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The HDR Guide for RDR2

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Posted (edited)

If you want the best possible experience when playing RDR2 in HDR read further. There are are many threads about HDR in RDR2 but many are just repeating old problems over and over again. I have been playing the game on 1.0 since launch. Now I updated my game because I wanted new features including ''Game HDR''. Many people complain about HDR in RDR2 even after the update. There is some good reasons and some bad reasons to do it. I have spent some time to learn about HDR, calibration of TV:s and particularly how HDR works in RDR2 - both from Digital Foundry's videos and by experimenting for myself.


What to do if you want the game to look really good?


(1) You need a TV or screen that has a 10 or 12 bit color panel. A 8 bit panel can show millions of colors. A 10-bit panel or 12 bit can show billions of colors. Such colors panels will simply make the game look much better. Unfortunately I have no idea if RDR2 support that but it should for it to be proper HDR. Your TV must also be able to show at minimum 1000 nits. Normal TV:s can show ~100 nits. Fake HDR TV (like mine) can show 600 nits or any value under 1 000. RDR2 support 500 to 10 000 nits - far beyond what any TV is on the market is currently capable of. Simply put: if your TV does not have 10/12-bit panel and support less than 1 000 nits don't expect to much, and it's not Rockstars fault that your TV is not good enough.


(2) Do not calibrate HDR by using the Rockstar Logo. My TV only support 600 nits. But in order to make the game look good and to make the logo disappear I must increase it to 1 700 nits - far beyond what my TV support! Logically, this should make the game look worse, since I'm going far beyond what my TV is capable of displaying, but that is not the case, instead it looks better. The paper white setting does not work correctly either. To keep details on the screen I cannot go over 110 paper white. But according to the rockstar logo - I should set paper white to 350 (to make it barely visible), but then everything becomes overexposed and clouds looks like white, glowing blobs. So it's better to use the old calibration screen with Arthur standing in the barn. Increase values as high as possible without losing any details in clouds and such.


(3) Decrease brightness on your TV. For some reason, when you enable HDR in the game, irregardless if you're using Cinematic Mode or Game Mode, the game will automatically increase brightness/black level. What does it do? Well, It makes the game washed-out and desaturates all colors. Nights become less dark, black spots become grey, and even the menu has a white haze over the black background. Solution: lower brightness on your TV. The game wont look washed-out and desaturated anymore. I had to lower my brightness from 53 to 43. Now it looks good. The background menu is black, yet will all details showing up just without the white haze over it!


(4) Last: calibrate your TV.  If your TV isn't calibrated properly it wont look as good as it could. Remember that you'll have to re-calibrate brightness again for RDR2.



Edited by Cyper

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