Best Overwatch Video Settings: Explained In Plain English

Overwatch Video Settings Explained in Plain English
  • Display Mode
    You can switch Overwatch to Windowed, Fullscreen or Borderless Windowed.
    Windowed makes the game not full screen, but a smaller window that you can move around.
    Fullscreen makes the game take up the whole monitor screen. This is the option you should use while playing a game, because this makes the game run at a highest FPS.
    Borderless Windowed looks same as Fullscreen, and it’s convenient because you can alt-tab in and out of Overwatch without any delays. However, the game doesn’t run at the highest FPS in this mode.
  • Target Display
    This option changes which monitor to have Overwatch on, if you have multiple monitors.
    Change this option if Overwatch is being displayed in a wrong monitor.
  • Resolution
    This is the resolution of the game. Just like any other game, highest resolution will show clearest quality, while lower resolutions will make the game more pixelated. Most Overwatch pros play with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
    However, one advantage of playing in lower resolution is that it makes the player outlines thicker, making them eaiser to be spotted.
  • Field of View
    Field of View, abbreviated FOV, is how wide your vision is in game. Higher FOV means you vision will be “zoomed out” and you have a wider vision, which means you can see more on your screen.
    However, higher FOV means your target looks smaller, which might make your aim less accurate.
  • Aspect Ratio
    16:9 is the original aspect ratio of the game. Most players use 16:9.
    However, very few players play on 16:10 because they got used to it from a different game they play.
    Only use this if you’re really used to playing in 16:10 and you don’t want to change it.
  • VSync
    VSync, or Vertical Sync, is an option that reduces screen tearing. However, it delays each frame, which adds input lag. That means your monitor will show frames a little bit slower, which is not good at all.
    Only turn this on if you have really bad screen tearing.
  • Triple Buffering
    Triple Buffering is used with Vsync to fix screen tearing and slow frame rate. Triple Buffering allows games to be played at higher frame rate than Double Buffering.
  • Reduce Buffering
    Reduce Buffering reduces input lag in game. However, your computer must be able to exceed the current frame rate settings. For example, if you’re using a 144 Hz monitor but you’re able to run 240 Hz, you should turn it on. But if you’re using a 144 Hz monitor and you can barely maintain 144 Hz, this setting won’t change much.
  • Display Performance Stats
    With this on, you can see how your computer is performing on the top left hand corner of Overwatch:
Overwatch Video Settings Display Performance Stats Option
  • Advanced Performance Stats
    You can select which stats to show from these options: Show Frame Rate, Show GPU Temperature, Show VRam Usage, Show Network Latency, Show Network Interpolation Delay
  • Display System Clock
    This option shows a system clock on the top right hand corner of Overwatch:
Overwatch Video Settings Display System Clock Option
  • Limit FPS
    This option limits the game from being played at a certain FPS, or set a FPS cap.
CustomAllows you to set a FPS cap as any number you want. Highest possible option is 300.
Display-BasedUses the refresh rate of your monitor as a FPS cap.
30FPSSets the FPS as 30, which is not recommended to almost all players. Only use this if you absolutely must play at 30 FPS for any reason.
  • Frame Rate Cap
    240 FPS can’t be maintained during chaotic team fights on most computers. So some players use this option to put a FPS cap, which lets them always play the game at a consistent FPS. One of the players who do this is Sinatraa, who limits the frame at 200 FPS.

Graphics Quality Settings

Most of the Overwatch pros play with the lowest graphic settings possible. This is because it’s hard to consistently get a high FPS during a match, especially during a chaotic team fight.

Overwatch Graphics Quality Settings
  • Graphics Quality
    This changes the overall quality of graphics. You can choose from Low, Medium, High, Ultra and Epic.
  • Render Scale
    Higher Render Scale makes everything in the game look more clear and smooth. However, that’s not always a good thing, because the player outlines get thinner.
    You can choose from 50%, 75%, 100%, 150% or 200%. It also has an Automatic option, which may have a different percentage.
  • Texture Quality
    Texture Quality changes how each object looks in game. Higher quality makes them look more clear and smooth.
    We don’t have too much information about players’ texture quality settings.
    However from our small sample size, we saw that the most number of players set it as High – such as Muma, OGE and dafran.
    The next most popular option is Low, used by players like Sinatraa, Ryujehong and KSF.
    Hydration and Striker use Medium.
  • Texture Filtering Quality
    This increases the quality slightly. Most players set this as Low – 1X. Other options are Medium – 2X, High – 4X, Ultra – 8X, and Epic – 16X.
  • Local Fog Detail
    As the name suggests, this changes how fog looks in game. Most players have this as Low.
  • Dynamic Reflections
    This setting changes the quality of reflections, such as water or mirror. Most players have this as Off.
  • Shadow Detail
    This changes how detailed shadows look in game.
  • Model Detail
    Model Detail tweaks the quality of elements in game, such as the arcade games you see in spawn of Hanamura. Most players have this as Low.
  • Effects Detail
    This changes the quality of hero effects, such as how skills look. Most players have this as Low.
  • Lighting Quality
    This will change the quality of lighting in Overwatch. Most players set Lighting Quality as Low.
  • Antialias Quality
    Turning this on fixes edges that don’t look smooth in game, making the game look smoother overall. Most players turn this off, but Carpe said that he sets this as Low – FXAA.
  • Refraction Quality
    Refraction Quality refers to how the light bends on semi-transparent surfaces. Most players have this as Low.
  • Screenshot Quality
    This increases how your Overwatch screenshots look. You can take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen button on your keyboard. You can increase this if you want higher quality screenshots.
  • Local Reflections
    Local Reflections affects how reflections look in game. Most players set this as Off.
  • Ambient Occlusion
    This changes how shadows and lights look overall. Most players turn this Off.

Color Settings

Overwatch Video Settings Color Options
  • Gamma Correction
  • Contrast
  • Brightness
  • Color Blind Options
    You can change the color of player outline, kill feed icon and others with these options. By default, the Enemy UI Color is Red, and Friendly UI Color is Blue.

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Andrew is a lifetime gamer and a former amateur esports player. He has worked as the manager for teams such as the New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Gladiators. Andrew has been mentioned in ESPN, Inven, The Ringer and other esports magazines and journals.

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