Video Games Tutorials and News - Better Colours For Pc Gaming
So something that I get asked about a lot is how to make the colors on your gaming monitor look better. The different color settings that you should be using, the different monitor settings that you should be aware of, as well as some things to think about between the different games that you might be playing, and where this is really going to have kind of the biggest impact is when it comes to first person shooters.
In other words, games that rely heavily on player visibility and then being able to track the opponents clearly on your screen. If your monitor's colors are inaccurate, desaturated, or if the gamma has been set incorrectly, you're plainly putting yourself at a disadvantage. Compare that to having nice vibrant, vivid colors on your screen which are perfectly tuned to your preference and the player models simply pop off the screen, and some of these settings can have an impact on your single player gaming experience as well, so if that's all you play, stick around, you're sure to learn something for those games too.
This is really important because when we start to enhance the vibrancy of the panel later, we don't want that tint to get amplified because it will just look horrible. Ideally, your gaming monitor will actually have a specific color temperature setting labeled 6500k. If so, that's the one you should be using.
Otherwise, it's kind of up to you to guess which one of these preset color temperature settings looks the best and most accurate to you. Unfortunately, outside of this, there's no way to set this correctly on most monitors without a device called a colorimeter, which will set you back around one to two hundred dollars.
With one of those, you can use a free program called display, which will then dial in the individual rgb values for your display to make sure that your white point and color temperature are set correctly. So that's the proper way to do it. The next best thing, although not perfect, would be to just look up reviews for your specific monitor where the reviewer has already done this step for you.
For example, here are the RGB values that I've set on some different gaming monitors, and if you happen to have one of these, feel free to give these settings a try again. It won't be perfect because all gaming monitor panels are unique, but copying them over will usually always be better than what you're given out of the box.
Also, these settings won't always result in a perfect 6500 Kelvin white point, but the goal here is just to get close enough and avoid any major tint. Okay, so that's all of the boring stuff over, but now we can really start making an impact. Right-click the desktop and then select the Nvidia control panel.
Don't worry, we'll get to AMD users in just a minute too. Head over to the desktop, and color settings on the left hand side. Scroll down to where it says "digital vibrant," and increase that to around 80 percent. This setting, without a doubt, is what's going to have the biggest visual impact on making your game's colors pop and stand out.
Seeing and tracking enemies is now way easier and, visually, it is a much more punchier and more fun experience. I'd recommend setting this back to 50 for normal desktop use, though, because viewing any other content online is quite frankly horrible with digital vibrance cranked up. Once you turn that slider up, though, there really is no going back to having it off after playing on it for a while.
Going back to the default 50 will make games feel like they're almost in black and white. They feel completely washed out now. Setting it between 75 and 85 percent can have a huge impact, but if you're playing single-player games, I actually wouldn't recommend using it at all. Skin tones, in particular, will become too saturated, and the otherwise cinematic intent and color grading will be completely ruined.
Set it to around 55. If you're using a flat-looking display and maybe leaving it at that, so if digital vibrance is so good, then why not take that color slider and drag it to the max value and get the most possible vibrancy and playability that you can get out of your gaming monitor. Well, unfortunately, it doesn't work like that on most displays, and the further you drag up that slider, the more likely you are to encounter color clipping and color blobbing.
When that happens, you're actually getting the reverse effect, where colors and visibility actually become worse. Even setting it to around 85 percent, you will notice some color banding and clipping, which reduces visibility significantly. For IPS panels and other wider gamut displays, the experience here is going to be way better, and you have a lot more latitude to play with before the colors start to break down.
On some IPS displays, you can actually push vibrance all the way up to 100 with very minimal clipping. This is also why I'd recommend running your monitor in the wide gamut mode if you have the option to over the clamped srgb mode in particular. This is something that LG and ASUS give users the option to choose between, and although the non-srgb modes will be way less accurate and not exactly what the game designers had intended the game to look like, the experience is usually way better for those first-person shooters.
Even in non-fps games, I will admit I do prefer to use the wide gamut modes, but for those titles it really is up to personal preference. So yeah, we're intentionally going outside of what the art directors of the game have designed, but in return for much better player visibility and a more vibrant experience.
Apart from digital vibrance, there are actually a couple more settings that can potentially improve things for you a little bit further. That's the black equalizer setting on your monitor if your monitor has it, and the gamma setting in the NVidia control panel. Now these settings will be very game and monitor dependent, and just like digital vibrance, they can be used to improve visibility.
Increasing black equalizer, for example, lifts the dark color information in the blacks and the shadows, making objects and details in the dark areas a lot easier to see. I think this setting is a good idea to use in games like Warzone and CS: Go, where there are a lot of dark areas, but in games like Apex and Valerian.
I don't find this to be a very useful setting personally. Personally, I lower this all the way to zero on the zombie xl 25/46k, since that's what gives the most dynamic range and richest color, and so spotting enemies, I find, is a bit easier. Another setting that I've adjusted on the zowie is the gamma value in Nvidia's control panel.
If your monitor doesn't have a black equalizer adjustment, this is a similar way that you can get more information from the blacks and shadows. Again, this is going to come down to a lot of personal preference, and although raising it does lift the blacks and shadows, it does result in an overall flatter image.