Optimal/Ideal brightness and contrast settings in latest pitool

We should take a poll on what people are finding as the best brightness (both display and gamma) and contrast settings so new users don’t have to fiddle around for hours if others have already invested the time. I get that some of this is largely subjective but I’m sure we can find a trend/median/mean.

Please list the headset you have and the settings you use.

Hopefully Pimax will add hue (RGB) or saturation settings next!


There is no ideal value as this will change a lot depending on game (not even talking about subjectivity).


I doubt we will be changing for every game except for the dark ones. Most users want to set it and forget it and fix the general colors and brightness/contrast lacking in these headsets overall out of the box. There must be a good balance setting to achieve this general result. Ideally we want input from those that have played with the settings in the lastest pitool and can let us know what they settled on.

For exemple Scanner Sombre I’ll set contrast at max without any noticeable downside, but I’ll never do that in a bright game as the result would be massively over-exposed (=burnt whites).

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Yes specific scenarios will exist but that’s not what this thread is about. It is about the user base that play a wide gamut of games and not those niche titles exclusively that have found they can solve the blue tint of the 5K for example without sacrificing much by setting this a little this way and that a little that way. It’s about overall improvement in the majority of scenarios.

I think unfortunately the variance between games is large.


The difficulty with this. Is that suggests “default” settings is not optimal. Which is what @neelrocker & @Fitzy are pointing out.

Base settings is likely to be fine for non tweakers.

Now maybe an idea might more be what are optimal suggested settings for different genre game types.


  • Horror games
  • space
  • neon

Etc… But still subjective by individual visual preferences.

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Are default settings optimal? Widely known the blacks are terrible on the 5k+ and blue tint. We may not need this thread as it seems the majority of users from reading is -2 brightness and +1 contrast on the 5k+ in the latest pitool, some with low and some with normal panel brightness. So it seems there is a general setting that can immediately improve upon the defaults and get slightly better overall blacks overall across a wide gamut of experiences. Once again this thread though is to help new users and provide more information without them having to fiddle for hours which is decreasing the adoption of this headset–scaring users away…without greater adoption, less likely future innovations will come out from pimax as aggressively. Instead of just saying then this headset is not for them in this case, we could provide a better experience out of the box if we know the factory displays are poorly calibrated and can immediately be improved with a small tweak. We need to stop shutting down threads and people asking for more information to be shared with calls of “subjective” in every case which I see a lot in threads on here lately. More information is good and big data collection and trends can help users in the long run.

So I guess I answered my own question, -2 brightness and +1 contrast.


That’s why it needs to be more suggested. Without test equipment(and even with) it is more of a reccommended general setting.

There are those that only adjust video settings if a game guides them to.

So to expand

  • General
  • Horror/noir
  • Space
  • Neon

That being said I generally use a base of this on 8k

  • Panel Brightness Low - Normal
  • Brightness -2
  • Contrast +1 - +2

Otherwise use in game settings if available (where things should be adjusted)

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Thank you for sharing!

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Yes. -2 and 1 would probably be a good starting point and is roughly where I start.

In Skyrim it’s complicated greatly by my other settings. I have a custom ENB and various other factors messing with the lighting. And I prefer to go for a horror build in dungeons. So I have brightness set low, additionally -3 on each eye. Then contrast anywhere between 0 and 2. That looks good outside too. I am still dialing it in though. And those are just a couple of the levers i’m tinkering with. Those settings won’t translate to anyone not using that ENB, it completely changes the tone mapping, and applies a really good sharpening filter. It’s pretty great if anyone wants to try it! https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrimvr/comments/biy2rw/heres_a_performance_friendly_enb_made_from/

For Pavlov VR -2, and 1 works quite nicely. Though sometimes I leave whatever i’ve had for another game, if I forget, as it seems quite tolerant to varied settings.

Beat Saber wants a lower contrast or it looks bad quite quickly. 0 works best for me. Though it’s compounded by needing a patch from the dev for various issues - such as a bad glow texture on the text. Still experimenting with brightness.

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”


So when you leave it at -2 and 1 that is with the backlight at low that seems to work for the majority of experiences? From other comments I’ve seen, it appears the backlight is key to being lowered to get deeper blacks?

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Possibly. I’d recommend my settings, tweaked for my 8K in Elite Dangerous. I set my backlight brightness to “Low” (which will darken the darkest blacks) and the Brightness to -1 and the Contrast to +1. It should be similar to your settings, but with even better black levels (and with a reduction of maximum brightness).

Yes, exactly.

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Yes as it is an LED, so there will always be a backlight even with black which will be dark grey. Contrast does seem to help bring it out too, but at the cost of ‘crushing’ dynamic range.

However, your eye will adjust to the black level after a short time and see the dark grey as black. If you don’t get any other light exposure and keep the helmet on.

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My references are monitor test pictures. Monitor-Testbilder (the second and the third). The sweetspot of brightness, black value and grayscale resolution I have created with

panel brightness high
brightness -1
contrast 0

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