With refresh rates going all the way up to 360-hertz, it’s a crazy time to be researching and buying a monitor. Fortunately, as a person who has used many monitors and refresh rates, I have the answer to your question.
Are 60hz monitors good for gaming? 60hz monitors are good for playing single-player or strategy games. However, you get the best experience for any competitive gaming with at least a 100hz refresh rate.
Let’s dive deeper into some of the research I gathered on why a higher refresh rate is better for competitive gaming and why some gamers may not need anything more than 60hz at all.
Are 60hz Monitors Good For Gaming?
If you are on a budget or are playing games that don’t require that split-second advantage over your enemy, a 60hz monitor is perfect for your needs.
Most people upgrade to higher refresh rates to get smoother visuals or reduced display lag to gain that competitive edge; however, if you are on a budget, that can cost a lot more.
Also, the refresh rate will only benefit you if your PC can push the equivalent amount of FPS.
One FPS is equal to one refresh rate. Therefore, you must have a much more powerful PC to take full advantage of a 144hz or 240hz refresh rate.
This site’s focus is primarily PC, but if you are on console, this is the current standard FPS you can reach in many games.
If you have a budget PC, 60 FPS should be easy to achieve, especially on 1080p with some graphical tweaking if you need it.
Moving to what genres are perfect at 60hz and don’t need any more:
- Racing games
Sure, some of these may feel better or give you a slightly better looking and feeling experience with higher refresh rates, but it isn’t essential to get a fantastic experience.
60hz is a very viable refresh rate for anyone on a budget or anyone who doesn’t play competitive games and is looking for a simple monitor to fit their needs.
I would recommend using some of the money you save on refresh rate and investing that into getting a 60hz refresh rate monitor with IPS technology.
IPS is a type of LCD monitor panel that provides better quality colors and better quality viewing angles so your monitor won’t look unviewable from angles other than straight on.
There are three very different types of LCD monitor panels that you can see compared in this article on IPS vs. VA vs. TN.
However, any competitive multiplayer games such as Overwatch, CSGO, Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege, and more are going to feel and give you an ideal experience by playing at least a 100hz refresh rate.
For example, I play Rainbow Six Siege at 100hz, and with some customization to the graphics, I’m able to stay at that FPS consistently.
I’ve reached Platinum, but more importantly, the game’s movement is much smoother when I was playing at 100hz vs. 60hz.
Why Are Higher Refresh Rates Better For Competitive Gaming?
Other than the previously mentioned smoother gameplay, it’s much easier to track and click on your enemies in the split second they come across your screen on higher refresh monitors.
This is because a higher refresh rate means your monitor can display more images or frames in a single second. This makes your enemy appear like they are on-screen for longer.
Your enemy’s movement is being tracked more frequently within a single second because there is a shorter delay between every frame.
On a 60hz monitor running at 60FPS, you will get shown a new frame every 16.67 milliseconds. For reference, at 30 FPS on a 60hz monitor, the delay between every new frame is 33.33 milliseconds.
On a 144hz monitor running at 144 FPS, you have a delay of only 6.94 milliseconds, which is about a fifth of 30 FPS and less than half the delay of maxing out a 60hz monitor at 60 FPS.
Other than these fun and exciting numbers, you may be wondering how the shorter delay makes a difference in-game.
For one, you may be able to see your enemy sooner when they round a corner because your monitor is refreshing more often to show more changes in the image.
Also, following them with your cursor will be much easier because their movement won’t skip as much.
The longer it takes for your monitor to register changes, the more significant the difference between where your enemy was and where they are now will be.
Naturally, making this delay between frames shorter and adding more frames into a single second means you can see the changes in your enemy’s movement much more frequently and much sooner, which makes them easier to click on and track.
For a perfect demonstration of this, take a look at this YouTube video below.
This is why, if you are into competitive gaming, I would recommend you consider a 144-hertz monitor.
To truly dominate your opponents, you have to have the right monitor for the job. Keep in mind; you will have to be able to achieve 144 FPS in-game.
You should ensure you can comfortably reach this before buying a higher refresh rate monitor.
An excellent way to do that is to turn off V-Sync or any other FPS limiters and play your favorite competitive games with an FPS counter on.
There will be some extreme screen-tearing if the display you test your build out on is 60hz, so stick to a casual game and see how high of an FPS you can achieve.
What Response Time Is Good For A Gaming Monitor?
First off, if you are confused about what response time is, it is how long it takes for a monitor to change from one color to another.
Often this is advertised for gaming monitors as somewhere between 5ms and 1ms, with 1ms being the better option.
The less time it takes for a monitor to change colors, the sharper color transitions can look.
This is so important for gaming because your character is always moving, and as is the environment.
The colors will bleed with a very high response time and leave a blurry trail as the objects move because your display takes too long to change the colors.
This is known as ghosting and is not something you want to have on your monitor because, in addition to looking very bad and being distracting, it can also mess up your aim in competitive games.
Ideally, you should aim to get a response time of less than 5ms, and in a perfect world, you can get the lowest being 1ms.
However, even if you land somewhere between 1ms and 5ms on a reliable 60hz monitor, you should have an excellent looking image.
If you are still confused or undecided on which response time you need, check out our article on what response times are good for gaming.
Wrap Up: Is Getting A 60hz Monitor For Gaming A Good Idea?
60hz monitors are all you need for most types of gaming. Even for competitive gaming, you can use a 60hz monitor and have a satisfactory experience.
If you have a budget PC build, I would recommend going for a 60hz refresh rate monitor because you don’t want to buy a higher refresh rate monitor if you cannot reach that refresh rate.
144hz refresh rate is only useful and will only give you a better experience if you can reach 144 FPS in-game so remember to keep that in mind.
If you are a competitive gamer with a mid-range to high-end PC, I recommend a 1080p, 144hz monitor because you will see a massive benefit in the games you play.
The smoother feeling of the game and the rapidly changing images will make playing more comfortable and make that genre of games much more enjoyable.