Televisions are more complex than ever. There is nothing new about standard visual settings like brightness, colour, and tint, but there are now dozens of options to play with, and they don’t necessarily work well with video games.
There are a few typical causes of lag and quick remedies you can apply; the most of them only require changing a few settings in the picture menu. Of course, owning a TV to game on is a prerequisite for optimising your TV for gaming, and we can assist you with that as well: See our ranking of the top gaming TVs.
What is lag in input?
Input latency is a potential issue that could affect game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. When the TV is processing images so quickly that a player’s physical input (on a controller for a video game) influences how long it takes for an input to appear on screen, this is known as input lag. In other words, when you push a button on your controller, Mario jumps a brief time after you command him to.
This is a significant issue in games that call on split-second reactions, and it’s made worse by the fact that playing online might extend that time even further due to your internet connection.
ways to avoid input latency
There are a few input lag-reduction steps you may perform through your TV’s settings menu, regardless of how old or modern your TV is.
- activate game mode
Specifically created for use with video games, “Game Mode” is a setting that enhances a TV’s gaming capabilities. This function first appeared in high-end Televisions in the middle of the 2000s, but it has now spread to almost every TV on the market.
Before you play a video game, it’s a good idea to turn on Game Mode. The majority of TVs include this feature in their list of image mode presets, while occasionally it exists as a separate setting that may be turned on or off. Motion-smoothing settings are typically disabled, and brightness and colour saturation are increased.
When a console is detected on one of the TV’s HDMI inputs, TVs with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) will immediately switch to Game Mode. Even if it isn’t yet accessible on all Screens, this useful function is quickly becoming the norm.
- Disable any mitigation features.
At least a few reduction settings are standard on new TVs. It’s often difficult to locate them in the settings menus, and even when you do, there’s no guarantee that the TV will even explain what they do.
These settings go by many different names, including Noise Reduction, Mosquito Reduction, NR Reduction, and MPEG Reduction. Whichever name they go by, they nearly always lengthen input lag.
Input latency might be caused by reduction features, so try deactivating them to start. Reduction functions change the signal between your console’s video output and your TV screen. Play the game without it at first, and then switch it on if you decide you truly need a feature, like flesh-tone augmentation. It could have an impact on input latency and response time, for example.
- Disable motion enhancement settings
Although motion enhancement settings can occasionally be helpful, most people will want to immediately disable them. While the motion smoothing settings for LG, Sony, and Samsung vary by manufacturer, they are often found in the submenus of a TV’s display settings, frequently called “Clarity,” “Motion,” “Clear Motion,” or “Motion Smoothing.”
But they all perform essentially the same action and all cause input lag in some way. By just activating motion smoothing, almost every TV we’ve tested for input lag moves from great (sub-30ms input lag) to terrible (over 80ms input lag). The advantages of possessing a gaming-ready TV will be lost despite the fact that your ability to handle the game will decrease. To your eye, the picture may appear slightly better.
posses VRR? Use it!
We strongly advise using Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on your TV while gaming if you’re fortunate enough to have one. Screen tearing during gameplay will be reduced thanks to this technology, which keeps your TV and console on the same page regarding how many frames are being presented per second (sometimes referred to as the frame rate).
If you have a more recent, higher-end TV, the ability to switch features like VRR, FreeSync, and/or G-Sync might not be accessible until the TV detects a gaming console and activates a specialised set of settings tailored to gaming. You’ll probably find this setting in the TV’s display or system settings if it doesn’t have a hub for gaming-specific settings.
Although VRR has the potential to make input lag longer, you probably won’t see a noticeable improvement in performance. Finally, experimenting with your TV’s settings while gaming is the best way to discover what works for you.