Why Do Gamers Use 2 Monitors?


Gaming setups can get pretty intense. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years getting new and improved hardware, including investing in a dual and, at one point, a triple monitor setup. In my experience, there is only one reason to invest in a dual monitor setup:

Gamers use 2 monitors for convenience or for streaming. Having two monitors means that you can read online guides or watch videos without having to exit out of your game. Alternatively, 2 monitors allow you to interact with your live stream chat and access your control panel easily without closing the game.

What about gaming, though? Well, there’s one main reason why 2 monitor setups aren’t good for gaming, so read on to find out why exactly that is. 

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Why are 2 Monitor Setups Bad for Gaming?

One monitor setups for gaming are fine, as are three monitor setups. 2 monitor setups, on the other hand, are not good for gaming at all unless you intend to stream.

2 monitor setups are bad for gaming because your point of focus on any game is in the middle of your display. If you use 2 monitors for a shooter, for example, half of your crosshair is going to be on one monitor with half on the other, separated by the gap between the monitors. 

This makes playing with 2 monitors a nightmare and is the reason why you can only use one or three monitors for gaming setups. If you want to actually play a game on multiple monitors at once, you need an odd number so that one of the monitors can act as the center while the other two take care of your peripherals.

What Are the Advantages to Using a 2 Monitor Setup?

As I said, 2 monitor setups aren’t universally bad, just if you intend to use them both to play one game. However, having 2 monitors is a general quality of life improvement that I advocate for. In fact, I use a 2 monitor setup myself.

First of all, having 2 monitors means you can use your computer while you’re actively in a game. If you’re prone to looking up guides regularly or like to watch streams while you play, this is significantly better than using your phone.

My use for 2 monitors is a bit more niche. Given that I write about games, I’m able to use my second screen to take notes, record gameplay, verify data, do research, and more, all related to my job.

You might not need to do that kind of information mining while you’re playing, but I’m willing to bet there’s a handful of times during each of your sessions that you have to stop to google something.

Think you have what it takes to become a professional gamer? Discover the true cost of making it to the top in my article.

Using 2 Monitors as a Streamer

$400 dollars for a top-range gaming monitor on Amazon can be a lot of money to pay for just not having to use your phone to look things up. Most people don’t want to spend that kind of cash, and I can understand that.

The majority of 2 monitor setup users are streamers for that very reason. If you’re going to invest that money, you want to get the most bang for your buck, and that can only happen if you’re using your second monitor to stream.

You could always get a stream deck, but there’s no need for that kind of hardware until you’re getting serious about things. When you’re first starting out, 2 monitors are more than enough to comfortably manage your streams.

That second screen is going to let you view your stream in real-time, making it easier to interact with the chat. However, it’s also going to give you quick and easy access to all of the various commands you might be running during your stream.

If you had ads, visual effects, text to speech donations, and so on, being able to access all of those settings midstream can be invaluable.

Why Do Gaming Setups Have 3 Monitors?

Unlike 2 monitor setups, 3 monitor setups work great for large, open-world games like DayZ, Rust, and Arma. You can use 3 monitors with other types of games, too, if you want to take advantage of the increased field of vision.

While I always recommend you play competitive games on one monitor setups, as the pros do, you can utilize the larger FOV, or field of vision, that 3 monitors give you to view more of the map at any given time than your opponents.

That being said, most popular modern shooters don’t support multi-monitor setups, so make sure you do your research before you invest in your setup, to see which games do check out this article.

Having said all of that, I find that 3 monitor setups are overkill for everyone except high-level professionals that also stream for a living. Getting 3 monitors of decent quality can cost you upwards of $1000 for what is essentially a small quality of life improvement.

If you’re looking to get into streaming, I would recommend getting yourself a 2 monitor setup, but 3 are almost never necessary.  

Can I Stream with 3 Monitors?

Of course, you can. In fact, a lot of your favorite content creators likely run 3 monitors themselves. What you have to remember, though, is that these creators also need to edit and render videos, so they have the need for all that extra hardware.

As an amateur streamer, there is little to no advantage of using 3 monitors instead of 2. Remember, you can’t really play using 2 monitors, so even with 3, you’re only going to be playing on one and controlling your stream on one. The third monitor is going to be a glorified paperweight.

If you’re already a streamer and you’re trying to justify that jump to 3 monitors, use your career progression as an excuse to do so.

Start taking your socials a bit more seriously and making YouTube videos. Having a third monitor and even a second computer is going to give you an edge over other amateur content creators at your level, but just make sure you’re putting out videos that are actually worth watching.

To see how you can make money with Twitch as a streamer and how they pay you, check out my article.

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