The last thing you want when playing a game is: you’re ready to beat your enemy, but there is a sudden lag. If that makes you lose the opportunity to win, getting a monitor with a better refresh rate for gaming can help.
While it won’t promise you to win in every match, having a display with a good refresh rate for gaming will give you a competitive edge over your opponents.
So what’s the best refresh rate for gaming? Well, it depends on the games you play and your budget and that’s what we’ll about to cover in this article.
So, let’s jump in!
What is the Refresh Rate for Gaming?
The refresh rate is the frequency by which your monitor updates images per second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz) and determines how movement is rendered visually in the game.
If you have a monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz, the image on the screen is refreshed 60 times every second. A 75Hz monitor will refresh its image 75 times per second. That is the case for the higher refresh rate as well.
A higher refresh rate means the display can update its image more frequently, resulting in a smoother motion. This can lead to a big difference in your gaming performance while playing with high refresh rate monitors.
If you have a display with good hertz for gaming, you’ll see less motion blur. This way, you can react more quickly and accurately to what’s happening.
Not only that, a better refresh rate for gaming can make the game feel more immersive and realistic.
Now, you know that the refresh rate for gaming is a factor to consider when buying a new display. But, don’t get it wrong with the term frame rate, which affects your gaming experience, too.
Refresh Rate vs. Frame Rate: What’s the Difference
Refresh rate and frame rate are two different things. Don’t get confused, although both are similarly measured in Hertz.
Again, the refresh rate for gaming refers to the number of times per second that a display updates images. On the other hand, the frame rate refers to the number of individual images displayed per second.
The key difference is:
- the refresh rate deals with the display’s ability to update the images
- the frame rate is related to the video game’s ability to render individual frames
Are they correlated to each other? A higher refresh rate of your monitor does not automatically mean a higher frame rate for your game and vice versa.
To illustrate this, let’s say you have a superior display with a good refresh rate for gaming, for example, 144Hz. But, in fact, your game can only render 60 frames per second. What will happen then? A hiccup.
Regardless of being able to show 144 images per second, it will only present 60 images per second. This will make you experience screen stuttering – irregular delays of the images displayed or screen tearing.
That’s why it’s important to match the frame rate of your game with the refresh rate of your monitor. Having a monitor with a high refresh rate won’t matter if you don’t have a graphics card that can render your games at roughly the same frame rate.
The Best Refresh Rate for Gaming
There are options for the refresh rate for gaming in today’s monitors to choose from:
But what is the best hertz for gaming?
1. 60 Hz — the Basic Refresh Rate
- Novice Gamers
This option is the standard refresh rate for most monitors. You can still play many games well with this kind of monitor.
If you’re asking a question: is a 60hz monitor good for gaming? The answer is: “Yes, it is.”
But you should keep your expectations low. Don’t push the setting too high on every game you play.
It is recommended to use this monitor for slow-paced games like strategy games or puzzle games. Civilization VI can be one of the games to play with this refresh rate display.
If you’re playing fast-paced ones, like racing, you may notice motion blur. But, for new gamers or those who pay much attention to the gameplay, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Some options if you want to buy a 60Hz monitor for your gaming setup are:
- ViewSonic VX2252MH
- Asus VP228HE
2. 75Hz — Minimum Refresh Rate for Most Games
- Average Gamers
A 75Hz refresh rate for gaming can offer a slightly smoother experience than the previous one. But, the difference may not be very noticeable for many people.
Is this the best refresh rate for gaming? Yes, if you are a budget-conscious gamer who wants a better experience without breaking the bank.
With a 75Hz refresh rate, you’ll feel that the game is more responsive. Also, the wider options of games can be played comfortably with this refresh rate; from racing to first-point shooter (FPS) games.
Dead Cells is one of the games to play with a 75Hz display. With a 25% more refresh rate than the 60Hz display, you can enjoy this 2D action game better.
What makes it interesting is you can have this better fresh rate monitor with almost the same budget as the 60Hz ones, depending on where you live.
Some recommended monitors with this refresh rate are:
- Acer R242Y
- LG 24MP60G-B
3. 144Hz — the Standard for Competitive Games
- Competitive Gamers
This is the most popular refresh rate among gamers today. With a 144Hz monitor, you can enjoy significantly smoother gameplay and less motion blur.
This option is perfect for you who love to play quick-response games. It gives you more responsive controls during the game. So, if you want to be a great FPS or fighting gamer, this kind of monitor is a go-to.
You can play any game with this display, including Overwatch 2, PUBG, and Rocket League.
While you might not see any difference when switching from 60Hz to 75Hz, you’ll significantly see the difference when you use this to 144Hz refresh rate for gaming.
So, do you need a proper setup to win an esports competition? This good hertz for gaming is the standard display you should have.
Luckily, there are many options for this criteria from well-known brands, such as:
- AOC G2490VX
- LG 24GN600-B
4. 240Hz — Great Refresh Rate for Competitive Games
- Most Professional Gamers
This is an easy choice if you’re a serious gamer looking for the smoothest possible gameplay.
With a 240Hz refresh rate, not only can you expect even less motion blur and faster response times, but this also becomes the standard for the most excellent gaming experience.
Pick any games you want to play with this good refresh rate for gaming display. It will do a great job for a casual game like Minecraft and more extensive games like Fortnite and Counter-Strike Go.
This display was the best refresh rate for gaming for years before 360Hz came. But, even so, some gamers still think that a 240Hz refresh rate provides a superb balance for their game.
Bear in mind that a 240Hz monitor can be costly.
Also, you’ll need a powerful graphics card to achieve higher frame rates. That means you can’t just upgrade the monitor while using an old graphics card. It’ll cause performance issues at the end of the day.
If you want to get this 240 Hz display, some of the options are:
- Lenovo Legion Y25-25
- BenQ ZOWIE XL2540K
5. 360Hz — the Highest Rate on the Market
- For Professional FPS Gamers
As you might guess, this is the highest refresh rate for gaming available on the market today. A 360Hz monitor will make you enjoy the smoothest gameplay possible.
As the screen refreshes 360 times per second, it will be amazing for any games that require quick reflexes. From first-person shooters to racing games, you name it; a 360Hz display will nail it.
So, what is the best hertz for gaming? 360Hz is a go-to. But, as with a 240Hz monitor, unless you have an awesome graphics card, you’ll still find issues like ghosting that can hinder you from performing well.
These are 360Hz monitors worth considering:
- Acer Nitro XV252Q
- BenQ Zowie XL2566K
Talking about the refresh rate for gaming will always lead you to these common questions: is 144hz good for gaming in general? is a 60hz monitor good for gaming if I’m just a casual player?
Now, you already got the answer, right?
How to Optimize Your Gaming Setup for High Refresh Rates
You can’t just switch your monitor to a higher refresh rate and expect a flawless gaming experience. You need to make sure that your gaming setup is up to the task, too.
Here are some steps to use your high refresh rate monitor at the optimum performance:
1. Check Your Graphics Card
To get the most out of your high refresh rate display, make sure your graphics card is powerful enough to handle it. Otherwise, you may experience frame drops.
You can test it by simply playing a game and monitoring its frame per second (FPS). Ideally, of course, it should be a 1:1 ratio. If the game has around 60 FPS, you’re good to go with only a 60Hz monitor.
It’s always a good thing if your graphic card supports G-Sync or FreeSync technology. Some popular options include the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080.
Simply put, the technology synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output of the graphics card. This way, the display refreshes only when the graphics card has produced a new frame to hinder any hiccups.
2. Update Your Graphics Card Driver
It’s always recommended to use the updated driver for your GPU (graphics processing unit). With newer software, you can expect better image quality and compatibility, leading to good performance.
A test case from Red Dead Redemption 2 games, it gets 104% better performance after updating the driver.
You can manually update the driver from the Device Manager in Windows. Or, you can download and install the latest recommended driver from the official website of the GPU manufacturer.
3. Use a DisplayPort Cable
It’s fine if you want to stick with the HDMI cable plugged into your monitor. But, using a DisplayPort is more recommended for your high refresh rate displays.
A Display port offers better bandwidth. For example, DisplayPort 1.3 has a maximum transmission rate of 32Gpbs. It supports 1080p resolution at up to 360Hz.
As for HDMI, it’s still worth using for playing games with 1080p resolution at 144Hz.
4. Adjust Your Game Graphics Settings
When gaming at a high refresh rate, it is vital to ensure that the game is optimized for your hardware.
This is why the game settings need to be adjusted to achieve the optimal balance between graphics quality and performance.
You can experiment with lowering your graphics settings to get the best possible performance. For example, you can turn off features like motion blur to improve performance.
As different games may have different settings, some settings may have a more significant impact on performance than others.
5. Use a Wired Connection for Online Games
If you think a higher refresh rate monitor and a perfect graphic card are enough to play games well, think again.
You still need a good connection to play an online game without issues. Using a wired connection is recommended for that since it provides faster data transfer speeds than a wireless connection.
On a certain test, it gives two times better performance. Most importantly, it has lower latency, too.
For online multiplayer games, this is essential. A slight delay can make you win or lose.
So, What is a Good Refresh Rate for Gaming?
You’ve just learned about the refresh rate for gaming. In short, it deals with how many images are updated on a monitor per second.
A high refresh rate display offers a better gaming experience. Not only does it provides smoother gameplay, but it also has less motion blur that can cause less eye strain.
It’s not an easy task to answer the question: what is the best hertz for gaming? Unless, you understand your GPU and CPU ability, your game requirements, and your budget to buy the new display as a replacement.
For starters, a 60Hz refresh rate will be enough to enjoy most basic games. As for professional gamers, the highest 360Hz can be a great option.
As technology continues to advance, higher refresh rates will become standard in gaming. For now, which one do you choose for your gaming display?
What is a refresh rate?
A refresh rate means how many times per second a display can update its image. The standard refresh rate for most displays is 60Hz, meaning 60 times per second.
How does the refresh rate affect gameplay?
A higher refresh rate will make your gameplay more responsive. It makes a difference when you’re playing a game that needs quick responses. In other words, it can make you win more easily because of fast reflexes or precise timing.
Is 144hz good for gaming?
A high refresh rate of 144Hz can enhance your gaming experience. But, it is not a requirement for most basic games. Not only that, many gamers are okay with a 60Hz display due to personal preference or budget.
Is 240Hz overkill?
Well, yes and no. If you play games with lots of motion, like FPS, racing, or fighting, it is worth upgrading your display to 240Hz or even 360Hz. But, if you play a strategy game like Civilization VI, it is surely overkill.
Are there any downsides to a high refresh rate display?
Yes. A high refresh rate displays are more expensive than a standard one. So, you may need more budget to experience that higher refresh rate. Not only that, you may need a more powerful graphics card to hinder a bottleneck in your setup. Those are two things to have in mind before upgrading.