The improvement in graphics cards has opened new doors for game developers. Many new features such as motion blur, shadow effects, depth of field, anti-aliasing, VSync, etc are being used to make the game more realistic and engaging. In this article, I’ll go over one particular feature called motion blur, its benefits, and whether gamers should even be using this setting. Thus, let us get right into Motion Blur in Games.
What is Motion Blur in Games and How is it caused?
Motion blur is an effect where the environment appears blurry to our eyes when either we or the environment is moving at a certain speed.
Example – Stand in a normal position and keep your body still. Now move your head rapidly from left to right and vice versa. What do you notice?
The surroundings appear blurred, right? But why is that?
It is because our eyes cannot focus on a single object due to the rapid movement of our heads. Since our eyes can not focus on a single object, everything appears blurry (out of focus) to us.
Similarly, if you take a photo of a fast-moving car with a camera. The camera’s lens can not focus because of the car’s high speed, and the photo appears blurry. This effect is called motion blur.
In games, motion blur is available as a graphics feature and the effect is just like in real life, except it is rendered differently depending on the genre of the game. Also, in racing games like Forza Horizon 3, both the car you are driving and the surroundings appear blurry when the car is moving at high speed. In FPS games like Battlefield V, only the environment appears blurry, but the main character never appears blurry.
Causes of Motion Blur in Games
Two main causes of motion blur are:
- The main object is moving fast while the camera remains focused on the object.
- This means that the camera can not focus on the surrounding areas at the same time, resulting in a blurry environment, and sometimes the main object can also appear out of focus.
Example – racing games like NFS, Forza Horizon, MotoGP.
- The environment moves fast, but the main character moves slowly or stops.In this case, the camera cannot focus on a specific environment because it keeps changing and the environment appears blurred.
Example – first-person shooter games like Fortnite, Battlefield V. Try this by moving your mouse quickly while your character remains stationary.
- You will notice that the camera is unable to focus on the surroundings and the nearby areas appear blurry.
Is FPS affected by Motion Blur?
Motion blur was originally there to make games appear more realistic, for which it requires more resources such as RAM, graphics VRAM, and CPU processing power.
When you run a game with motion blur enabled, your fps (frame rate) is lower than when motion blur is disabled.
This means that the games run slower and the performance is not up to par. This is true for most game genres, except for racing games.
Blurring the environment also reduces the visual quality of the game. The game appears unattractive.
In some games, motion blur can slightly increase the frames per second (fps) if you are running the game on a low-end computer, but this is hardly the case with most games.
Should we turn it off or on?
If you are a pro gamer who cares more about performance than quality, you should turn off motion blur. Motion blur is also not advisable for competitive multiplayer games FPS or RPG games like Fortnite, Borderlands 3, GTA V, etc.
Turning it on for these games can result in a significant decrease in frame rate and thus in-game performance. For racing games, you can turn on motion blur as the environment hardly matters and you just need to focus on the road. However, if you notice a significant drop in fps, turn it off immediately.
If you do not have a gaming laptop or desktop with decent hardware, you should definitely turn this option off. Also, if you own a gaming console like the Xbox One or PS4, you can turn the option on. If you are one of those gamers who prefer quality over performance, then you can definitely turn this option on. Make sure your computer has the recommended hardware to run the game.
Motion Blur vs No Motion Blur in Games
There is much debate about motion blur and whether it is useful in games.
While this is a personal decision that depends on many factors, I definitely recommend turning off motion blur in games for the following reasons :
- Turning off motion blur will increase the frame rate and you will not suffer from noticeable lag, assuming your computer has the recommended hardware for the game.
- In competitive games such as Fortnite ( FPS ), the blurring of the environment makes it difficult to locate your opponents while you are moving.
- Targeting enemies on the move is made much more difficult by the blur. You have to stand still and aim properly. This makes you easy prey and believe me, you will definitely get in this.
- The visual quality of the game is much better and the game no longer looks as unattractive as it did with motion blur enabled.
- Motion blur can cause dizziness and nausea in certain people who are more sensitive to it.
How to turn off Motion Blur in Games
You can turn off motion blur by following these simple instructions. Some games may have slightly different menus, but this guide should give you an idea :
- Open the game’s main menu by pressing the “Esc” key.
- Go to Settings and then navigate to Graphics Settings.
- In the graphics settings, you will see an option for motion blur. In some games like Fortnite, this option is in the advanced graphics settings or video settings.
- Turn motion blur on or off.
In some games, you’ll find a percentage bar that you can increase or decrease. Set it to 0 if you want to turn motion blur off completely. You can adjust the amount of motion blur by varying the percentage.
Motion blur in games has many drawbacks, and I recommend my readers to turn off this graphics feature; if they want to enjoy games with a decent frame rate. If you are just a fan of racing games, you can turn this feature on to get a realistic gameplay experience, but frame rates can drop significantly. Gamers should definitely disable this feature. Until next time !! See ya, goodbye !! 🙂