Samsung TV Game Mode Flickering (Xbox, PS5/PS4) – Quick Fix

Is your Samsung TV flickering when you are trying to enjoy a game on it with its Game Mode feature?

Whether using a PS5/PS4, Xbox, or Switch, Samsung TV users commonly report flickering in game mode and you are not alone if you are also experiencing it.

Recently, a friend also faced the issue with his Samsung TV S95B, but it does not apply to any one model and happens across all of those with Game Mode.

My curiosity led me to look for the root cause and more details about the issue. We did manage to get the problem resolved, and in this guide, I will explain in detail the reasons which led to this and what you can do to resolve it.

To give you a glimpse of this guide, I am covering

  • Game Mode Flickering Issue
  • Automatic turning off and on of the Game Mode
  • TV Keeps Switching Game Mode, etc

Why is Game Mode Flickering on Samsung TV?

If you’re experiencing flickering in your Samsung TV’s Game Mode, there could be a few culprits. It could be a minor transition flickering, like when HDR kicks in. Or, it could be due to incorrect settings on your gaming console or the TV itself. And last but not least, it’s possible that a faulty or outdated HDMI cable is to blame.

Basically, If you’re noticing some normal flickering, like when a different picture mode kicks in, that’s to be expected. However, if the flickering is happening frequently and it seems like the Game Mode is turning itself on and off or switching between different picture modes, that shouldn’t be happening and it’s time for some troubleshooting.

Let’s see all the common reasons which lead to flickering Game Mode on your Samsung TV.

Potential causes of game mode flickering on Samsung TVs

  • The normal transition from different mode to Game Mode
  • Temporary Glitch
  • Incompatible HDMI cable
  • Loose Cable Connections
  • Conflicting Settings

Quick Troubleshooting

After going through numerous forums, and social sites and discussing with other users who were facing it the majority found out that it was the Peak Brightness as well as Contract Enhancer settings that were causing the conflict.

Samsung TV Peak Brightness Settings
Samsung TV Peak Brightness Settings

The ‘Peak Brightness’ mode in the Expert Settings submenu under picture settings was the culprit in our case as well. Turning it off did the trick, and we’ve tested it by ourselves and confirmed that both ‘Peak Brightness’ and ‘Contrast Enhancer’ were causing the flickering.

Samsung TV Contrast Enhancer
Samsung TV Contrast Enhancer

So before tweaking any further settings, the first thing you should try out is to turn off the “Peak Brightness” settings under “Advanced Settings” which you will find in “Picture Settings”.

Here’s how to turn them off:

Navigate to Home > Menu > Settings > All Settings > Picture > Expert Settings (Here you will find the contract enhancer as well as the peak brightness option to disable).

Although the above did solve the flickering issue for many Samsung TV users, few reported that the issue persists for Xbox and PS4/PS5.

This case requires different troubleshooting, and I have covered them below for each gaming console individually.

Samsung TV Game Mode Flickering On Xbox (Troubleshooting)

There are two main reasons why your Game Mode On Samsung TV flickers with Xbox, which are conflicting settings and Freesync, considering you are using a high-speed HDMI cable.

That’s why you might need to adjust a few settings to get rid of the flickering on your Samsung TV while using Xbox. Don’t worry, it’s a simple fix and it should take care of the issue for all Xbox users who have experienced this. 

Here’s the first thing you need to do inside your Xbox settings:

  • You need to tweak your Xbox’s display settings to have “Allow YCC 4:2:2” > Disabled and “Video Fidelity & Overscan”  > 10-bit enabled.

YCC – It’s a color/chroma compression/subsampling

It has been reported by many Xbox users that it has a negative impact on HDR on the various Samsung TV series and also prevents 10-bit color

Video Fidelity & Overscan – This setting refers to what is known as “Deep Color”.

By setting it to 10-bit, it will be aligned correctly with your TV’s performance, and there will be no flickering since it stays at 24-bit by default, and many TVs have compatibility issues with it.

Once you have tweaked the above settings on your Xbox, the second step is to turn off Freesync.

Because Xbox games fluctuate between 40 and 60 frames per second. The flickering is caused by the TV’s Freesync changing the refresh rate to match the frame rate so that you don’t see tearing or stuttering if it goes above or below the range. If it goes above or below that range, you will still see some stuttering or tearing.

In short, the Freesync glitches on Xbox and results in the flickering of the screen.

  • That’s why you need to turn off the “Freesync”

After you have done the above steps, you will notice that the Game Mode won’t flicker anymore when you play the Xbox on your Samsung TV.

Lastly, let’s see how PlayStation (PS5/PS4) users can stop flickering.

Samsung Game Mode Flickering With PS5/PS4 (Troubleshooting)

On Samsung TVs, users of PS4/PS5 only need to make a slight change to fix flickering Game Mode issues.

Basically, you need to trick your TV into thinking you’re playing on a PC instead of a PS5.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Navigate to TVs Menu > Connected Devices > Sources > highlight “PlayStation 5” input > Edit > Select “PC”.

Once it’s done, you can enable the highest peak brightness, game mode, and HDR now, without having to worry about flickering.