Your monitor is one of the most important aspects of your gaming set-up, but how do you know you have the ideal monitor for gaming? We’ve made a quick guide to what size monitor for gaming is best, covering everything from size to speed to resolution, so you know what to look for when you’re shopping.
Keep reading to learn why larger monitors are not always better and the specs we recommend for the optimal gaming experience. We also reviewed some of our favorite monitors and gaming chairs to help you cultivate the coolest gaming setup.
The ideal monitor size for gaming is between 24 inches and 27 inches. This sizing assumes the gamer sits no more than three to four feet away from the screen.
Factors to Consider
Of course, this is the question we are here to answer for you. But some gamers just want the biggest screen and let other important factors fall by the wayside. That said, the bigger the screen, the more immersed you’ll be in the game. Smaller screens are compact and possibly portable but can make it hard to see the smaller details.
The standard resolution on a 24-27-inch monitor is 1080p. The resolution is important in gaming, but some gamers don’t mind a rougher image in exchange for a large screen. This isn’t common, so we suggest the 1080p resolution or higher. But no higher than 6K, as there aren’t any games made yet to support 8K resolution.
The speed is a combination of the refresh rate and the response time.
Refresh rate is how many times the screen reloads an image. The faster this happens, the fewer lags and freezes there are in the game, and it runs smoothly. This is pretty simple; the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the game. So we recommend aiming for a 144hz refresh rate or higher.
Response time is how quickly the system registers and enacts your actions in the game. In this case, you want the lowest response rate possible. The ideal rate is 1ms or shorter.
Make sure the monitor has the necessary ports to run your game. Most games require one or more of the following:
The Best Gaming Monitors: Our Recommendations
We love this LG monitor because it is the perfect 27-inch screen. With a 1ms response time and 144hz refresh rate, this monitor checks all the boxes we discussed. It has vivid colors and a high-quality build that will last you a while.
The G27Q has the same specs as the LG, so it meets all of our ideal requirements. It has excellent gaming performance and operates very smoothly. The design is a little boring, but as long as the game runs we’re happy.
The Dell monitor is a 27-inch screen with a 1ms response time and a 165hz refresh rate, so it’s a bit techier than the other two. However, the build is a lower quality which is why it gets our number three spot. Still a great option!
Advice to Buyers
Some tips when shopping:
We mentioned earlier you should sit 3-4 feet away from your monitor. However, if you love playing inches away from the screen or 6 feet away, you should consider this when choosing your monitor size. A larger screen up close gives you poor peripheral visibility, and a small screen far away worsens visibility overall.
Another aspect to consider is what games you play. Some games require higher resolution in the tiny details to be successful, while others are fast-paced big picture games. For example, fans of Sims may want extremely high-resolution to see all the nuanced details in the game. But Overwatch players may not care about the detail in the texture of the ground.
Before you start looking for a new monitor, it’s wise to set a budget for yourself. If you don’t you may wind up spending way more than you intended to or be disappointed with the monitor you bought.
The average monitor costs between $300 and $400, but they can be as cheap as $50 and as pricey as $1,500.
Quality doesn’t always coincide with price, but when it comes to monitors it likely does. The higher the price, the smoother the device should run and the longer the parts last. Look for trusted companies like PC, and we suggest avoiding buying used as it is risky.
Best Gaming Chairs
Check out our recommendations for the comfiest gaming chairs to go along with your new monitor.
This sleek Secretlab gaming chair has premium leather and a stylish but subtle design. The chair features ergonomic properties, including 4D adjustable armrests, lumbar support, magnetic head pillow, and memory foam padding with cooling gel.
The Cougar Explore chair is no joke. Despite its affordable price, it combines high-quality materials from PVC leather to a steel frame so you can game hard in this chair, and it will last you years to come. We also love the fierce orange color accents around the chair.
This is one of the simpler gaming chairs, but the OFM Racing chair is still a fantastic pick. It has thick cushioning on the set bottom and backrest, making it easy to game for hours without discomfort. The chair is also designed openly without wings, so you have more freedom to move around.
This guide should answer your question as to what the best size monitor for gaming is, in addition to a range of other questions you may have had. We strongly recommend keeping your monitor within the recommended range for gaming: 24 to 27 inches.
We know giant monitors can be enticing, but we believe you’ll have a much more successful and enjoyable gaming experience with a medium-sized, high-quality monitor.
Is bigger always better?
No, certainly not. The bigger the screen, the more likely your resolution will worsen, and the game may even lag. A bigger screen is also damaging to your eyes after hours of playing. We recommend staying away from giant monitors unless you want them for viewing and not gaming.
What’s the biggest monitor I can get?
The largest gaming monitors are between 50 inches and 60 inches. This is incredibly large and not ideal for gaming, so we recommend avoiding these.
What’s the smallest monitor I can get?
The smallest monitors you can still game on are usually around 14 inches. But these are practically handheld and can make it difficult to be successful in the game.