Best TVs for Gaming

Picking the Best TV for Gaming largely boils down to two factors: picking the right size and making sure it has the right specs.

The best TVs for new game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have 4K resolution, HDMI 2.1 ports, and 120Hz screen refresh rate. Don’t get more than what you need and don’t overpay- match your TV specs to your console’s capabilities.

Best Size TV for Gaming

If you’ve got a dedicated media room and want the best gaming experience possible, don’t assume that bigger is better: if the TV is too big it may have a negative impact on your gameplay.

The best size TV for gaming can be calculated by measuring the distance from your viewing location to the screen and dividing by 1.5.

For example, if the distance from your couch to the TV is 8 feet, that’s 96 inches. Divide by 1.5 to get the result: 64. Thus a 64-inch TV is the best for gaming from 8 feet away.

This is just a guideline. It allows for a balanced yet immersive experience for a multi-purpose room like a Living Room.

When Smaller Screens are Better

If you’re primarily concerned with winning, smaller screens allow you to see all of the action at once, giving your brain precious extra milliseconds to make calculated decisions, like spotting an incoming enemy, dodging their attacks, and returning fire. In competitive online gameplay, those split seconds could make all the difference.

For this reason, competitive players who love FPS games (First Person Shooters) may prefer a slightly smaller TV. In this case, take your viewing distance and divide by 1.7 instead of 1.5 to get the best size TV. For example, if you’re sitting 8-feet away from the screen, you’d want a 55-inch TV using this formula (or thereabouts).

When Bigger Screens are Better

Most people pick the bigger screen given the choice: the entertainment value of a more immersive experience typically outweighs the advantage of a slightly improved reaction time. If you’ll also be watching a lot of TV, Netflix, Movies, or Sports, all the more reason to go bigger.

But don’t go too big! The MAXIMUM TV size should be a 1-to-1 ratio with your distance from the screen. For example, if you’re 8 feet from the screen, that’s 96 inches, so you should not buy a TV larger than 96-inches (diagonally). Keep in mind that at this size, you’ve essentially built yourself a Home Theater.

We recommend following our guideline of Viewing Distance divided by 1.5, and only going bigger (divided by 1) or smaller (divided by 1.7) if you’re strongly leaning towards entertainment value or competitive advantage, respectively. For more on this topic, see our article on Best TV Sizes.

TV Specs for Gaming

Next Gen Consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch have ushered in powerful new features, but depending on the TV you choose, you might not have access to all of the systems’ newest capabilities.

HD vs. 4K vs. 8K

As a rule of thumb we only recommend buying 4K TVs. Anything less than 4K is outdated and anything above (like 8K) is overpriced. Although new gaming platforms can support 8K video, there isn’t enough 8K content to justify the cost.

Save your money (or spend the excess on games) and revisit 8K in the future, when prices have been drastically reduced (4-5 years).

HDMI 2.1 Ports

You CANNOT overlook this feature when buying a TV to pair with a new gaming console.

These new HDMI ports, first introduced in 2019, can pass 2.6X the data as the old HDMI 2.0 ports. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are able to display 4K content at 120 frames per second, but guess what? Unless your TV has an HDMI 2.1 port and a compatible HDMI 2.1 cable connecting it to the console, you won’t see the benefit.

The old HDMI 2.0 port and cables will still work with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but you’ll need HDMI 2.1 to see the benefit of 4K resolution at 120 frames per second.

Refresh Rate

The consoles can generate 4K content at 120fps and HDMI 2.1 helps us deliver the data from the console to the TV, but the screen must have a 120Hz refresh rate to display 120 frames per second.

If you’re buying a TV for gaming, make sure that the Refresh Rate is at least 120Hz. Anything above that is (currently) unnecessary.

You’ll also want a TV that supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). This feature allows your TV to adjust the number of frames per second it displays to identically match the output of your console, preventing jumps and stutters in the picture when the console is being pushed to its limits. If your TV has HDMI 2.1, it’s likely you’ll have VRR by default.

Spec Checklist

Included with the recommendations above, here are some things you should consider when buying a TV for gaming:

  • 4K or better
  • HDMI 2.1 (not HDMI 2.0)
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • HDR included
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Auto Game Mode (ALLM / Auto Low Latency)
  • OLED, QLED, and LED are all great screen types.
    • OLED is stunning but expensive
    • QLED is the best balance
    • LED is affordable and most populars
  • Brands matter:
    • Best Quality: Samsung, Sony, or LG
    • Best Value: TCL, Hisense

Best TV for Consoles

General TV buying tips apply here as well, but here are some things to keep in mind when buying a TV for a specific game console.

PlayStation 5

For maximum performance the best TV for PS5 is an 8K OLED TV with 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 ports, and HDR. However, we recommend buying a 4K QLED or 4K LED TV instead- it’s a much better bang for your buck. Just make sure it has HDMI 2.1 and a 120Hz refresh rate.

8K and OLED aren’t worth it unless you’ve got a substantial or unlimited budget.

Xbox Series X

The best TV for Xbox Series X is an 8K OLED TV with 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 ports, and HDR. However, we recommend buying a 4K QLED or 4K LED TV instead- it’s a much better bang for your buck. Just make sure it’s at least 4K, has HDMI 2.1, and a 120Hz refresh rate.

8K and QLED aren’t worth it (yet) unless you’ve got a substantial or unlimited budget.

Xbox Series S

It’s cheaper for a reason: the Xbox Series S doesn’t have true 4K support: gaming resolution is instead capped at 1440p (QHD). That means a 4K TV isn’t required to enjoy all the Xbox Series S features- your current TV (if you have one) will probably do just fine.

If you’re already planning to buy a TV for your Xbox Series S we still recommend buying a 4K TV. Not only can you enjoy the glory of 4K when streaming movies or watching Netflix, but gaming content is upscaled from 1440p to 4K.

All things considered, the best TV for the Xbox Series S is a cheap 4K TV- both TCL and Hisense make good quality, affordable 4K TVs that won’t break the bank.

The best TV for the Xbox Series S is a cheap 4K TV: you bought the Series S to save money- keep it going by selecting an affordable 4K TV without all the bells and whistles.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is not a gaming console with high specs and powerful performance so you don’t need a cutting edge TV to enjoy all it has to offer.

The Best TV for the Nintendo Switch is a cheap TV: it can only output content at 1080p so a 4K TV is of little added benefit. If you’ve already got a TV that displays 1080p Full HD content, just use that- no need to upgrade to a 4K screen on account of the Nintendo Switch. However, if you want a new TV for watching movies, streaming Netflix, and other reasons that aren’t the Nintendo Switch, we’d recommend a cheap 4K TV from TCL or Hisense.

If you’re planning to buy a TV for the Switch , go with a 4K TV, but do it for movies and Netflix and other 4K content you’ll stream (not for the Switch).

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