Best Monitor for VALORANT – The Ultimate Guide
VALORANT isn’t even a year old but already we’ve seen tons of (pro) players shift from other games to make this their main competitive shooter. It’s not hard to see why: the game brings an exciting mix between ability-focused games and tactical shooters and manages to do so with an added sprinkling of Riot’s magic. Even though the journey hasn’t always been completely smooth (there was a patch rollback and there’ve been issues with hitreg) the core gameplay manages to attract tons of players every day and if recent tournaments are anything to go by we’ve got ourselves an exciting new esports title to watch, too.
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 becoming (or already is, depending on the game) the new competitive gaming standard so if you’ve got the budget we do recommend a 240Hz monitor but if budget is a concern 144 is definitely fine too. The difference when going from 144 to 240 is less noticeable than going from 60 to 144 so a 144Hz monitor is fine in a pinch too.
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 1920×1080 and the same is true for the VALORANT pros.
Most used monitors
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.
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
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.
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. Alienware AW2518H
As used by leaf, frz, Saadhak, …
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.
3. 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.
4. AOC AG251FZ2E
AOC is a brand that’s been gaining popularity with our analyzed pro gamers over the past couple of years. Their AG251FZ2E (their naming scheme makes them a bit less popular with our editors) is another entry in a line of esports monitors that seems to hit the spot exactly. It has everything you’d want out of an esports monitor (240 Hz refresh rate, o.5ms response time, …) and it comes in a package that doesn’t take up too much space on your desk.
The AOC AG251FZ2E has a smaller base than some of AOC’s other monitors, and with its small stand it’s a lot easier to place your peripherals close to your monitor if that’s something that you like to do. Aside from this it’s also FreeSync compatible and it comes with all the usual extras that you’ve come to expect out of an esports monitor such as different profiles for different genres, some form of dynamic contrast control (called ‘Shadow Control’ here), and so on.
Why this one?
This perhaps isn’t the most exciting monitor on this list, but if you’re someone who is solely focused on their performance you don’t need any RGB bells and whistles. If you’re that kind of person then the AG251FZ2E might be right up your alley.
5. ASUS PG258Q
As used by ZachaREEE, rara, bonkar, …
The ASUS PG258Q is another regular in our ‘best monitor’ lists and as such it’s no real surprise to see it turn up here.
This monitor sports a 240Hz panel with a 1ms response time, and as you’ll no doubt be able to see this is a more obvious gaming monitor than some other products in this article. Whether you like that or not depends on preferences of course (who are we to debate taste) but there’s no denying that the LED projector looks cool if you’re into that sort of thing.
‘Looks aren’t everything’. It’s an adage that rings true for most things in life and and the same goes for monitors. Luckily the PG258Q has plenty to love on the inside too. We already mentioned the response time and refresh rate but it’s also G-Sync compatible, has a fully adjustable stand, a nifty joystick to navigate the OSD, plenty of gaming-focused features in the form of their GamePlus tech and, not unimportant, super thin bezels. That’s an undeniable advantage if you want to go all out and go for a multi-monitor setup that looks as clean as possible.
Topping it off we see the ‘usual’ features such as low blue light technology, flicker-free technology, and a bunch of preset contrast profiles to help you see the forest for the trees during hectic scenes without tiring your eyes.
Why this one?
If you’re looking for a 240Hz gaming monitor that’s G-Sync compatible this is one of your best bets out there. It’s a proven classic at this point in time so there’s no real reason to hesitate if you like what you’re reading. This is also an ideal choice for people who are looking to buy multiple monitors and want the transition between displays to be as seamless as possible.
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!