Motion Blur in Games – Turn On or Off?

There are many different settings that you’re going to want to take into account when you’re playing video games online. Your resolution, refresh rate and texture quality are just some of these important factors in your gameplay. But one that you have a lot of control of is Motion Blur, which brings out different options depending on who you ask.

Should you have motion blur on, or should you turn it off the majority of the time? And if you do want to turn it off, how can you do this? Well, we’ll be looking at motion blur in gaming and finding out more about it.

Motion Blur in Games – Turn On or Off?

The quick answer is that you should turn motion blur off if you’re playing a first person games and you want to be as quick and effective as possible. It’s good to switch off for competitive gaming, though it can come at a cost when it comes to how visually impressive the game is.

Essentially, motion blur is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. When objects or people are moving on your screen at a fast pace, they’ll be blurred or unfocussed. So if your character is running forward, his surroundings will be out of focus.

The optimist will say that motion blur is a good setting to have on when playing games, at least in one player games anyway. It helps to add some realism to your game, as it’s based on what you’d actually see if you were looking down a lens in real life.

This is especially true in racing games, where motion blue is probably most used. When an F1 car drives past us in real life at 200mph it’s blurry, right? So, why shouldn’t we also add that effect into our gaming experience too?


Well, the pessimist would probably argue that the only reason motion blur is a thing in games is that it makes lower refresh rates (30-60Hz) better on the eye.

This leads to the thought that if you’re playing games at higher refresh rates, then you should turn motion blur off. It might not be as good quality in comparison to when you’ve got motion blur on, but it can provide you with a competitive edge.

It really comes down to opinion, and for what it’s worth, you could think of it like this. When you’re playing a solo game in story mode, switch motion blur on. It can definitely enhance your gaming experience, and you’re not competing with anyone else anyway.

But when you’re playing online against other gamers, then turn motion blur off in your settings. It’ll allow you to see the full picture much clearer without any motion blur, and it can definitely make it easier when you’re competing against other players. Simple!

How to Stop Motion Blur in Games

So, now we’ve established what exactly motion blur is, how can you go ahead and turn it off?

Well, there are some different ways that you can do this, and it’ll really depend on the game that you’re playing, and the console you’re using. However, typically it’s quite easy for you to stop motion blur in your games.

Simply switch it off

For the most part, you can actually go into the settings of the game that you’re playing and turn motion blur off.

This is true in games like Call of Duty, where it’s very easy to have motion blur on and off to your preference. You might want to have it in Campaign mode, but switch it off when you’re playing online. You can also look at your depth of field settings too, which can also make things a little easier.

Though for the most part this should do the trick, it doesn’t always get rid of motion blur completely. If this is the case, then there is more that you can do to get rid of any motion blur in your game.

Check Chromatic Aberration


Something else worth checking out in the settings of your game is something called chromatic aberration. Whilst this doesn’t specifically refer to blur, it’s the coloured distortion effect that you might see in games. It has been referred to as seeing the game in 3D if you didn’t have the glasses on.

Whilst chromatic aberration is typically added to games to make them seem more realistic (as if they were filmed through a photo lens), it can also be a little annoying and get in the way of performance. So, if there’s a setting for this, then try to adjust that as well.

Increase refresh rate

If you’re playing your video game on a television with your console, then there’s little that you can do to change the refresh rate of your TV – typically, it’ll only be capable of 50Hz-60Hz.

This isn’t bad, but a higher refresh rate can give you better performance for gaming, and it can help to reduce and blur that you might see at a lower refresh rate.

Your refresh rate dictates your frame rate. If you have a monitor capable of a higher refresh rate, then you’re going to get higher frame rates when you’re playing your game – this means more frames per second. It’s another way you can get a slight competitive advantage.

The good thing about using a monitor is that you can get a monitor with a higher refresh rate. With a 144Hz monitor, you can actually get a more seamless experience, and you’re a lot less likely to have to deal with motion blur in games.

If you are using a high refresh rate monitor with your PC, then make sure that you’ve allowed it to use a higher refresh rate. You’d be surprised the amount of people that get a new monitor and don’t do this, and end up playing at the same refresh rate as before.

Turn down your graphics

Unless you have a powerful GPU and processor, the likelihood is that you’re going to have to make a decision. This is between the fast refresh rate of your monitor, and the graphics settings that you’re playing with.

We want as many frames per second on our monitor, but without the power to do this, your fps can suffer and it can look like motion blur to our eyes. So, consider turning down your graphics from the highest settings (Ultra) and see how this makes a difference to your refresh rate.

Like I said, if you get a new GPU then this might allow you to maintain both. But often with cheaper systems, you have to make a choice.

Motion blur vs ghosting

Something that’s very important to distinguish between when it comes to a blurred display is motion blur and ghosting. Are they the same thing? Well, yes and no – motion blur is kind of a form of ghosting, but I think it’s important to separate the two.

They’re often confused for one another, but whilst you can stop or turn motion blur off, you don’t have the ability to do this with ghosting. Ghosting is caused by a slow response time creating a lag between your actions and your display.

This comes up with a faded “ghost” on your display, often of the character you’re playing as they move through the map. You can only see a full “ghost” if it’s really bad – most of the time, it’s just a slight blur around the edge of the object that’s moving on screen.

Some people will refer to this slight ghosting as motion blur, though it’s not really the same thing. Motion blur can refer to the specific blurring you add into your gameplay through your settings, but often we use the terms interchangeably with each other.


Motion blur is a contested part of video games nowadays, and depending on what exactly it is that you’re doing, you may want to have motion blur on or off. Overall, motion blur isn’t defined as a bad thing by any means, and often when you’re playing story mode, it might be good to have motion blur on.

However when you’re gaming online, most people prefer to have no motion blur at all, as it can affect your gameplay. So, make your own decision as to whether you want motion blur on or off on your monitor.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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