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.

A further 21:9 aspect ratio exists. For more information on this, see ultra-widescreen.

Widescreen behavior[edit]

Method Description
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). 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).
Vert+ The game view expands the left and right sides if the aspect ratio is wider than the main aspect (16:9 for example) and if narrower than that, the sides are locked to the specific aspect ratio and the top and bottom is extended.

Common resolutions[edit]

The below table lists common resolutions for 16:9 and 16:10 side-by-side, as well as what they're commonly known as.
An alternative way of referring to resolutions is by their vertical resolution, so 2160p refers to 3840x2160, while 1080p refers to 1920x1080.
Based on data gathered by the Steam Hardware & Software Survey.
16:9 16:10 Comment
3840 x 2160 3840 x 2400 Known as 4K resolutions. For more information, see 4K Ultra HD.
2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 Known as QHD (Quad High Definition) or 2K resolutions.
1920 x 1080 1920 x 1200 Known as Full HD resolutions.
1600 x 900 1680 x 1050 1600x1000 (16:10) also exists, but 1680x1050 is more common.
1536 x 864 1440 x 900
1366 x 768
1360 x 768
- Two common resolutions close to, but not exact, 16:9 ratio.
1280 x 720 1280 x 800 Known as HD Ready resolutions.