Maybe you got your first Xbox, an Xbox Series X, in the past year. Or maybe you’re still playing on one of the later Xbox One consoles. Either way, are you getting the most out of your console-gaming experience by playing your games on your TV?
While accessories like customized controllers or external storage are always useful (especially if you play huge-caliber titles like Call of Duty: Warzone), one of the best upgrades you can have in your console arsenal is a different kind of performance. Have: A new gaming monitor. With the new Xbox Series X supporting all three major display resolutions as do today’s normal-sized gaming monitors (1080p, 1440p, and 4K), your options are plentiful. But make sure you know the benefits and drawbacks, as well as how to buy the best monitor that best suits the games you love.
True Resolution: How Xbox Marks the Spot
First, there is the issue of resolution. As we mentioned above, at the time of this writing, the Xbox One (the Plus variant within the Xbox One family) and the Xbox Series S and X are the only consoles that support all three major monitor resolutions: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (aka , 1080p), 2,560 by 1,440 pixels (1440p), and 3,840 x 2,160 pixels (4K).
Here’s a quick breakdown…
The Sony Playstation 5, meanwhile, only supports 1080p or 4K, which leaves a bunch of affordable, high-performance gaming monitors out in the cold: namely, the 1440p models.
Indeed, 1440p is seen as a native-resolution sweet spot by many competitive PC and console gamers. Given that some major titles (such as Fortnite) are optimized to play at up to 120 frames per second (fps) on Xbox consoles at 1440p or 1080p, players of titles like those straight-on should consider the 1440p option. can wish. If getting high frame rate is their biggest concern up to 4K display. Speaking of high FPS, it is tied to the next factor…
Refresh rate: why screen speed matters
Xbox supports different resolutions and refresh rates depending on the model you own. For example, the Xbox One (and its variants) can only support a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz when the console is displaying in 1080p or 1440p.
The Xbox Series X, however, will support 120Hz mode in higher resolutions up to 4K. That said, we recommend taking a look at this article to see if the games you plan to play actually support high refresh mode in the first place. Support is game dependent.
Most gaming monitors slot into one of the following maximum refresh-rate levels: 60 Hz, 120 Hz, 144 Hz, 165 Hz, 200 Hz, 240 Hz, or 360 Hz. If you’re only planning on playing on your Xbox console using the monitor (no PC gaming plans in the near future), we recommend choosing a model that caps at 144Hz or 120Hz, so You’re not paying for extra frames you’ll never see on screen.
Why Cables (Can) Matter
Next, a little bit about cables. While all the consoles included in the Xbox One lineup only support HDMI 2.0, the latest Xbox Series X supports HDMI 2.1 for connecting to your favorite TV or gaming monitor.
Our primer on the current state of HDMI 2.1 will give you a deeper understanding of why it’s a significant difference. HDMI 2.1 will support up to 120fps in either 1080p or 1440p. However, if you want your Xbox Series X to run in 4K at 120fps, you’ll need to use a 4K monitor that’s compatible with an HDMI 2.1 device and supports that refresh rate. Especially 4K . Feather, You’ll also need an HDMI 2.1-compatible cable, called an “ultra high speed” HDMI cable. (About that at the link above.)
Monitors with HDMI 2.1 support, 4K resolution, and 120Hz-or-higher refresh rates were still few and far between at the time of this writing. gamer Needed Expect any higher-refresh-rate 4K models going forward to support HDMI 2.1, but you’ll do well to verify before you buy. Acer (Predator, Nitro) and Asus (ROG Swift) showcased high-refresh 4K, HDMI 2.1-capable gaming panels at last year’s CES. But support for spec is not guaranteed, so be sure to check.
HDR: The Bright Icing on the Cake
Finally, let’s take a second to talk about HDR, or High Dynamic Range. HDR is a feature that gives your games the best opportunity to shine, displaying a color palette and levels of brightness and clarity that far exceed what you see on a non-HDR monitor or TV.
Currently, this feature is more common on TV sets than on gaming monitors, but the trend is beginning to shift in the other direction. As more PC players and console owners upgrade their gaming hardware, the demand for gaming monitors that support HDR has also increased.
While Xbox 360 and specific Xbox One model owners won’t have the option to use this feature, the Xbox One X and the new Xbox Series X are compatible with Microsoft’s “Auto HDR” feature. It adds an API-level layer that imitates HDR impact on games where either the game or the hardware cannot support the native HDR implementation. (See the full list of games supported under Microsoft’s Xbox Enhanced HDR program.)
HDR monitors are rated at different levels to correspond to the peak brightness level you should expect from the panel. Currently, you can find gaming monitors rated between HDR10 (lowest brightness), up to HDR1000 in options like Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ. Between those two, you’ll find monitors rated at HDR400 and HDR600. (In the case of all these except HDR10, the numbers indicate peak HDR brightness.)
What level you choose should ultimately be determined by how bright you want your content to be—HDR 400 often doesn’t cut the mustard in this department—as well as tuning in to the setting to play with. How much dynamic range do you want to provide? multiplayer game. (One tactic, for example, could be pushing enemies during a multiplayer match to see enemies in darker scenes with greater levels of contrast, something a higher HDR rating might help with.)
So, which monitor should I buy?
Ready to make your choice? Here we’ve included a list of some of the best gaming monitors we’ve tested that are suitable for late-model Xbox. Keep in mind that many high-refresh 4K models are only compatible with DisplayPort 1.4b connections (that is to say, PC only) if you want to hit refresh rates above 60Hz, though they do have one for the Xbox One. Normal HDMI connected play at 60Hz. (We’ve included them in the event you want to connect both a late-model Xbox, as well as a high-powered gaming PC.) With that caveat, let’s dive into the list! (See also our favorite Xbox Series S and X launch games to buy direct.)