Last Of Us Part 1: Best HDR Settings [Explained]

In this guide we discuss what is HDR, its effects and the best HDR Settings for Last of Us Part 1.

Modern monitors and TVs come with HDR in them, which helps improve the picture quality of the media you are watching. When it comes to video games, you are given additional options to play around with the HDR to make the game look the way you like. People sometimes make mistakes when adjusting HDR settings because of insufficient knowledge. This is why in today’s topic, we will guide you through the best HDR settings in Last of Us Part 1.

Key Takeaways
  • HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is used to enhance the picture quality of your display.
  • Make sure your display is HDR Supported. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use HDR in-game.
  • Contrast: Used to add details or, in other words, brightens the dark areas of the game.
  • Our recommendation for the Contrast is to decrease it slightly from -1 to -2.
  • Brightness: Used to increase or decrease the lightness of the overall screen
  • Our recommendation for the brightness would be to increase it from 0 to 1
  • HUD Brightness: Used to adjust the brightness of the game’s HUD, which stands for Heads-Up Display.
  • This setting ultimately depends on your choice. If the HUD feels distracting, increasing or decreasing HUD Brightness can help you eliminate your issue.
  • It will be worth going through the HDR settings to get the best picture quality and enhance your gaming experience.

What Is HDR

Menu
Menu for adjusting HDR in Last of Us Part 1.

Before we dive into the HDR settings of Last of Us, we need to discuss what HDR is. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, used for enhancing the picture quality of your TVs or monitors.

When it comes to consoles and video games, you can customize the brightness and contrast of your HDR TVs to suit your needs. Now obviously, there is a catch to this too. HDR today comes in all types of TVs, from entry levels to high-end ones. 

Not all TVs and monitors are built the same, and the same goes for their HDR quality. HDR settings you see on the internet for a game may not be applicable for your TV because of the difference in the model. So it is always important to adjust the settings on your own, but you don’t need to worry about that today since we will be guiding you at every step.

Similarly, you need to make sure that your TVs and monitors are HDR-supported because if you activate HDR on a non-HDR-supported TV, the images will start to look extremely washed out, and the overall look will be absolutely abysmal.

Now that we made you aware of the differences in HDR qualities of various monitors and the consequences of using HDR on non-supported TVs let’s discuss how to enable HDR and the best settings for it.

Enabling HDR In Last Of Us Part 1

Before you start to play around with the HDR settings in Last of Us, it is important to activate HDR on your PS5 first. If you don’t, activating HDR in the game will mess up your image quality, and the result will be extremely washed-out graphics.

So it’s very important to have your HDR enabled on the PS5 before you turn it on inside the game.

Activating HDR In PS5

  1. Bootup your PS5 and click on the settings icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Clicking on the settings icon will open a utility window with various options. Select Screen and Video, located just beneath the “Option” tab.
  3. Then select the Vide Output tab, which will take you to a screen where you can toggle different settings, including HDR.
  4. Select HDR and turn it on.

Enabling HDR

  1. Launch Last of Us Part 1.
  2. Go to Options and select Display.
  3. Once there, click on Brightness which will open a new window where you can turn HDR on or off.

Best HDR Settings For Last Of Us Part 1

As we mentioned above, depending on your monitor, you might have to play around with your settings in order to have the best result. After you turn the HDR on, you will see three settings and details about them are discussed below:

Here’s a table of the best HDR Settings: 

Setting NameWhat to Set it to
HDREnsure your TV or monitor supports HDR and it is enabled in PS5 settings before adjusting HDR settings in the game.
ContrastSlightly decrease the contrast to -1 or -2 to add more details to shadowy or darker areas without making the game look washed out. Avoid extreme negative values or high positive values.
BrightnessIncrease brightness from 0 to 1 to make the overall image slightly brighter. Avoid extreme values unless your TV has low peak brightness.
HUD BrightnessAdjust to your preference to make HUD elements like hints, subtitles, and health bar more or less noticeable depending on your preference.

Contrast

Enhancing shadow details
Contrast Slider

The first option we have here is contrast. Now contrast is used to add details or, in other words, “brighten up” the dark areas of the game. If you decrease contrast, the shadowy or darker areas of the game will brighten up, adding more details to those areas and allowing you to see the darker areas of the game much more easily.

However, it’s definitely not recommended to just take the slider to the negative extreme of the bar or to -10. Doing this will just destroy the beautiful colors of the game and make it look very washed out.

On the other hand, if you increase the contrast, the background areas or the overall environments of Last of Us Part 1 will become darker. Last of Part 1, for the most part, is a very dark game, and I mean it literally. So, there is no point in increasing the contrast and making the game look darker than it already is.

So our recommendation for the contrast is to decrease it slightly and set it to -1 or -2, which will basically add more details to the shadowy or darker areas and objects of the game.

Increasing it doesn’t make much sense because doing that will make the game look like you are traversing the world with some kind of everlasting darkness surrounding you. Only increase it if you feel like the balance between the darker objects and the lighter parts of the image isn’t right.

Brightness

Changing lightness
Brightness Slider

The brightness essentially helps you to increase or decrease the lightness of the overall image. Before you get confused between brightness and contrast, let’s clear this confusion since, on the surface, they both do the same thing.

Contrast helps you in adjusting the difference between the lighter and darker objects of the game, while on the other hand, brightness helps with adjusting the mid-tones and the overall peak brightness of the game.

Increasing the brightness will amplify the peak brightness of your TV, so only increase it if the peak brightness of your TV is low. You can look up the peak brightness of your monitors by analyzing their Nits value, which is the unit for measuring the brightness of electronics.

Decreasing the brightness, on the other hand, in Last of Us Part 1 will make the overall image look darker, which isn’t a sensible thing to do unless the game on your monitor looks very bright by default.

So our recommendation for the brightness would be to increase it from 0 to 1 only. This will help in making the overall game look slightly brighter.

HUD Brightness

As the name suggests, this option will allow you to adjust the brightness of the game’s HUD. The HUD of the game includes hints, tutorial messages, interaction prompts, weapon and ammo displays, a health bar, and subtitles.

HUD, in general, doesn’t cause much of an issue in terms of brightness for most people, but if you feel like the HUD is too distracting or you are having trouble reading the subtitles or noticing interaction prompts. Increasing or decreasing the HUD brightness can help you eliminate that issue.

Summary

The original Last of Us on PS3 definitely set new standards for the upcoming generations in terms of fidelity and performance, and it’s safe to say that its remake, The Last of Us Part 1, looks absolutely phenomenal as well and sets a new benchmark for this generation of consoles too.

So it’s definitely worth the trouble of going through HDR settings and adjusting its brightness and contrast in order to have the best picture quality because you certainly wouldn’t want these things to mess up your experience.

Last of Us Part 1 is a remake of the original Last of Us, made from the ground by the developers of Naughty Dog. With this remake, Naughty Dog aimed to preserve this game for another generation while also including accessibility options, new easter eggs, and skins to bring in a new audience while also encouraging the fans of this game to dive into this world again. For more on its comparison with the original, consider reading our review of Last of Us Part 1.

We hope our guide helped in understanding all you needed to know about the HDR settings of Last of Us Part 1. Let us know what you think about the guide in the comments below.

Next: Last Of Us Part 1 BEST Controller Settings

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Haider Khan is our error guides writer who loves to tinker around with operating systems and game files to find practical solutions to video game issues. He then crafts easy-to-follow error fix guides based on his findings. He’s also a Battlefield veteran who likes to rack up some Ws in his spare time. Learn some more about his gaming journey on his Steam profile. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Successfully Troubleshot Over 200 Games || Mainly Covers Error Fix & Game Settings 

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