"What is the best monitor refresh rate for gaming?"
This is a common question among gamers, but the answer isn't always straightforward.
There are three monitor refresh rates commonly used by gamers: 60Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz.
But which refresh rate will give you the best performance for your budget?
We'll explore this question in depth below to help you decide what monitor will best work for your needs!
The best refresh rate for a gaming monitor should be 144Hz or above. 144Hz is the golden standard for refresh rates, as it will give you a smoother, more responsive experience than your regular 60Hz monitor.
It is also cost-efficient compared to more expensive monitor options such as 1440p monitors or 240Hz monitors.
Less than 1% of pro-CS:GO players use a monitor which is below 144Hz.
Most professional players use monitor refresh rates of 240Hz as higher refresh rates reduce input lag.
Input lag is the delay between an action performed on your peripherals to the action appearing in your monitor (e.g., a mouse click to fire your weapon in an FPS game).
As a pro player, it is in best practice to try and get the maximum amount of performance from your setup, so that means getting the fastest monitor...
And building a PC that is capable of running your gaming on the highest FPS.
Both of these factors are essential to the reduction of input lag.
Frames per second (FPS) refers to how many different images your screen refreshes an image.
Hertz (Hz) refers to how many times your screen refreshes to show an image.
You may come across people referring to Hertz as FPS, and the reason is that if you use G-Sync/FreeSync technology, your FPS will be synced to your monitor's refresh rate.
But don't get the two confused...
Getting a stable FPS above 60 is the most important thing when it comes to gaming.
Anything less than 60 will feel laggy, and your experience playing will feel bad.
Refresh rates won't matter if you can't get a stable FPS, but on the flip side, a high FPS with a reasonable refresh rate will provide smoother, more responsive gameplay.
Ultimately, what is the best refresh rate for gaming?
Feeling the difference between a 60Hz refresh rate versus a 240Hz refresh rate is night and day.
But a gamer playing in 60Hz can be just as good as a gamer playing in 240Hz. - Shroud.
So it may give you faster reaction times, but it won't necessarily make you a better player...
Below is a great video explaining FPS and Refresh Rates and how it affects gameplay, and they used actual pro-players for their tests:
Again, higher refresh rates do give you a slight competitive edge...
But the overall impact of a higher refresh rate is not as significant as your game sense, aim accuracy, or other factors specific to your skills in-game.
Below are some frequently asked questions...
60Hz is fine for games where responsiveness and reaction timing isn't as important.
You were most likely gaming on 60Hz when you first started gaming on the PC and wouldn't have felt anything out of the ordinary... until you upgraded.
But for many people, 60Hz is the maximum refresh rate they can afford at this current time.
Heck, I only upgraded to a 240Hz monitor a couple of days ago (which is perfect timing since I have a newfound perspective on this topic).
Remember that refresh rate is only a small cog in the wheel when it comes to improving in games...
So if you're seriously aiming for the top in your given game (most likely something competitive), then you are still able to game on 60Hz and reach the top.
120Hz is a weird spot to be at and not as common as the other three refresh rates.
But is 120Hz a reasonable refresh rate for gaming?
Yes, it is. It is 2x the speed of your regular 60Hz, making it faster and more responsive.
Although, it is still lower than what I would classify as the 'golden standard' refresh rate for gaming.
A 144Hz monitor refresh rate is the 'golden standard' or 'sweet spot' for gaming.
While 60Hz monitor refresh rate is generally fast enough to keep up with what’s happening on the monitor...
144Hz monitors offer a smoother gaming experience that can give you an edge over your opponent...
Refresh rates shouldn't be the only thing you look at when it comes to buying a monitor.
Therefore, upgrading to a 144Hz is only worth it if you can afford it.
What's even better for gaming than 144Hz is a 240Hz refresh rate.
The in-game differences between 144Hz and 240Hz are noticeable.
One question you may come across a lot is, "Is it worth upgrading from a 144Hz gaming monitor to a 240Hz gaming monitor?"
And the answer is not so simple...
If we're to look at it from a refresh rates point of view, we believe that the answer is no; it is not worth upgrading from a 144Hz to a 240Hz based purely on the refresh rate.
But if you're investing in a monitor which provides better color accuracy, faster response times, bigger screen size, and many other factors that would improve your user experience...
Then yes, why not opt for a higher refresh rate while you're at it?
At the end of the day, yes, the higher refresh rates, the better.
The faster your refresh rate is, the faster your response time in-game will be due to having less input lag.
But remember, a person gaming on a 60Hz monitor can be just as good as a person gaming on a 240Hz monitor (do not forget this).
When looking to upgrade your monitor, many other factors should be included, for example:
It's also important to consider the type of games you will actually be playing...
A gamer who plays FPS games will benefit more from a higher refresh rate than a gamer who plays single-player games.
To put this into perspective, if I was only playing Cyberpunk 2077, upgrading my monitor to a higher refresh rate would not be worth it.
If you're on the fence between monitor refresh rates, we recommend going with 144Hz as your monitor refresh rate for gaming.
And if you can afford it, then upgrading to a monitor with 240Hz is even better.
We also understand that not everyone has enough space to accommodate a massive monitor like this.
If you're looking to save money or don't care about having the best monitor refresh rate for gaming out there, a regular 60Hz monitor will do.
The higher the response rate, the better it will be for gaming... but don't forget to look at other factors when shopping around.
If you have upgraded from a 60Hz monitor to a 144Hz or 240Hz monitor and felt a difference, comment below and give us your thoughts!