60fps vs 120fps: The 5 Differences You Need To Know

As a passionate gamer, we’re sure you’re always looking for new ways to improve your experience – especially when it comes to the visual aspect.

However, with certain settings, you may wonder if adjusting them will even make a significant difference in the overall performance, which is precisely why we’ve decided to do a 60fps vs 120fps comparison.

The main differences between 60 fps and 120 fps are that 120 fps gives you an overall smoother visual, as well as reduced latency.

Keep on reading as we discuss both options, as well as the most important differences between them.

What is 60 fps?

Many people seem to confuse the FPS rating (the frame completion rate) with Hz (the frame showing rate). There is a huge difference between how fast the frames are completed, and how fast those completed frames are displayed.

60 fps is basically the frame completion rate that works for many games, and many users won’t even notice any setbacks or experience any difficulties.

However, for some Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 games, you will definitely need an upgrade for an overall better experience and a smoother display.

While many hardcore gamers will agree that a higher FPS rate means a smoother image, some people will argue that the human eye is incapable of spotting the difference between 60 fps and 120 fps.

We’d say that the importance of the FPS largely depends upon your expectations and preferences as a gamer since some people don’t find a dynamic resolution as significant.

However, keep in mind that newer video game console releases may call for a higher frame rate and a better refresh rate in order to fully enjoy everything the game offers.

Once again, the most important factor seems to be whether you’re even able to distinguish the difference between 60 fps and 120 fps in the first place.

An FPS boost will be necessary only if this kind of adjustment makes a difference to your overall experience, and if your monitor is even compatible with FPS.

That being said, if you own a 60Hz monitor, an upgrade to 120 fps will not be noticeable to you, and you can definitely stick to the fps rate.

Also, any potential disadvantages of the 60 fps mode will largely depend upon the game you’re playing at the moment.

While some modern games will certainly perform better with a higher frame rate, an FPS upgrade may not even be as visible with a different game.

What is 120 fps?

A 120 fps frame rate is an upgrade from 60 fps on many levels, especially if you own an FPS compatible monitor, and you’re in need of a higher frame rate for your favorite competitive game.

A higher refresh rate and a higher frame rate are recommended when your game requires dynamic resolution, which means that the game has many quick transitions.

Those are the moments when the difference between frame rates is the most noticeable. A 120 fps will provide a much sharper image in these situations, significantly reducing the number of mistakes during the game.

As opposed to 60 fps, 120 fps mode promises fewer blurry moments, and an overall clearer display.

Once again, it is important to note that you will not be able to notice this video frame rate difference if your display is not compatible with FPS, or if the monitor has a 60Hz limit.

Also, being able to distinguish the difference between the two frame rates largely depends upon the game you’re playing.

For instance, a 120 fps rate is usually recommended for games with multiple players, while the majority of single-player video games will have a pretty satisfactory visual even with the 60 fps mode.

Dynamic games such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Elden Ring, and most of the PS5 games will certainly be much more appreciated with a high frame rate that can support all the fast scenes and transitions.

Static games, on the other hand, can be enjoyed with a 60 fps frame rate, as these slow images and visuals do not require high FPS.

It is also important to note that, even though there were some concerns regarding the human brain’s ability to process 120 frames, these frames aren’t processed one by one, but rather as a single image.

What are the differences between 60fps and 120fps?

Depending on the situation and the type of video game, the differences between these two frame rates will be more or less noticeable.

However, it is safe to say that there are a couple of crucial differences between these two modes that could seriously affect, or even entirely change your gaming experience.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the game-changing (pun intended) factors when comparing the 60 fps and 120 fps modes.

1. Performance in dynamic and static video games

When it comes to video games with many dynamic scenes and fast transitions, it is recommended to switch to a higher frame rate to be able to fully experience these visuals.

Most static games, on the other hand, with many slow-motion scenes, can be enjoyed with a 60 fps frame rate, since they don’t require a high frame rate.

Keep in mind that these aren’t universal rules, and you might need to experiment with different modes to discover the best mode for your display and game of choice.

2. Monitor Hz limit

A high frame rate will make no difference on a 60Hz monitor, regardless of the video game visuals, and whether the game is considered dynamic or static.

Therefore, besides checking for FPS compatibility, you also want to make sure that your display’s Hz limit and the frame rate are aligned.

As you can already guess, you won’t even be able to notice an upgrade to a 120 fps rate with a 60Hz monitor, and it is therefore completely unnecessary.

3. Screen tearing

Screen tearing is every gamer’s biggest nightmare, as it can completely downgrade their performance and affect the entire gaming experience in many ways.

That being said, the frame rate speed is extremely important if you want to avoid issues such as screen tearing, blurry images, as well as slow transitions.

A higher frame rate, such as 120 fps, will also reduce system latency and ghosting while offering smooth animations and sharp images.

However, keep in mind that screen tearing will be much more noticeable with the 60 fps mode if you’re using a 120Hz display.

It is necessary for the frame rate and the monitor Hz limit to be aligned to avoid screen tears. Even with the V-SYNC on, the screen tears may become less noticeable, but the input delay will be significant.

The same applies to choosing a high frame rate such as 120 fps for a 60Hz, as this gap will affect the entire performance.

4. Ghosting

Ghosting is yet another gaming issue that can be avoided by choosing a high frame rate, especially with high-quality, dynamic animations.

Ghosting is a particularly serious issue when it comes to professional gaming, as it emphasizes the image a moving object leaves behind, resulting in many errors, especially in games that require a lot of character movement.

That being said, if you want to minimize ghosting in your games, you definitely want to choose higher frame rates, such as 120 fps, as opposed to 60 fps.

5. System latency

System latency is heavily influenced by the refresh rate and the chosen frame rate.

Low system latency allows you to act promptly, as the game is much more responsive. This gives you more control over the course of the game and allows you to plan your next step accordingly.

As you can already guess, the higher the frame rate – the lower the system latency. Therefore, the 120 fps mode wins this battle, as well.

60fps vs 120fps: are they the same?

The differences between 60 fps and 120 fps are nowhere near negligible. Therefore, we can conclude that these two frame rates cannot be considered the same.

With 120 fps, you get a clearer overall image, more control over the course of the game, as well as a more responsive game.

This is particularly important in dynamic games, especially if you’re engaging in multiplayer games where every single move matters.

A high FPS rate can also minimize screen tearing, ghosting, as well as system latency, providing an overall reliable, smooth experience, and a vivid visual.

The 60 fps mode, on the other hand, is a safe choice if you have a 60Hz monitor, as increasing the frame rate in these conditions won’t be as noticeable, and it could even emphasize screen tearing.

What’s more, 60 fps mode is a good choice for single-player, static games that don’t include many high-quality, complex animations, and dynamic, fast-moving characters.

Finally, depending on your gaming needs and preferences, as well as the monitor specifications, a higher FPS may completely transform the entire experience, or make no difference at all.

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