AMD FSR 2.0 in No Man’s Sky on Switch has been tested
No Man’s Sky, a space RPG simulator and survival game, initially faced a rocky launch back in 2016. However, the developers exceeded their initial promises and delivered a highly playable game that continues to attract new players on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms. Notably, in October 2022, the game was made available on the Nintendo Switch, a handheld console known for its limited hardware capabilities.
The Nintendo Switch relies on an NVIDIA processor with Maxwell graphics architecture. Despite its hardware constraints, this handheld device has gained remarkable popularity. It emerged in the market before modern Windows-based systems like Steam, Ayaneo, or ASUS started reshaping the handheld gaming industry with their powerful integrated graphics. These graphics can now support advanced upscaling techniques, occasionally accompanied by a touch of ray tracing. However, most gamers prioritize higher frame rates over enhanced image quality on the Switch’s small screen.
The Switch’s hardware limitations make it unsuitable for high-fidelity gaming, not to mention ray tracing or upscaling technology support. Some may question whether the final resolution of 1200×720 can effectively benefit from upscaling technologies. Such technology can only enhance quality to a certain extent and cannot magically generate pixels that were absent in the original image. Consequently, games running at lower resolutions will invariably appear inferior to those targeting 1080p, 1440p, or 4K resolutions.
This issue can be seen in some Switch titles that currently utilize AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0 technology, which, unlike FSR 2.0, uses a simple upscaling technique without temporal data. Nonetheless, the developers of No Man’s Sky have taken the bold step of integrating a customized version of AMD FSR 2 into their game. While the specifics of these customizations remain undisclosed, it is plausible that they involve tailored upscaling profiles to accommodate low resolutions or optimizations designed for low-power graphics.
According to a video by BloomingTails, the updated version of No Man’s Sky exhibits a noticeably cleaner appearance with reduced aliasing and a more visually appealing display. The provided screenshots vividly demonstrate that 3D objects now appear crisper, and improvements are also evident in the background lighting, which exhibits reduced shimmering.
Prior to the update, No Man’s Sky grappled with stability issues, frequently resulting in crashes when exploring densely populated planets teeming with flora and fauna. While it’s possible that some optimizations were made to address the low average frame rate of around 15 FPS in such scenarios, the updated version with FSR 2.0 not only looks better but also performs better, with FPS averaging at 19-20 FPS. Regrettably, the game still experiences occasional crashes, indicating that further attention from the developers is needed.
Of course, comparing upscaling technologies through images alone doesn’t provide a complete picture, so be sure to watch the video below for a more comprehensive evaluation.