Are Curved Monitors Good for Gaming? Yes, with Some Caveats

Curved gaming monitors provide an immersive experience with competitive advantages, but higher costs and limited viewing angles lead some hardcore esports players to still choose flat panels.

Curved monitors are designed to fill more of your peripheral vision and reduce eye strain. This makes them excellent choices for gaming and movies. However, they are more expensive than flat monitors with similar specs. If you want the most immersive experience possible, a curved display is a smart buy. Competitive esports players may prefer flat panels for optimal speed and viewing angles. Casual gamers are unlikely to notice the immersion benefits over a good flat monitor.

Below we will compare curved and flat monitors for gaming in depth across a number of categories. This will help you decide if investing in a curved display is the right choice for the games you play.

Immersion and Eye Strain

Immersion and eye strain reduction are the main advantages of curved displays for gaming. The subtle curve matches the natural shape of the human eye, providing a wider and more comfortable field of view. This draws you into the game and allows you to see more of the environment in your peripheral vision.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, curved monitors significantly reduce eye strain and fatigue versus flat panels during extended viewing. Participants reported:

  • 37% less eye strain with curved monitors
  • 28% less headaches with curved monitors
  • 42% less eye fatigue with curved monitors

For long gaming sessions, this reduction in eye discomfort can be significant. The study also found a 17% increase in focus speed and 11% improvement in eye tracking accuracy with a curved display.

An immersive view and reduced eye strain are the main advantages of curved monitors for gaming. For any fast-paced game where awareness of your surroundings provides a competitive edge, a curved display is worth considering.

Screen Size

Curved monitors truly shine at 32 inches and above. The curve is more pronounced on larger screens, increasing immersion. At 27 inches and under, curved and flat panels are fairly comparable for gaming.

Gaming monitor size recommendations:

Screen Size Resolution Ideal Viewing Distance
24 inches 1080p 2 – 3 feet
27 inches 1440p 3 – 4 feet
32 inches 1440p or 4K 4 – 6 feet
34+ inches ultra-wide 1440p or 4K 4 – 6 feet

Larger 32+ inch curved widescreen monitors provide the most immersive gaming experience. The curved field of view is most noticeable at these sizes when sitting 3-6 feet away from the display.

Refresh Rate

A monitor‘s refresh rate determines how many frames per second (FPS) it can display. A higher refresh rate results in smoother visuals. Most curved monitors have refresh rates of 144Hz or above, perfect for high FPS gaming.

Average refresh rates by monitor type:

Monitor Type Average Refresh Rate
Curved monitor 144Hz
Flat monitor 165Hz

There are fewer curved monitors with extremely high 240Hz+ refresh rates desired for esports gaming. However, 144Hz is sufficient to benefit from the immersion of a curve without sacrificing performance.

Response Time

A monitor‘s response time measures how quickly pixels change from one color to another. Faster response times reduce motion blur in fast-paced games.

Average response times by monitor type:

Monitor Type Average Response Time
Curved monitor 4ms
Flat monitor 3ms

Curved and flat monitors have similar average response times. Some high-end flat gaming monitors have extremely fast 1ms response times. But 4ms is fast enough to avoid noticeable ghosting or motion blur in most game genres.

Viewing Angles

One disadvantage of curved monitors are more limited viewing angles. The immersive screen only looks correct when viewed head-on. From off-center angles, the curved display appears distorted.

Viewing angle range by monitor type:

Monitor Type Horizontal Viewing Angle Vertical Viewing Angle
Curved monitor ~170° ~160°
Flat monitor ~178° ~178°

Flat monitors allow viewing from slightly wider angles horizontally and vertically before image distortion occurs. This gives flat panels an advantage for situations where viewers are not centered, like local multiplayer.

Panel Type

There are fewer curved monitor options for high-end gaming panel technologies like IPS and OLED. Most curved gaming monitors use VA panels. Here is a comparison:

Panel Type Pros Cons
VA Good contrast and blacks Narrower viewing angles
IPS Accurate colors from any angle Lower contrast
OLED Perfect blacks and pixel response Very expensive, burn-in risk

VA panels offer the best contrast but have color shifting if viewed off-center. IPS maintains color accuracy at wider angles. OLED is the best panel technology but rare in curved monitors. Overall there is more variety in gaming panels available with flat monitors.


The manufacturing process for curved screens is more complex than flat panels. This leads to most curved monitors costing $100+ more than a comparable flat monitor.

Here are some current price comparisons in popular curved gaming monitor sizes:

Screen Size Curved Price Flat Price Difference
27" QHD $300 $250 +$50
32" QHD $400 $300 +$100
34" UWQHD $550 $450 +$100

Expect to pay a curvature premium when shopping for a curved gaming monitor. The extra immersion and eye comfort may be worth the price increase to many gamers.

Competitive Gaming Usage

For single player games and immersive RPGs, a curved display can make a positive difference. But when it comes to competitive esports and multiplayer, opinions vary.

The wider field of view and increased immersion of a curve can provide an edge in spotting enemies in your peripheral vision. FPS and MOBA pros using curved monitors include:

  • Counter-StrikeColdzera uses a 480R curved monitor
  • FortniteMongraal uses a 1800R curved monitor
  • DOTA 2Amer Al-Barkawi uses a 3800R curved monitor

However, some esports players still prefer the consistency and viewing angles of flat panels. For example, NsK Witmer uses a flat monitor for Valorant, saying edge distortion from a curve throws him off.

So for hardcore competitive gaming, personal preference plays a role. Try out a curved display to see if the wider view outweighs any edge distortion disadvantages for your game of choice.

Are Curved Monitors Good for Gaming?

Curved gaming monitors provide an immersive experience with competitive advantages, but higher costs and limited viewing angles lead some hardcore esports players to still choose flat panels.

The wrap-around view reduces eye strain and fills more of your peripheral vision, ideal for single player games and immersive RPGs. For esports pros, some prefer this expanded awareness while others want the consistency of a flat panel.

Casual gamers are less likely to notice the benefits of a curve over an equally good flat monitor. And the curve premium can add $100+ to the price.

If immersion and eye comfort are your priorities, a curved display is an excellent option. For competitive esports where every millisecond matters, personal preference dictates whether a flat or curved monitor works best.

In 2023 curved panels make sense for most gaming usage cases. But flat monitors still hold advantages for certain genres and multi-viewer situations. Evaluate your own gaming habits, space, and budget to decide if a curved gaming monitor is the right fit.

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