Written by Bas Teunissen

Gaming on an Ultrawide monitor

From the large, ungainly CRT monitors to flat monitors with the latest gadgets, in gaming monitors we are always looking for the extreme. With the latest curved ultrawide monitors we are just a step further. Are ultrawide monitors nice to play? Does it offer you advantages when playing online games? And how do you choose the best ultrawide gaming monitor? I'll explain.

The advantages

  • Thanks to the 21: 9 ultrawide aspect ratio, you actually see more of your games, handy at shooters (Battlefield 1) and MOBA (League of Legends) and grand strategy games (Total War: Warhammer.)

  • With a third more screen space you only need one screen for gaming, work and entertainment.

  • You do not suffer from ugly screen bezels that you see in multi-monitor setups.

What should you keep in mind?

If you want to play on your new ultrawide monitor, pay attention to the following features:

  • A response time of 3-5 ms or less so your screen can keep track of your fast actions.
  • A refresh rate of at least 75 Hz, so you can play high FPS.
  • G-Sync or FreeSync support, depending on whether you have an Nvidia or AMD video card. This prevents tearing and stuttering during gaming.
  • A screen size of at least 25 inches so you do not have to sit too close to your screen.

The difference between ultrawide and normal monitors

Difference Ultrawide

Widescreen, ultrawide, all one pot wet, right? No definitely not. There are a number of important differences between 'normal' and ultrawide monitors. The biggest and most relevant difference is that in aspect ratio, the ratio between the horizontal and vertical dimensions of a screen. An old, almost square monitor has a ratio of 4: 3, a regular screen has an aspect ratio of 16: 9 and an ultrawide aspect ratio of 21: 9. This gives you about one third more screen space on an ultrawide screen than on a typical screen. Due to the size and the properties of the panel, ultrawide monitors often have lower reaction speeds (5 ms or more). This is disadvantageous for gamers, because in a game you want to see your actions in the game as quickly as possible.

Ultrawide gaming

UltraWide gaming

With an ultrawide monitor you see, provided the game supports it, more of the playing field than on a normal screen. You notice this especially when a game has a customizable Field of View (FoV) option. The higher you set it, the wider your field of view. With a field of view of 90 degrees you can see the same on a normal and ultrawide monitor, but with an ultrawide monitor you can set the FoV higher without distorting the image. In games where you see the playing field from above, you can see more of the battlefield horizontally. If your game does not support ultrawide resolutions, the image is stretched or shown with black bars on the side.

Comparison

The monitor

The real curved ultrawide gaming monitor specially made for gamers is the LG 34UC79G. Thanks to the refresh rate of 144Hz and a response speed of 1ms, you benefit from all the advantages of an ultrawide without delay that normal screens sometimes have. This combination offers bright colors with good viewing angles and a panoramic experience. Due to the higher resolution (2560x1080) and 144Hz refresh rate you can see more detail and, if your hardware is fast enough, you have fluid animation at 144 fps. The monitor also supports AMD Freesync.

The monitor

The difference with the LG27MP59G, a 27 inch gaming monitor with a 75 Hz panel with IPS, is mainly in the aspect ratio. This screen has a standard aspect ratio of 16: 9 and a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. As a result, this monitor is slightly less stressful for your hardware. The lower Full HD resolution of this monitor will cost your PC about a third less graphical computing power. You do miss the extra wide view of an ultrawide monitor. If your hardware can handle the extra pixels, then an ultrawide screen is definitely worth considering.

Shooters

Shooters

The monitor really comes into its own when shooting shooters. In games like Battlefield 1 you throw the FoV up a bit. With the regular monitor you play around the 85 FoV, but with the ultrawide you still play with 110 without visible fish eye effect. As a result, you see considerably more of the playing field in the corners of your eye. This makes it harder for other players to stalk you and it feels like you have a panoramic view of the battlefield. If you lie on a hill as a sniper, it makes it a lot easier to spot a lone opponent. This works less well in competitive games such as Counter Strike. The menus and HUD elements do not always fit well and you do not see more than normal. It is also not surprising that competitive shooters prefer not to tolerate hardware-related advantages.

MOBA games

MOBA

In MOBAs too, the horizontal field of view helps to improve the overview of the playing field. The broader image obviously does nothing against the fog of war that conceals parts of the field. Still, if you use your wards and other vision mechanics well in League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm, you still have a big advantage. So in League of Legends you have a view of the bushes of the bottom lane. So if you place wards here, it is a lot harder for the enemy jungler to surprise you. Sometimes it is handy for MOBAs to have a second monitor, especially if you like additional information about items and champions while playing.

Grand strategy

Grand strategy games

In grand strategy games such as Total War: Warhammer and Civilization VI, it is also about overview. The giant armies of the Old World are marching across your screen. Instead of zooming out further, you can enjoy the detail of your units on an ultrawide gaming monitor while you keep an overview of the battle. So you see the cavalry of your opponent arrive earlier and you get your spearmen in time to protect your archers. If you see the enemy shaman throw a spell on your right flank, you respond in time by having your own wizard intervene. Unfortunately, some strategy games are also limited. For example, the popular competitive RTS StarCraft II does not support ultrawide screens to prevent one player from seeing more than the other.

Conclusion

Ultrawide gaming is fat. In almost every game there are advantages for your map awareness or to keep an eye on your flanks. With the advent of gaming-oriented ultrawides such as the LG 34UC79G, there is no longer any compromise. You simply have your beloved 144 Hz refresh rate and with the bright colors and wide viewing angles of an IPS screen.


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