Should you pick 100 Hz, 120 Hz, or 144 Hz for the ultimate PS5 experience? Picking the right television or PC monitor for your PlayStation 5 can be quite complicated. Hertz (Hz) refers to the refresh rate of the screen. In other words: how many times the screen refreshes itself each second.
A higher refresh rate correlates with a higher framerate, or frames per second (FPS). And most gamers will know that more FPS will translate into a smoother gaming experience, with less in-game lag or latency problems.
The PS5 console natively supports output of either 60Hz or 120 Hz, at a maximum of 120 FPS. 144 Hz settings are currently not supported, but screens with a 144 Hz refresh rate will also support 120 Hz refresh rates.
In practice, most modern HD television screens will support the PS5 on 60 FPS / 60 Hz be default. One should enable ‘Performance Mode’ to increase the performance to 120 Hz / 120 FPS. If you’re looking for the ultimate experience, choose a 4K television or monitor that at least supports a 120 Hz refresh rate and is compatible with HDMI 2.1 cables.
Please note: If your monitor or TV screen supports 144 Hz, you can always run it on 120 Hz as well. The same goes for 100 Hz monitors or TVs, which can easily be scaled down to 60 Hz on the screen settings, if needed.
The Optimal Refresh Rate on PS5 Is 120Hz
The optimal gaming experience would require the highest possible refresh rate and framerate. For the PlayStation 5, users should enable ‘Performance Mode‘ for compatible displays:
- Go to ‘Settings’ on your default PS5 home screen (in the main menu)
- Navigate to ‘Saved Data’ and ‘Game/App Settings’
- Click on ‘Game Presets’
- Under ‘Performance Mode’ or ‘Resolution Mode’, enable ‘Performance Mode’
This should enable you to play games with 120 FPS by default, instead of the regular 60 FPS. However, please note that your display of choice should at least support 4K resolution and 120Hz (or more), as well as an HDMI 2.1 cable. You’ll need to connect your PS5 using the HDMI 2.1 cable that is provided with your PS5 console, or using a similar third-party cable.
But My Monitor Doesn’t Support 120Hz!
Don’t panic, you will still be able to play on your PS5 without any issues. Your TV or monitor doesn’t exactly need to be 120Hz to work on ‘Performance Mode’. If you own a 144Hz monitor (or better), the 120Hz setting will usually be supported by default. You can play on this setting with 4K setting enabled.
Depending on the monitor type, you will be able to adapt the refresh rate (amount of Hz) based on your needs. The settings on the screen should allow you to change this with a few button presses.
If your monitor or TV screen is older, 60Hz on 60 FPS (without Performance Mode) with a 1080p or 720p setting will likely work just as smoothly. However, fast paces games could have a few minor hiccups during gameplay. Nothing to worry about, because the gaming experience will be super smooth 99% of the time.
Variable Refresh Rates Are Coming To PS5
The information above works, for now. But Sony already announced that variable refresh rates (VRR) are coming to the PlayStation 5. About time, because the Xbox One already supported this feature from its launch.
Why is this important? It means that the PS5 will automatically have the best performance and the highest FPS by default. It will adapt based on the needs of the game and the settings on the TV or monitor.
According to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on Sony’s blog, VRR will be supported alongside the relatively new HDMI 2.1 format only:
“PS5 hardware supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) through HDMI 2.1. After a future system software update, PS5 owners will be able to use the VRR feature of compatible TVs when playing games that support VRR.”
So make sure to look out for new system updates on your PS5 console. The update notes should be able to tell you if VRR has been added. If you own a state-of-the-art television with HDMI 2.1 connectivity, up to 8K resolution and 120 FPS will soon be supported with the introduction of VRR. Introducing VRR will mean that dropping frames in fast-paced action FPS games like Call of Duty will soon be a thing of the past.
Honestly, I feel like Sony should have included this feature from launch, just like Microsoft did with the Xbox One. Better late than never, I guess!