This is my first reader request, the question being “can adjusting the brightness in Battlefield make a difference?”
Most games these days will have a calibration routine, often invoked when you first start playing it. This usually consists of a darkish image on a black background and you have to adjust the brightness until the image is barely visible. However, Battlefield doesn’t have such a calibration. Instead it’s set to a default.
For console owners this is an issue not because of the console – they’ll all be the same – but your TV, all of which will have different output settings. My TV even has a specific gaming option that will tweak the output when it detects a game being played. PC owners of course are likely to have everything different from each other – from the monitor to the video card. Of course you can tweak the settings on your TV or monitor but that will affect everything, not just a specific game.
Video game drivers on PCs may allow even more specific changes. Even on my humble laptop the Intel driver has options for brightness, contrast, gamma, hue and saturation. I can save different variations and re-call them as required. Some drivers, I’m sure, will be able to be run different profiles depending on the program being run (hence you could have a specific image profile when Battlefield is running).
You’d think consoles designed specifically for gaming might have some capabilities here. Sadly not.
The Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 have nothing. Nowt.
Hidden in the Xbox One’s settings (in the display and sound category) is a calibration tool that helps you tweak the brightness and colour settings (amongst others). This is useful but, again, is not game specific.
Battlefield Video Options
So, for the console owner (and probably many PC owners)) you’re left with whatever is built into Battlefield itself. And that is a brightness option and nothing else.
Below are screenshots from PC and console (PS4) showing the available video options within Battlefield 4. The PC gets a lot more options but still only a brightness control (no colour, contrast, etc).
Why Does It Make a Difference?
If the image is too dark then those dark areas of the game which DICE think should be just visible may now be completely dark and impossible to see into. Make it too light and textures become washed-out – try and spot an enemy soldier amongst bushes when the brightness is too high and you’ll struggle. Bring that down and the image should be sharper and more obvious.
The default brightness setting is 50 (a mid-point). I’d recommend getting onto the Test Range and adjusting this in both directions. Try looking in dark corners (inside the buildings, for instance) and at areas of shrubbery, to ensure the detail is still there. What I can’t say it what is a good setting as it’s down to personal choice and your particular hardware setup. I’ve heard of people having it at 40% but also those having it at 80%. Mine is currently set to 70%.