Glossary:Widescreen resolution

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For a list of games, see games with widescreen resolution support.

Widescreen resolutions are resolutions that are of a 16:9 (more common) or 16:10 (slightly less common) aspect ratio. The majority of computer monitors and TV's produced today are widescreen, and thus feature a native widescreen resolution. Widescreen resolutions can cause problems with older games that were built for a 4:3 screen, resulting in either a stretched screen or black bars of unused screen space. Most games today will feature built in support for widescreen resolutions, while some games may require tweaking to force such a resolution.

If a full-screen game is rendered at the wrong aspect ratio, the effects vary based on the monitor. Some may stretch the image, while others may instead pillarbox. Use GPU scaling to override monitor behaviour.

Widescreen behavior[edit]

  • Hor+: the game view expands on each side as the aspect ratio widens without losing any from the top or bottom.
  • Letterbox: the game has a fixed aspect ratio (usually 16:9); other aspect ratios are letterboxed (black bars top and bottom) for other aspect ratios. Multi-monitor resolutions are often pillarboxed instead.
  • Pillarbox: the game runs at a fixed width (usually 4:3) with any extra width filled by vertical black bars.
  • Pixel-based: visible area depends on the resolution rather than the aspect ratio, with higher resolutions showing more at once.
  • Stretch: the game stretches to fit the widescreen aspect ratio (usually from 4:3), resulting in fat characters and other visual problems.
  • Vert-: the game view is cropped at the top and bottom (so widescreen resolutions show less overall than 4:3 resolutions).

Common resolutions[edit]

Common 16:9 resolutions include:

  • 3840x2160
  • 2560x1440
  • 2048x1152
  • 1920×1080
  • 1600×900
  • 1366×768
  • 1280×720

Common 16:10 resolutions include:

  • 3840x2400
  • 2560×1600
  • 1920×1200
  • 1680×1050
  • 1440×900
  • 1280×800
A further 21:9 aspect ratio exists. For more information on this, see ultra-widescreen.