What Is Input Lag?

Imagine yourself in Call of Duty. You see an enemy to your left. You fire quickly and aim quickly to eliminate the threat. Two seconds later, your enemy is standing right in front you and you are dead.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? It’s likely that you have, if you’re an avid player of video games, experienced something similar. These problems, which may appear to make it seem like you need to improve your skills to make them faster, are actually a technical problem called input lag or display lag.

WHAT IS INPUT LAG?

In other words, input lag refers to the delay between clicking a button and seeing the result you desire onscreen.

Input lag can be measured in milliseconds (ms), and can vary from less than 10ms to more than 170ms. In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any input lag. Technology has not yet reached that point.

Ideal time-lapse should be between 10 and 50ms. However, even at 50ms you can still enjoy a great game. High input lags exceeding 100ms can severely impact your gaming performance. Games that are delayed more than 170ms may even fail.

WHAT CAUSES INPUT LAG?

There are many factors that can influence the input lag, from the monitor type to the resolution level. We’ll discuss the possible causes and solutions later.

Image processing is one of the most common culprits. High definition images require many steps, especially when playing fast-paced games. High dynamic range (HDR), motion smoothing and upscaling are all tools that can give your game great visual appeal, but they can also affect the lag.

INPUT LAG. RESPONSE TIME AND REFRESH RATE.

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Input lag is the time it takes to display changes and actions from the controller. However, the response time refers to how long it takes the screen to change pixel colors. Poor image display and ghosting are the results of slow response times.

Refresh rate is measured in hertz. It refers to how often your TV or monitor can refresh an image per second. A fast frame rate and high refresh rates will produce smooth, precise motions for gaming and less input lag.

WHAT IMPUT LAG IMPACTS GAMERS?

Gaming input lag is not the same for everyone. High delay can have a negative impact on your enjoyment of fighting games and first-person shooters. In these games, where speed and accuracy are key factors, any input lag could affect your performance. A delay can make classic games such as Super Mario difficult to play because the timing of jumps won’t be perfect.

Other games, like WoW, don’t require as high an input speed. Some gamers will not notice a difference in input speed between 50ms and 100ms while others may be sensitive to small changes in lag. It all depends on the games you play and how sensitive to delays.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE INPUT LAG?

We’ve explained the basics. Let’s now discuss how to eliminate input lag and play the best possible game.

  • Turn off motion blur if you’re using it. Every game and every computer reacts differently when you add-ons such as blur to your display.
  • Switch to the game mode if you’re using a TV monitor. This removes any visual clutter and speeds up the screen.
  • Gaming monitors are designed for gamers who need high-quality visuals and fast reaction times. Get one if you don’t already have one.
  • Make sure to check the settings of your monitor. You should turn off any settings that might slow down your speed such as ambient lighting, CEC and post-processing options.
  • Make sure you check the controller. To eliminate input lag, change the batteries.
  • Wireless controllers are dead. Although they can be very easy to use, a lack of wiring can make a big difference in gaming.

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