Windows 11 gamers now have a clever new customization option, which is the ability to easily adjust the intensity of the effect of Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature via the Xbox Game Bar.
For those unfamiliar with Auto HDR, it’s a feature that requires a game that doesn’t have HDR (high dynamic range) support — in other words, one that uses SDR or standard dynamic range — and that simulates a HDR applies. effect (you’ll need an HDR monitor, of course).
Basically, it takes normal SDR games and gives them something like HDR with more vibrant and brighter colors, usually with impressive results, although sometimes things can go a bit wrong.
The addition of this new Auto HDR intensity slider in the Xbox Game Bar means you can correct the image if it gets too bright (or even too dim), and fine-tune the image you get.
Another helpful change in this department is that the Xbox Game Bar now has a toggle to enable (or disable) Auto HDR, which can be found in the bar’s Settings menu, under the Gaming Features tab.
Both features are now available to those Windows 11 gamers who grab the latest version of Xbox Game Bar from the Microsoft Store.
Analysis: help make Auto HDR suitable for your eyes
These are some useful changes, and it’s nice to have the option to enable (or disable) Auto HDR directly from the Xbox Game Bar instead of going to the Windows Settings panel. (Note, however, that you will need to restart the game you are playing to register the new choice).
What’s more important here, of course, is the ability to adjust the intensity of the HDR effect as needed. Obviously, the end result is quite subjective, and some people may enjoy much more saturated and vibrant colors, while others prefer a more subtle effect. So now you can instantly adjust the effect as needed, rather than just turning off Auto HDR if you find the default setting just too off-putting.
Also useful is that your chosen level of Auto HDR intensity is saved per game, so you can use different settings for different games and memorize them all individually.
As Microsoft explains, to use the feature you need to go to the Settings menu of the Xbox Game bar, then go to Gaming Features and click the “Adjust HDR Intensity” button, which will bring up a small slider that allows you to adjust the level of at least effect to maximum.
Remember, you’ll need to use the latest version of the Xbox Game Bar app, and it’s also worth noting that Auto HDR has no effect whatsoever on games that support HDR, as you might expect.