What to Look For in a Gaming TV

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Updated January 21, 2023

TVs have various uses, from watching shows to watching sports and from watching movies to playing video games. If you’re shopping for a gamer, you may be asking about what to look for in a gaming TV. Some gamers may be fine playing on a standard TV, and others play with a 4K or 8K TV. All in all, you should ensure that you find a top-rated TV for gamers. If you prefer the Xbox console, check out our guide on the best TV for Xbox One X as a starting place.


  • The ideal gaming TV has low input lag and high refresh rates, and responsiveness.
  • Gamers may want to be more fully immersed in the game, which may be achieved using higher-resolution TVs.
  • TVs with a “game mode” typically have optimized settings for the best gaming possible on that TV.

Searching For Low Input Lag

Many TVs designed specifically for gamers aim to lower their input lag. This term means the time it takes a TV to process the signal from the console and display it on the screen. If you have a TV with a higher input lag, you would have a noticeable gap between when you press the button to do something, like pick an object up, and the time it shows on the screen. With less input lag, this time would be shorter.

Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a Smart TV, you’ll want to read our article covering what is the best Smart TV.

For many casual gamers, input lag should be about 50 milliseconds (ms) or less. For more competitive gamers, the input lag should be about 25 ms or less. Although this may seem unreasonable because who will see a difference in milliseconds, the gap can be pretty noticeable to the player. Additionally, gamers often have to deal with lag from the game’s connection to the server, which makes the image on the screen fall behind. Additionally, if you are suffering from this, we have a guide on how to fix input lag on TV.

Seeking Higher Refresh Rates

Another aspect that can impact the experience of playing a game stems from the refresh and frame rates of the TV. These rates refer to how often the image on the screen is updated. In other words, slower refresh rates lead to a similar issue to that of input lag. If you do not have excellent refresh rates, it could take you longer to see the impacts your actions or those of others have on the game. You have probably seen TVs that say 60Hz or 120Hz. This is the refresh rate. You can read more about this and why it is important with our article on what is Hz in TVs.

Refresh rates often go hand in hand with the resolution on a TV. Higher resolution TVs, like 4K TVs, still have varying refresh rates between models but typically have higher refresh rates. 4K gaming at higher frame rates is also possible, and likely to be something you do more often, even with the most powerful graphics card in the world. Additionally, 4K resolutions can immerse players more because they typically offer greater details in the image. This is why you should also care about what sizes do TVs come in if you are looking for a gaming Tv. While you probably already know what a 4K TV is if you are in the market for a TV that is best suited for gamers, check out these highly-rated TV for Xbox One X.

Striving For Low Latency

Some brands offer TVs with modes that feature a picture mode specifically for gaming. Consumers may find this mode in settings and want to turn it on when playing. Many of these modes adjust the image so you can see it as the creator intended. Additionally, this mode typically includes a low latency, which also affects lag. Some manufacturers even have an auto game mode that optimizes the TV’s capabilities to deliver the best gaming performance and picture quality. These TVs make it easier to switch between gaming and viewing content and were some of the great features that arose when tv went digital. And if you are curious, you can read about what is digital TV.


What is input lag, and why does it matter for gaming?

Input lag measures the time it takes the signal from the gaming console to be processed and displayed on the TV. TVs with higher input lag will have a wider gap between the time you press a button on the controller to the time that action shows on the screen.

Do you need an 8K gaming TV?

Like 8K TVs, higher resolution TVs feature greater detail within the image and better image quality. However, you do not need an 8K TV for gaming. Instead, you can use lower-resolution TVs, especially if you cannot afford an 8K TV.

Do refresh rates matter?

Refresh rates and frame rates affect how often the image on the TV is updated to match the game. In many cases, lower refresh rates will result in on-screen lag, making it more difficult to react to different aspects of the game in time.

STAT: 4K gaming at higher frame rates is also possible and likely to be something you do more often, even with the most powerful graphics card in the world. (source)

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