Optimizing Minecraft is almost a necessity before hopping into the magical journey that it offers, but unfortunately, reaching the “sweet spot” can often be a challenging task.
One of the most frequently asked questions in the world of video game optimization is whether the VSync setting needs to be on or off. This, along with the many myths circling about Vertical Synchronization can easily confuse users.
Luckily, this guide is dedicated to helping you decide whether you need VSync on or off while playing Minecraft, so feel free to read on and learn more.
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The VSync Setting Explained – What Is Vertical Sync?
Vertical Synchronization, also often referred to as VSync, is a feature developed by GPU manufacturers with the goal of solving what’s called “screen tearing”, a problem occurring when the monitor’s refresh rate and your in-game frame rate are not in sync.
This can result in what users describe as a “choppy” viewing experience, and it really makes playing video games unpleasant.
Here’s a video showcasing an example of screen tearing, which can be even worse in-game compared to what’s shown here.
We also have a helpful and detailed guide that explains screen tearing in detail and should help you easily understand why it is happening and how to prevent it.
Note: Screen tearing can occur both if your framerate is higher and lower than your monitor’s refresh rate. It doesn’t necessarily occur only when you have a much higher in-game FPS than what your monitor’s refresh rate is set to be.
To solve this issue, users activate the Vertical Synchronization setting in many games, including Minecraft. But, even this isn’t as “black and white” as it seems.
Some Minecraft users are heavily against VSync, while others suggest that the game is unplayable without it.
This raises the question of should you enable it while playing or keep it off?
Read the following section where we explain more about the advantages and disadvantages of VSync in Minecraft.
Should I Enable VSync In Minecraft?
As you can see in this particular Reddit thread where users discuss VSync in Minecraft, almost everyone who plays the game on a slightly more competitive level is against enabling the setting.
However, if you happen to be a “casual” player, and you don’t really care about “min-maxing” your performance as a player, enabling VSync can provide a better overall quality of life experience while playing.
But, instead of giving you a straight answer, let’s instead help you decide for yourself by laying out both the pros and cons of using VSync in Minecraft.
Pros of Vertical Synchronization:
- It removes screen tearing if your computer (GPU specifically) is able to “produce” the required frame rate to match your monitor’s refresh rate. This results in smoother gameplay, especially when you often do sharp turns with the camera in-game, which is when screen tearing is most visible.
- It can save battery and prevent overheating, as it “limits” your GPU’s power in a way and doesn’t “allow” it to output more frames than what your monitor’s refresh rate is. On laptops, this can prevent overheating and save battery power, and overall, it can, theoretically, contribute to your GPU’s longevity.
- Because it “locks” your frames per second, you won’t have to deal with the much-noticeable frame rate spikes and drops. This is sometimes very frustrating and can be distracting as well, but thankfully, VSync solves it.
Cons of Vertical Synchronization:
- It limits your framerate up to a point where your game is “performing” way worse than it could be on your system. A perfect example of this is a high-end system that can output more than 500+ fps on Minecraft, but combined with a 60hz refresh rate monitor. If you can play Minecraft on 500 fps, locking it on 60 means losing 440 frames per second.
- It causes input lag, something that competitive players believe is the worst thing to experience in a game where you’re trying to be as quick as possible with your actions. This doesn’t only apply to Minecraft, but to many other games as well. In competitive shooters, for example, it is very rare to find someone who uses VSync. Competitive Minecraft players also advise heavily against it.
- Makes the game less responsive and overall less enjoyable. Some Minecraft players say the cons of VSync greatly outweigh the pros, and it’s just not worth it.
With that said, you now have a slight idea of what the pros and cons of Vertical Sync are, but if this still doesn’t answer the question for you, here’s what we conclude about whether or not you personally should be using it.
Use VSync If:
You enjoy playing Minecraft “casually” and prefer the smoother camera movements and visual quality over the extra performance and quicker command input.
Don’t Use VSync If:
You want to play Minecraft competitively, you often play multiplayer, and you prefer the extra framerate and overall smoother gameplay with less lag over the screen tearing disadvantage.
That should answer your question on whether activating Vertical Synchronization in the Minecraft settings panel is a good choice for your needs and playstyle.
After all, testing your gameplay experience with both VSync on or off is always a viable option and probably the best idea to know if you should enable it or not.