What is Monitor Ghosting In Gaming, How to Test and Fix It?

monitor ghosting

Monitor Ghosting refers to a technical anomaly in which the monitor displays multiple impressions of images on a single screen. It mostly happens, when the previous image gets superimposed on the current image.

As a result, a significant part of the image appears gets blurred forming smudges on the screen. Such Impressions on display are known as Ghost images since it looks similar to a ghost leaving its impression.

Ghosting on screen can completely ruin your gaming experience by making you lose your focus and critical advantages.

Besides gaming, Ghosting can also occur while watching a movie or doing some other important tasks on your system.

What Causes Monitor Ghosting?

Screen ghosting is a result of anomalies created in refresh rate and response time of your system.

Those who don’t know refresh rate in a monitor represents the number of times its screen refreshes itself per second.

Example of ghosting in gaming

Every time the screen gets refreshed, a fresh image takes over the screen, leading a perpetual flow of images.

Any anomalies in this flow can cause ghosting or other visual related issues.

The refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz). Most monitors come with a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz. However, the refresh rate of gaming monitors can go as high as 240Hz.

Side Note: Just in case if you don’t know, ASUS is building the world’s faster monitor with 360Hz refresh rate named as ROG Swift 360.

The monitors with TN panel offers the best refresh rates at a comparatively cheaper price.

Therefore, most top gamers prefer TN panels over the rest available. Meanwhile, some IPS panel-based monitors also provide high refresh rates but they often cost too much than TN panels.

Needless to say, the color production in IPS is something, which you can’t compete with anything.

On the other hand, the response time is the time your CPU takes to update an image over an old one. From changing colors in the display to resetting pixels of images, everything depends on the response time of your CPU.

The higher the response time, the more time it will take your system to replace an older image with a new one.

Likewise, a slow refresh time will lead to screen ghosting. Ideally, a response time of 5ms or lower is considered ideal for gaming.

However, for playing fast-paced competitive games, you need to go for monitors with 1ms.

How To Test Screen Ghosting in Monitor?

It’s crucial to test your system’s hardware capacity before starting a gaming session. To test your monitor screen ghosting, you can use online tools like Testufo.

What is Monitor Ghosting In Gaming, How to Test and Fix It? 3

On the site, you can find a number of tests to evaluate your system’s performance such as frame rate test, monitor ghosting test, MPRT, etc.

The tool displays your monitor’s refresh rate, frame rate, pixel per frame, and pixel per second.

Simply select a test from the drop down box and wait for a few seconds while the website check your system’s hardware and components.

If your system is ready for gaming, it will display a ‘ready’ sign on the screen.

However, in case it detects any anomaly, it will give you the required suggestion.

How to Fix Screen Ghosting on Monitors and Laptops

Below are five methods to fix ghosting on your display devices:

1. Check Your CablesAdjust them or change them completely

Check Your Cables

If you face ghosting on your monitor, the first thing you should do is check your cables.

Here are some situations where you should consider adjusting your monitor cables to get rid of ghosting.

First, ensure that the monitor cable remains untangled as it could increase the response time leading to ghosting. Just separate all cables and keep them as tidy as possible.

Second, a damaged or a poorly shielded cable can also lead to screen ghosting. In such a case, you need to replace the cable with a genuine and compatible cable.

Any type of monitor cables with poor shielding can increase its response time, which in turn leads to ghosting.

2. Turn On/Off Your Overdrive

i. What is Overdrive?

Overdrive is a technology that helps you increase your display’s response time. It goes by different names such as OD, Responsive overdrive, Response time compensation, etc. When used properly, it can increase your monitor’s response time by a few ms.

As discussed above, most gaming monitors offer a response rate as lower as 1ms. However, most manufacturers don’t keep the response rate to 1ms as default settings.

Hence, most probably, you would be looking at a monitor with the 3-5ms response time. Therefore, you need to use the overdrive feature to drop the response time to 1ms.

ii. How To Turn On/Off or Adjust Overdrive in A Monitor?

The ease of turning your monitor’s overdrive on/off depends entirely on your display settings. While in some models you will find it right there, meanwhile, in others you may have to make some extra effort

First, you have to know what it’s called in your laptop/monitor settings so that you can easily find it.

There are also chances that, your monitor comes with direct settings to increase/decrease your response time.

For example, if your monitor displays the response rate in ms, then turn the response rate to its lowest.

However, if your display response rate comes in ‘modes’ like ‘standard’, ‘faster’ and ‘fastest’, then change it to ‘fastest’.

To eliminate ghosting, you need to increase the overdrive, which will shorten the response time.

Meaning, you need to keep your overdrive at highest to reach the shortest response time.

However, there is more to the story.

iii. Enters Inverse Ghosting

What is Monitor Ghosting In Gaming, How to Test and Fix It? 4

Putting the overdrive to its highest can actually lead to overshoot, otherwise, known as inverse ghosting.

In this, you will notice a trail of shadow appearing next to moving objects with a color opposite to the real image.

Therefore, it’s called Inverse Ghosting. In reality, it’s the result of an overdriven response rate of a monitor.

Besides, you may be experiencing inverse ghosting the whole time thinking it as a regular ‘ghosting’.

So turn the overdrive option ‘off’ or turn it to ‘medium’ to avoid inverse ghosting. Likewise, you can slightly increase your monitor response rate and see if it makes any difference.

If you have an NVIDIA GPU and NVIDIA G-sync option in your monitor, then enabling/disabling the g-sync setting can help a lot.

Similarly, for systems with AMD GPU, you need to enable or disable the AMD Freesync option, and then check if it helps.

Also, try to enable/disable ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) settings in your NVidia GPU via the NVidia Control Panel.

Besides, you can use G-sync and ULMB simultaneously. Meaning, you have to choose either one.

Also Read: FreeSync vs G-sync

3. Update Your Drivers

Display drivers are essential to control your monitor or laptop displays. So, if everything was working fine and your monitor suddenly started ghosting, the first thing you should do is check driver update.

Remember, each hardware component within your system and laptop comes with drivers and you must keep them updated.

4. Try Overclocking Your Monitor or Laptop

Overclocking your monitor/laptop may eliminate Ghosting by increasing the refresh rate and decreasing the response time

However, overclocking can also damage the display if not done properly. In some cases, it may result in a black screen. Do hire an expert to perform the task.

5. You May Have to Buy A New Monitor

Well, if you have tried all the four options and still facing ghosting issues, then maybe it’s time to get a new monitor. If it’s for gaming purposes, then make sure to buy a monitor with the highest refresh rate and a low response rate possible.

Keep the refresh rate above 120Hz and the response time below 2ms.

Despite having a great monitor, you may still face ghosting issues and that’s because of your GPU.

If your GPU is not producing enough fps, then having a monitor with high refresh rates won’t make any difference.

So, before you invest heavily on a monitor, make sure you have the right GPU for it. Check your GPU’s specifications to ensure it can accommodate a higher refresh rate of a high-end monitor.

If not, then you have to upgrade your GPU as well.


What Type Of Monitor Is Best To Avoid Ghosting?

Your system must rank high on features such as display panel, FHD+ resolutions, low response time, higher refresh rates, and Gsync & free sync Support. Make sure the response rate is above 120 HZ, response time is below or equal to 2ms, and screen resolution is of 1920*1080 and above. In panels, IPS delivers the best clarity, but TN remains the first preference for flawless gaming.

Are VA Panels bad for gaming?

VA falls in the middle of TN and IPS panels. Meaning, they are great for color accuracy and viewing angles than TN, but cheaper than IPS. Meanwhile, they are also known for their slowest response time and lowest refresh rate, which remains the leading cause behind ghosting. A standard VA panel monitor offers 5ms response time and 60 Hz of refresh rates. However, exceptions are always there.

Final Thoughts

Screen ghosting can ruin your gameplay, especially if you are playing fast-paced shooting and RPG games. Hence, it’s crucial to keep your system and monitor updated to avoid the problem at the first place. Let’s know if you find the article useful to curb your system ghosting. If you have anything extra to add to this article, do let’s know in the comment section below. Even, your tiny effort will be appreciated.

Get 50% off on Amazon Prime!
This is default text for notification bar