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SweetFX – What the Heck is It?

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So, a friend of mine recently told me about a program called SweetFX. Now, I admit at the time I knew very little about it, having only heard the name, but this came up while we were talking about graphical settings in Guild Wars 2. He said that he never really messed with the in-game settings and instead used a SweetFX injector to impose custom profiles on the game and ultimately get much better graphics out of the affair.

Indeed, I was quite intrigued.

So, I looked up SweetFX given the links he sent me and was impressed to see what it could do. Basically, it was a program that would allow for graphical options that either were outright not available in whatever game was in question, or it would unlock options that were there, but were disabled for whatever reason (such as there for developer reasons for pretty screenshots but maybe deemed “too demanding” for the average consumer). As a program, it gives the user the option to tailor exactly how much lighting is used by a game, how much color saturation occurs, what level of bloom and ambient occlusion to allow for, gives the ability to use anti-aliasing methods not available in lots of games (such as the superior SMAA), and fine-tune all of these to create a level of detail not normally possible. All of this at, for many, virtually no performance cost to their system.

Here, in this article, I am including some before-and-after images, created through the program itself, that has the left half of the screen using normal maximum settings from Guild Wars 2 and the right half using a custom preset I created with SweetFX. To me, the difference is obvious, and it amazes me what we consider “pretty graphics” by default until we get something like this.

If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, direct yourself here to the SweetFX website.

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Jessica Brown
Retro Games and Technology Editor. She'll beat pretty much every Mega Man game without breaking a sweat.

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1 Comment

  1. Just be careful with SweetFX if you use it on games that are VAC enabled. If the dev screws it up (as what happened with Dark Souls2) you can end up with a vac ban from it

    1. Hmmmm, I haven’t seen any issues with it in stuff I have messed with. Guild Wars 2 has not been an issue with it, and I think the devs are okay with it, but yes, for a future MMO or something like that, I’d definitely read up on whether SweetFX was allowed or not based on user experiences.

      I have noticed however that it has problems running in conjunction with other applications. For example, if SweetFX are enabled (at least with GW2, but I’ve read this is true with most/all games) when you want to record with XSplit, it will crash the game totally upon start-up. In the case of Mumble (for voice chat), SweetFX simply won’t turn on if Mumble is open before the initial execution of the game, so in that case you have to run the game, then Mumble, which is weird, LOL 😛

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