What is Ghosting In Gaming? How To Fix It

If you’re a dedicated gamer, you understand the significance of your monitor’s performance in shaping your overall gaming experience. One specific issue that can greatly impede this experience is ghosting. Ghosting refers to the lingering “ghost” or trail that appears on your monitor after objects have moved.

This problem can be especially problematic in fast-paced games such as first-person shooters, where even the slightest delay or inaccuracy can make a difference between winning and losing. It’s a frustrating phenomenon that serious gamers definitely want to avoid.

What Is Screen Ghosting In Gaming?

When it comes to gaming, ghosting is a technical occurrence that can affect display quality. It refers to the situation where multiple images appear on the screen simultaneously. This happens when a previous image lingers alongside the latest image, resulting in a blurred representation. 

ghosting in game

Ultimately, it creates a smudged effect on your gaming screen, commonly referred to as a “ghost” image. The term “ghost image” is used because it resembles the concept of a ghost leaving behind lingering impressions.

Ghosting should not be confused with permanent burn-in or image retention. While ghosting refers to the temporary delay in pixel response causing a trailing effect, burn-in or image retention occurs when pixels on an OLED display wear out and result in persistent image retention.

In the case of mid-range monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate, ghosting is usually not a problem. The response times of modern 60Hz displays are fast enough to prevent noticeable ghosting issues.

However, gaming monitors with higher refresh rates, such as 144Hz or 240Hz, require even faster pixel response times to avoid ghosting. For example, a 144Hz display demands pixel transitions within 6.94 milliseconds, while a 240Hz monitor requires a response time of just 4 milliseconds.

It’s important to understand that ghosting is a temporary phenomenon that does not have any long-term effects on your display. On the other hand, if you observe burn-in on an OLED display, it is likely due to the permanent wearing out of individual pixels, which can result in persistent image retention.

Signs Of Ghosting

If you’ve encountered ghosting while gaming on your monitor, you’re likely to notice the following effects:

  • Moving objects leaving blurry trails behind them.
  • Lingering remnants of the previous image on the screen, even after transitioning to the next frame.
  • The current image appearing blurry.
  • Colors in the images appearing incorrect or distorted.

How to test your monitor for Ghosting?

To assess ghosting, refresh rate, pixel rate, and other specifications of your display, numerous tools and websites are accessible online. Testufo is widely regarded as one of the top options among these resources. It provides a comprehensive platform for conducting tests and evaluations related to ghosting and various other display parameters, making it a preferred choice for many users.

Ghosting greatly detracts from the enjoyment and immersion of gaming, compromising the overall excitement, thrill, and sense of adventure that the experience should offer. It’s important to note that ghosting isn’t confined to gaming alone; it can occur in various scenarios, be it while watching movies or carrying out important tasks on your laptop.

What Causes Ghosting?

Ghosting is influenced by two key factors: response time and screen refresh rate:

  • Screen refresh rate: This refers to the frequency at which the screen refreshes its content per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). A higher refresh rate signifies a better display experience.
  • Response time: As the name implies, it measures the time taken for a display to respond to changes in frames and colors. It is typically measured in milliseconds. A lower response time indicates a more efficient and rapid transition of pixels and colors to the new frame.

In general, displays commonly start with a 60 Hz refresh rate, although variations such as 75 Hz, 90 Hz, and 144 Hz are also available. A 60 Hz display implies that the screen refreshes 60 times per second.

A lower response time signifies that the display can swiftly update the pixels and colors to match the new frame, resulting in reduced ghosting effects.

So, we can say, high response time is a problem because the higher the response time, the more time it will take to replace the old image with the latest one. 3 milliseconds of response time is ideal. Similarly, slow refresh time causes screen ghosting.

How To Fix Ghosting On A Monitor Or Laptop Display

Sometimes, ghosting on your display can be caused by software problems, but don’t worry! There are ways to fix it without having to rush to a service center or call in a technician. Here are some solutions you can try out:

Check Your Monitor Cables

VGA display cable

When dealing with screen ghosting, it’s important to start by checking the condition of your cables. Often, loose or damaged cables can be the culprit behind this annoying phenomenon.

To tackle the issue, try replacing any tangled or frayed cables you come across. This simple step might just do the trick and resolve the ghosting problem. Moreover, it’s a good idea to use high-quality cables with strong shielding capabilities for your devices. This helps minimize the chances of interference and reduces the likelihood of future ghosting occurrences.

Read – Best Games Like Slither IO (Classic Snake Game)

Enhancing Monitor Performance

By enhancing your monitor’s performance, you can boost refresh rates and decrease response time. However, it is crucial to approach any modifications or adjustments to your monitor settings with caution.

Before making any changes, it is recommended to seek guidance from a software professional who possesses the necessary expertise. Mishandling the overclocking process could have adverse effects on your display, so it’s better to be safe and consult an expert to ensure you make the right adjustments.

Check Your Monitor’s Display Software Settings

Software is highly responsible for the increased response time, but sometimes this can also fix ghosting issues. To do this, you need to dig a little deeper into display settings. If your device has NVIDIA G-Sync settings, disable and re-enable again. This is a good workaround to get rid of screen ghosting.

Keep Your Drivers Up-to-date

To ensure smooth performance and avoid potential issues, it’s important to keep your drivers up-to-date. Outdated drivers can contribute to various problems, including display issues and even disabling WiFi functionality. For gamers, it is particularly crucial to regularly update graphic card drivers for optimal gaming experiences. So, take the time to check for and install the latest driver updates to keep everything running smoothly.

Verify The Settings Of Your Monitor Or Laptop Display Software

The software configuration plays a significant role in determining response time, and there are specific settings that can assist in mitigating ghosting. To begin, navigate to your display settings and explore the options available. If your device incorporates NVIDIA G-Sync settings, try disabling and then re-enabling them. This serves as a helpful workaround to alleviate the issue of screen ghosting.

Vertical Alignment Panels (VA)

Ghosting problems are often associated with VA panels. While VA panels may offer superior color reproduction compared to In-plane Switching (IPS) and Twisted Nematic (TN) displays, they tend to have a lower refresh rate and higher response time, which can be the underlying cause of ghosting issues. As a result, it is advisable to steer clear of VA panels when considering a new monitor purchase. Opting for IPS or TN panels instead may provide a better overall experience with reduced chances of encountering ghosting problems.

Overdrive Function

Unleash the power of your monitor’s performance by activating the overdrive function through the settings. Enhance your viewing experience by accessing this feature conveniently from the on-screen display menu. By adjusting the overrides, you can effectively reduce or eliminate the issue of ghosting.

For users with NVIDIA GPUs or AMD GPUs, you can take advantage of the overdrive function offered by NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, respectively. These technologies provide additional control and optimization, ensuring a smoother and more immersive gaming experience.

To activate and enable overdrive functionality, follow these steps:

  • Access the display menu of your monitor.
  • Locate the setting related to overdrive.
  • Activate the overdrive feature to customize its level.
  • Gradually adjust the level while observing the monitor’s ghosting test.
  • Identify the optimal overdrive result that minimizes ghosting.

Keep in mind that overdrive may be referred to by various names, such as response time compensation, depending on the manufacturer of your monitor. Avoid setting the overdrive to its maximum value, as this often leads to undesired effects like inverse ghosting or coronas.

Get A New Monitor

When everything fails, this might be the last option left. If the ghosting problem persists and cannot be resolved through software or driver updates, it is likely a hardware-related issue. In this case, upgrading your display is the only option.

It is needless to say that, you should replace the old monitor with the one having a high refresh rate and low response time.

Read – Best Xbox One Emulator for PC (Xbox Games on PC)

What to Look Out for in Getting a New Display for Gaming?

When you have competitive gaming in mind while purchasing a new display, it’s crucial to take into account and test the refresh rate and response time as they directly impact screen ghosting. In essence, for an outstanding gaming experience, your monitor should have a quick response time, minimal input lag, and a high refresh rate. 

These factors not only eliminate screen ghosting problems but also address issues like screen tearing and stuttering. Additionally, it’s advisable to steer clear of VA panels to optimize your gaming setup.


Ghosting can be incredibly frustrating, especially for gamers who are deeply immersed in their gaming experiences. If you’ve personally encountered this issue, you’re well aware of the challenges posed by distorted and blurred frames. However, ghosting isn’t limited to gamers alone; it can also be a major inconvenience for editors and graphic designers.

To address this problem, we have compiled a set of solutions that should assist you in eliminating ghosting. It’s worth noting that if none of these solutions prove effective, it may be an indication that your monitor is defective and requires replacement.

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here