The choice between a matte vs glossy screen for gaming boils down to the personal preference of the user. However, there are a lot of vital factors you need to be aware of before you can decide on your next display type.
Thus, we will be covering everything you need to know about both the matte and glossy display types in this post. And, after you have read this post, you will be able to know whether a glossy or a matte display surface is better for gaming.
So, let’s get down to business…
What is a Glossy Screen?
Typically, the glossy displays are known for offering vibrant and crunch colors. The image on the screen will be more attractive. And you will also notice the blacks and whites on the monitor are appearing deeper. So, the contrast would be high and there will be a more vivid color reproduction as a whole.
However, glossy displays have an issue. These types of displays are reflective. So, if the display is next to a bright light source, then the light will reflect from the screen to the user’s eye. Thus, glossy displays are almost nearly unusable in bright sunlight. You can say that glossy screens behave like a mirror.
What is a Matte Screen?
On the other side, the matte screen comes with a special anti-glare coating applied to the screen directly. The coating can be of different thicknesses. And, due to the anti-glare coating, the display will be dull and hazy. Most of the time, you will notice poor contrast and pale colors in a matte display compared to its counterpart.
However, as it comes with an anti-glare coating already, it is perfect to use in all types of environments. It doesn’t matter if it is under direct sunlight or a light bulb is behind you. There will be no reflection from the screen to the eye.
Matte vs Glossy Screen for Gaming: Which one is Better?
Difference between Glossy Vs. Matte Screen:
It might seem that both of these display types are almost similar except for the coating. But there is more to it. It is true that both matte and glossy displays have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, it doesn’t only depend on the display but also the location it will be used. Let’s elaborate…
Advantages of Matte Screen:
Negligible Amount of Glare:
Matte screens are there for tackling the glare from the screen. As it comes with a special anti-glare coating, you will not notice any glare and it will be easier to use a matte display on any environment.
Can Be Used Under Bright/Direct Light:
As there is no glare, there will be no reflections at all as well. So, if you need to use the display under bright sunlight, then the sunlight will not reflect from the display to your eye. It is mostly applicable if you are using a laptop outdoor.
Also, if you use your monitor in your office or home where there is a bright light source directly on the opposite of the screen, then the screen would reflect that light as well. But in the case of a matte display, you will not face such issues.
Doesn’t Attract Fingerprints Easily:
The anti-glare coating doesn’t only help to reduce reflection, it also acts as a fingerprint and smudge-proof coating. With the coating applied, your screen will be clean and smooth. And, due to no fingerprints or smudges around the screen, it will be easy to see what’s happening on the screen for the user.
Dirt/Dust would be Less Visible:
The anti-glare coating also helps to hide the visible dirt on the screen. Matter of fact, you might not have to clean the monitor frequently as it would appear clean because of the coating.
It is so hard to see on a display through reflection. If you have a smartphone with a glossy display, you can try to use it outdoor under bright sunlight. And, you will see that it is very difficult to see the contents on the screen.
But for a matte screen, it would be totally the opposite. The anti-glare coating will scatter the light instead of reflecting it to the user’s eye. That way, your eyes will be able to see the contents on a matte display without very much of an effort. Thus, it is evident that the matte display can reduce eyestrain to a greater extent.
Disadvantages of a Matte Screen:
Reduced Color Vibrancy, Sharpness, and Contrast:
You already know this that the color, sharpness, and contrast on a matte display would not be up to the par with a glossy screen. It is due to the anti-glare coating. It can eliminate reflection, at the same time, it also impacts the overall color accuracy of the display. So, it might not be able to produce an accurate image output compared to a glossy screen.
Hazy Texture might Appear:
The anti-glare coating has a hazy or grainy texture to it. Usually, it is barely noticeable. However, if your monitor is getting older, you might start to notice the hazy or fuzzy texture appearing on the screen. Thus, it will hinder the overall visual experience.
Dirt might Penetrate the Matte Surface:
You know that matte screens are less prone to attracting dirt or dust compared to the glossy screens. At the same time, dirt can actually penetrate the anti-glare coating. Because there are numerous pores on a matte screen. So, it will be tough to clean a matte display.
Matte Touchscreens are Rare:
If you are looking for a touchscreen display with the anti-glare feature, then you might be out of luck. Due to the anti-glare coating, it is very hard to manufacture a functioning matte touchscreen display. As a result, there is no supply of this type of touchscreen in the market as well.
Advantages of Glossy Screen:
Vibrant Color Reproduction:
The glossy screen doesn’t come with the anti-reflection coating, which makes it cleaner and smoother than a matte display. For that reason, a glossy screen can output great visuals with vibrant colors, deep black and white, vivid sharpness, and rich contrast, etc. Thus, it is very pleasing to watch any images and videos on a glossy screen.
Easy to Clean:
As there are no anti-glare coating, the glossy screens are easier to clean. These are almost like a piece of glass. Thus, you can clean it effortlessly and there will be no residual dirt after cleaning.
No Hazing Texture:
No anti-glare coating, which means there will be no hazing texture. Even if you are using an old glossy screen, you will find that it doesn’t have any grainy texture to it.
Glossy screens are substantially similar to a shiny mirror. So, if you are looking at both a glossy and a matte screen side by side, you will instantly notice the glossy screen looks stunning compared to the matte screen. Due to this, companies like Apple who put aesthetics first doesn’t offer lots of devices with matte screens.
Disadvantages of a Glossy Screen:
High Reflection under Bright Light:
Due to the mirror-like nature of a glossy screen, it reflects light immensely. And, if you are going to use your (glossy) device under bright light, then you will face hard time for sure. Matter of fact, this type of screens are almost impossible to use outdoor or under bright sunlight. As there is no anti-glare coating, you will clearly see your or the surrounding’s reflection on the glossy screen.
Due to the high reflection and glare, it will be hard to see in a glossy screen under various circumstances. For instance, if you are using the display opposite to a bright light source, then the light will reflect directly to your eye.
Thus, your eyes will suffer from discomfort. In fact, there were reports that the glares from a glossy screen can be a cause of eyestrain, severe headaches, and even photosensitive epileptic episodes. Now, if you use the device for a short period of time each day with such displays, then you might not be affected by it primarily.
However, if you happen to stare at the screen for an extended period of time, the glossy screen might not be the best option for you.
Dirt/Dust are Visible:
Another shortcoming of the glossy screen type is that the dirt will be visible on the screen. As there are no anti-glare coating, the dust will stick to the screen. And you have to clean a glossy screen more frequently. Otherwise, you won’t see the contents on the screen clearly.
As usual, glossy screens are known for being fingerprint magnets. It also attracts smudges and dirt’s a lot. Also, as it reflects light, the fingerprint and the smudges will be seen very easily as well. So, to keep it tidy, you have to clean the display far too often.
Which One is Better for Gaming — Matte vs. Glossy Screen?
We wish we could give you a straightforward answer here. But unfortunately, we can’t. The choice between a matte VS. a glossy display will depend upon a lot of factors. Let’s see what those are…
If you are a gamer, then it is very likely that you will use the display indoor. In fact, you might have a separate room for your PC and you will be using the monitor there. Now, if there are no bright light sources or you can eliminate those at your will from your room, then a glossy screen would be better for you. However, if you need to use the device outdoors or under bright light too often, you will be glad to go with a matte screen even if you are a gamer.
For a gamer, accurate color reproduction is not that important. Even, you won’t need a vibrant or very bright display as well. However, if you are a professional graphics designer or a video editor, then accurate color reproduction from your display would be crucial for you. In that sense, you will need a glossy screen. However, for a gamer, we think a matte display is good enough in terms of color accuracy.
Another important factor would be the amount of time you spend staring at the screen. A lot of gamers tend to spend a high amount of time on their computers. Also, if your profession requires you to spend the majority of your time on your PC desk, a matte screen will always be the best option for you.
Related Read: How to tell which monitor I have
Otherwise, a glossy screen might have a negative impact on your health. On the contrary, if you limit your screen time whether you are a gamer or a professional in the IT or tech field, you can go for the glossy screen.
The Alternative — Semi-Glossy Screen & Anti-Glare Protectors:
If you are not happy with the choices, then you have 2 other options. First off, you can buy a glossy screen and an anti-glare screen protector. Then, apply the screen protector to the screen to reduce the glare. In that way, if you need the glossy screen back, you can remove the screen protector anytime.
The other alternative is the semi-glossy screen. A few major display manufacturers have been working on a solution to find a middle ground between the glossy and the matte screen. And, that’s when the semi-glossy screen came to the scene. This type of screens come with a 12-18% haze value compared to the standard 25% haze value on a matte screen.
As a result, you will get a good quality image output and a colorful viewing experience. However, there will still be a little bit of reflection as these are not pure matte screens. But, the reflection is not that high like the usual glossy screens.
Sum up — Matte VS. Glossy Screen:
If you have read the post above, now you know a thing or two about the matt and glossy screen types. We have covered the topic from various perspectives so that you get an in-depth idea. That way it would be easier for you to choose the best screen type based upon your requirements.
Now, if you are looking for our suggestion, then we would tell that matte displays are the best option for gaming. Even, you would see that almost all of the gaming monitors come with the matte/anti-glare feature nowadays.
So, which one do you think the best for gaming — Matte or Glossy? Do let us know your opinion in the comments below!