Four Ways To Improve Graphics On Old PC Games -
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Four Ways To Improve Graphics On Old PC Games

Four Ways To Improve Graphics On Old PC Games

Playing older PC games on modern machines will leave a little to be desired in the graphics department, but there are ways to improve the look of your favourite classic titles.

One of the greatest advantages of PC gaming over a console is the ability to go back and play nearly any game from the vast annals of history. That means, regardless of how long ago a game came out, odds are you can get it running on modern hardware to take advantage of all the horsepower modern gaming has to offer including the games at Significantly older games will also have outdated graphics to overcome, but with a few tricks, you can also make them look far better than they ever looked at the time of their release.

Enable System Level Supersampling

One system-level option that can help improve the quality of retro games is supersampling, which essentially renders a game at a higher resolution and then shrinks it back down to a smaller resolution while retaining much of the crispness and detail. It’s a type of anti-aliasing designed to reduce the jagged appearance of lines at the edges of objects that can be particularly noticeable at lower resolutions.

Nvidia’s proprietary version of supersampling is called Dynamic Super Resolution, and an AI-driven iteration, dubbed Deep Learning Dynamic Super Resolution, also exists. You can enable this feature in Nvidia Control Panel under Manage 3D settings > DSR – Factors, then select DL scaling or Legacy scaling (original DSR).

AMD has its own supersampling technique it calls Virtual Super Resolution. Find the option to toggle it on in the Display submenu in AMD Radeon Software. However, if you’re looking for classic games with good graphics, you should be looking at the ones at best high roller casinos online.

Enable System-Wide Anisotropic Filtering

Anisotropic filtering is a technique that improves the sharpness of faraway objects. It can have a dramatic effect on the look of older games, especially those attempting to render complex 3D environments. While most modern games will include an option for enabling anisotropic filtering in the graphics settings, many older games will not.

This is where the control suites of modern GPUs step in, allowing you to toggle anisotropic filtering (and decide what level to enable) at the system level. To enable it on AMD cards, find the Graphics submenu in AMD Radeon Software and click the down arrow next to Advanced. Make sure that the Anisotropic Filtering option is set to Enabled in the menu that appears.

For Nvidia GPUs, open Nvidia Control Panel and click Manage 3D settings in the sidebar. Find Anisotropic filtering under the Global Settings options. You can choose to let applications control AF, toggle it off completely, or select a setting between 2X and 16X. The performance impact difference between 2X and 16X is fairly negligible, so you’re probably safe maxing it out.

Take Advantage of Centered Scaling

Because older games were often designed with different aspect ratios in mind, they will frequently appear off-centre or oddly stretched when played on modern displays. One quick and easy fix to improving the look of retro games is to take advantage of your GPU’s ability to scale games so they fit properly on your monitor. Centre scaling allows you to fit an image neatly into the available display space without losing fidelity.

To enable this feature on AMD cards, just open AMD Radeon Software and click on the Display tab. There, enable the GPU Scaling option and under Scaling Mode, select Center.

For Nvidia GPUs, open Nvidia Control Panel and click Manage 3D settings in the sidebar. Find Image scaling in the features menu and enable it from the drop-down. This will also allow you to adjust a slider for image sharpening, which can be a useful feature for older games as well.

Install a Widescreen Hack

Luckily, thanks to rabid fan bases and, in some cases, dedicated developer support, some games have been hacked or modded to include support for modern displays (and modern aspect ratios). Many will allow you to run games originally intended to be played in 4:3 on 16:9 displays without sacrificing quality or blacking out portions of the screen.

Check mod databases like Nexus Mods to see if custom hacks have been developed for the title you want to run. You can also search for a tool like the popular Universal Widescreen Patcher that adds widescreen support for a number of older games.

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