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How to make PS4 games look better on PS5

The PlayStation 5 (as well as the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition) can play PlayStation 4 games due to the backwards compatibility feature. When playing PS4 videogames on the PS5, these games could actually end up looking worse when compared to being played on the PlayStation 4 and/or PlayStation 4 Pro.

If you are running into visual issues, then you can check out this guide at Seeking Tech to find out how to make your PS4 games look better on the PS5.

Why PS4 games look worse on PS5

The main reason some PlayStation 4 games look worse when running on the PlayStation 5 is due to how the PS5 handles HDR.

When you enable HDR on the PlayStation 5, the system will use HDR on all contents, even on games that don’t use HDR. As a result, non-HDR (also known as SDR) games will be automatically converted to a HDR image.

Thus, you could end up getting a different image, for better or worse, when playing PS4 games on the PS5 console.

Another potential problem is with backwards compatibility. While a vast majority of games are compatible, you can still run into some issues.

How to check what PS4 games are compatible with PS5

The first step we recommend taking is to see if the PlayStation 4 game you are having issues with may be due to problems related to the PS5 backwards compatibility feature. The easiest way to check is by searching for the game on the Official PlayStation Store Website.

On the bottom of the product page of the game, you will see one of the three messages:

1. “To play this game on PS5, your system may need to be updated to the latest system software. Although this game is playable on PS5, some features available on PS4 may be absent.”

2. “When playing on PS5, this game may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior and some features available on PS4 may be absent. To play this game on PS5, your system may need to be updated to the latest system software.”

3. “Playable on: PS4 only”

The first message means that the PS4 game should be fully backwards compatible with the PS5. The second message means that the PS4 game can be played on the PS5 but with potential issues. The third message means that you can’t play the PS4 game on the PS5 as it won’t boot up at all.

If your game got the second message, then you might not be able to do anything on your end to make your PS4 game look better on the PS5. Instead, you have to wait for either the developer to release a patch for the game and/or for Sony to update its backwards compatibility feature for the PlayStation 5.

If the game is tagged with the first message, then we recommend checking if it supports HDR.

What PS4 games support HDR?

HDR is a relatively new display technology. Thus, a majority of PlayStation 4 games does not support it. To find a list of HDR-compatible PS4 games, you can check out the one compiled by Push Square. If your game is not on the aforementioned list, then you can see if your game supports HDR by looking for a HDR option from the in-game menu.

Disabling Dynamic Tone Mapping

If you have a television set that is capable of Dynamic Tone Mapping, then we recommend turning that setting off as it could lead to inaccurate colors. Instead, we recommend using either HGiG or nothing at all. For more information, you can take a look at HDTVTest’s video on Dynamic Tone Mapping and HGiG.

Turn on HDR In-Game

If the PS4 game you are having trouble with supports HDR, then we recommend checking the in-game menu to see if HDR is enabled. If the HDR option is disabled, then it means that the game is being converted from SDR to HDR by the PlayStation 5. By enabling the HDR option, you should be able to get a more natural HDR image.

How to disable auto-HDR on PS5

If your game does not support HDR, then we recommend disabling HDR on the PlayStation 5 system. As we stated above, the PS5 will convert non-HDR (or SDR) games to HDR, which could make it look worse than the original image.

To disable auto-HDR, you have to disable HDR entirely on the PlayStation 5. To do so, you have to take the following steps:

1. Enter the “Settings” menu from the Home Screen. This is located on the upper right corner of the screen next to the clock and your profile picture.

2. In the “Settings” menu, head to “Screen and Video.”

3. In the “Screen and Video” menu, head to “Video Output” on the left tab and then select “HDR” on the right side of the screen.

4. Change “HDR” from “Automatic” to “Off.” Your television will refresh itself to make the change.

5. Keep in mind that this setting will turn off HDR for all contents. If other games and/or media look fine with HDR previously, then we recommend turning it back on after you done playing the PS4 game that is having HDR problems.

If none of the aforementioned suggested solutions fixes work, then we recommend take a look at the following guides to help you calibrate the HDR settings on the PlayStation 5: