Nvidia's GeForce Now game streaming service adds VRR support

Mike Wheatley

Nvidia GeForce has become the first cloud gaming service to add support for variable refresh rates on Windows PCs and Apple Macs, but the feature is not yet available on TV apps.


VRR is a key feature of next-generation games consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, enabling the refresh rate of games to be adjusted in real-time to match the source content. It helps to eliminate “tearing”, which refers to the weird effects that occur when an image is broken into two segments. As a result, VRR reduces input lag to provide a smoother overall gaming experience, eliminating judder that can mar the gameplay.

PCs have supported VRR in the shape of G-Sync and FreeSync for years, and more recently they have also embraced the standardized HDMI 2.1 VRR that has appeared on many of the best OLED and Mini-LED TVs. The PS5 and the Xbox Series X have also supported VRR for some time now.

However, VRR has been restricted to PCs and consoles that use DisplayPort or HDMI 2.1 cables, meaning it has never been available in cloud game streaming, until now.

Nvidia has announced that GeForce Now has gained support for its G-Sync VRR format. “By pairing it with new Nvidia Reflex support for 60 and 120 frames per second streaming options, Ultimate members can experience ultra-low-latency streaming that’s nearly indistinguishable from using a local PC," the company said in a blog post.

For now, VRR will only work when using the native GeForce Now application, meaning browsers are unsupported, and only on Windows and Mac computers. Nvidia hasn’t said if it intends to bring G-Sync to its smart TV app for TVs or the Nvidia Shield. However, FlatPanels HD says it should be possible to hook up an HDMI 2.1 PC or Mac to a compatible 4K TV that supports VRR and access it on the big screen that way.

To access the new feature on PCs and Macs, users are advised to update their Windows 11 and Nvidia drivers, or run MacOS Monterrey or later. The GeForce app must also be updated to version 2.0.59 or later, and users will be required to obtain a GeForce Now Ultimate subscription to take advantage of VRR.

Assuming you’re all set, VRR can be activated by going to Settings > Streaming Quality > Custom > VRR display/VSync.

Those who want to check it out can take advantage of a new 24-hour day pass for Nvidia’s Ultimate subscription, which costs $8 per day. There’s also a new 24-hour pass for Nvidia GeForce Now Priority, which costs $4 per day but doesn't support VRR.