HDR is an increasingly widespread technology, adding a new level of visual depth to your gaming experiences – here's how to get started on your Xbox One S.

In recent months, a bigger focus has been placed on 4K and HDR gaming than ever before. But with growing list of games adding HDR support for the Xbox One S, now is a better time than ever to take advantage of its benefits. Here's how to get started with HDR gaming and video on Xbox One.

What is HDR?

High Dynamic Range (often abbreviated to HDR) is technology becoming an increasingly popular in today's highest-end displays. Using the technique, tones in an image can be displayed with a higher contrast ratio, supporting a broader range of colors. HDR TVs can display brightness up to 1000 nits, which gives supported content a more vivid, life-like appearance when it comes to lighting and shadows.

Although this benefit is limited to specific HDR-compatible content, the technology is becoming a stronger focus for both gaming and video content. When paired with the resolution bump from 4K displays, the end-experience can be quite striking.

How can I experience HDR?

If you're wanting to experience HDR content today, you'll need to get your hands on an Xbox One S hooked up to an HDR-compatible TV.

Picking up an Xbox One S is relatively easy nowadays, with a wide range of deals available on various variants of the console. Supporting both 4K HDR video playback and HDR gaming on select titles, the Xbox One S is an affordable package for all your entertainment needs. If you're yet to pick up the console, take a look at the latest bundles and deals to save some cash.

Getting hold of an HDR compatible TV is also becoming increasingly straightforward, too, as the technology continues to be adopted rapidly. However, picking up a 4K HDR display won't come cheap, as the technology is still quite expensive. When looking for HDR compatible TVs, look for displays compliant with the HDR 10 standard. This is critical for the Xbox One S, which doesn't support other HDR standards. Naming can differ between models and manufacturers, so make sure to check online user reviews to guarantee compatibility. If you're looking for the best 4K HDR TVs for your Xbox One S, make sure to take a look at our round-up!

What HDR content is currently available?

To get the full benefits of your HDR display, you'll need to seek out HDR-enabled content. In terms of games, this is limited to a small subset of the Xbox One's library, with an ever-growing list of third-party developers hopping on board. However, with HDR becoming a common selling point for both PlayStation 4 and PC, we can expect to see more titles supporting the feature in the coming year.

Here's a breakdown of all titles that currently support HDR on the Xbox One S. We'll make sure to keep this list up to date as new titles receive support!

  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Hitman
  • NBA 2K17
  • World of Tanks
  • Pure Chess Ultra

When it comes to movies, today's pool of available HDR content is also relatively limited. A small range of titles is currently available with support for the technology, with more continuing to release as adoption increases. Although no HDR video is currently offered digitally through the Xbox One's Movies and TV app, look out for '4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray movies with HDR support on Amazon and other outlets. Netflix currently supports a range of 4K content on the Xbox One S too.

4K HDR movies on Amazon

How to set up HDR with the Xbox One S

Once your Xbox One S is set up alongside an HDR compatible display, HDR should be automatically enabled on your console. If your console isn't automatically switched over to output in HDR, make sure to check that both your Xbox One S and TV have HDR enabled in their settings menus.

TV settings can vary between models and manufacturers, so some additional research may be required to check HDR is enabled on your display. Search for "How to enable HDR on " in your preferred search engine. Also, note that some TV models with multiple HDMI ports may only support HDR from certain sockets.

To check that HDR is enabled on your Xbox One S console, just follow the steps listed below.

  1. Double-tap the Xbox button to open the Xbox guide.
  2. Scroll down to the Settings tab.
  3. Select All Settings.
  4. Select Display & sound > Video output.
  5. Choose Advanced video settings.
  6. To enable HDR, ensure both the Allow 4K and Allow HDR checkboxes are filled.

If you're having issues with enabling HDR, try using the HDMI cable included alongside the Xbox One S. If using a low-quality or defective cable, there may be issues when outputting a 4K HDR image to your display.