Gaming always asks for more – GPU performance, screen width, CPU cores, RAM, and what not. The difference an ultrawide screen makes in gaming depends firstly on your hardware, and then on your gaming needs. Like, purchasing an ultrawide monitor still won’t fix that laggy gaming experience caused by your poor GPU, right? So, the most important question here is about its worth, which is based on several factors.
Is an Ultrawide Monitor Worth it for Gaming?
The 33% bigger width ultrawide monitor offers is hands-on appealing for gamers. Especially when it comes to competitive and immersive gaming – two of the most popular genres – having a wider field of view can make all the difference. For example:
- You can see more surroundings and enemies.
- Easier to spot hidden items and clues.
An average ultrawide monitor costs anywhere between $200 to $800. However, depending on your purpose, the price difference can be significant. Below is a table showing the average price ranges of different ultrawide monitors and their suitability for gaming:
|Features and Gaming Suitability
|$150 to $200
|For normal usage
|$200 to $300
|Acceptable for gaming. The option to choose a curved monitor unlocks.
|$300 to $450
|Good for gaming, better response rate.
|$450 to $800
|1440p to 4K
|21:9 or 32:9
|Advanced features like G-Sync, nice colors. Great for gaming.
|$800 or more
|21:9 or 32:9
|Larger screen (up to 49”), advanced gaming features, much better color accuracy and image quality. Best for gaming, but pricey.
Yes, the cheapest ultrawide monitors are available for around $150, however, they are not particularly made for gaming. For example, LG’s 29WN600-W costs as low as $180, but has a refresh rate of only 75 Hz. Any current gaming monitor should offer a refresh rate of 144 Hz or higher. In fact, the refresh rate of a monitor matters just as much; if not more, than having an ultrawide screen for gaming. And an average ultrawide gaming monitor with a good refresh rate, decent response time, and image quality will cost around $500. So, here are the factors to help to decide if an ultrawide monitor is worth the investment:
Your PC’s Specs
If you have $700 jumping in your pocket and have to choose between an ultrawide monitor and a decent GPU, go for the GPU right away. For gaming, GPU matters much more than the screen’s aspect ratio. In fact, the CPU could also come before upgrading to an ultrawide monitor on your priority list.
A decision is when you have to choose between upgrading to a better SSD/RAM, and an ultrawide monitor. As such, consider the following before choosing one:
a. Between RAM and Ultrawide Monitor
In most cases, RAM has a limited role in gaming. So, if you have decent RAM, and if high-RAM-demanding games like COD Warzone are not your daily cup of tea, go for the ultrawide monitor. If your game types demand more RAM or the RAM you have is not enough, go for a cheaper RAM upgrade, and still buy an ultrawide monitor. Anyways, if gaming is your sole purpose, just don’t break the bank for RAM!
b. Between SSD and Ultrawide Monitor
A good SSD is hard to not recommend for any gamer. As a gamer, you know the importance of loading times. A high-end 1 TB SSD costs around $100 to $150, which can be decisive on whether or not you have money left over for the ultrawide monitor. Choosing between an SSD and an ultrawide monitor is tough. So, here are some factors to consider:
i. Do you have an HDD? If you are using a Hard Drive in 2023, take a big jump to an SSD. An SSD with not only higher storage, but also tech specs like SATA III, PCI-E NVMe and so.
ii. Is your budget too tight? If it’s too tight, and if you’re not planning to save enough money that buys an ultrawide gaming monitor, go for an SSD.
iii. Do you already have an SSD? If you do, just go for the ultrawide monitor, and skip the upgrade for now.
If you have an HDD right now, the reason I recommended a big jump to a good SSD is that loading times are the worst possible way to waste your gaming time. Like, it’s so unproductive to wait tens of minutes for the OS or the games to load. You deserve better than that.
What Games do you Play?
For some gaming needs, an ultrawide monitor has a more significant impact than others. For example, for flight simulators, the wider field of view is a huge advantage, while the same can’t be said for an FPS.
Games That Benefit from Ultrawide Monitors
Here is a list of some game types that work great with an ultrawide monitor:
Flight simulators require a wide field of view because the player needs to see both the cockpit and the terrain outside. Furthermore, these games are not limited to a specific track, making an ultrawide monitor ideal.
Battle royale games are always fast-paced and chaotic. An ultrawide monitor helps you to spot enemies and items quickly. The wider field of view is also helpful for spotting hidden clues. As such games are mostly competitive, the edge you get from an ultrawide monitor can be the difference between winning and losing.
Strategy games like Age of Empires, LOL, and Starcraft benefit most from ultrawide monitors. With an ultrawide monitor, you can easily see the whole map and manage your armies in a better way. The wider field of view also helps you to spot enemy movements and plan your strategies accordingly.
RPGs including The Witcher 3, Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed are also great with an ultrawide monitor as such games ask for more exploration, better with a wider aspect ratio.
An ultrawide screen does not give you any big competitive edge in sports games. However, the wider field of view helps to immerse you in the game and make it more enjoyable. For example, an ultrawide screen is more similar to the real shape of an NFL ground (100×53 yards) than a normal monitor. Even though not completely exact in dimensions, a wider screen means you can view more of the pavilions and spectators too.
It’s absolutely worth it to buy an ultrawide monitor for playing sports video games.
Games That do not Ask for an Ultrawide Screen
And here are some types of games that don’t necessarily require an ultrawide monitor:
First-person shooters are more about accuracy and reaction time. An ultrawide monitor won’t make you a better aimer.
Arcade games are all about quick reflexes and do not benefit much from an ultrawide screen.
You don’t need to buy an ultrawide monitor for puzzle games like Monument Valley, etc.
Platformers like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog don’t need an ultrawide monitor either. That’s because such games are all about timing and precision.
In any racing game, the player is usually focused on the track ahead. An ultrawide monitor won’t help you race better. Furthermore, it does not make the racing games more immersive, as it’s all about the track ahead.
Bonus tip: If immersion is your top gaming priority, then go for a curved ultrawide monitor.
Ultrawide monitors, in a nutshell, are good for gaming; they do not have any disadvantages. But it is worth it for you, especially considering its higher price, is up to you. One way or the other, a balance is necessary, both in your PC’s specs, as well as your budget. Buying an ultrawide for gaming in a 90s PC won’t be a sound decision. Firstly, consider a powerful GPU, then a good CPU; then comes the monitor’s refresh rate, and only after that, consider an ultrawide screen.