Refresh rate (Hz) is one of the features that a gamer must look at when buying a new monitor since it is often said that the higher the refresh rate, the better it is for gaming. People would also say that the refresh rate would affect your in-game FPS.

But what exactly is the reason behind these statements? Is it true that the refresh rate affects your gameplay? Let’s find out.

What Is Refresh Rate (Hz)?

Refresh rate is the term used to describe how many times can your screen display in one second. The unit of measurement used is Hertz (Hz). This means that a standard 60Hz screen can display an image 60 times in one second. Gaming-oriented screen have 120Hz or higher.

The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image would look on your screen. This is because multiple images are projected into your screen with a very little interval between them.

Going for a higher refresh rate monitor means that you need to have hardware that could reach the intended frames-per-second that the monitor can support. Slow hardware will not keep up with the refresh rate and you will not have smooth gameplay.

Does Hz Affect FPS?

Monitor refresh rate (Hz) is fixed and does not affect your frames-per-second (FPS). Once you purchase a monitor, the Hz is already defined by the manufacturer – unless you overclock it for extra performance. On the other hand, the FPS changes from one system to another since it depends on a lot of factors such as the CPU, GPU, and RAM.

However, the monitor refresh rate would affect the things that you would see even if you have high FPS.

For instance, you have 300 FPS while playing Valorant yet you only have a monitor with 60Hz. This means that your hardware is producing 300 frames yet you can actually only see 60 FPS second. This is because your monitor is capped at 60 Hz.

The same goes if you have a 240Hz monitor and you are only getting 60 FPS in Apex Legends. You are actually viewing 60 FPS only and the whole gameplay will look sluggish compared to 240 FPS on a 240Hz monitor.

How Does Refresh Rate (Hz) Affect Gaming?

High refresh rate monitors are preferred when gaming since there is an advantage to it. When playing competitive titles, you will see the enemies a millisecond faster while using a 144Hz monitor compared to a 60Hz one. On AAA titles, the high refresh also provides a smoother gaming experience with no lags in between frames.

Let us take a look at the example taken from the UFO Test below.

UFO Test Example

The top UFO with 144 FPS on a 144Hz monitor is a few milliseconds forward compared to the second and third UFO. The second UFO is still acceptable but the last UFO is already at a huge disadvantage.

What does it mean while gaming?

Imagine that the yellow vertical line is a wall and the UFOs are about to peak to the red side. If you are using a high refresh rate monitor then you will immediately see your enemy peak (red line) and you can shoot him on the spot.

However, if you are using a low refresh rate monitor (30Hz), then there is a slight delay before you would see the enemy peak past the yellow vertical line. They might have shot you already (assuming they are using a high refresh rate monitor) and you have not seen them yet.

This is the reason why competitive FPS players go for 240Hz monitors or higher. A millisecond would spell the difference between getting a kill or being killed.

Will Higher Refresh Rate (Hz) Reduce FPS?

Not at all. The refresh rate of your monitor has no effect on your FPS. The FPS that you are getting while gaming depends on the hardware that you are using. Hz only affects what you are visually seeing but it does not increase or reduce the FPS that you are getting.

Whether you have the top-tier components or not, your monitor refresh rate will remain the same. However, if you have a 60Hz monitor and you have 120 FPS in-game, you will only see 60 FPS. Meanwhile, if you are getting 120 FPS in-game and you have a 120Hz monitor then you will fully see 120 FPS – which is way smoother than playing on a 60Hz screen.

What Is The Best Refresh Rate (Hz) For Gaming?

144Hz is considered the sweet spot when it comes to gaming. The difference between 60Hz and 144Hz is massive while the jump from 144Hz to 240Hz is minimal – sometimes negligible. From a price-to-performance standpoint, getting a 144Hz monitor is the best way to go.

However, if you are a professional gamer then you would not want to compromise your setup and get the highest refresh rate you can. There are a lot of options out there ranging from 240Hz to 360Hz.

Now, for casual gamers, why is 144Hz the sweet spot?

As mentioned earlier, the jump from 60Hz to 144Hz is a night and day difference and it will surely affect your gameplay.

144 FPS is also achievable by various hardware tiers. Whether you are using an entry-level gaming rig or a high-end one, you can achieve 144 FPS and maximize the Hz of your monitor. Unlike 240Hz wherein you need beefy hardware to output 240 FPS.

Is 60Hz Enough For Gaming?

It depends on what type of gamer are you. If you are playing AAA single-player titles such as God Of War then 60Hz is more than enough. However, if you are playing competitive FPS titles or MOBAs, then you are at a slight disadvantage if you are playing at 60Hz.

Single-player titles such as Stray, Cyberpunk 2077, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is best played at maximum graphics. These games have eye-candy visuals and are very impressive to look at.

There is little competitive advantage to having 144Hz or higher on these games too since you are not competing with other players. More often than not, maximum graphics at 60FPS is perfect for these types of games.

You will also notice that most of the large 4K TVs only have 60Hz. Besides being targeted at console gamers, these TVs focus on graphics and visuals and not high refresh rates. Of course, there are 4K monitors with 144Hz refresh rate or higher but they are more expensive than their 60Hz counterparts.

In summary, 60Hz is enough for playing single-player titles. Play competitive games and you will definitely need 144Hz or more.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about refresh rate (Hz) and how it affects FPS, it is time for you to upgrade if you still have a 60Hz monitor at home. There are advantages to using a high-refresh-rate monitor that will surely improve your gameplay.

If you have no idea which monitor to get, check out our monitor buyers guide here. Our guides include different monitor suggestions depending on your hardware.

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Author

Aim is a content writer who loves playing Apex Legends and Dota 2. He also plays casual games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Pokemon titles on his Nintendo Switch too. He sometimes streams on his Facebook Gaming page called Aimpossible.