16:10 vs 16:9 Aspect Ratio for Gaming: Which is Better?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When it comes to gaming, every little thing counts – from how powerful your PC is to how fast your monitor refreshes. One thing lots of folks overlook that can really change how you game is your screen’s shape, or “aspect ratio”. There are two main types you’ll see a lot: 16:9 and 16:10. Both have their perks and drawbacks. We’re going to walk through what makes each one special to help you pick the best one for your gaming setup.

Also see: Screen Size Smaller or Larger Than Monitor in Windows 11/10

16 10 vs 16 9 Aspect Ratio for Gaming

What is aspect ratio?

Before diving into the differences, let’s clear up what “aspect ratio” means. Think of it as the relationship between a screen’s width and its height, usually shown as two numbers with a colon between them. Like, 16:9 means the width is 16 units while the height is 9. This tells you about the screen’s shape and how it’ll show movies, games, and everything else. It’s pretty important not just for gaming but for watching movies, making stuff, and just about anything else you do on a computer.

Related resource: GPU 100% Usage When Idle or Gaming (Good or Bad)

16 10 vs 16 9 which is better for gaming

16:9 aspect ratio – What gamers usually choose

16:9 is everywhere – TVs, phones, and yes, gaming. It’s super popular because it fits with all the big resolutions like Full HD and 4K, making sure games look like the creators wanted. This means lots of games are made to look their best on 16:9 screens.

16 9 aspect ratio in gaming

With a 16:9 screen, you get a lot of space, especially width-wise. This is awesome for games where seeing more of the world at once is a big plus. That said, you might not get as much room up and down as with a 16:10 screen, which can be a bit of a letdown for certain games or if you like to do a bunch of things at once.

Because 16:9 is so common, you can find monitors like this in all sizes and prices. Whether you’re saving up or ready to splurge, there’s a 16:9 screen that’s right for you, usually at a pretty good price too.

Pro tip: 30+ Windows 11 Services to Disable for Better Gaming Performance

16:10 aspect ratio – A not so common choice

16:10 isn’t as usual as 16:9, but it’s got a dedicated crowd, especially among pros who like more room at the top and bottom for their work. For gamers, this extra bit of space can make a difference in seeing more of the game world, which is pretty neat.

16 10 aspect ratio in gaming

If you’re all about that vertical space, 16:10 has got you covered. It might not sound like a big deal, but for certain game types, that little bit extra can really change how you play.

Finding a 16:10 screen might take a bit more effort since they’re not as common. The ones you do find are usually top-notch, with great colors and quality, aimed more at the professional crowd. They can be pricier, but you’re paying for some seriously good stuff.

Related concern: Gaming Laptop FPS Drops Randomly, Plugged in or Not

Considerations for multi-monitor setups

Planning on more than one monitor? 16:9 might be easier to work with since it’s easier to find several that match. This means less hassle getting everything to look the same across all screens. Plus, most games and apps are made with 16:9 in mind, so everything tends to just work better.

Dual monitors 16 9 and 16 10 aspect ratio

Going for 16:10? You’ll get more room up and down, great for having lots of info on screen. The catch? These monitors can be harder to find and more expensive. Mixing 16:9 and 16:10 can be done, but you might run into issues with different resolutions and colors not matching up.

Linked issue: Game Stuttering and Lag on Dual Monitor (Fix)

Compatibility and scaling issues

Since 16:9 is pretty much the norm, you’re unlikely to hit any snags with games not fitting right. Most new games are made to look great on 16:9 right from the start.

16 9 and 16 10 compatibility scaling issues

But if you do run into something made for a different shape, 16:9 screens usually handle it well, either by stretching things to fit or adding black bars that many folks find okay.

16 10 vs 16 9 for FPS game

16 9 or 16 10 monitor black bar in gaming

Learn more: Shortcut Keys to Scale and Resize Window in Windows 11

With 16:10 screens, you might have to work a bit harder to get everything looking right since fewer games are made for this shape. You might see some stretching, black bars making your screen look like a 16:9, or have to mess with settings or extra software to get things perfect.

Making your choice

Picking between 16:9 and 16:10 for gaming comes down to what you’re after. Want something that’s a safe bet, with tons of choices and usually cheaper? Go 16:9. It’s perfect for most gamers and gives a great experience.

Or, if having more vertical space matters to you and you don’t mind paying for quality, check out 16:10. Just keep in mind there might be a few extra steps to get your games looking just right.

At the end of the day, the best choice is what makes gaming awesome for you, while still fitting in with everything else you do on your computer.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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