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From what I know, human's FOV is close to 180. A lot of games offer you something around 90, and the highest I found was in Paladins - it was 120 and helped quite a bit against fast enemies. So, why developers cut FOV so much?

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  • Because it'll start to look distorted at the edges if the FOV is too wide. There are partial solutions that make it easier to see/detect enemies, including minimaps, direction pointers, third person view, and VR.
    – somebody
    Mar 1, 2018 at 4:36
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    The section of a human field of view that corresponds to the screen in front of the player is a lot narrower. Unless you've got a curved monitor wrapped around your head.
    – pjc50
    Mar 1, 2018 at 13:30
  • Note that the fov you choose in games is usually the vertical one. The horizontal one will be higher. Mar 2, 2018 at 20:07

3 Answers 3

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First of all, the human FOV is more like 120. 180 requires you to move your eyes to really see something, the best you can do at 180 is maybe notice a movement.

  • Distortion problems, as somebody mentioned, high FOVs cause the image to look fish-eyed. 120 is pretty much the maximum, which makes sense on a normal computer screen, as the visual plane distorts at higher values

  • It makes no sense to have higher FOVs. Your computer screen is usually right in front of you, an FOV of 180 would mean, you'd be able to notice things to your immediate left or right. So, such an FOV can only be displayed in a sensible fashion, when you have a monitor setup to support that, which basically requires five of them. VR is the way to go here to increase FOVs beyond 120. For a single computer monitor a FOV of 80-100 is actually optimal.

  • Increased hardware requirements. Higher FOV means more stuff on the screen, means more demanding on your hardware. This is why most console first person games hang at FOVs of 50-60, the hardware simply can't render more than that at acceptable framerates. If framerates drop at higher FOVs, it makes sense for the developers to restrict it to lower values.

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Human FOV is actually less than 180. You don't have color in the peripheral areas, and while you can detect something there, you cannot really see it ; It's more movement detection than vision.
Also, when you look at a screen, the angle formed by the lines from edge of your screen to your eye will be something between 70 and 90. An angle of 180 with your screen is only achievable if your screen covers exactly your field of view (something possible in VR).
While for gaming purpose, having a large FOV is practical because you can see much more, from a developer/editor point of view it will deform the screen (you will have to squeeze a FOV of 120 in a real FOV of 80 for instance) and can also affect performance (depending on how the game is being rendered). Plus, a dev may want that you can't see too much at any given time.
As a bonus, if you want to try what tremendous FOV looks like, most games done with the unreal engine use a .ini file for this parameter. Works with the first Borderlands for instance

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As mentioned in other answers, humans don't really have a good 180 FOV.

To add onto those points, consider what would be needed to naturally utilize 180 degree FOV.

Your screen definitely doesn't take up 180 degrees of your vision. For that to be the case; you would need a curved monitor and you would have to sit close to it.

I'd say that often times, the FOV in a game is actually higher than your natural FOV at the distance from the monitor. The distortion looks fairly unnatural with 120 FOV on regular monitors.

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