Lance McDonald, who for some time has been working on getting Bloodborne to run at 60 frames per second, recently shared a video with new gameplay footage of his achievement. That said, he’s willing to let Sony itself take a crack at updating the famously frame-y From Software game to run at a smooth framerate before unleashing his impressive hack on the masses of players clamoring for a hitch-free Bloodborne.
“I’ll be releasing this patch publicly once the PlayStation 5 has released and Sony have made it clear whether or not Bloodborne will be enhanced on that system in any way,” McDonald wrote in the comments of his video. “Out of respect for PlayStation, I want them to have the first chance to put 60 fps Bloodborne into the hands of players.”
In a previous interview with Kotaku, McDonald detailed the “monumental effort” he took to bump Bloodborne from its native 30 fps cap to a smoother framerate. By studying the PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements made to Dark Souls 3, which shares the same engine, he was able to backport the ability to run gameplay at 60 fps to Bloodborne.
As is shown in the video below, Bloodborne’s built-in debug menu does allow for doubling the framerate, but that carries the consequence of doubling gameplay speed as well, which is obviously undesirable.
McDonald explains that several key elements, such as character, enemy, and environmental elements, automatically work as intended with the PlayStation 4 Pro improvements that were patched into Dark Souls 3. But that didn’t mean his work was finished.
“A vast array of features, such as cloth physics, particle and special effects, environmental wind, enemy patrol pathing, motion blur sampling rate, and elevator movement speed all require manual patching,” McDonald says in the video. “This way, gameplay logic is correctly adjusted based on the amount of time that has passed between each frame rather than being locked to a fixed timestamp.”
McDonald’s patch also downgrades Bloodborne’s native 1080p resolution to 720p to stabilize the framerate. He believes this is a worthwhile trade-off to achieve a smooth 60 fps, but acknowledges that some folks might prioritize different visual aspects in their gameplay experiences. This compromise, along with the patch taking some technological knowhow and firmware modding to make work, means an official update is in most players’ best interests.
“It’s hard to imagine whether PlayStation Studios themselves might be willing to similarly patch Bloodborne to take advantage of the enhancement capabilities of the PlayStation 5, or if perhaps From Software might someday recompile the game from source with native support for more powerful hardware,” McDonald adds. “If done in such an official capacity, access to 60 fps gameplay could become available to a wide-reaching audience.”
Update (10:23 a.m. ET, 10/13/2020): Due to some confusion over the conditions in which this hack would be released, Kotaku has changed the original headline of this article (“Bloodborne Modder Will Release 60 FPS Hack If Sony Fails To Deliver”) to better describe McDonald’s intentions with his patch.