Horizon Forbidden West: How to fix sharpening issues

Published: 00:02, 19 February 2022
Updated: 00:28, 19 February 2022
Courtesy of Reddit's user iNisaok
Example of blur problem in photo-mode
Example of blur problem in photo-mode

Sony's exclusive was released earlier today and the players are facing weird graphic issues, mostly with coloring, brightness and sharpening. Here are a few possible solutions you might try out until the issues get resolved.

Usually, a bad game launch is associated with in-game bugs and glitches, either with the game-breaking mechanics or graphic bugs (e.g. Cyberpunk). 

Horizon Forbidden West seems to be suffering from a totally different set of problems, as players are reporting the visual glitches that seem to be linked with the display devices they are playing on, and with the in-game mode selected.

The most common problems at the moment are oversaturated and oversharpened images, blurry & focus, and shimmering. The problems seem to be apparent more or less depending on the mode you're playing, but neither of the modes is currently offering a final solution, so you will have to find what works the best for you and your setup.

Reported issues in Resolution mode:

  • Moving the camera around changes colors to a degree that it's annoying and distracting
  • Anti-aliasing problems as there is quite a lot of shimmering in the vegetation, buildings, and artifacts which makes the game look unnatural

Reported issues in Performance mode:

  • Strong Shimmering
  • Grossly oversharpened image.
  • Upscaling is broken for the particle effects on the blight
  • The image brightness bounces around at least 50% in intensity when moving and then stopping the camera, particularly in dark areas
  • Constant blur effect on the character model in photo mode poses Coloring glitch Coloring glitch

Possible solutions:

  • Restart the game twice to properly install the newest hotfixes

The system for applying the latest hotfixes is a bit odd, as it requires players to restart the game twice: once for the game to download the hotfix, and the other time to install it.

  • Turn off HDR

The game seems to be unoptimized for HDR on some TV and monitors. If you're having major problems with black/white detection, inconsistent coloring, navigate to the game's settings and turn the HDR off for now. Guerilla are aware of the issue are working on the fix as we speak to offer all HDR players a true HDR experience

  • Switch to the resolution mode

If you're having problems with blur, especially in the photo mode, the solution is to switch to resolution mode. The same applies if the film grain is too distracting or too exposed on your tv.

However, the resolution mode has its own caveats, so you will have to choose a lesser evil of the two (check below)

  • Switch to performance mode

While performance mode suffers from issues with blur and focus, it provides a better consistency with color, anti-aliasing, and sharpening both in the static situation and in motion. If the blur problems are not that obvious to you, stick to the performance mode until the official fix.

Just as we mentioned above, performance mode has its own issues, so you will have to choose the best experience for you.

  • Reduce the sharpening on your TV until a fix is released

The game seems to be having conflicts between in-game sharpening settings and TV settings. The problem is happening largely on Samsung TV and OLEDs. Until the hotfix arrives, navigate to the sharpening settings on your TV and set them down to 0.  That should fix sharpening and color washout.

Guerrilla is working on the reported issues and are releasing minor hotfixes, so make sure you are connected and always update the game before restarting.

  How to upgrade to the PS5 version for free

Playstation 4 owners of the game can upgrade to the next-gen version for free.

To do that, open the PlayStation app and search for Horizon Forbidden West. Click twice on the Standard edition box as there will be various game versions available. 

After that you will be presented with the add to library option, hit that and the game will appear in your game library. Pick the version you want to download and you are set.

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