How do multiple monitors affect FOV in first person games?

#1 Posted by darkknight9174 (224 posts) -

So with one monitor, if you have a smaller field of view everything looks zoomed in but your "peripheral" vision is lessened. Likewise, a higher field of view means everything looks more "zoomed out" but with more peripheral vision.

My question though is how having multiple monitors affects higher FOV. If you have 2 or even three monitors and set the field of view to 100-120 or something, does everything still look "zoomed out" or does everything look zoomed in like a low FOV on a single monitor, with the extra display width providing the enhanced peripheral vision.

Basically, would having two or three monitors allow someone to get the advantages of high FOV (wider view) without the disadvantage of things on the screen looking "zoomed out"? For a single player game I would think it more likely to just increase what you can see, but for a multiplayer game I would think it would be more likely that the wider your display is the smaller objects appear in the game world.

#2 Edited by Byshop (11164 posts) -

So with one monitor, if you have a smaller field of view everything looks zoomed in but your "peripheral" vision is lessened. Likewise, a higher field of view means everything looks more "zoomed out" but with more peripheral vision.

My question though is how having multiple monitors affects higher FOV. If you have 2 or even three monitors and set the field of view to 100-120 or something, does everything still look "zoomed out" or does everything look zoomed in like a low FOV on a single monitor, with the extra display width providing the enhanced peripheral vision.

Basically, would having two or three monitors allow someone to get the advantages of high FOV (wider view) without the disadvantage of things on the screen looking "zoomed out"? For a single player game I would think it more likely to just increase what you can see, but for a multiplayer game I would think it would be more likely that the wider your display is the smaller objects appear in the game world.

Yes, it helps without adversely affecting the zoom of the primary monitor. The side monitors will have a slightly distorted look to them because they are "peripheral" vision much like you'd get from the sides of a single monitor with a scaled up FOV. Different games will handle it differently, so the effect may not always be the same from game to game. Some competitive online games like COD will not let you adjust the FOV without hacks that potentially can get you banned from online play, presumably because they want a level playing field regardless of hardware. This also applies to some RTS games. Starcraft 2 has a similar restriction.

Here's a video of me playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer in an Eyefinity config:

And here's one of me playing Farcry 3:

Sometimes the games will actually reduce the FOV of the primary monitor a bit to more evenly stretch it out across the three. Also notice that not ever game allows you to put the UI elements on the main display, which is typically desirable since you don't want to have to turn your head to see how much ammo you have left.

The bezels can also be a factor. As you can see the bezels distort straight lines because Eyefinity and Surround treat all three displays like a single display, but there's a feature called "bezel correction" that can compensate. The drawback is if you turn it on then anything under the bezel can't be seen, so depending on the game that may be a problem. Games where you are expected to read onscreen text might position that text under the bezel, and if you can't "turn your head" while reading then it might make the game unplayable.

Here's a video of the Elite Dangerous Alpha in an early version. Note the high level of distortion on the left and right in this game. In this early version, the perspective was zoomed out from the normal perspective (making it look like you're sitting like 10 feet back from where you normally would in the cockpit). This was adjusted to be more natural in later versions.

Sorry about my hacking, I was getting over a nasty cold when I shot this.

-Byshop

#3 Posted by darkknight9174 (224 posts) -

Thanks for the informative response.

Dang man, that bottom one is a crazy looking game. Your son isn't going to be able to enjoy "normal" games anymore haha

#4 Posted by Byshop (11164 posts) -

@darkknight9174: That's an Obutto R3volution racing/flight cockpit that I bought to better use my three monitor setup. They start around $350 for a base model so they aren't crazy expensive. Elite Dangerous is a new Wing Commander Privateer-style MMO coming out later this year.

-Byshop

#5 Posted by Kh1ndjal (2426 posts) -

i would recommend paying the WideScreen Gaming Forum a visit.

they have the most thorough information on *everything* related to gaming in widescreen, including reviews of hardware and games as well as specifics of what kind of FOV changes occur with additional monitors.