How to configure the best HDR settings for gaming on Windows PC
HDR or High dynamic range is the technology that increases the brightness and color of a screen in order to deliver high quality images and videos to the user. Without a doubt, playing a game on an HDR-capable monitor gives you the best gaming experience. If you’ve ever played a game on a non-HDR display, you might have had to adjust the brightness level of your display by depending on the dark and bright environments in a game. On an HDR display, you don’t need to adjust the brightness and contrast levels again and again, provided you’ve calibrated it correctly. In his article we will talk about how to configure best hdr settings for gaming on windows pc.
Hardware requirements for HDR games
Before talking about configuring the best HDR settings for gaming on a Windows PC, it is important to talk about supported hardware for HDR gaming. To enjoy HDR games on your Windows PC, you need to have the following hardware and hardware components:
- An HDR-compatible display
- An HDR-capable GPU
- A DP or HDMI cable
Let’s see all these hardware requirements in detail.
1]An HDR-capable display
An HDR-capable display is a basic requirement for HDR gaming. To enjoy the HDR gaming experience, it is important that your display supports HDR technology. Light brightness is measured in nits. 1 nit is equal to 1 candela per square meter (1cd/m^2). When selecting an HDR display or gaming monitor, look for one that can deliver at least 400 or 600 nits. While both 400 and 600 nit displays are good for HDR gaming, if you can afford more, you should go for the display that can deliver at least 1000 nits of brightness.
2]An HDR-capable GPU
Having an HDR-capable display isn’t enough for HDR gaming. Your GPU must be capable of producing HDR images. You should search online for the best graphics cards that support HDR.
3]A DP or HDMI cable
The third requirement for HDR gaming is a cable capable of transferring data at the bandwidth required for HDR. You can use a DisplayPort cable or an HDMI cable to connect your monitor to your computer for HDR gaming. Different versions of HDMI and DisplayPort cables are available in the market. HDR content requires more bandwidth. Therefore, if you plan to buy a DisplayPort cable, you should look for one that supports DisplayPort 1.4 or higher. Also, HDMI cables must support HDMI 2.0 port or higher.
How to configure the best HDR settings for gaming on Windows PC
To enjoy the best HDR gaming experience on your Windows PC, it is important to calibrate it correctly. Here we will talk about:
- How to Enable HDR on Windows 11/10
- How to Calibrate Display for HDR Gaming on Windows 11/10
1]How to enable HDR on Windows 11/10
If you want to experience HDR games on your Windows PC, you need to enable HDR first. Below we have explained the steps to enable HDR on Windows 11 and Windows 10 separately.
The following instructions will guide you on how to enable HDR in Windows 11:
- press the Win + I keys to open Settings.
- Go to “System > Display.”
- If you have multiple displays connected to your Windows 11 computer, select the HDR-capable display.
- Activate the button next to the Use HDR and Stream HDR video options.
The following steps will help you enable HDR on your Windows 10 PC:
- Right click on To start up and select Settings.
- Go to “Settings > System > Display.”
- Select your HDR-capable display under the Rearrange your displays section.
- turn it on Use HDR and Stream HDR video buttons.
Windows 11 and Windows 10 also have a feature named Auto HDR. You can think of it as an advanced HDR feature which is not supported by all games and game consoles. If you enable this feature, it will display Auto HDR supported games at a more defined and richer resolution than they were originally designed for. In addition to HDR, you can also enable Auto HDR on Windows 11/10.
2]How to calibrate the display for HDR games on Windows 11/10
Display calibration is an important step in configuring the best HDR settings for gaming on a Windows PC. Once you have enabled the HDR feature for your display on a Windows PC, the next step is to calibrate that display. The steps to calibrate the display for the best HDR gaming experience are explained below for Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers.
The following steps will help you calibrate your display for HDR content on Windows 11:
- Launch Windows 11 Settings application.
- Go to “System > Display.”
- Select your HDR-capable display, then select HDR.
- Now click on the Display Calibration for HDR Video option.
- Click the video’s full screen icon to view it in full screen.
- Move the slider left or right to calibrate your screen.
- When you’re done, exit full-screen mode. After that, Windows will automatically apply the changes to your display.
- To reset the settings, click the Reset Calibration button on the HDR Video Calibration filter.
Follow the steps written below to calibrate your display for HDR content on Windows 10:
- Launch Windows 10 Settings application.
- Go to “Applications > Video Playback > Windows HD Color Settings.”
- Select your HDR-capable display under the Choose display section.
- Now click Change Calibration Settings.
- The HDR calibration screen will appear. Hover over the sample video and click the full screen icon.
- Move the slider left or right to calibrate your screen. While moving the slider, you need to set a good balance between the darkest and brightest parts of the scene.
- When you’re done, exit full screen and Windows will automatically apply the changes to your display.
- If you don’t like the changes, you can reset the changes by clicking the Reset Calibration available on the HDR video calibration screen. After resetting the calibration, you can recalibrate your screen.
Some common issues with HDR on Windows
You may encounter some common issues with HDR feature on your Windows 11/10 device. Let’s see what these problems are and what you need to do to fix these problems. Before you start, check if your HDMI or DP cable is working properly. Also make sure your graphics card drivers are up to date. Open Device Manager and update your graphics card driver from there.
- The screen does not display HDR
- The Use HDR toggle button is grayed out
- Colors don’t appear correctly on a laptop’s built-in HDR-capable display
- Colors appear oversaturated when night light is on
1]Screen does not display HDR
This problem occurs for one of the following reasons:
- When the HDR option of your HDR-capable display is disabled.
- When your computer hardware does not support HDR technology.
2]Use HDR toggle button is greyed out
This problem usually occurs on laptops that support HDR technology. To fix this issue, you need to allow Windows 11/10 to play HDR content when running on battery power. To do this, first plug in your laptop and then open Windows 11/10 Settings.
- In Windows 11, go to “System > Display > Use HDR.” Now select Battery options then select the following two options:
- Allow HDR games, videos and apps on battery power.
- Allow HDR video streaming on battery power.
- In Windows 10, go to “System > Display > Windows HD Color Settings. » In the Battery Options section, deselect Do not allow HDR games and apps on battery power check box.
3]Colors do not appear correctly on a laptop’s built-in HDR-capable display
Such an issue occurs when the default power settings of a Windows 11/10 device disable the HDR option when the laptop is running on battery power. To resolve this issue, you need to allow Windows to play HDR content when the laptop is running on battery power. We have already covered how to enable HDR on battery power in Windows 11/10.
4]Colors appear oversaturated when night light is on
When the night light is on, you may see a red tint after turning on the HDR feature. To solve this problem, decrease the power of the pilot light by moving the slider to the left or turn off the pilot light.
Lily: GPU scaling vs display scaling explained.
How do I use HDR on my PC for gaming?
To use HDR for gaming on your PC, you must have an HDR-capable display. If you don’t have an external display, your laptop’s built-in display must support HDR. Other than that, your PC hardware must be capable of playing HDR content. If you have an HDR-capable display and PC, first enable HDR in Windows settings. After that, enable HDR mode on your screen. Now the last step is to calibrate the display for HDR gaming. After successfully calibrating the display, you will be able to use HDR on your PC for gaming.
How can I improve the appearance of my Windows HDR?
In order to make your Windows HDR look better, you need to calibrate it properly. Incorrectly calibrating an HDR display will not provide you with the best quality videos and images.
Is the HDR setting good for gaming?
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is one of the graphical enhancements that affect a user’s gaming experience in several ways. Playing a game on an HDR-capable computer with an HDR-capable display provides gamers with a wider color gamut, deeper saturation levels, brighter and more detailed highlights and shadows, more diverse contrast, and more. These benefits of HDR technology in games definitely boost users’ gaming experience.
Can DisplayPort 1.2 do HDR?
No, DisplayPort 1.2 does not support HDR content. To display HDR content on your display, it must have DisplayPort 1.4 or higher.
Read more: How to check if HDR is supported on Windows 11 PC.