Retina display?

Hello guys, just bought the game and I love the design and atmosphere so far! I’m just a bit annoyed by the &quotblurry&quot aspect of the game on a retina macbook. Are there any plans to support this in the future?

Hmm. Looks perfect on my retina macbook pro; so probably not a display issue.

well it turns out the max resolution i can set is 1440 x 900. but the 15 inches macbook resolution is 2880 x 1800. which one do you have?

I’m using 2880x1800 also. Running Sunless Sea on ‘sublime’ and 1920x1200, it looks great. [I don’t know why you’d be limited to 1440x900; that seems odd.]

hmm alright then. strange. i guess it wont stop me from enjoying the game :)

Are you running the game in a window?

nope, fullscreen

I’ve been having the exact same problem, actually. I have the 13&quot Macbook Pro (the newest model that was released about 2 weeks ago). Anyway, the resolution I was running at until about 5 minutes ago was 1440 x 900 (I couldn’t select any other); then I stumbled across this topic and tried running the game in windowed mode. This did nothing other than run the game at 1280 x 800, and whether I run it windowed or full-screen, the only resolution I can choose now is 1280 x 800.

This would appear to be a bug, but I’m happy to be proved wrong of course! Any suggestions, anyone?
edited by Croker on 3/25/2015

Is this a Steam version issue, perhaps? I actually had to stop playing the game because I got headaches reading the non-retina fonts. I haven’t played in months but saw an update and hoped it was retina support :(

This is what text should look like – note how smooth it is (even when scaled up and even on a non-retina screen):

I tried scaling my retina resolution up and down, windowed and full screen. Every which way it looks like these screenshots.

I can help!
What’s Happening:
I’ve run into this problem with several Steam games, actually. The issue is that OS X doesn’t actually report Retina displays at their full resolution; for example a 2880x1800 display is reported to apps as 1440x900 — this is why Retina-ready apps look sharper rather than really, really tiny.

This is all accounted for when apps are developed with native OS X code… but many games are ported to run on multiple platforms and all they see is the halved (technically, quartered) display resolution — the higher resolutions don’t even appear in the list of selectable options, because the game’s video systems can’t see all the pixels in the panel; they instead see what the OS is reporting.

Before launching the game, you need to set the OS X display resolution to the full resolution of the panel (2880x1800 for a 15&quot rMBP; 2560x1600 for a 13&quot). This requires a bit of trickery, because OS X doesn’t allow you to this in the normal displays preference pane (very reasonably, because when you do this, everything becomes laughably small).

It’s possible to do this from the command line, but there are several utilities that make it easier. Here are two of them; I’ve used both to successfully run Sunless Sea (as well as Pillars of Eternity and other Mac Steam games) at glorious full-Retina resolution:

Resolutionator (Resolutionator · Many Tricks), $3 — (my favorite)
QuickRes (, $4.99

Use the utility to set the resolution to max, then open the game. The high resolution will now be properly detected and appear in the Video Settings panel within the game’s menu. (With Sunless Sea, I had to switch to a medium resolution, then to the higher one before it stuck.) Launch the game to test; you should have crisp text, a tiny UI, and lots of beautiful scenery at a high resolution.

After you quit the game, use the utility to set the OS resolution back to default. (Both apps mentioned above support hotkeys, which makes switching pretty painless.)

You’ll have to manually switch OS resolutions each time you play, but the game will remember its own video settings from that point on.

Here are two full-res screenshots from my 15&quot Retina MBP, to give you an idea of what to expect. Download the images and view them in Preview on a Retina Mac. (You may have to view at 50% size.)

edited by Jason Robinson on 9/24/2015

Sorry, Jason, but I’ve tried this on my 13" rMBP and it doesn’t work. I don’t suppose you have any idea as to why? I bought Resolutionator and am using that, but it’s not making any difference, unfortunately.

Well, I say it’s not making any difference, it is - at least in the sense that it changes my desktop to 2560 x 1600, that’s definite. Then I run Sunless Sea, and go into Video Settings, and it also shows 2560 x 1600 (and reminds me that the game may have display problems if run above 1920 x 1080). Then I start the game and…it’s clearly still 1280 x 800 in resolution.

Any ideas on what else I might try? I note you say “With Sunless sea, I had to switch to a medium resolution, then to the higher one before it stuck”. Can you elaborate on this part?

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way around this problem from the user’s side. The in-game text will have the same level of pixelation even if you manage to get Sunless Sea to run at 2560 x 1600; it’ll just be smaller so you’ll need to squint. Failbetter could in principle fix the problem by increasing the font size, along with all other interface elements, when the screen resolution increases. Or, in case that isn’t difficult enough to implement, they could render the Gazetteer in a separate layered window at the user’s native resolution while the game is rendered underneath at some different gameplay resolution. That’d be super slick, but I doubt it’d even be possible in the Unity engine. [edit] Or they could use a sans-serif font, which would be easier on the eyes after pixelation. [/edit]

It’s kind of a bummer. I come back to Sunless Sea every once in a while because I want to read more of the story, but I end up quickly leaving because the actual reading of the story is decidedly unpleasant.
edited by Guy Scrum on 10/12/2015

Hi Croker,

My deepest apologies for replying (checks chronograph) six years later to your kind post. :roll_eyes:

I just got a new MacBook M1 Pro Max and was curious to see if I could get Sunless Sea working on this shiny new machine, and… I was able to! It looks beautiful, and runs much cooler than it did on my previous Intel.

Are you still out there? If you’d like to give it another go, I’m happy to answer any questions or try to walk through it together.