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What is chromatic aberration in games?


Chromatic aberration is a color distortion phenomenon that causes red and blue auras to appear around objects. In video games, chromatic aberration distorts the colors around objects and makes the edges fade away. As a result, objects become distorted and blurry.

Game developers use chromatic aberration to create realistic and cinematic-like effects. Unfortunately, not everybody likes the results. Indeed, the effect looks much better in motion than in screenshots. Chromatic aberration often causes screenshots to look blurry and bad.

Chromatic aberration, blurriness, and motion sickness

Chromatic aberration and many other rendering effects in games aim at making it look like you’re looking at a scene through a camera lens. It’s like viewing the game images in 3D without the glasses. Games rely on post-processing to render chromatic aberration. Some game developers use chromatic aberration subtly, while others use it quite aggressively.

Depending on your hardware configuration and graphics settings, chromatic aberration may actually lower the overall image quality and make everything look blurry. This issue becomes obvious when you look at objects up-close and then switch the focus to a far away object.

Many people feel motion sickness while playing video games. The blurry images generated by chromatic aberration can increase this sensation. As a workaround, play for short periods of time. Take frequent breaks, and check if you notice any improvements.

The good news is most video games out there allow you to manually toggle off chromatic aberration if you don’t really like the results.

Are you a fan of chromatic aberration in video games? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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