When it comes to gaming monitors, is curved better than flat?
It's a big question and arguably a bit of a debate when it comes to monitors, especially when you're looking for your next upgrade.
Curved monitors present unique and distinct qualities over flat screens that make them very appealing, but as expected there's more to it than that when it comes to gaming.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of making your decision.
Curved Monitors - The Advantages
There are a few distinct advantages to curved gaming monitors, but here are the ones you need to know about.
Curved monitors hit the scene with a bang and unlike '3D TVs' they've been welcomed by gamers around the world.
There are a few selling points with curved monitors, but the number one is around immersion.
Curved monitors aim to reflect the curvature of your eye and wrap around your field of vision.
What that means is that the images at the sides of the monitor are seen in your peripheral vision, giving you a much deeper sense of being in the game itself.
While not strictly to do with gaming, if you are doubling up your curved gaming monitor as a workstation too, you'll find a distinct advantage when it comes to desktop real-estate.
Monitors like this Samsung Ultra Wide have to be seen to be believed and allow for multiple tabs open at one time - a real winner when it comes to productivity.
Monitors are quite literally the focal point of gaming setups, so it pays to have one that really stands out and matches your aesthetic.
Curved gaming monitors can frequently be seen plastered all over some of those envy-building setups online and with good reason. They look incredible and give that premium feel to your setup.
There are some arguments that curved monitors can reduce eye strain, which if it is the case could be worthwhile for some of the longer gaming sessions you're bound to encounter.
The reason being is that they allow you to see the whole screen without having to strain, which could be a big win if you're spending a lot of time in front of the computer.
Read More: Why Are Monitors Curved?
Curved Monitor - The Disadvantages
Now first off, real disadvantages usually come with poor response times and not picking the best resolution or monitor panel type for your needs, but there are some noteworthy considerations to make when deciding between a curved and flat-screen display.
Yep, most curved monitors are more expensive on the whole, although you can find some great options like this Samsung 32" for less than you'd think.
But generally speaking since curved is synonymous with ultra-wide they tend to be a lot bigger and therefore can easily head over $1000 easily.
Since most curved monitors have a 21:9 display ratio (ultra-wide) if you're using it for gaming then you need that game to support the format.
This can be the case with select titles, but what you may find is that you'll be gaming with black bars on either side for most.
Whether you like that or not is a matter of taste of course, but we'd like to think that many would agree that it takes away from the immersion.
If you're a designer and you plan on using your standout curved gaming monitor for work too, then it may work against you a little.
Thanks to the curve, getting a good read on size, proportions or anything else that requires a careful eye can be potentially affected.
If you're a designer, it may make much more sense to go for a big 4K display.
Are Curved Monitors Better For Gaming
If you weigh up flat screens vs curved screens for gaming, we'd say you have to think about what your primary usage of the monitor is, and for what type of gaming experience you're after.
For competitive gamers, we really can't see too much of an advantage in a curved gaming monitor, simply because the best monitors for competitive gaming should be smaller displays, potentially even with TN panels.
But for immersion, you can't really beat the curve, trusting that you can find a game that matches its aspect ratio.
The good news is that AAA titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Horizon Zero Dawn, Read Dead Redemption 2, and more do support it...and we're expecting more to join the fray soon.
Curved Monitor Recommendations
If you're after a great curved monitor for gaming, we'd say these displays are worth checking out on your hunt based on specs, reviews, and features they offer.
- Samsung Odyssey G7 - 32", 240hz, 1ms response time, 1000R curve: Check Amazon
- Samsung LC49HG90DMUXEN - 49", 144Hz, 1ms, 3840x1080: Check Amazon
- Gigabyte G34WQC - 34", 1500R (3440 x 1440), 144Hz, 1ms FreeSync Compatible: Check Amazon
Read More: Are Gaming Monitors Good For Work?