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How to enable “Game Mode” on your HDTV

Ever felt like your HDTV is very sluggish or unresponsive when playing video games? Me too. Thankfully, there is a reason for that and there is a way to reduce it. The measurements on this site were derived from this mode in several HDTVs.

What is “Game Mode”?

Game mode is an option that display manufacturers put into their HDTVs to disable certain image processing protocols when its enabled. It usually makes your picture look worse. Why would anyone want to do that? Because your pretty picture is the reason your controller and inputs feel sluggish. By enabling “Game Mode”, you are disabling certain features of the TV to reduce picture quality, and in return you get more responsive inputs on your controller. The less your TV has to work, the more responsive your controller is.

Sounds great! How do I do it?

This mode varies by manufacturer. Some manufacturers require you to go into a settings menu and enable it from there, while others require you to change picture settings. I will explain how to do it on the major brands of TVs, as those are the most common.

 

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Samsung:

Samsung keeps it consistent when it comes to enabling Game Mode on most of their recent HDTVs. It usually  involves navigating to “Setup”, and then going to “General”. You will see an option for “Game Mode” over there. Use your remote to enable this option.  Update: Some Samsung displays can further lower their input lag over using Game Mode, by renaming the HDMI input to “PC”. Usually, this only works on the dedicated PC HDMI port, which for Samsung HDTVs is usually HDMI 1. If you’re not satisfied using Game Mode, check out the PC rename trick!

LG Electronics:

HDTVs from LG enable Game Mode by going into their picture menu. That menu has an option called “Picture Mode”. It lets you select modes such as Standard, Vivid, etc. In that menu, there is an option for “Game”, set your picture mode to that in order to enable it. This location is convenient because you don’t have to go into extra menus outside of picture in order to enable it. Smart placement by LG.

Sharp:

Sharp HDTVs require you to go into “Picture Settings” and change the “AV MODE” setting to “Game”. This method is almost identical to the way LG does it in their televisions. You don’t have to dig through a lot of confusing menus to enable it.

Sony:

Sony HDTVs are very different from the other brands covered here, because they require your remote control to access the scene menu. Look on your remote for a button labeled “Scene” and press it. Once pressed, it will bring up a scene selection menu pictured below. Simply select “Game” and it will select Game Mode for you.

Panasonic:

Panasonic’s Game Mode can be enabled from the “Picture” menu, similar to LG and Sharp HDTVs. Once in the menu, select between different modes until you find the “Game” setting.

Hopefully this article was informative and you’re on your way to more responsive gaming! Remember, don’t forget to check out the display database if you’re interested in purchasing a good gaming HDTV or monitor.

About the author

Adeel Soomro

Adeel Soomro

Adeel Soomro, also known as "Four Wude", has been professionally competing in fighting games since 2008. Using his extensive gaming experience on a casual and professional level, he aims to spread the awareness of input lag existing in today's displays. Having tested over 500 displays for input lag, he hopes that DisplayLag will aid gamers around the world when purchasing the best HDTV or monitor for gaming.