Young male gamer on a PC.
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While gaming with the highest resolution possible might sound appealing, there are real benefits to lowering your graphics settings. This is especially true if you’re trying to compete in a first-person shooter. Here’s why.

More Frames Per Second Are Always Better

When it comes to first-person shooters, you should always prioritize performance over quality. To that end, you can never go wrong with getting as many frames per second as possible. The more frames you get, the better gaming experience and competitive edge you’ll receive. The higher your frames, the smoother and more playable the game will be.

This is especially important in first-person shooters as you need to be able to react quickly to your opponents. With more frames per second, you’ll see your enemies faster, even if it’s just a fraction of a second. This fraction at higher level gameplay can mean the difference between winning and losing a gunfight. Although there is no “ideal” frame rate to strive for, just know that higher is better.

You should also know that your monitor’s refresh rate is the maximum frames per second you’ll be able to see. If you have a monitor with 60Hz (60 frames per second), you won’t be able to see anything above that. It won’t matter if you’re getting 120 or even 300 frames in the game. You’ll need to upgrade your monitor to one with a higher refresh rate to see the benefits of your higher frames.

In other words, your optimal frames per second is the highest refresh rate your monitor offers. For first-person shooters, you’ll want to have at least a 144Hz monitor. They usually cost around the same as 120Hz monitors, so you may as well get the slight upgrade.

144Hz Gaming

AOC C24G1A 24-Inch Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor

This rapid response, curved monitor was designed for gaming and offers a refresh rate up to 165Hz (with the right cable).

If you’re a serious or competitive gamer, you can upgrade to a 240Hz monitor or higher. For those with a 60Hz monitor, you will see a dramatic change when upgrading to at least 120Hz. Going from 120Hz to higher will have big diminishing returns. Remember to continue lowering your in-game graphics until you’re consistently getting optimal frames.

240Hz Gaming

LG 27GN750-B 27-Inch UltraGear Gaming Monitor

Amp up your frames per second with this 1920x1080 monitor boasting 1ms response and GSYNC compatibility.

Can Your PC Handle High Graphics?

Before you decide whether to play on low graphics or not, you should check if your computer can handle playing on high graphics. You can check the minimum specifications of the game or go directly to your game’s settings. Change the graphic settings to high–you don’t need to turn everything to the max as anything above high is usually overkill.

Now, play the game and see if you get any frame drops or other performance issues. If the game is stuttering or having difficulty running, it’s best not to play in these settings. Doing so will only make it more difficult to play, which may lower your performance.

It’s likely that your computer isn’t strong enough to handle these settings, so you should lower the graphics. Keep lowering the settings until you no longer have any performance issues. In first-person shooters, it’s imperative that your game runs as smoothly as possible. A single second of your frames dropping or your game stuttering could cause you to lose.

Should You Ever Play on Higher Graphics?

Playing on higher graphics is only better if it gives you a competitive edge. Otherwise, it’s purely for looks. For first-person shooters, you will almost never get a competitive edge playing on high graphics–the opposite is more often true. Playing on lower graphics not only increases frame rates but also improves your focus.

Rather than seeing bright explosions and shiny reflections everywhere, you can keep your focus on taking down your enemy. Playing on low graphics get rid of all of the extra details that won’t help you play any better. If you’re not convinced yet, you should know that nearly all professional first-person shooters play on low graphics, especially when it comes to tournaments.

You’ll also want to make sure you equip yourself with a gaming mouse and keyboard to improve your gameplay!

The Best Gaming Monitors of 2023

LG Ultragear 27GP950-B
Best Gaming Monitor Overall
LG Ultragear 27GP950-B
Acer Nitro XF243Y
Best Budget Gaming Monitor
Acer Nitro XF243Y
LG C2 Series
Best 4K Gaming Monitor
LG C2 Series
Dell Alienware AW3423DW
Best Curved Gaming Monitor
Dell Alienware AW3423DW
Gigabyte M27Q
Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor
Gigabyte M27Q
Samsung Odyssey G7
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor
Samsung Odyssey G7
Profile Photo for Andy Nguyen Andy Nguyen
Andy Nguyen has been a professional freelance writer for over three years and has written hundreds of articles. He has loved computers and technology ever since he started gaming as a kid back in the 1990s. He's the person everyone he knows turns to for help with tech, too. Andy also runs a blog where he provides information and guides for students on becoming more productive.
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