What field of view should I choose in a first person shooter?

What effect does this have on aiming?

  • Is there any reason the default isn't good enough? Aug 15, 2010 at 13:25
  • On Quake Live, I'm using the maximum FOV so I can see wide. But I wonder if it's a good idea to see as wide as possible... If this question ends up being to subjective, I will delete it and continue to use the maximum FOV. Aug 15, 2010 at 13:34
  • I actually think the answer @en1gmatic325 has given is a very objective answer: it's due to Fitt's law that it will become harder to aim, since the targets become smaller (more objects on the same amount of pixels), so it doesn't have to be subjective. What the best one is though will depend on the game
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 15, 2010 at 18:07

4 Answers 4


It makes aiming a bit harder as more things are squished into the same screen size, but you get the advantage of being able to see more. Generally you want to be able to see more so long as it doesn't have too much of an impact on your aiming/movement. It is up to you to decide what the best balance is for you. In Unreal Tournament 2004 I know some people played with the FOV higher than I did, but anything over 100 degrees for me became harder to aim and more confusing to sense what directions things were in, so I stuck with that.

  • Hmm, I play at the maximum, might decrease it by 5 or 10 to improve my aiming and sense/mevement/sense a bit... As they suggest in tutorials, it's best to learn to listen to sounds. And the angle I will lose will be covered by that. Aug 15, 2010 at 18:23

In addition to the answers already posted, I'd like to add that some people feel motion sickness when playing a 3D game with "unsuitable" FOV settings (and "fixing" the FOV makes the motion sickness go away), while some people are a lot more tolerant. This is related to how brain and the body of the person behaves.

If you play on a monitor that is near your eyes, a higher FOV is naturally expected. This means that PC gamers usually should use higher FOV than console gamers. FZDSCHOOL explains it very well in EPISODE 29 FOV in Games video (see also part 2).


Really it's all about preference. The max FOV offers more vision of things around you, but at the cost of skewing everything so it's like looking through a tunnel. If you don't mind that tunnel effect, turn it up as high as you want.


Depends on the aspect ratio of your display.

With the aspect ratio of 4:3 the optimal FoV would be 90°.

With wider screens the FoV can be comfortably cranked up: 100°-110°.

Lower FoVs shouldn't be used for several reasons:

  • Low FoV feels unnatural;
  • Low FoV limits what a player can see;
  • Low FoV is unrealistic;
  • Low FoV can cause motion sickness (arguably, the most important reason);

Thorough analysis: Why higher Field of View is important in First Person Shooters

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