Best Monitor for VALORANT - The Ultimate Guide
From the moment VALORANT released its open beta it carved out a spot for itself in the competitive shooter market, and even though some people questioned the game's ability to retain that spot, we're now seeing a healthy and thriving esports game that's proudly sitting next to other esports behemoths. It makes sense, too. The game is free to play, relatively accessible, and is made by the developers of the world's most successful esports game. Just like in Riot Games' esports behemoth LoL, you will need to invest a lot of time in this game if you want to make it to the top ranks, and if you're competing for the top spots you don't want to be held back by your gear.
In a game where every shot counts it's incredibly important to have a reliable monitor, and that's where we come in. We've been analyzing what the pros are using and we've come up with this list of five of the most used gaming monitors in the pro scene. In this article we'll go over each monitor and briefly shine a light on the standout features to help you select the best monitor to aid you in your climb to Radiant.
What makes a monitor good for VALORANT?
All of our analyzed VALORANT professionals use a monitor that's capable of displaying at least 144 frames per second. That's not a surprise at all: the same is true for all of our other analyzed games, and it's completely clear that higher framerates coupled with a monitor that can display those frames gives you a myriad of advantages in games such as VALORANT.
In short: a higher refresh rate setup will give you a much smoother and clearer image on the screen which makes it much easier to (for example) track that pesky Jett when she dashes past you. It'll also make the game look and feel much more responsive, giving you a definite edge over your opponents who are playing on a 60Hz setup.
Of course going for a high refresh rate monitor isn't a shortcut to shoot up the ranks (nothing is, except for dedicated practice) but once you go for a high refresh rate monitor you won't want to go back for competitive gaming. Trust us.
Since VALORANT isn't a very difficult game to run at high framerates the vast majority of analyzed pros are using a 240Hz monitor. This is the new competitive gaming standard (previously this was 144Hz) so if you've got the budget we do recommend a 240Hz monitor. The difference when going from 144 to 240 is less noticeable than when you're going from 60 to 144 so a 144Hz monitor is also fine you're on a budget, but if you're even a little bit competitive we do recommend going for at least 144Hz. It makes a huge difference. There are a bunch of 360Hz monitors on the market as well, but those haven't really been getting picked up at a massive pace just yet.
You'll also notice that all of the monitors in this list are 1080p monitors. That's because getting enough frames is way more important to competitive gamers than getting a more crisp looking image (along with lower framerates) that you'd get with higher resolutions. Almost no professional in any game that we analyze is on a resolution that's higher than 1920x1080 and the same is true for the VALORANT pros.
Most used monitors
Zowie XL2546 / XL2540
Zowie XL2546K / XL2540K
Step into Zowie's world
People who follow the gaming scene closely might not be very surprised but Zowie is by far the favorite monitor manufacturer of our analyzed professionals. That can perhaps be explained by the large amount of CS:GO players who are now playing VALORANT (Zowie is the most used monitor brand in the CS:GO scene by quite a distance) but there's of course also the fact that Zowie monitors are simply excellent products for their purpose: competitive gaming. Their DyAc technology also makes for an extremely clear image, even giving their 240Hz monitors an advantage on that front over the 360Hz monitors that are currently on the market.
Behind Zowie we see the usual suspects: ASUS is pretty much always present in these monitors lists, and Alienware have been steadily carving out a spot for themselves over the past couple of months. AOC currently round up the top, coming in just behind ASUS. This brand has been rising through the ranks of multiple games over the past year so it's not so strange to see them make an appearance here as well.
Most used manufacturer
1. BenQ Zowie XL2546 / XL2540
Getting straight to work
When coming up with this list we added the users of the XL2540 to those that use the XL2546 since both monitors are pretty much the same. The major difference is that the XL2546 comes with DyAc and the Xl2540 doesn't.
Zowie have made a name for themselves as the producers of no-nonsense and straight to the point gaming peripherals and products, and the XL2546 is a beautiful example of that. At first glance you wouldn't even think this is a top of the line gaming monitor: there are no crazy curves to be found, nor are there RGB strips or dangerous looking logos. That's because Zowie's credo is to focus on what matters most: performance. With a fully adjustable stand complete with markings to help you remember (or write down) the perfect screen position it's clear that Zowie knows what gamers want. Zowie also has researched the optimal monitor settings for Valorant (and other competitive games) that you can check out here.
All about the performance
The XL2546 is a 240Hz monitor with a 1ms reponse time, but it's also much more than that. While it doesn't support G-Sync or FreeSync it does feature Zowie's own DyAc technology as a form of motion blur reduction, and if you don't feel like you need any of that stuff you can always go for the XL2540 and save a couple of dollars.
Both the 2540 and 2546 offer a bunch of other really cool features that can help you in the game as well: there's Black eQualizer which lights up darker areas without overexposing lighter areas, the ability to change the color vibrance on the monitor itself without needing to download software, and a low blue light setting for those late night gaming sessions.
In addition to all of that you also get the S-Switch. That's a little control 'puck' that makes navigating the OSD (On-Screen Display) an absolute breeze and it also has on-board memory so that you can save up to three different profiles and switch between them with the touch of one button. You can also plug your own S-Switch into any compatible monitor and have it load up your own personal settings just like that. That's an incredible convenience for pro gamers who are often switching between different gaming setups and monitors.
Why this one?
The BenQ Zowie XL2546/2540 is the ideal monitor if you want one of the best and most reliable 240Hz displays out there without paying any extra for crazy design elements of features. Neither monitor comes with G-Sync of FreeSync though, so if that's what you're looking for you should look elsewhere though DyAc is a pretty effective technology too.
2. BenQ Zowie XL2546K / XL2540K
New and improved
We counted the XL2546K and XL2540K together since the only major difference is that the XL2546K comes with DyAc and the XL2540K does not.
The XL2540 / XL2546 is a line of monitors that hit it big almost instantly so it was hard to imagine what Zowie would do to make their successor even better (short of going towards a 360Hz panel) but the K line of monitors proves that it could be done. The K line of monitors improves on the hardware front, for starters. The base is now smaller, and the different panel that is used in the K line is a (minor) improvement over the earlier versions. One of the most exciting features, if you ask us, is the fact that the K line of monitors allow you to directly export and import monitor settings.
XL Setting To Share
With the K line of Zowie monitors you can export and import monitor configuration files, making it extremely easy to store your own profile in the cloud somewhere so that you can access it instantly if you're gaming away from home. This feature of course also means that other people's monitor configs are just a few clicks away at any given time.
We've made an article that explains how to use this feature, and we also found a bunch of professional configs for you to download that you can check out here. Zowie has also created their own custom profiles for different games. Click here to check out the Valorant profile for the K line of monitors.
Why this one?
This is simply an improved XL2546 / XL2540. If you have one of those monitors then we wouldn't really recommend you to upgrade (the differences aren't that pronounced) but if you're looking for a new monitor we would definitely recommend you to go for the K version over the older one.
3. Alienware AW2518H
The Alienware AW2518H has been on a steady climb through the ranks of our most used monitors in general, and why wouldn't it be. You get a 240Hz refresh rate monitor with a 1ms response time and it's G-Sync compatible. Having a bit of experience with gaming products, Alienware have gone for a 'gaming product look' with this one (complete with customizable LED backlighting) but if you don't mind that then this is a fantastic option.
Great picture quality
The AW2518H has a fully adjustable stand, super thin bezels, and everything you'd want out of a gaming monitor when it comes to performance. Just like the other flagship monitors in this article it has a couple of extra features that are meant to help you with your performance such as the ability to make the dark parts of the gaming world a bit lighter without overexposing the light parts, but oddly enough these aren't really advertised on their website and there aren't a whole lot of extras onboard here.
Aside from that though it has one of the better picture qualities of high refresh rate monitors out there so if you can live with the design of the stand and you don't need all too many tweakables you're looking at one great 240Hz monitor.
Why this one?
If you're looking for a G-Sync monitor with that 'gamer look' you've come to the right place. It doesn't have a whole lot of extra features when compared to some other flagship 240Hz monitors out there but it does have everything you'd want like an adjustable stand and it's definitely competing for 'best picture quality' of our high refresh rate panels.
4. BenQ Zowie XL2411
As used by Art1st, SUYGETSU, effys, ...
The budget classic
With all of this 240Hz violence you'd almost forget that there is such a thing as a 'budget.' If your PC can't handle running the game at more than 144 frames per second and you don't have the funds to upgrade your system or you just don't have the funds to get a 240Hz monitor you can always go for a 144Hz panel.
The BenQ Zowie XL2411 is one of the most commonly recommended (and used) 144Hz monitors so it's not strange to see it pop up on the desks of some of our analyzed VALORANT pros, and they've got a good reason to use it. Despite the fact that the XL2411 isn't the fastest kid on the block anymore it's still a very reliable gaming monitor.
Plenty to love under the hood
The XL2411 has been around for a long time so it's been through a variety of iterations. The key principles have always remained the same however. You get a panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 1ms along with a fully adjustable stand at an affordable price.
Recent versions have incorporated the ability to adjust color vibrance on the monitor itself but even the older editions already had extras such as Zowie's Black eQualizer and low blue light technology so you're getting plenty of bang for your buck with this monitor.
Why this one?
If you're on a budget or can't justify spending the money on a 240Hz flagship model this XL2411 line is the perfect gateway model into the world of competitive gaming monitors. You get plenty of features for your money and while the picture quality obviously isn't the best out there you do get a reliable 144Hz monitor.
5. AlienWare AW2521H
Monitors with a refresh rate of 240 frames per second are still the standard in the VALORANT scene, but 360Hz monitors have been on the rise in the past couple of months. The AW2521H is AlienWare's take on the 360 panel, and if you're looking for the fastest response times and refresh rates out there then this is one to look at.
Ready for the future
The AW2521H has all of the bells and whistles you would expect from a premium esports display. This IPS display is NVIDIA G-Sync and Reflex compatible, for example. The inclusion of Reflex is a nice one because it'll allow you to measure your overall system latency. Perhaps it's not the most useful feature for you personally, but it does show that AlienWare didn't cut any corners with this monitor. It's also sporting an IPS panel, meaning that the image quality will look better than what you get from a TN panel.
Why this one?
If you're looking for one of the most premium esports monitors out there at this point in time you've got to take a look at this one. It'll cost you a pretty penny but you get a lot in return, and as an added bonus the IPS display is also capable of more visual beauty than what TN panels offer, so it's also good to go for watching movies or streaming.
Conclusion: The best monitor for VALORANT
VALORANT is built from the ground up to be competitive shooter, and as such it should be easy to run. Rather than going for impressive eye candy visuals, Riot have opted to make the game run smooth on pretty much all hardware, meaning that achieving high framerates in this game isn't as difficult as it can be in some of our other analyzed games. For that reason we would definitely recommend a 240Hz monitor, or even a 360Hz one. Granted, the difference between going from 144 to 240Hz isn't as big as when going from 60 to 144 but it definitely is there, and with this game not demanding a lot of horsepower to run well it's a good idea to go for that fast display.
Of course if you're on a budget and/or you're absolutely sure that you won't be upgrading to a 240Hz system anytime soon you can definitely opt for a 144Hz panel. Remember that it's important that your PC can push enough frames; there's no need to go for a 240Hz monitor if your PC can barely push past 60 frames per second and you have no intention of upgrading any PC parts in the near future.
Hopefully this list has helped you get some insight into what makes a gaming monitor good for a game such as VALORANT but if you have any questions or remarks you can always reach out to us on Twitter, Discord, or in the comments of any of our relevant pages.
Thanks for reading!