higher refresh rates (up to 120Hz) gameplay will feel more fluid anyway, so a lack of VRR may not, in reality, negatively affect your experience. It’s not until the frame rate starts to dip on titles that are locked to 60 fps that VRR shines. Even then, some games lack support for VRR altogether.
For a better quality image, losing VRR and increasing your pixel count with a 1440p resolution will likely be worth it to many gamers. You should try this out for yourself and consider adjusting on a per-game basis. It’s possible Sony will add VRR support in 1440p mode to the PS5 in a future firmware update, since VRR support in other modes was added in a similar manner.
Getting the Most From Your PlayStation 5
Check our our top tips for making the most of your PS5, our recommendations for increasing internal storage, and master the basics of backing up PS5 games, taking screenshots and videos, as well as downloading PS5 games using your smartphone.
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