For anyone who is interested in investing in a new gaming monitor, you may be curious as to what size monitor most pro gamers use when playing. Monitors have come a long way in recent years, and so has the gaming world. With higher resolution screens, various sizes to choose from, and many different price points, trying to figure out what screen is best can be a challenge. It seems normal to want to first figure out what the professionals use and if there is a standard in the gaming industry when it comes to screen size.
Table of Contents
- What size monitors do professional gamers use in tournaments?
- What Monitors Do Pro Gamers Use?
- What Size Monitor Should I Buy for Gaming?
What size monitors do professional gamers use in tournaments?
Most pro gamers prefer to use a 24” screen monitor for the following reasons:
- most widely used in tournaments
- less head motion is needed
- the best size for minimal eye movement
- easy to transport and use in different spaces
- highest frame rates available
Anytime we are purchasing a new electronic, it can feel overwhelming with the myriad of choices. Whether you are looking to purchase a monitor online, in a big box store or at a locally-owned shop, deciding what your needs are and then doing some preliminary research is the best way to ensure you end up getting what is going to fit your lifestyle and budget.
For people who like to game and want to have an experience similar to a pro gamer, a monitor will need certain qualities to really give you the experience you are looking for, and some of these qualities you wouldn’t think of when purchasing a monitor for everyday work or enjoyment. Pro gamers are a special breed, and their needs are unique.
I like gaming and recently decided to upgrade my monitor to one that would give me optimal enjoyment while doing so.
After some careful research, I figured out that the 24” monitor would work best for me, and I’m excited to share my findings with you.
What Monitors Do Pro Gamers Use?
The world of pro gaming is quickly growing and for obvious reasons.
Gaming is a well-loved activity for people across the planet, regardless of age, gender, and socioeconomic background.
There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day of school or work and immersing yourself in a favorite game for a while. Though gaming has gotten a bad rap at times, it has also been proven to have some true health benefits, as long as it’s not overused or abused.
As the interest in gaming has grown, so too has the world of pro-gaming. No longer just a simple pastime, gaming is now considered a sport and is widely played in competitive arenas, where thousands of spectators will come and watch.
Because of this, gamers need specific equipment to perform successfully. One of the most important pieces of equipment is their monitors.
Though monitors are now widely available in a whole range of sizes, most pro gamers prefer to play on a 24” screen. That sounds small to most of us, right? But there are some very specific reasons why the 24” monitor has become the model of choice in the gaming world.
1. Most Widely Used in Tournaments
Go to any gaming tournament, and you will see rows and rows of monitors lining the playing room floor, with participants sitting behind them, deep in intense play.
These monitors are all 24” screens, which is widely accepted in the professional gaming world as the regulation-size monitor, regardless of where the game is being held.
Because of this, it only makes sense that most pro gamers would want to practice on a monitor of the same size. As I mentioned before, gaming has become big business, and those who go pro know that practicing on anything other than what is regulation at a tournament would be counter-intuitive.
Though oftentimes we think “bigger is better”, in the case of gaming, a professional wants to practice on the same size screen as they will play on in a tournament. They want the graphics, the resolution, and the design to all be similar to what they will face when they are in a competitive environment.
Until the industry-standard changes, you’ll see most pros playing and practicing on 24” monitors just like they do when the stakes are high.
2. Less Head Motion is Needed
When you think about it, this one makes a lot of sense when it comes to monitor size and playing a game competitively.
In a gaming tournament, the goal is less about pleasure and more about performance, right?
Yes, video games are created to bring us entertainment, but if you are a pro gamer, you are more focused on the outcome than the experience.
Let’s face it – you are there to win.
Big monitors give a gamer a bigger experience. The graphics are larger, the action looks more intense and a large monitor can make you feel like you are in the middle of the action.
But for a pro who is competing at a tournament, they aren’t looking for that kind of play. They want to be able to take in the whole screen with as little movement as possible.
Like with any sport, the better a person gets, the more refined their skills are. With professional gamers, every time they have to move their head, it takes them away from what could be going on in another corner of the screen. So, a 24” monitor is perfect for most players, as they can witness everything happening on their screen at once.
Big screens are great for large action movies or sophisticated games with lots of cool graphics and exciting activity. But for a gamer who has honed their craft into a science, the 24” monitor allows them the precision of minimal movement they need to be competitive.
3. Best Size for Minimal Eye Movement
Similar to the point I made above, another big factor for gamers in determining what size monitor they use has to do with something called their Ocular Focus.
In layman’s terms, this simply means that, when gaming, a player doesn’t want to have to shift their eyes too much. Even casual gamers will complain that too much eye movement causes strain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
Experts have also weighed in on this. One of the biggest criticisms of video games is that they can cause significant eye strain and even long-lasting damage if care isn’t taken to make sure that a player’s eyes are protected from overuse.
If you’ve ever watched a professional gaming tournament, you’ll notice that the players sit close to the screen, their heads directly set in the middle. Not only do their heads move very little, as we covered already, but watch closely and you’ll see their eye movement is also kept to a minimum.
Less eye movement not only protects their eyes from overuse and strain, but it also allows them to keep the whole screen in their view.
For these reasons, a pro gamer is going to choose a screen that is small enough that they can see all the action at once, without having to move their eyes too much, just like their heads.
4. Easy to Transport and Use in Different Spaces
Gamers, like athletes, need to know they can practice their sport and hone their skills regardless of where they are. Gaming, as I’ve mentioned, is a worldwide activity and many professional gamers will go where the action is.
During a gaming tournament, there are usually a whole host of rules, just like with any competitive activity. One of those (typically) is that no outside monitors can be used. Particularly with the larger, more established gaming events, this is a widely understood rule.
That said, a gamer will still want to have their own monitor with them during the non-play times. They may want to practice after the tournament ends for the day, thinking through moves and actions they would have done differently.
Having a personal monitor along for the ride is important to most pro gamers, and the 24” monitor is easy to transport and carry. It fits nicely into luggage, and can be hooked up and utilized even in small spaces.
Even during off-play tournament times, a gamer may want to take their monitor on vacation, home for a family holiday, or when visiting friends. 24” monitors are ideal for all of that and another reason why they are the most popular monitors with gamers.
5. Highest Frame Rates Possible
I saved this one for last because – out of all the other reasons that pro gamers prefer the 24” monitor – this one is the biggest.
Most of us, when purchasing a new laptop, monitor, or even television, are very interested in the resolution of the screen. We’ve learned that pixels and resolution are important to our viewing experience and that the higher both are, the better quality picture we will have to interact with.
But for professional gamers, pixels, and resolution are much less important than high frame rates.
A frame rate is how often a set of frames (or images) will appear on your monitor in a consecutive period of time.
Frame rates are measured by how many frames are displayed in a second. So, the more frames that are displayed, the better for gaming. If the frame rate is too low, the action will not appear as quickly.
Remember, professional gamers are less interested in quality image and more interested in accuracy and speed. They want a monitor that will provide them with as much information about what is happening on their screen as they can get, and in the quickest amount of time.
For this reason, a pro gamer may not be looking for the highest resolution monitor, but instead wants the highest frame rates. 24” monitors are known for having frame rates as high as 240Hz, which is a much higher frame rate than a larger monitor will provide.
What Size Monitor Should I Buy for Gaming?
Now that you understand why the 24” monitor is ideal for professional gamers and the one most used in gaming tournaments, the next question you may have is this – which monitor is going to be right for me?
Let’s face it…most of us aren’t professional gamers, nor do we claim to be. We enjoy using our monitors for playing our favorite video games and may even dabble in some light tournament play for fun and relaxation.
But, most of us need our monitors to perform in other aspects of our life as well. Maybe we use them for school or work. Perhaps our monitor is shared with other family members who have different needs than we do. We also must factor in how much space we have for the monitor, as well as how much we can afford to pay.
Taking all of these things into consideration is important when you go to buy your next screen. Here are some things to think about that will help you decide which size monitor is going to work best for you and your needs.
What Is Its Primary Use?
I start with this question because I think it will influence all the others.
When you are thinking about buying a new monitor, what is going to be its primary use?
If this is mainly a gaming monitor, then you will be looking at some different features than if it is going to be used for workflow, school assignments or even watching movies or television shows.
As discussed earlier, pro gamers tend to buy smaller monitors, usually the 24” size. If you are planning to game professionally and not use your new monitor for much else, you may want to stick with a high-end monitor in this size range.
If, however, you will be using the monitor to do other tasks a good deal of time, the 24” monitor may feel limiting to you. The screen is not very large and you may find yourself getting frustrated by this as well as finding that you are squinting more often, or constantly enlarging the font size.
Smaller monitors can also lead to more neck and back pain, as users tend to find themselves leaning closer to them in order to view certain content, especially when looking at spreadsheets or small-type articles.
Though it is probably fair to assume you are planning on using your monitor for a significant amount of gaming, still think about other ways you’re going to use it. A monitor that is 27” – 30” can still give the non-professional a great gaming experience, while allowing your screen to fulfill other needs as well.
Where Will It Be Located?
Space is also a big factor in deciding what type monitor you should buy for gaming.
Many gamers have gaming desks that are specifically created with gaming in mind. These desks tend to be ergonomically created and allow gamers to adjust their height and provide ample space for a monitor, and sometimes even two.
On the other hand, a traditional desk may not have the space to hold an oversized monitor, and may also house other items, such as a printer, office supplies, or textbooks.
If you have roommates or other family members who also share your monitor or just your space, you will want to factor them in as well. A large, bulky monitor may be annoying to others if you all are sharing tight living quarters.
Think carefully about the space you have before you purchase a monitor and make sure it’s going to work for you and anyone else who may be cohabitating with you.
Do You Want More Resolution or More Frame Rate?
Earlier I explained the difference between a screen’s resolution and its frame rate. These are two vastly different components of a monitor and which is more important to you will have a lot to do with how you are planning on using your monitor the most.
Remember that professional gamers are willing to compromise higher resolution in order to attain a higher frame rate. They don’t care as much about the quality of the picture on their screen and instead want images that come quickly, so they can act fast and accurately.
But that higher frame rate comes at a cost. Monitors with a high frame rate tend to have lower resolution, meaning the picture is not as crisp and clear as a monitor with a high resolution will be. Finding the balance between picture quality and the speed at which the images come to your screen will be important if your monitor is going to be used for multiple activities.
If you think you will be using your monitor for purposes other than just gaming, try to look for a monitor that factors in a higher resolution, but also takes into consideration the need for a higher frame rate. Many monitors on the market today factor in both, as they know that most buyers want to game and be able to use their screen for other purposes as well.