What is Vsync in Video Games? (Answered)

Nearly everyone on earth plays video games these days. This is something that only a few people had ever experienced in the 1990s, but today, most people have at least a few video games that they love to play. Being familiar with playing video games does not mean that you know how some of the various settings within the games work. However, knowing about the way that the settings are built and can help you to enjoy your gaming experience more fully.

What is Vsync?

Vsync is actually shorthand slang for vertical sync. This is the process that synchronizes the refresh rate and frame rate of a monitor. This allows for better scanning across the field of vision inside the game and keeps you from seeing frames as you play or having resolution issues. When the Vsync is not right, you might see the display splitting along a horizontal line. When the frame rate is off, the game might look laggy or out of focus.

These processes are called screen tearing, and this issue can crop up at any time, not just as you move your avatar through the game world that you are playing in. You might notice this issue at the edges of the screen, or it could impact your sense of how your character is moving and interacting with the world.

How Vsync Works

Vsync works by synchronizing the frame rate and the refresh rate. The screen should refresh a few times per second, which means that your eyes will not even notice that this is going on. The refresh rate takes into consideration the number of pixels on the screen, which creates a refresh rate in hertz.

When something happens to the input that is flowing into the screen that causes a mismatch between the sync rate and the frame rate, you can see distortions as you try and play the game you are interacting with. This can impact the streaming of things like movies as well. 

Adaptive sync is one of the most common upgrades that is accessed by those who love gaming or streaming at high resolution. Providers like NVIDIA offer access to services like this to help make sure that the frame rate and the refresh rate stay paired correctly as you game or stream movies and other content. This might be your best solution for this problem if you do not want to upgrade your computer or your entire setup to improve the problem.

VSync is a Key Aspect of Your Gaming Experience

Vsync is a key aspect of having a pleasant gaming experience. You might need to upgrade various aspects of your gameplay setup so that you do not experience screen tearing. Make sure that you consider all of your options carefully before you start throwing solutions at the problem. There are various ways to fix this issue, some of which are probably going to be more effective than others.

This article was last updated on March 21, 2023 .

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By Adam

The Display Blog staff account. We know display.