Dual Monitor Gaming Setup (Step-by-Step)
No matter what kind of game you’re playing, having a dual monitor gaming setup creates a better experience than only using one monitor while gaming. You can do so much more at once with a multi-monitor gaming setup. For example, you can have instructions on one monitor, and the gameplay on the second monitor. This makes it easier to play because you don’t have to keep closing the game window to open a new window and read the instructions.
Having a dual monitor gaming setup also creates a more immersive experience. It widens your view of the game, which can make you feel more entranced in the gameplay.
Setting up two monitors isn’t too complicated, but there are some things you should know before setting up multiple gaming monitors.
What Are the Benefits of Gaming with a Dual Monitor Setup?
There are many benefits of gaming with a dual monitor setup. Firstly, it makes it easier to look at two different pages at once, and you can have discord on one screen while having your game playing on the other screen. If you’re a streamer, it means you can stream on one screen and play on the other. Having a multi-screen gaming setup makes your life so much easier, as you can have a walkthrough on one screen while you’re playing on the other.
It can also provide more immersive gameplay. For example, if you’re playing a racing game, you can use the second monitor to give you a more realistic view, as if you’re racing in real life. This is especially true if you're using a slightly curved monitor. More generally, having a dual monitor setup is great for anyone who wants to have a wider screen view. If you need to have multiple files open at once, having a dual monitor setup gives you much more screen space.
Choosing a Gaming Monitor
You may also be wondering how to choose the right monitor to buy. Before buying a gaming monitor, you need to check the computer’s connectivity. Not all graphics cards support dual monitors. If your graphics card only has one video port, it won’t support a dual monitor setup. Although it was common many years ago for graphics cards to not support a dual monitor setup, most modern graphics cards have two or more ports, so you most likely won’t run into any issues here.
It is also best to have two monitors that are the same size. When they’re the same size, they’re easier to align with each other, which makes for a better visual gaming experience. Another important thing to consider when you’re buying a monitor is the frame thickness. Monitors with very thin bezels work much better in a dual monitor gaming setup, as they provide a sleeker image and fewer distractions.
Choosing a Gaming Monitor Stand
Another important aspect of a dual monitor gaming setup is choosing a monitor stand. If you’re someone who plays a lot, it’s important that your monitors are positioned in a way that you’re not straining your back, neck, or eyes. Choosing the best dual monitor stand can be difficult, as there are so many options to choose from.
The most important thing is that you buy a dual monitor stand and not a single monitor stand. With a dual monitor stand, you can position both your monitors in a way that suits your needs. Most dual monitor stands allow you to tilt, rotate, and adjust accordingly. It's advised to set up your monitors at eye level, as this promotes good posture. If you feel like you’re hunching over, or if your neck feels strained after a few hours, chances are your monitor isn’t at the right height.
That’s the beauty of a monitor stand; being able to adjust the height to your needs.
Before Setting up Your Monitors
If you’re someone who plays a lot, it may be a good idea to invest in a dual monitor standing desk, so that you can alternate between sitting and standing. It’s always good to stand for a few minutes if you’re sitting for long periods.
Although this article focuses on a dual monitor setup, you may want to have three or four monitors. If you want a 3-monitor gaming setup, you need to make sure you have a 3-monitor gaming desk. If you're thinking of having a 4-monitor gaming setup, you need to have even more space; keep that in mind.
How to Setup Dual Monitors for Gaming (Step-by-Step)
1. Check Your Monitors
It is always best to use monitors that are the same or similar model. If the monitors are the same model, it means they have the same measurements and that they match up with each other. If your monitors aren’t the same model, it’s best to make sure they at least have the same display ports, for example, an HDMI port. Making sure your monitors have the same display features is also important, because if they don’t, the game and graphics may look off.
You also want to make sure your graphics card can connect to all your monitors. A 4K monitor requires HDMI ports, for example.
2. Check Your Graphics Card
Unlike years ago, when most gamers only used one monitor, nowadays many gamers use more than one monitor. This means that modern GPUs are made for multiple-monitor use. If you have a new GPU, chances are it supports multiple-screen gaming. It is also important to check the following:
Your Nvidia GPU needs to have the Surround solution. Not only does Sound support multiple gaming monitors, but it also supports 3D gaming. If you have a standard monitor connection, Sound will work just fine with it.
AMD graphics cards feature the multi-monitor Eyefinity technology. If you want the best visual gaming experience, Eyefinity allows the game visuals to be spread across all monitors, without any unpleasant distortion.
3. Set It All Up
First what you need to do is plug it all in and make sure you have the correct ports. Thankfully, this setup step only requires one screen. You can worry about the other one later. If your other monitor doesn’t turn on or it isn’t working properly, you may need to change cables or update your drivers.
4. Update Settings
You may need to adjust some settings before you start gaming. The GPU control panel is a good place to do this. If you notice that you’re having problems with frame rate or anything else, resort back to the GPU control panel and keep changing the settings until everything is correct and ready to go.
Can I Play Any Game with a Dual Monitor Setup?
Luckily, most games that have been released in the last five to ten years are fully playable in a multiple gaming monitors setup. Many games older than ten years work as well, but it’s recommended to double-check the specific game you want to play. There are tons of lists online that show all multi-monitor compatible games, and most of them are updated regularly. If you’re ever in doubt, just check one of the lists, and you’re sure to find the information.
Choosing a Gaming Desk
If you are trying to improve your dual monitor gaming setup, consider the type of desk you need. An electric standing desk is a good option, as you can easily move the height up and down. You can also consider a corner standing desk, which gives more space than a regular desk; this is perfect if you use more than one gaming monitor!
If you just want a standard desk that is also height adjustable, a smart desk is something to look into. If you’re an everyday gamer, having the most comfortable setup is important, as well as having the most useful gaming desk. If you have more than one monitor, you want to make sure your desk supports the weight. You also want to make sure all your monitors fit on the desk. Taking measurements is always a good idea before committing to anything.
Ways to Improve Dual Monitor Gaming Setup
Rather than simply plugging in your monitors and leaving it at that, there are some simple ways to improve your dual monitor setup.
1. Match the Displays
The first thing you should do is make sure the displays match. If your monitors are the same model, you don’t need to do this. If you have two different models, however, make sure to do this step.
You need to go to your Display Settings. From there, you can rearrange your displays by moving the rectangles around. Try to match the rectangles with the way your own monitors are set up. For example, if your right monitor is slightly lower than your left monitor, move the rectangles according to that. It may take a while to get this right but keep trying.
You can then scroll to the Scale and Layout section. Here, you can adjust the scaling and resolution settings of each monitor. For example, if both your monitors have different resolutions, you can set each one to its local resolution, but make sure to increase the scaling on the monitor that has a higher resolution. This will make the visual gameplay much more pleasing.
Something else you can do, but it’s not totally necessary, is tweak the brightness settings on each monitor so that their brightness levels match. This gives a more pleasing viewing experience.
2. Edit Your Taskbar
On Windows 10, you can edit your taskbar settings to your liking. All you need to do is right-click on the taskbar and click Taskbar Settings. You can look through the different settings and choose which ones you want to change. These settings are mostly based on personal preference, so choose whatever works best for you.
If you want, you can go to the Multiple Displays section. Here, you have the option to change a few things. One thing you can do is remove the taskbar from your secondary monitor, which can be handy; mess around with the options and find what’s best for you.
Having a super wide wallpaper gives off an impressive visual effect for your dual monitor gaming setup, although it’s not a necessary step. Once you find your desired multiple gaming monitors wallpaper, you can right-click on your desktop and click Personalize. All you need to do is find the image and click Span. This will make the wallpaper span across all monitors.
There are different shortcuts on Windows 10 that you can only use with more than one monitor; that is why it’s handy to know what some of them are.
- Win + Home minimizes every window other than the one currently being used.
- Shift + Win + Left and Shift + Win + Right moves the monitor currently being used to the next monitor.
- Win + Left and Win + Right puts the window currently being used to either side of the active monitor.
There are other shortcuts, but these are just some examples that you may find helpful.
To recap, this step-by-step guide should have helped you with your dual monitor gaming setup. Hopefully, you now understand the importance of having a good dual monitor and how beneficial it is. You can have more pages open and in view at once, or you can stream on one screen while playing on the other, not to mention the multi-screen gaming setup is easy once you follow the steps in this article.
You should now also be aware of the different types of desks that you can use for gaming and the importance of making sure that you've measured everything correctly. Investing in a monitor stand is also beneficial and highly recommended. It is always important to ensure that your monitor is positioned at eye level, and a monitor stand can help tremendously with this.
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