What Is Motion Blur Reduction, And How Does It Affect Your Gameplay?

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Written By: Lorenzo • Updated: 21/06/2022

Motion blur reduction (MBR) is... self-explanatory.

It's the reduction of the blur that occurs when you move around sporadically in-game.

Gamers hate motion blur because it skews your vision when you have to flick or swipe on-screen, possibly causing you to miss an opponent.

Though the only time motion blur makes sense is in racing games - where the blur adds the effect that you're going super fast.

So... unless you're playing racing games, you'll want to turn MBR on.

Turning MBR on is especially important for FPS gamers. Having sharp eyes is a great skill to have when playing competitively.

In this article, we'll take a deeper look into motion blur reduction, and how it will affect your gaming.

What Is Motion Blur Reduction?

Motion blur reduction is a setting that helps reduce the amount of motion blur that your monitor creates.

This is important for gamers because motion blur can make it difficult to spot enemies and react quickly.

It's also important for general use, as it can help reduce eye strain.

How Motion Blur Reduction Works

Most monitors have what's called a "sample-and-hold" display.

This means that the image on your screen is displayed for a brief moment, then held until the next image is ready.

This can cause blurring, especially when there is movement on-screen.

Motion blur reduction works by increasing the refresh rate of your monitor.

You can also reduce motion blur by introducing a strobing backlight, which turns off your monitor 's backlight between refreshes.

This can help reduce blurring, but it can also cause headaches and eye strain.

This means that the image on your screen is refreshed more often, reducing the amount of blur.

It's important to note that this doesn't eliminate all motion blur, but it does reduce it significantly.

Does Motion Blur Actually Work?

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is that it depends on the person.

Some people may not notice a difference, while others will see a significant improvement in the quality of their gameplay.

There are a few factors to tell whether you'll notice a difference when using MBR:

Factor #1: The Monitor Type You're Using

TN panels tend to have the best motion blur reduction, while IPS panels tend to be a close second.

TN panels are the fastest out of the other two: IPS and VA panels.

They generally have the lowest input lag and response time.

Though, where TN panels lack are viewing angles and colors.

IPS panels have incredibly accurate colors,

And newer IPS monitors have input lag and response times that can match up against TN panels.

So if you're going to shop for a monitor, look for one that has the lowest input lag and fastest response time.

Factor #2: Your Monitor's Refresh Rate

Most monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz.

Though, if you buy a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor, you will notice a significant improvement in the quality of your gameplay.

You'll gain all the performance perks that comes with a high refresh rate monitor.

And one of those perks includes decreasing motion blur.

RELATED: Best Monitor Refresh Rate For Gaming: 60Hz Vs 144Hz Vs 240Hz

Factor #3: Your Monitor Size

The larger the monitor, the more noticeable the effect of motion blur reduction will be.

Larger screen = more pixels that need to be refreshed.

So turning on MBR can help reduce motion blur on a larger screen dramatically.

RELATED: What Is The Best Gaming Monitor Size For 1440p Resolution?

Factor #4: Placebo?

Some people may not notice a difference at all, while others will see a significant improvement in their gameplay.

There are other factors to worry about like getting a high refresh rate, having adaptive sync capabilities...

MBR is a feature that is nice to have, but isn't as important as others.

The Health Benefits Of Reducing Motion Blur

MBR helps reduce eye strain and headaches.

When you sit down staring at a screen all day, your eyes are moving back and forth, tracking images.

By reducing the amount of motion blur, you can help reduce the amount of eye strain you experience.

The less eye strain you experience = the less headaches you'll have when your eyes are fatigued.

The Cons Of Using Motion Blur Reduction

MBR uses more power. This is because the backlight needs to be turned on and off frequently.

Our eye sight can only see so much, but in certain scenarios, you may notice "flickering" occurring on your screen.

If you're sensitive to flicker, consider turning off MBR as it can strain your eyes just as bad.

How To Reduce Motion Blur On A Monitor

If you want to reduce motion blur, do this:

  • Increase your monitors refresh rate
  • Find a monitor with fast response time and less input lag
  • Increase the size of your monitor (but make sure your resolution is adequate)
  • Use "gaming mode" or overclock your monitor's refresh rate if it has that option

Should You Turn Motion Blur Reduction On Or Off?

Whether or not you should turn motion blur reduction on depends on what's important to you.

As a gamer, motion blur kills the quality of my gameplay. So having MBR turned on helps a lot!

I would do everything in my power to reduce motion blur as much as possible.

Though, test it out. You may actually enjoy motion blur - especially if you play racing games.

Here's a great video by MuYe on why "Racing Games Feel Slow."

Hint: Part of the reason is because of the lack of motion blur.

Motion Blur Reduction Vs. Response Time - What's The Difference?

When it comes to reducing motion blur, there are two main options you should look at manipulating:

  • Motion blur reduction
  • Response time

We've already covered what MBR does - it helps reduce the amount of motion blur you see on the screen by flashing the backlight on and off very quickly.

Response time is the amount of time it takes for a pixel to change from black to white or vice versa.

The lower the response time, the faster the pixel can change colors.

  • MBR = Less motion blur.
  • Response Time = The actions you take in-game are faster, more responsive.

Motion Blur Terminology (They All Basically Do The Same Thing)

  • ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur)
  • Lightboost
  • BenQ Blur Reduction
  • MSI Anti-Motion Blur

What's The Blur Busters Certification?

The Blur Busters Certification is a program that was created to help people find the best monitors for reducing motion blur.

To be certified, a monitor must have a certain level of performance in terms of response time and motion blur reduction.

The Blur Busters Certification is not an endorsement from Blur Busters.

It's simply a way to help people find the best monitors for reducing motion blur.

If you're looking for a way to reduce the amount of motion blur you see on your screen, the Blur Busters Certification can help you find the right monitor for you.

Just keep in mind that it's important to look at other factors as well, such as refresh rate and panel type.

What's The Blur Busters Approved 2.0 Certification?

The second version of Blur Busters certification is to allow strobing to work at any custom resolution or refresh rate.

You can find more info about it in Blur Buster's press release.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is 1ms Motion Blur Reduction

The "1ms" before MBR refers to the response time - a monitor having a 1 milli-second response time.

Though - it's purely a marketing tactic made by monitor companies.

In reality, your monitor will have a response time of ~3ms - ~4ms (dependent on your monitor).

Although MBR is an awesome feature, don't fall for the "1ms" clickbait.

When Should You Use Motion Blur Reduction?

Someone who is sensitive to motion blur or any serious gamer (besides racing gamers) will want to use MBR.

Does Motion Blur Look Better?

Some people may prefer the look of motion blur because it can make fast-paced action look smoother.

If you are someone who prefers the look of motion blur, then you may want to leave the motion blur reduction feature turned off.

It is important to experiment with this setting and find what looks best for you.

The Bottom Line

Motion blur reduction is a feature that can be found on some monitors and helps to reduce the amount of motion blur you see on the screen.

As with any technology, there are pros and cons associated with this setting - what it does well for one person may not work as well for another.

Experimenting until you find what works best for your needs is key!

Article written by Lorenzo
Since the age of 6, Lorenzo has enjoyed gaming on computers. Having grown up in the digital age, the technology revolves around him. He enjoyed growing up gaming throughout his high school years and is now a young adult who does most of his work on his computer. Lorenzo's mission is to make buying products and building PC's an easy and fun experience for all.

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