Destiny 2

Google Stadia launched a few days ago and it's safe to say that the launch didn't go as planned. A lot of gamers who preordered still don't have their devices, and there are reports of a number of other problems. However, the biggest issue we've seen on social media is the picture quality. Many reviewers even noted that "4K doesn't look like 4K." Well, you'll be happy to know that we have a quick way to fix image quality until Google addresses this problem.

If you're one of the users who's seeing blurry visuals when you're playing Stadia through the Chromecast Ultra, you should think about turning off high dynamic range lighting (HDR). On many games, it appears to dramatically increase the resolution. Below, you can see a table of the improvements to image quality we witnessed after turning off HDR from the Stadia app on Android. We tested a number of games that users are likely to pick up at launch.

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Game With HDR Image Quality Without HDR Image Quality Frame Rate
Assassin's Creed Odyssey Slightly Blurry Image Slightly Sharper Image 30 FPS
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle - 4K 30 FPS
Destiny 2 1080p Slightly Sharper Image 60 FPS
Final Fantasy XV 1080p 1080p 30 FPS
Grid Blurry Blurry 60 FPS
Gylt Blurry Blurry 30 FPS
Just Dance 2020 - 4K 30 FPS
Kine - 4K 60 FPS
Metro Exodus Slightly Blurry 4K 30 FPS
Rage 2 - 1080p 60 FPS
Red Dead Redemption 2 1440p Slightly Sharper Image 30 FPS
Samurai Shodown - 4K 60 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Very Blurry Significantly Sharper Image 60 FPS
Thumper - 4K 60 FPS
Trials Rising - 4K 60 FPS
Wolfenstein: Youngblood - Slightly Blurry 60 FPS

Our internet speed is 330 Mbps and we plugged in an ethernet cable into the Chromecast Ultra.

While games like Gylt still look blurry with HDR on or off, the majority of other titles witnessed some improvement. You probably won't be able to immediately tell if you're playing Metro Exodus, Mortal Kombat 11, or Red Dead Redemption 2, but if you're a fan of Destiny 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you'll be elated. Destiny 2 sees the biggest boost to resolution, but it's unclear if it's running at a higher resolution. Shadow of the Tomb Raider becomes noticeably clearer when HDR is off, too.

Games like Kine and Samurai Shodown don't appear to support HDR so they're at 4K resolution no matter what. Out of all of the titles listed above, they have the best image quality by far.

In order to turn off HDR, open the Stadia app on your Android phone and follow these steps.

  • Open the Stadia app on Android and tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  • Tap on "Display" towards the bottom of the screen.
  • Slide the "High Dynamic Range (HDR)" slider to the left.

You can also take a look at the visual guide below.

Google Stadia

Doing so will turn off HDR on any games you launch in the future. If you have a title open already, you'll have to exit out of it and start a new session for HDR to turn off.

Hopefully, this guide will help you get a clearer image. Let's hope that Google figures out a way to lower the requirements for game streaming so that HDR isn't so taxing on its servers and our internet connections.

Everything you need

Stadia Premiere Edition

Stadia Premiere Edition

A good way to start

This bundle includes everything you need to get started with Google Stadia. It includes the controller, Chromecast Ultra, Destiny 2, Samurai Shodown, and three months of the Stadia Pro subscription for you and a friend. It's a great way to begin your game streaming journey.

Pick up the parts

Chromecast Ultra

UHD streaming

You can buy everything together or you can get just the basics for Google Stadia. The Chromecast Ultra is available to purchase now and lets you stream 4K TV as well as play games.

All you need

Stadia controller

A firm grip on what's needed

The Stadia controller is all you need to use Google Stadia if you already have the Chromecast Ultra. You can also use it on your other devices. Get the Wasabi colored one, it's gorgeous.

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