Graphics filters in Windows can add another fun element to your PC game. Here’s how you can deploy them using GeForce Experience.
All games include at least some display settings to tweak the graphics. However, such settings are usually limited to adjusting graphics quality. The in-game graphics tab does not include options to apply filters that change the visual look of the game.
GeForce Experience is game optimization software that you can use on desktops and laptops with supported NVIDIA GPUs. It includes a freehand feature that allows you to apply 23 filters to give your game a unique look. Here’s how you can add filters to your games using GeForce Experience’s Freedom feature.
Install GeForce Experience first
You may not need to install GeForce Experience if your PC has an NVIDIA GPU. GeForce Experience comes pre-installed with the NVIDIA Control Panel on some PCs. First, check if you already have the software by right-clicking on the NVIDIA system tray icon to find the shortcut that opens GeForce.
If you don’t have GeForce yet, check the software’s system requirements before installing it on your PC to meet the GPU and operating system requirements. This NVIDIA system requirements page lists all supported GPUs for GeForce Experience.
You can download the software from this NVIDIA GeForce Experience page. Our GeForce Experience user guide includes more detailed instructions on how to install NVIDIA gaming software.
Bring GeForce Experience software with you.
Press the GeForce settings button (gear) to the left of your username.
Select the Enable experimental features check box.
Click the toggle for the in-game overlay option to enable it.
Also, check the Features box to the right of the General tab to check that both Freestyle and Overlay are available with all requirements met. If they do, then you’re good to go!
The GeForce 430.64 driver is the minimum requirement for Freestyle. If your system does not meet this requirement, you can update your NVIDIA drivers with GeForce Experience. See our NVIDIA driver update guide for more details.
How to apply a freestyle filter to a game
You can now start applying freehand filters to the game. Note, however, that the Freestyle feature will only work with supported titles. This NVIDIA-powered games page contains a huge list of titles that you can optimize with GeForce Experience. Forget applying the filter to games that aren’t on that list.
GeForce Experience Overlay adds the Freestyle feature. When you activate Freestyle, you will see a sidebar from which you can select and apply several filters. You can apply a filter to a game by following these steps:
Start the game to apply the filter.
Press the keyboard shortcut Alt + F3 to bring up the filter sidebar. Or you can press Alt + Z and click the Game Filter overlay.
1 Click the style box.
Click the Add filter button.
Then choose one of the filters to apply.
To further customize a filter, click its box to see its settings. You can then drag the slider at least once for the filter.
Once you’ve selected and configured some filters, click the Done button at the bottom of the sidebar.
You can set up three different filter presets to apply in-game. Clicking buttons 1, 2, and 3 at the top of the Game filter bar selects another preset to configure. Selecting Off disables the presets.
You can remove any added filters. To remove filters in Windows select it on the sidebar. Then click the trash can button to delete the selection.
Experiment with the many Freestyle filters available. You can completely change the look of your games or apply more subtle visual tweaks to them. Some can be cool filters, while others are really more useful image enhancements. Here are some of the more notable filters you can apply:
Tilt-shift: This filter blurs the borders of the screen. You can adjust the curve and size of the blur effect using its slider settings.
Stickers: The filter allows you to add nine stickers to your screens, such as cats, dogs, chickens, and crowns. You can reposition each sticker using the filter options. This is more of a fun filter than useful.
Vignetting: If you’re a photographer, you’re probably familiar with the Image blur editing option that darkens the edges of a photo. This Freestyle filters in Windows applies the same dark effect to the edges of the screen for your games.
Old Movie: This Old Movie Filter gives your game a classic look by combining black and white with the film’s dirt effects. It may appeal to people who play World War II games.
Watercolor: Artistic Watercolor Filter gives games you apply it to a picture. You can adjust the opacity, blur, detail, and intensity of the filter using pencil and canvas sliders.
Brightness/Contrast: Some games already have graphics settings to adjust brightness/contrast. However, this filter is more detailed as it includes options to modify contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows, and gamma.
Color: A useful filter that allows you to modify the colors of the game with the sliders for vibrancy, varying the hue, intensity, and temperature.
Black & White: This is a filter that turns your game into plain black and white without any of the other extra effects you get with Old film.
Sharpen: The Sharpen filter enhances edges in a similar way to the same option done in image editing software. Sharpening the edges can give the game a slightly cleaner and sharper look by bringing out details.
Night Mode: This filter reduces blue light in games like the mobile Night Mode option.
Once you start applying filters, you’ll appreciate that Freestyle is like an image-editing feature for the game. The Sharpen, Brightness, Black & White, Vignette, and Color filters are standard editing options you’ll find in many image editors. Those filters are there to help you adjust how your game looks like a photo in the image editor.
How to apply filters in photo mode
You can also apply filters in Windows to game screenshots using the GeForce overlay’s Photo Mode feature. Display the Picture mode sidebar by pressing Alt + F2. Alternatively, you can select Photo Mode on the overlay.
The Photo mode sidebar includes all the same filter options. You can select and configure them there the same by clicking the Add Filter button. Then click the Snap button to take a screenshot with the filter applied.
Give your Windows games a new look with GeForce Experience’s Freestyle filters
So now you can truly transform the look and feel of your Windows 11/10 games with the GeForce Experience Freedom Filter feature. You can give the game a more cinematic or realistic look with some of the more useful Freestyle filters. It is a feature that allows players to unleash their creativity in many ways.