Best Monitor for Overwatch – The Ultimate Guide
Ever since the release of Overwatch it’s been a massively popular game, both in the esports scene as well as with the more casual crowd. Its mix of First Person Shooter mechanics along with MOBA-style abilities and ultimates was a real breath of fresh air when it first released, and having outlived many competitors and copycats we can now safely call it the most successful ‘hero shooter’ of the past couple of years, even though the game isn’t as popular as it once was with competitive players anymore.
In a game that’s as visually stunning and at often times visually confusing as Overwatch you’ll want to grab yourself a good monitor. Getting a high refresh rate monitor is going to be instrumental if you’ve got your eyes on climbing the ranks of this game, but even then there are many options to choose from these days. To help you out we’ve been analyzing the professionals to see what they are using, and we came up with this list of the five most used monitors in the professional Overwatch scene. In this article we’ll go over the features of each monitor so that you can make an informed decision on your next purchase.
What makes a monitor good for Overwatch?
If you want to get a good gaming monitor it’ll need one feature first and foremost: it’ll need to have a refresh rate of at least 144 frames per second, and preferably 240. Almost every pro that we analyze is using a monitor just like that, so it’s clear that this offers a multitude of advantages.
Regular monitors refresh the image 60 times per second, and while that’s fine for watching movies or for casual single player gaming this just doesn’t cut it for games that are as fast-paced as Overwatch. With a high refresh rate monitor it’s just way easier to (for example) track that Genji that’s been bothering your healers for the entire game, and since everything on the screen moves with much more fluidity it’s a lot easier to make sense of all the different projectiles and abilities that are being used in a hectic teamfight.
These two advantages alone can and will cause you to win more fights in a game such as Overwatch, so if you’re really serious about this game we do recommend looking out for a high refresh rate monitor. Of course you’ll also need a setup that can run the game at the required framerates so do make sure that your system is up to date, and feel free to check out our Best Settings and Options guide in order to get the most frames out of your system without sacrificing on visual clarity.
If you’re interested in reading more on this subject we’ve got an entire article dedicated to the subject of high framerate gaming and its advantages, you can check that out here.
As you can see on the right HP’s gaming brand OMEN is by far the most used monitor brand in the Overwatch pro scene, but this comes with a disclaimer. OMEN is the official monitor sponsor of this year’s Overwatch League (which is where the vast majority of our analyzed professionals play) so it’s only logical that players prefer to use the monitor they’re using on stage when they’re playing at home and in the training house as well.
The first season’s monitor sponsor was ASUS (with the PG258Q) but they’ve since been passed by BenQ Zowie, who as we know also offer a wide variety of quality gaming-oriented displays. After these two the drop off is pretty massive. ViewSonic scapes together a market share of about 2% but other brands might as well not exist if you’re asking the Overwatch professionals. That obviously doesn’t mean that other brands don’t make quality products, we’re just commenting on the trends that we see here.
Most used manufacturer
1. OMEN X 25
A bit confusing
When the second season of the Overwatch League first started everyone was a bit confused as to what kind of monitor the players were using on stage. We could all see that it was an OMEN monitor, but as far as we could tell they didn’t offer a 240Hz model like the one the players were using. After some research it became clear that the players were using a 240Hz version of a ‘regular’ 144Hz OMEN monitor that wasn’t yet released when the second season of OWL debuted.
A little after that HP OMEN released the X 25, which is now finally available to the public. Do be wary though: HP OMEN also produces a nameless (as far as we can tell that one’s just called the ‘OMEN BY HP 25 display’) 144Hz monitor that, apart from a few details, looks exactly like the X 25. So if you’re on the hunt for this particular monitor make sure that you’re getting the right model and not the older 144Hz version.
The X25 has all the specs to be a top gaming monitor. With a response time of 1ms, a refresh rate of 240Hz and NVIDIA G-Sync it’s certainly not lacking anywhere. With the super thin bezels and ambient lighting it’s also got a pretty sleek look to it, but it is a bummer that there aren’t a lot of options to adjust the display itself. You can tilt the display and adjust the height but it’s always pleasant to also have the ability to swivel to screen to get that optimal viewing angle at all times. There are also no built-in speakers, but that’s not a huge issue as you should be using a headset or headphones to game anyway.
Aside from this it’s definitely a very nice gaming display, and while additions like the ability to draw a crosshair on the monitor itself (for those crisp no scopes) might not be the most useful features for Overwatch it does show that HP have also thought of the little things with this monitor.
Why this one?
If you want to use the same monitor as literally every professional in the Overwatch League this should be the one you buy. Pro players wouldn’t be content using a subpar product though, so it’s not like this is only worth it for OWL fans. A sleek looking display with G-Sync and a 240Hz refresh rate is nothing to sneeze at, so if you like what you’ve read about this monitor you shouldn’t be afraid to get that wallet out. There’s also a FreeSync version of this monitor available, by the way. That one’s called the X 25F.
Most Used Monitors
Omen X25 (240Hz)
ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q
BenQ Zowie XL2411P
BenQ Zowie XL2540/2546
2. ASUS PG258Q
That other stage monitor
If you’ve been following the Overwatch League (or really, gaming as a whole) for some time then this monitor won’t be a stranger to you. The PG258Q was the official stage monitor in the Overwatch League’s first season, and many players have decided to follow the ‘if it works, don’t fix it’ credo and opted to stay on the PG258Q.
One of the industry standards
This PG258Q appears in a lot of our ‘best of’ articles (click here to check our Best Monitor for Gaming article by the way) so it’s quite obvious that professionals across all games like what ASUS is offering here. This monitor gives you a 240Hz refresh rate along with a 1ms response time, a fully adjustable stand, very thin bezels, and it is G-Sync compatible to put that cherry on top of the sundae. Top specs, in other words, and it’s finished off by an offering of on-display features such as separate contrast profiles for different genres and the ability to draw things such as a crosshair, timer, or an FPS counter on your screen.
This, in other words, is unmistakably a top tier gaming monitor and it also looks the part. The very aggressive and gamer-oriented aesthetics of the stand won’t please everyone, so if you’re looking for a subdued looking product this isn’t the one to go for but aside from that this is one of the best gaming monitors out there.
Why this one?
If you want to get a gaming monitor that not only screams ‘I am a gaming monitor’ but also offers just about anything you could ever want out of a monitor for competitive gaming you need to consider the PG258Q. It’s a favorite of many pros across the entirety of our analyzed games, and stuff like that doesn’t just happen without a reason.
3. BenQ Zowie XL2411P
As used by Mangachu, ChipSa, Re1nforce, …
The BenQ Zowie XL2411 is a long-running line of 144Hz monitors, and the ‘P’ version is the newest iteration in this very successful line of products. Often recommended as one of the best budget 144Hz monitors you really can’t go wrong with this monitor if you’re just getting into this whole ‘high refresh rate gaming’ thing or you don’t want or need a 240Hz screen (yet).
Zowie’s products aren’t made to dazzle you with their looks, and the XL2411P follows that same design philosophy. It looks like your regular office monitor, but under the hood it’s got plenty going for it. The 1ms response time along with the 144Hz refresh rate make it a very capable gaming monitor on its own, but BenQ Zowie also packs in extra features such as their Black eQualizer function and the ability to adjust color vibrance on the display itself. It might not have the flashiest looks or the thinnest bezels, but it does have a fully adjustable stand to get that perfect display positioning. In essence this monitor offers everything you need out of an entry level gaming monitor, with a few extras packed in as well.
Why this one?
This monitor offers everything that you need out of an entry level gaming monitor with a few extras packed in as well. It’s not going to upset any wallet either, so if you’re using a budget setup that can’t reliably push the required frames for a top tier 240Hz monitor this is an ideal option. There are some compromises to be made, obviously. There’s no motion blur reduction technology included, and the image quality isn’t fantastic but at this price you obviously can’t expect the world.
4. ASUS VG248QE
That other ‘standard budget option’
If you ask around for budget 144Hz monitors you’ll no doubt get a lot of XL2411 recommendations, but the VG248QE is also going to be mentioned a couple of times. This monitor, like its ‘brother from another mother’, is a pretty basic gaming monitor.
With a response time of 1ms and a refresh rate of 144Hz it certainly has what it takes to lift your game to the next level. The display can swivel, tilt, pivot, and be height adjusted so no compromises have been made when it comes to the performance of the product.
The design isn’t anything eye catching and the image quality won’t rock your world, but as a dedicated gaming display this will definitely be more than good enough if you’re on a budget setup.
Why this one?
If you’ve got a setup that can’t push enough frames for a full-blown 240Hz monitor or you can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money on one of the more premium options that you’ll find in this article then the VG248QE is a great option. Whether you go for this one or the XL2411 series should mostly depend on the price and availability in your region, since both are really close to each other in actual performance and image quality.
5. BenQ Zowie XL2540/XL2546
Zowie’s ‘standard’ monitors
The XL2540 and XL2546 (the difference between the two lies in the fact that one comes with DyAc while the other does not; other than that there are no big differences, which is why we counted them together) are two monitors that we see extremely often in our data. That’s for good reason, too. Zowie is known to focus on performance and ease of use, and not on aesthetics or ultimately useless features, and that’s something that professional gamers always seem to appreciate.
Aside from the 1ms response time and 240Hz refresh rate, the XL2540 also offers a bunch of very nice features that can help you get a clearer view of the battlefield. There’s Black eQualizer, for one, which will help lighten up darker areas without overexposing the light parts of the map. You can also tweak the color vibrance on the display itself, and that’s something that can always come in handy for most games. All in all the XL2540/XL2546 line so often pops up in our lists for a reason: these are fantastic gaming-focused gaming monitors.
Why this one?
If you’ve got a setup that can’t push enough frames for a full-blown 240Hz monitor or you can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money on one of the more premium options that you’ll find in this article then the VG248QE is a great option. Whether you go for this one or the XL2411P should mostly depend on the price and availability in your region, since both are really close to each other in actual performance and image quality.
If you want to get a monitor that’s to the point and doesn’t lose itself in a quest to look as cool as possible or cram in as many features as technically possible then this is a great bet. Do note that the XL2546K has been released too, and that’s by all accounts the successor to these wildly popular displays, so if you’re planning on getting one of these we recommend taking a look at that one as well.
Conclusion: The best monitor for Overwatch
Going by what the Overwatch pros are doing it’s very clear what you need: a 240Hz monitor. Well over half of our analyzed Overwatch professionals are using one of those, and with OW being a (relatively) easy game to push over that 240 frames per second limit it’s a good idea to go for one yourself if you’ve got the setup to handle it.
If that’s not the case you should consider your options in the 144Hz market. Every game benefits from being played on a higher refresh rate monitor, but with Overwatch being such a fast-paced and often chaotic game the advantages of grabbing yourself a high refresh rate monitor are even more pronounced.
This article covers pretty much everything, from basic budget 144Hz monitors to fully-featured 240Hz G-Sync monsters that get used on the biggest stage in OW, so there should be something in here for everyone.
We hope that you enjoyed the article, and thank you for reading!