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Variable Rate Shading: A game changer for the next generation of mobile gamers and devices [video]

Snapdragon 888 introduces VRS to the Mobile Platform

Sep 3, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The mobile gaming experience has improved exponentially since the days of Tetris and Snake. Now, mobile gaming is about the make another huge leap forward with Variable Rate Shading (VRS) a literal game changer for the next generation of mobile gamers.

VRS is a desktop-level graphics rendering technique that is now being applied to mobile games for the first time thanks to the Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform. This breakthrough means mobile gamers can now experience desktop-level gaming in the palm of their hands through Revelation Mobile and Chronicle of Infinity — the first-ever mobile games to use VRS. And those two titles are just the start.

As stated in a Qualcomm China press note, “Variable Rate Shading (VRS) allows players to enjoy high picture quality and high frames in a large-scale, detailed multiverse. Excellent gaming experience with high speed, low latency, and low energy consumption.”

Chronicle of Infinity by Perfect World is one of the first mobile games to utilize VRS.

How does VRS impact gaming?

Video games have become increasingly realistic, applying a variety of light, depth, vibrance, and shading frame-by-frame. Within every gamer’s graphics card lies a pixel shader that makes these hyper-realistic games possible. The challenge with concocting realistic images in a virtual realm is that it takes a large amount of processing power, making the gaming experience more computationally expensive.

VRS allows game developers to render important visuals within the game at a higher quality and, in turn, render less important graphics in groups of multiple pixels. Instead of the traditional method of shading, where each individual pixel carries the same weight, VRS grants developers a way to divide the image into larger groups. Overall, this technique lends to a smoother gaming experience while maintaining visual fidelity.

Chronicle of Infinity, powered with desk-top level Variable Rate Shading (VRS) rendering technique.

Snapdragon brings VRS to mobile

The Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform hosts the entire suite of Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, which includes VRS providing up to 30 percent performance improvement. Snapdragon 888 also includes the Qualcomm Adreno GPU that makes gameplay even richer with up to 35 percent faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation of Adreno.

Variable Rate Shading

Dec 9, 2020 | 0:20

VRS can now be utilized on the Qualcomm Developer Network. Developers for the first time can use VRS when creating mobile games, leading to a more seamless gaming experience with less power wasted. Through VRS, developers can take full advantage of GPU’s power.

Like it is for desktop gaming, VRS remains a behind-the-scenes tool for game developers and an exceptionally beneficial feature for gamers. Snapdragon Elite Gaming brings VRS to the mobile platform, allowing players to have increasingly immersive, seamless, and realistic experiences within the worlds they spawn in and explore. Whether you spawn in an RPG or fancy an action-adventure quest, VRS will provide gamers with the capability to play with enhanced performance.

VRS and Snapdragon Elite Gaming is a new and exciting addition for not only developers but also mobile game players, giving both the ability to get more out of their devices – and gaming experiences. Games like Revelation Mobile and Chronicle of Infinity have already implemented this new technique to further immerse players into expansive worlds. Enhanced mobile games with VRS will continue to emerge in the future and will spawn players in worlds full of possibilities.

Learn more about VRS and other desktop-level features brought to mobile by Snapdragon Elite Gaming.


Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and Snapdragon Elite Gaming are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


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Patrick Perkins

Staff Mgr, Product Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies

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