So I recently got my hands on a new 144Hz monitor and I started getting motion sickness when playing games. I did a little digging into the issue, and I found some tips that helped, and I’m going to share them with you.
Before I get into the tips, don’t worry, it’s normal to experience a bit of motion sickness when you first move from a 60hz monitor to a 144hz monitor. The reason for that is 144hz is more than twice as smooth as 60hz.
Your brain can detect the motion is more life-like and it’s trying to figure out what’s going on. You see a lot more information and a lot faster than what you’re used to which confuses your other senses.
It takes some time for your eyes to adjust to gaming at 144hz. The funny thing is 144hz is easier on your eyes than 60hz, but it takes some time to get used to.
If you experience red eyes, dizziness, motion sickness, and other issues, immediately take a break. It does take some time to adjust to 144hz but you don’t need to push through the discomfort. Take it a step at a time.
Also, remember some people have more sensitive eyes than others, so it entirely depends on how you feel. If you’re certain 144hz is making you sick, you can always return the monitor.
Struggling to Choose a Monitor?
Need a suggestion? The Acer Nitro XV272U is an awesome 27 inch 1440P at 144Hz monitor. The bezels are super thin and it’s an IPS panel with a 1ms response time. The 1080P edition is also a good choice for people on a budget.
How to Reduce Motion Sickness at 144Hz
Lower Monitor Brightness
When you’re gaming at 144hz with a bright monitor, it could cause motion sickness. I suggest lowering the brightness to a comfortable level, maybe even below the 50 point marker. The settings will vary depending on your monitor’s peak brightness, but lowering it a bit can help with motion sickness. You can always increase it later on.
Increase FOV in Games
If your game has a FOV slider, I recommend increasing it to 90 or 100. Most console ports have limited FOVs and it’s painful, especially at 144hz because you can barely see anything around you.
With some games like God of War on PC that does not have an in-game FOV slider, you can use a program called Flawless Widescreen to improve the FOV. I did my playthrough of God of War with Flawless Widescreen, the original FOV made me too dizzy.
On other games, you might need to input commands into the console to change the FOV.
Increase MBR (Motion Blur Reduction)
MBR is a setting you might find in your monitor’s panel configuration, it’s usually a slider. In some cases, it’s turned off by default and you will need to increase it. Increasing the slider will dim the monitor but also reduce motion blur.
Bear in mind this feature does not work with any sync technologies, and it can cause worse stutters when the frame rate drops below 144 FPS.
Adjust Overdrive Settings
Overdrive is a feature on AOC monitors and it has different names depending on the manufacturer. What it does is overclock your monitor to improve response times. The best setting is Boost, but it lowers your monitor’s brightness. Medium and High should be good enough.
Use a Warm Colour Mode
Generally using a warm colour setting with low blue light can help with motion sickness. There might be a preset for warm colours in your monitor’s display configuration. You will have to use the panel buttons to find it. Adjusting the contrast and other colours might help a little bit too.
Gradually Increase Monitor Hz Rate
Here’s an idea. Instead of jumping from 60Hz to 144Hz, you can gradually increase the Hz rate. Gradually increasing the Hz rate will give your eyes time to adjust to the small increases in motion, instead of jumping straight into it.
Most 144hz monitors will allow you to lower the Hz rate, for example, 75hz, 100hz, and 144hz. What you can change the Hz rate to 75hz and then a couple of days later increase it to 100 and then finally 144. Gradually moving to 144Hz will be much less of a shock on your eyes and brain than jumping right from 60hz to 144hz.
P.S. Read this article about is 144hz worth it for casual gamers.
Disable G-Sync or Freesync
These features will lock your monitor’s refresh rate to your game’s frame rate. The result is a very smooth experience with no screen-tears but it can be a bit too smooth at first. Not to mention these features add input lag which is not good for first-person shooters. In some cases, the input lag can also cause motion sickness.
Try a Different Port or Cable
Some HDMI ports or cables can be damaged which can create weird visual issues on the screen. While the issues are subtle, your eyes can pick up on them, which could cause motion sickness. I suggest trying a different HDMI port or using DisplayPort. If there’s no difference, consider trying a different cable. It might help a bit.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, when moving from 60hz to 144hz it’s normal to get a bit of motion sickness while your eyes adjust. Wondering if moving from 60hz to 144hz is worth it?
To reduce the eye strain, follow the advice above. Play around with your monitor’s settings until you find a configuration that works for you.
If you continue to feel discomfort after more than a week, you can consider returning the monitor. However, the reason may simply be due to your particular sensitivity to motion.
Either way, for most people, gaming at 144Hz is the sweet spot. It’s a vast improvement on 60hz and more responsive. I’m loving my new 144hz monitor and games like Rocket League and CS GO and so much immersive now.
Have you ever felt motion sickness at high refresh rates? Drop a comment below.