Probably the most underrated aspect of gaming is adjusting your monitor settings. Whether you’re playing on a PC or console, without the best monitor settings for gaming, you won’t have fulfilling gaming experiences.
Lags, screen tears, and abrupt freezing. These are just some of the problems gamers face when they don’t use the right monitor settings for gaming. So, how should you set up your monitor for gaming? The internet is littered with a variety of answers to this question.
Not all of them offer a wholesome solution. So let’s address this question once & for all by learning to calibrate your monitor to optimize its potential. This guide will apply to owners of both Windows & macOS devices.
Do you have a particular question about the best monitor settings for gaming? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- The Best Monitor Settings for Gaming
- Which Monitor Mode is Best for Gaming?
- What are the Best Brightness and Contrast Settings for Gaming?
- How to Optimize Monitor for Gaming: Getting the Perfect Contrast Ratio
- What’s the Best Sharpness for Gaming Monitor?
- What are the Best Color Settings for Gaming?
- How to Setup Monitor for Gaming: An Overview
- Final Take
The Best Monitor Settings for Gaming
Both Windows and macOS devices come with pretty basic in-built calibration utilities. These options are limited.
But, calibrating them is the first step toward customizing your gaming monitor settings to suit your gaming style –
How to Calibrate the Monitor of Your Windows Device:
- Type in “display calibration” on the Windows Search panel.
- From the search results, select the option that says “calibrate display color.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
How to Calibrate the Monitor of Your MacOS Device:
- Open System Settings.
- Select the “Displays” menu.
- Select the option that says “Color tab.”
- Click on the “Calibrate” button.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
Taking these steps will get you used to the idea of customizing your device’s monitor. While testing the different settings, you’ll learn a valuable lesson about calibration: there is no “best setting for a gaming monitor.” Image quality, brightness levels, sharpness, etc., are all subjective.
Your monitor’s settings should be specifically calibrated to suit your gaming needs. Other people may or may not prefer the settings you choose. With that being said, let’s look at the best monitor settings that industry experts recommend –
Which Monitor Mode is Best for Gaming?
The terms “refresh rate” & monitor mode are almost synonymous. They define how “smooth” your displays appear & indicate how many times per second the monitor can refresh images. Most standard monitors come with refresh rates of 60Hz. A high-end, gaming-specific monitor may offer refresh rates of up to 240Hz. Most games function optimally at a refresh rate of 120Hz.
That’s the refresh rate your monitor should ideally have. To have amazing gaming experiences, invest in the hardware (e.g., GPU) needed to support your monitor’s refresh rate. For example, buying a 120Hz monitor doesn’t make sense if your existing graphics card only supports 60Hz.
To adjust the refresh rate & get the best picture mode for gaming, take the following steps:
- Look up display settings on your device & click on the option that says “advanced display settings.”
- Select the option “monitor” on the drop-down menu.
- Select “display adapter properties;” a dialogue box will pop up.
- Click on the Monitor tab on this dialogue box to open a drop-down menu.
- You’ll get to select the refresh rate you need from the monitor settings in this drop-down menu.
Regarding picture mode, different devices from different brands will have varying picture mode settings. For instance, the best picture modes for gaming on Samsung devices are:
- FPS when playing First-Person Shooter games
- RTS when playing Real-Time Strategy games.
- RPG when playing Role Playing Games.
- sRGB (the default mode of all Samsung monitors) for standard gaming experiences.
What are the Best Brightness and Contrast Settings for Gaming?
Again, the term “best brightness and contrast settings for gaming” will mean different things for different people. You mainly need to reduce your monitor’s brightness so that it’s easy to view & finely detailed – even when displaying dark images.
You may have to adjust your monitor’s brightness settings throughout the day, depending on how much sunlight your room receives. For example, lower your brightness settings during the evening & do the opposite in the daytime. Doing so will allow you to see the objects on your monitor at all times.
How to Optimize Monitor for Gaming: Getting the Perfect Contrast Ratio
A good contrast ratio for a gaming monitor is vital for interruption-free gaming experiences. The term “contrast” refers to the difference between the highest & lowest levels of luminance your gaming monitor can display.
In most modern LCD monitors, the contrast settings are set to high levels by default. Change this by lowering the contrast. Or else, some colors may bleed into one and disrupt your gaming experiences.
What’s the Best Sharpness for Gaming Monitor?
The best sharpness for gaming monitor is whatever setting that suits your eyes. High sharpness means that all the details & contrasts between the different objects on your screen will be over-exaggerated. Low sharpness means that the objects may look slightly smeared & imprecise. Either way, flip through the sharpness settings on your monitor & settle on a setting you like.
What are the Best Color Settings for Gaming?
You’ll need the best color settings for gaming if you want to play vibrant games like Fortnite. To get these settings, take the following steps –
- Go to monitor settings and select the option that says “Color Settings.”
- Enable the black equalizer
- Adjust the contrast levels to 50 to 55 (not more than that)
- Adjust the sharpness levels between 7 & 10.
- Set the Blue Light anywhere between 35 & 40
- Adjust the color temperature: Red should be 99, Blue should be 98, & Green should be 100.
Re-read the last point. That’s the best color temperature for gaming, and it applies to all modern gaming monitors. You can play around with the Blue Light settings depending on your game.
For instance, the dominant color in the multiplayer game Fortnite is blue. Having the Blue Light setting as high as 98 may not be helpful when playing such a game. Imagine finding yourself in a blizzard while playing this game in that color temperature setting. The blue color will overbar your monitor & make it impossible for you to see past the storm.
You’ll have to reduce the blue light settings to enhance your vision in such situations. Also, always calibrate your monitor’s color temperature settings depending on which game you’re playing. Also, if your monitor has the fullarray local dimming feature, use it. It will automatically improve picture quality.
How to Setup Monitor for Gaming: An Overview
Gaming monitor settings are a highly subjective topic. There are no fixed right/wrong answers. Plus, the answers may vary depending on your company’s monitor. For instance, the gaming monitors made by Asus come with completely different settings/calibrations than Samsung devices.
So, visit the website of whatever brand your gaming monitor is from & check for their prescribed settings. Finally, after adjusting your preferred gaming monitor settings, set up shortcuts & save your customized settings. These shortcuts will allow you to switch between different settings while playing different games (e.g., shooter games & strategy games).
There are 3.24+ billion gamers in the world. Different gamers prefer playing with different monitor settings. So, the best setting for gaming monitors doesn’t exist. But, the perfect setting to enhance your gaming experiences does.
This guide aims to ensure you get comfortable with the idea of playing around with your monitor settings. Keep experimenting with different settings until you find the right mix that suits your gaming style.
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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