Imagine you are playing a fast-paced shooter or RPG game and you notice after images on your display here and there. This can easily get out of hand and become a hurdle in your gaming experience. For instance, color distorting, image blurring, and some smearing effects. This will make gaming a complete nightmare for you as you will be unable to see perceive the surroundings of your game. The situation that we explained above is called ghosting. In this blog, we will discuss ‘What is ghosting in gaming?’ It has become a very recurring problem on laptops and PCs. Let’s discuss everything about this technical phenomenon and how you can fix it.

Also Read: How to play Steam Games on Chromebook

What is ghosting in gaming?

Ghosting is a technical phenomenon that disrupts displays. It may occur when you are able to notice previously display images. Basically, the previous display image may be blur which will cause a smearing effect on the new image. So, the image that will be produced is called a “ghost” image. It is similar to seeing a ghost standing behind or following someone.

What is ghosting in gaming?

This ghosting will majorly affect your gaming experience and in extreme conditions, the game can also become unplayable. This will interfere and distort new images resulting in subpar gameplay. Don’t assume that this only occurs in games as it can happen even while watching movies and doing other tasks on your system. The cause of ghosting is two, firstly, response times and secondly, refresh rates. Let’s discuss the causes in detail.

What causes ghosting in monitors?

Let’s first understand the meaning of Refresh Rate and Response Times. Refresh rate is the number of times a laptop or monitor display refreshes its screen. In the case of every refresh, a new screen/image is drawn. You can measure it in Hertz (Hz). Most of the time, the displays have a refresh rate of 60Hz. It means that the display displays a new image or the same image 60 times per second. However, others have 75Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, and so on.

Response time means the time taken to produce an image by the CPU or GPU so that it can be drawn on the display or updated. This signifies how quickly a pixel can change from one color to another while an image is sending from CPU/GPU to the display. When it takes a longer time to draw a new image or a pixel to change from one color to another then it goes by the name of High response Time. When the response time is lower, a new screen/image will be able to show up faster on the display. A 3ms response time signifies that it will take  3 milliseconds for your display to receive or update an image.

Ghosting On IPS Monitor

As we have understood the meaning of refresh rates and response times let’s move on to causes of Ghosting. It happens when both your refresh rate and response times are slow. So, the display will be not fast enough to update or show images. While playing games on your system, the CPU and GPU processes data and transforms that data into an image. The image that is displayed on your screen refreshes itself X times per second on the basis of refresh rate. When the image is not drawing quickly then the display will refresh itself and you will see remnants of the previous image. So, the slow response times along with refresh rate causes Ghosting.

There are various cases of monitors with high refresh rates and fast response times experiencing ghosting too. The factors for this include your monitor cable sustaining damages, coiling around a lot of wires, or poor cable shielding. It can also be due to the software settings of your laptop or monitor. This is because certain settings increase the response time of your display.

Is Ghosting bad for gaming?

The answer to this question is Yes. Your gameplay can become unenjoyable if there is severe ghosting. The various distortions and blurriness of images will become a hurdle and you will not be able to play your game.

How to fix Ghosting?

We cannot let Ghosting sour our gaming experience. So, in order to deal with it we are going to discuss various ways and stop this frustrating phenomenon. They are as follows:

Checking Monitor Cables

In the case of a monitor, check your monitor cables as that may solve your issues. Your cables may be tangled or near each other causing interferences especially when the cable shielding is not strong enough. We recommend you untangle the cables and keep them separate from each other. You should also check the monitor cable for any damages. If you find any damage then replace the cable with better shielding one.

Check your monitor or laptop display software settings

As we have mentioned earlier that there are certain software settings that cause Ghosting. This is because they increase the response time of your monitor. You will be pleased to know that there are some settings through which you can eliminate Ghosting. You have to check your display settings and try various things because every system is different. There is not a single solution that will solve this problem for you, unfortunately.

Also, there is an NVIDIA control panel in which you can tweak the settings and check if it solves your problem. If your system has NVIDIA G-SYNC then try to enable or disable it. Additionally, you can enable or disable some features in the control panel such as ULMB. This will also apply to AMD so check your Radeon settings.

Keep Your Drivers Up-to-date

Please ensure that you are downloading the latest drivers and keep them up-to-date.

Get a new Monitor

This comes as the last option when you are at your wit’s end. There is a chance that your current monitor is faulty or your PC has so much power that the monitor is unable to keep up. You can easily solve this problem by getting a new monitor a high refresh rate and low response time.

What to check out while buying a new display for gaming?

While you are checking out various displays for gaming, you should consider high refresh rates and fast response times. It is especially important if you are into fast-paced or competitive gaming. This is because the higher they are, the lower ghosting you will experience. Additionally, you need to consider input lag. It signifies how quickly an action performance is registered by the display.

What is ghosting in gaming?

Additionally, you should ensure that the display has NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD Freesync. These features are not necessary but they have the ability to take your gaming experience to a whole new level. It is like replacing an HDD with an SSD. So, we can conclude by saying that your display must have the following:

  • Fast response time
  • Low input lag
  • High refresh rate

If you get the above three then along with ghosting, you will also not face screen stuttering and tearing. You should also avoid VA panels.


We hope that you understood ‘What is ghosting in gaming?’ from this blog. It can become very annoying as time passes so don’t let it sabotage your gaming. You can get rid of this phenomenon with the help of this blog. So, don’t suffer unnecessarily. Thank you for reading our blog!

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