Input Lag vs Response Time – Which Holds More Value For Gaming?

Input lag vs response time? How can you vouch for one? Is it possible? Well, no gossip;


Hence, input lag and response time both equally affect your gaming experience. But they react in reverse since input lag shouldn’t be high and response time shouldn’t be slow & sluggish to wreck your gaming adventures.

That’s why you can’t deny the prominence of both input lag and response time for an excellent gaming experience.

To play competitive games, you need a lag-free, seamless experience. Because without it, you won’t be able to play at the proper timing and will lose. That is what input lag is. In contrast, response time refers to the amount of time it takes for a pixel to switch from one color to another.

A faster response time will help you acquire the seamless picture-changing quality you require when playing first-person shooter (FPS) games.

Let’s discuss this topic further to provide you with reasonable and sufficient information about input lag & response time.

What is Input Lag? 

A monitor’s input lag is the amount of time it takes after receiving a signal to display an image on the screen. Input lag on most monitors is low enough that you won’t notice it when using a desktop computer regularly, but for competitive gamers, getting the lowest input latency is even more crucial.

Typically, this matter refers to the delay between pushing a key and seeing the outcome on the screen.  Let’s say you’re playing a game. You even trickled a defender and were about to shoot. You hit the button, but the player didn’t shoot, so your shot was missed. In this case, input lag refers to the delay between pressing and acting.

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How Does Input Lag Matter?

For a responsive desktop experience, you need reduced input lag because most of the time we spend using a PC is spent clicking or typing through the user interface. If your input lag is excessive, you’ll encounter a delay between when you type something on a keyboard or move your mouse and when it displays on the screen.

Because it might be the difference between winning and losing a game, reducing input lag is even more crucial for gamers. There are other delays brought on by your keyboard and mouse, computer, and internet connection in addition to the input lag of your monitor.

But one benefit of having a monitor with little input lag is, the user experience can be ruined if there is a long delay between when you type anything on the keyboard or move the mouse and when it displays on the screen.

Low input lag is crucial for gamers. It holds the difference between success and failure in games. The entire amount of input lag is not solely determined by the input lag of a monitor because there is also delay brought on by your keyboard and mouse, computer, and internet connection.

However, one of the first steps in making sure you have a snappy gaming experience is having a monitor with minimum input lag.

Can You Decrease Input Lag?

You may set up your computer to run quickly for gaming. The following advice will help you lessen input lag:

  • Select a gaming or high-performance setting on your monitor.
  • Disable all power-saving and dim-screen options.
  • Turn off VSync.
  • Add a gaming mouse, high-end keyboards with low latency, and monitor cables.
  • Use high-quality HDMI, USB, and VGA cables for connecting devices
  • Turn off the HDMI CEC feature on your computer.
  • Full-screen mode is recommended for gaming.
  • If you can, reduce your screen’s resolution.
  • Purchase a top-notch display with the least amount of input latency.

What is Response Time?

What is Response Time

Response time is the amount of time required for a single pixel to switch from one color to another. You need a faster response time if you endorse seamless visual transitions. Response time is an integral part of the game in first-person shooter games. The full screen must be easily visible, and the graphics transitions must be smooth and steady.

How Does Response Time Matter?

Usually, a display’s response time determines how much ghosting it has. When quick scenes, like a vehicle chase or an action video game like Ninja Gaiden, are being exhibited, you may notice ghosting, which is the blur that follows things on your monitor.

The blurring behind moving items on a display with a slow response time can be particularly disturbing to the human eye. You can select any game as an example if it’s a really quick action game with lots of movement, which makes it simple to spot on a game running at 60 frames-per-second. Because they predict how much ghosting a display will have.

Input Lag vs Response Time

When looking at the display’s specifications, you can confuse response time with input latency. But you should recognize that input lag is the time it takes for the screen to respond to your requests, like pressing the keyboard or mouse. On the other hand, the duration it takes for pixels to switch from one color to another is known as response time.

Although response time and input lag are equally crucial for a smooth gaming experience. But excessive input lag can make competitive gaming outrageous. But need not to worry as most modern gaming displays feature both low input latency and quick response time, so you won’t have to choose between the two.

Also Read: What is Screen Tearing And How Do You Fix It?

The perfect setting for Competitive Gaming

Response time is the amount of time it takes for a color to change from one to another, whereas input lag is the amount of time between pressing the controller and seeing a response on the screen. But what are the ideal game settings? Many of us have this thought in our heads.

Many monitors have specialized gaming settings for input lag. To improve your gaming experience, turn on the game mode for the monitor.

However, for the optimal gaming experience, response time should be extremely low; else, ghosting will occur. Response times can be as fast as 1 or 5 milliseconds. Although some displays now offer a 1ms reaction time, a 5ms response time is still ideal for gaming.

Ghosting in Gaming


Ghosting is a result of slower refresh rates or longer response times. After hearing this example, you’ll understand everything clearly. Consider that you are engaged in a fast-paced racing game.

A confused appearance emerges on your screen as you are browsing a location. This practice is known as ghosting. But you can avoid it if your monitor has a greater refresh rate.

How much Input Lag for Gaming?

The optimal input lag is the amount of time it takes for a picture to appear on a screen. Therefore, how many input plugs are suitable for gaming? Competitive gamers that play fighting games or other games need an input lag of at least 15ms.

Even though some of the best gaming monitors have greater lag than others, gamers can still play and appreciate a game’s design on most monitors.

Popular Types of Input Lag

There are two types of input lag that are considered most valuable.

Display Lag:

The whole amount of time a monitor needs to process an image is known as display lag. Processes like scaling/upconverting, deinterlacing, frame interpolation, and others are the main causes of lag. Display latency can range from 1ms to 68ms in length.

Alternately, you can improve the visual experience by turning on overdrive on your monitor. To improve your gaming experience, as a gamer you should also learn how to resolve a display flickering problem.

Network Lag:

It is also an important fact. The most striking input lags, which can be as high as 500ms or as low as 100ms, are experienced by online gamers. It all comes down to your internet connection, your internet service provider, and how close you are to the gaming server in question.

Related FAQs:

Q1. When do you give priority to input lag over response time?


If you can afford, you should look for both high standards. However, if that is not the case, you ought to search for a lower input latency. Because more input lag will cause a lot of game disruption. Response time is not as crucial as input lag.

You won’t need to choose a 5ms or 1ms reaction time because 30ms will be plenty for gaming with little input lag.

Q2. What is the best response time for gaming?


Response times for 60Hz displays are typically 10ms for the most part. Choosing is easily influenced by the demands of the person. Professional gamers are interested in obtaining a display with the shortest response time, which can be as little as 0.5ms.

Wrap Up

As mentioned above input lag and response time are both equally important for a true gaming experience. Response time is only relevant during fast-paced sequences. You can’t contrast it in validity with input lag.

Where input lag is the interval between a command’s input and its execution. When purchasing a gaming monitor, input lag is a crucial consideration after all.

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