How to enable “Game Mode” on your HDTV

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Best HDTVs for Gaming: Part 2

 

Ever felt like your HDTV is very sluggish or unresponsive when playing video games? Me too. Thankfully, there is a reason for that and there is a way to reduce it. The measurements on this site were derived from this mode in several HDTVs.

 

What is “Game Mode”?

Game mode is an option that display manufacturers put into their HDTVs to disable certain image processing protocols when its enabled. It usually makes your picture look worse. Why would anyone want to do that? Because your pretty picture is the reason your controller and inputs feel sluggish. By enabling “Game Mode”, you are disabling certain features of the TV to reduce picture quality, and in return you get more responsive inputs on your controller. The less your TV has to work, the more responsive your controller is.

 

Sounds great! How do I do it?

This mode varies by manufacturer. Some manufacturers require you to go into a settings menu and enable it from there, while others require you to change picture settings. I will explain how to do it on the major brands of TVs, as those are the most common:

 

Samsung:

Samsung keeps it consistent when it comes to enabling Game Mode on most of their recent HDTVs. It usually  involves navigating to “Setup”, and then going to “General”. You will see an option for “Game Mode” over there. Use your remote to enable this option.  Update: Some Samsung displays can further lower their input lag over using Game Mode, by renaming the HDMI input to “PC”. Usually, this only works on the dedicated PC HDMI port, which for Samsung HDTVs is usually HDMI 1. If you’re not satisfied using Game Mode, check out the PC rename trick! -Tip submitted by Ian

 

LG Electronics:

HDTVs from LG enable Game Mode by going into their picture menu. That menu has an option called “Picture Mode”. It lets you select modes such as Standard, Vivid, etc. In that menu, there is an option for “Game”, set your picture mode to that in order to enable it. This location is convenient because you don’t have to go into extra menus outside of picture in order to enable it. Smart placement by LG.

 

Sharp:

Sharp HDTVs require you to go into “Picture Settings” and change the “AV MODE” setting to “Game”. This method is almost identical to the way LG does it in their televisions. You don’t have to dig through a lot of confusing menus to enable it.

 

Sony:

Sony HDTVs are very different from the other brands covered here, because they require your remote control to access the scene menu. Look on your remote for a button labeled “Scene” and press it. Once pressed, it will bring up a scene selection menu pictured below. Simply select “Game” and it will select Game Mode for you.

 

Panasonic:

Panasonic’s Game Mode can be enabled from the “Picture” menu, similar to LG and Sharp HDTVs. Once in the menu, select between different modes until you find the “Game” setting:

 

Best HDTVs for Gaming: Part 2

 

Hopefully this article was informative and you’re on your way to more responsive gaming! Remember, don’t forget to check out the display database if you’re interested in purchasing a good gaming HDTV or monitor.

 

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About Author

Adeel Soomro

Adeel Soomro, also known as "Four Wude", has been a competitive Street Fighter 4 player since 2008. Using his extensive gaming experience on a casual and professional level, he aims to spread the awareness of input lag existing in today's displays. Having tested over 300 displays for input lag, he hopes that DisplayLag will aid gamers around the world when purchasing the best HDTV or monitor for gaming.

  • Gabriele Molinarolo

    Hello there, name’s Gabriele, SSF4 player FeimitsuDanwa :) I’ve got the LeoBodnar input lag tester myself, and i’ll be glad to help you in your quest, and report numbers from the monitors I come across. Tonight i’ll be able to give you the results for my Dell U2212HM :)

    Have a nice day,

    Gabriele

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      Thanks Gabriele! I appreciate the gesture but I haven’t finalized how I want to handle user submissions yet. Every display graded on this website was tested multiple times using the bottom measurement as a base. I want to make sure I stick with that standard. I will definitely keep you informed when I add user submissions to this site. Thanks again! If you have any further comments or questions, feel free to e-mail me at displaylag@gmail.com.

  • Ian

    With some of the ES6000 series Samsungs it is best to label the gaming input “PC” rather than using Game Mode, as renaming PC, provides the lowest input lag. This is very noticeable without measuring, but has been confirmed in some reviews with measurement.

    The ES6800 and ES6900 certainly sit in this category and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the lower 6000 series models are also in that bracket!

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      Good tip, Ian! I actually knew about Samsung’s potentially lower input lag by naming the input to PC. However, it usually only works on the HDMI 1 PC input, and it disables a lot of basic features that people may want to use. I’ll update the article with the information though!

      • Bryan

        As a new E7000 series owner I am interested to know if this technique truly works or not, and if it does, to what degree (I believe you have the E7000 at 45-55 ms display lag). Also it’d be nice to know if the PC mode works on all HDMI inputs or only HDMI 1 as you commented.

        I can’t recall the source atm but I did read a review recently that claimed renaming the input to PC did not improve the lag on a tested E7000 or 8000. So I am curious what the variables are.

        • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

          Bryan,

          The technique does work, but it does not produce better results for all Samsung displays. Coincidentally, I tested the PN60E8000 yesterday in Game AND PC Mode yesterday, and I can confirm that PC mode offers no improvement for this model. I would assume the same goes for the E7000 as well, because I got very similar numbers on both the E7000 and E8000 in terms of lag. The PN60E8000 along with other displays will be added to my database by Wednesday.

          From my testing, the PC mode typically only works on the HDMI 1 input, because it is designated as the DVI input for Samsung HDTVs. There is a chance it could work outside of HDMI 1 on some models, but I can’t confirm if that’s true.

          • Bryan

            Very good FW. Thank you for the feedback.

            One final question, since you have alot of experience with this issue in general and some direct experience with 2012 Sammy Plasmas in specific, with a PS3 I have the option of running component directly to my 60E7000 (which I am currently doing just for grins). From purely a display lag perspective, which signal path option do you think is better?:
            1 – Component directly from the PS3 to the E7000 and set in game mode.
            2 – HDMI from the PS3 through a powered HDMI splitter and then to HDMI 1 which is then set for game mode and also labeled PC.

            As you might imagine, I am currently playing a fair bit of Blops2 so shaving off a few frames here and there from my response time is pretty desirable.

            Thanks for insights and for making this forum as well :)

          • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

            I think both will result in similar performance. The connection type doesn’t really matter, its mainly what your TV decides to enable on the connection. For example, the reason VGA and DVI tend to lag a lot less is because the HDTV will disable a lot of processing on those inputs. Component and HDMI are considered to be “normal” connection types for the average consumer, so most of the processing is enabled on those inputs to make the picture look great.

            As long as you’re using a powered Monoprice HDMI splitter, I recommend going that route. No lag from my experience and it works wonderfully. HDMI also offers better picture quality over Component because its a digital format, unlike Component’s analog nature.

            Hope this helps!

  • Bomby

    I noticed my ASUS monitors have a Game Mode but I heard it was more of a color preset and didn’t really do anything to help input lag. Is this true?

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      Yes, this is true for the most part. On all of the ASUS monitors I have graded on this site, the “Game” picture option didn’t do anything to change input lag. With that said, the lag is extremely low and I highly recommend the ones I tested for gaming.

  • Bryan

    Four Wude,

    I think that is sound advice, agree with your logic and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Although component still looks completely stellar, no sense in not taking advantage of HDMI since to do so is only a 20 some odd dollar adder.

    Good fortunes!

  • Ian

    I notice that you have tested some ES6500 models and found that the PC mode gives the lowest lag. This is what I was referring to, in my tip about using that for some Samsungs instead of game mode. On these models PC mode is definitely the way to go! (I have the ES6900 and it’s the same there and presumably on all 6000 series above a certain point).

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      Yes, I’ve been trying to redo some of my measurements in PC mode, and concluded that they do change results for the E550 and UNES6500 models so far. I will be updating as many ratings as I can in PC mode. Thanks again!

  • http://www.shoryuken.com hecz

    I bought the 32″ samsung listed here eh4003 but mine says eh4003f is there a difference?

    Also how was this one tested on pc input rename or game mode?

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      It should be fine. The HDTV was tested using Game Mode. I don’t think there will be a difference for this model using PC mode, but I haven’t tested it in PC mode.

  • Gabriel

    So are all the input lag values from this website measured using “Game Mode”? Wouldn’t it also be necessary to turn off all those pretty filters that TV’s have nowadays? Great website, btw

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      Yes, all displays are tested using Game Mode, as well as any potential filters disabled. I also went further and set all displays to 1:1 pixel scaling.

  • Eugene

    Why there isn’t even a single Dell monitors out there are tested here? Is it been biased?

    • http://www.displaylag.com Four Wude

      There is no bias, I’m just grading what I can get my hands on. Nobody is paying/sending me any monitors to grade.

  • Eugene

    Thanks for the reply,

    You might want to check out Dell U2312hm, its the champion of all regarding the input lag.

    Quote from TftCentral:
    “The input lag of the U2312HM was incredibly low, and in fact the lowest we have ever seen from a TFT display.”

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2312hm.htm

    Fastest from meter is 0ms and average is only 0.6

  • Nick

    HELL YEAH! Thanks to this information, I figured out how to reduce my input lag. Thank you!

    • http://www.displaylag.com Display Lag

      You’re welcome, glad this article was useful!

  • paulinacio

    I have a Samsung LE40C750 and I’m just curious if “PC Mode” works better the Game Mode?? PC Mode disables more features then game mode so I’m curious if it in fact reduces input lag further?? I get around 42ms in game mode which can be a pain at times

    • FourWude

      It depends on the HDTV. Some Samsung HDTVs have the same lag rating in both modes, and others have a lower lag rating in PC mode. To be on the safe side, I recommend setting your display to PC mode if you’re okay with having the features disabled. It never has worse lag than game mode.

      • paulinacio

        Thanks man, I will start playing games in PC Mode just to be on the safe side

  • Supreme_Mik3y

    What about Sanyo LCD tv’s?

  • Cornel Ionescu

    hello, could you test samsung 40F6200, too? i`m looking for a tv anyway so i thought i should take the input lag into account. please check this tv because i`m currently set on it and don`t want to be disappointed later when i`ll get the ps4…. thank you

  • Jare Bear

    Hey guys, I just bought a samsung un40f6300 off amazon for a good deal I couldn’t pass up. Got it for my new ps4

    One site I read said thts in game mode they got it down to 30ms lag

    On your site it says in pc mode you got 42ms lag, which is fine for what my gaming

    My question is, which mode has better image quality?

    • FourWude

      Game mode will offer more ways to customize your picture, so I recommend using that over PC mode, and try to calibrate it using test patterns.

  • Michael Perez

    Hi. In my experience with my previous and current TV’s, Game Mode significantly degrades, picture quality. The ratings in the database were achieved in Game Mode right? Is there any way I can achieve lower input lag w/o turning on Game Mode on F series Samsung TV’s?

  • Cosma Alexandru

    Thanks!!!!!!

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  • john

    Game mode helps alot with lag. I bought a 60 inch lg smart 1080p 600hzmax for my ps4 and xb1. When I played cod there was serious lag. But then I was told about game mode. Wish I knew sooner before I ruined my stats and then bought a smaller tv lol. But just in time so I can take my smaller tv back.

    • FourWude

      Game mode definitely does its job! The great news is, manufacturers are constantly improving their game modes to offer great performance.

  • Alexander

    Do you know how to enable game mode on JVC TVs? I just bought a 100 hz JVC TV and I noticed input lag on PS4 when playing Killzone Shadow Fall, my brother didn’t though.

    I’m actually thinking about returning it and get a 50 hz TV instead if there’s no game mode on my TV (there’s only 50 hz and 100 hz TVs, not 60 hz and 120 hz, in Europe). What do you think? 50 hz or 100 hz If I’m only going to use it to play games and watch movies?
    I heard that if I buy a 50 hz TV it will have max 50 FPS and won’t reach 60 FPS though.

    • FourWude

      I don’t think JVC’s use a game mode. The ones I’ve tested I used the standard picture mode that was available. 100hz may reduce motion blur a bit, but it isn’t vital for 50hz content. You will be seeing the same amount of frames regardless, unless you enable motion interpolation (which creates fake frames and usually adds input lag).

  • Dado401

    Really thx!